A big bowl of Struffoli di Mamma

Struffoli aka Italian Honey Balls

Struffoli di Mamma aka Italian Neapolitan honey balls are puffy balls of fried dough - crispy on the outside;light & airy on the inside, drenched in honey.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cicerchiata, Italian Christmas recipes, Italian honey balls, struffoli, traditional Southern Italian Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 60 portions
Calories 52kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD


  • 450 grams all purpose flour approx 3 3/4 cups
  • 4 eggs extra large
  • 4 teaspoons white wine
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon rhum can be replaced by rhum extract
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup honey required for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • long strands of lemon zest to garnish


  • Place flour on a wooden board. Shape into a well (basically form the flour into a wreath shape).
  • Place the ingredients, one by one, in the center of your well, while whisking with a fork.
  • Continue to whisk while slowly incorporating the flour.
  • Keep incorporating and kneading the dough. I find a dough scraper helps with this whole process.
  • When the dough comes together, knead for about 10 minutes until shiny and smooth. 
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for at least one hour.
  • In a large pot or electric fryer, preheat vegetable oil to 375° F - 400° F.
  • Line a large tray with paper towel.
  • Place dough on cutting board. Cut dough in strips. Roll each strip into strands about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  • Cut each strip in 1/2 inch  pieces.
  • Drop about 10-15 pieces of dough into hot oil at a time. Swirl pieces of dough until golden.
  • Drain on paper towel lined tray.
  • Place struffoli in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In a small pot, over low heat, combine the honey with the lemon juice and heat for a few minutes,



Recipe can easily be halved.
Alternately, you can use your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook to knead the dough.
1 portion is about 5 struffoli.
Can be shaped in a wreath or portioned in festive muffin liners.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 


Serving: 1portion | Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 15mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.4mg