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Honey Balls



It just wasn't Easter in our house without struffoli, little fried puffs coated with honey. What was so memorable about them was not so much their sticky exterior but their special pyramid shape on the serving platter.


3 large eggs

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar

2 cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup honey

Flour for dusting

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Colored sprinkles


In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, and the 1 teaspoon sugar until foamy. Sift the flour with the baking power and stir into the egg mixture. With your hands, work the mixture into a soft dough. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, On a floured surface, roll each piece into a rope about the width of your index finger and 12 inches long.

Cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces. Toss the pieces with enough flour to dust them lightly, and shake off the excess flour. In a deep fryer, heat the oil to 375°F. Fry the struffoli a few handfuls at a time, until puffed up and golden brown. Transfer with a slotted spoon to brown paper to drain.

In a large saucepan, combine the honey ant the 1/2 cup sugar and heat over low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved; keep warm over low heat. Add the fried balls a few at a time, and turn them with a wooden spoon to coat on all sides. Transfer the balls to a large plate and mound them into a pyramid, shaping it with wet hands.

Sprinkle with the colored sprinkles and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Then just break off pieces with your hands to eat.


  1. Rosemarie Cappetta's avatar

    Rosemarie Cappetta

    Maryann, thank you so much for creating the Struffoli that my Mom used to make, she passed before I could get her recipe but this is it. I've looked at the other "big name" chef's and they all add lemon and orange zest, nahhhh. THIS is the one!!!!
    Love your shows and your food. Keep producing authentic Italian recipes.
    Oh by the way: do you have a recipe for Aloi Oohia (spelt wrong I know) Anchovies, garlic and oil sauce for pasta, I didn't get that recipe from her either. Thank you again Maryann. :)
  2. Silvana's avatar


    My Family in Napels. never use butter in the ingredients. Just flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon/Orange zest. Not forgetting the oil to fry them. This recipe has been used for approx more than a 100 years within my mothers Family.
  3. theresa's avatar


    I would like to know how to store the struffoli.

    Is there a way to keep them in storage for a long time i.e. 3/4 mths? or more

    Thank you,
  4. Pauline's avatar


    thank you so much MaryAnn for this recipe! but where my family is from, the province of Caserta, near Naples, we call these "favette" but we also make "struffoli" and those are also fried but rolled in sugar. I haven't made these "favette" with the honey in soooo long! I can't wait to surprise my family on Christmas Eve! thanks so much! and I enjoy watching your show!! BUON NATALE E FELICE ANNO NUOVO!!
  5. Shelly's avatar


    My grandmother passed away at 100 and she made these every Easter this was the only recipe I couldn't find when she died cant wait to make them
  6. Linda's avatar


    I grew up in a large Italian family,,,I always had honey balls ( as we called them) as a kid, my Grandmoms sister used to make them all the time and take them to our house and everyone else's around the holidays,the problem was man grandmother as much as she tried could never get them like my Aunt , hers always got hard and stuck together,,is there a secret to make them so the honey doesn't get like glue and harden,,thanks !!!!
  7. Lisa Schipsi's avatar

    Lisa Schipsi

    My grandmother used to make honey balls and your
    recipe helped me bring this Easter treat back to the table!
    Thank you. Happy Easter!
  8. Karen's avatar


    My husbands family makes the little dough balls but they use them in soup
  9. Karen's avatar


    LOL my husbands family uses the dough balls
    Minus all the honey etc just the fried dough balls
  10. Rosemarie Bruno's avatar

    Rosemarie Bruno

    My whole life I've eaten Struffoli. I could eat them all myself. My Zia Laura would make them anytime I asked. She would also make rolled out dough, cut into long strips and then fold it in half length ways (to hold honey), spiraled it into a circle, then fried & honey put on them. I don't know what these are called but they tasted like the same dough as Struffoli. Is it.
  11. Giovanni's avatar


    Struffoli, Zepoli, Sfinci,
    A different name in all parts of Italy and Sicily. So simple to make.
    I loved the process, the aroma and the taste.
    Eat them Plain, With Honey or sugar and cinnamon, What memories I have and will always hold close.
  12. Tony's avatar


    In Abbruzzo my family called it something like 'ciceriquate'. My mum has made it for years - she adds shaved almonds which is awesome. You can store it indefinitely in the freezer.

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