Easy Homemade Italian Struffoli Christmas Honey Balls

Homemade Italian struffoli is so good during the holidays. These fried dough balls with honey are sweet and tasty. Whether you know them as Christmas honey balls or fried cookies with honey glaze and sprinkles, they’re a wonderful addition to your festive menu. This is the best struffoli recipe!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

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What are Christmas Struffoli?

Before taking a closer look at the best struffoli recipe, you might like to know more about this tasty Italian dish. Struffoli are fried little balls of dough, and they’re a typical component of dessert table spreads on Christmas Eve in Italy, along with St Joseph’s Day. The dough balls are small, about the same size as marbles. In fact, this type of dough is used in various Italian baked treats, chiacchiere for example.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

Christmas honey balls are light inside and crunchy outside. Homemade Italian struffoli are usually decorated with honey and sprinkles. Orange zest and cinnamon are popular ingredients too, although Christmas struffoli recipes do vary.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

For these fried dough balls with honey dessert, you’ll need flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and eggs. Lemon and vanilla are added for flavour and then you will need sprinkles to decorate your homemade Italian struffoli. Optional garnishes for the best struffoli recipe include candied cherries, nuts and powdered sugar.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

How to Make Christmas Struffoli

These fried cookies with honey glaze and sprinkles are fun to make. Christmas baking is always fun anyway, but I especially love making Christmas honey balls.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

First of all, you will combine flour with lemon zest, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Then mix in the butter. It’s easiest to do this with a pastry cutter but just use a fork if you don’t have one.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

Next you can mix in the vanilla and eggs, then knead the resulting dough. Let the dough rest for an hour then you can roll it into strips and cut it into pieces. Fry the Christmas struffoli for a couple of minutes then drain them.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

After that, you can work on the sauce. Boil the honey with lemon juice and sugar then mix in the dough balls. Finally, arrange the homemade Italian struffoli in the shape of a Christmas tree, wreath or whatever else you like. Then just add the sprinkles.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

How to Store Homemade Italian Struffoli

These fried dough balls with honey are best served right away when they’re nice and fresh and still warm. But this recipe serves about ten people so you might not eat it all if there aren’t as many of you. The best struffoli recipe will be fine for up to 3 days as long as you keep it covered.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

Another idea is to keep just the fried balls in the refrigerator and then make the honey glaze before serving. Yet another option is freezing the dough balls then adding the honey and sprinkles when you’re ready to serve it. Also, the raw dough will keep overnight if you want to start making fried cookies with honey glaze and sprinkles a day ahead.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

How to Serve Struffoli

Since Christmas honey balls are sticky, you might be wondering how to eat them. Actually there are different ways. I like to make a wreath shape and then divide it into servings.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

You could also add portions to festive muffin cups. Remember you can add optional toppings before serving too, when adding the sprinkles, like candied fruit or nuts.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

5 Top Tips for Perfect Struffoli

  • Struffoli expand when you cook them, so don’t worry about small pieces of dough being too small. They won’t be!
  • While they cook you can avoid them sticking together by tossing the uncooked balls in a little flour before adding them to the oil.
  • I usually use canola oil. You can use another oil if you prefer. Anything with a high smoke point and neutral flavour will work. Safflower, peanut or corn oil would work.
  • Use a candy thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the dough balls.
  • Rainbow nonpareil sprinkles look good on the best struffoli recipe. Green, red and white ones would be perfect for a more Christmassy look.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

Homemade Italian struffoli is a wonderful treat for the holidays. In Italy a lot of home cooks make it for St Joseph’s Day. Did you know St Joseph is the patron saint of pastry cooks? Other options include sfinge (sugar-covered dough fritters) and zeppole. But for me, these classic fried cookies with honey glaze and sprinkles are the perfect Christmas dessert!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli. You will love these fried dough balls with honey glaze and sprinkles.

If you like these Christmas honey balls, you might also like Christmas Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Buttercream Dip, Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Almond Horns or Cranberry & Pistachio White Chocolate Bark.

Easy Homemade Italian Struffoli Christmas Honey Balls Recipe

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a dessert recipe for homemade Italian struffoli or tasty Christmas honey balls.

Easy Homemade Italian Struffoli Christmas Honey Balls

Course: Sweets
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 1079kcal
Author: Bella
Homemade Italian struffoli is so good during the holidays. These fried dough balls with honey are so tasty. Whether you know them as Christmas honey balls or fried cookies with honey glaze and sprinkles, they’re wonderful! This is the best struffoli recipe!
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Cup flour divided plus extra is for dusting hands and surfaces 
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 4 Cups canola oil enough to have about 2 inches of oil in your pot for deep frying
  • 1 Cup honey
  • 2 Teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons sprinkles
  • powdered sugar optional garnishes 
  • candied cherries optional garnishes 
  • nuts optional garnishes 

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, sugar, lemon zest, salt and baking powder.   
  • Cut the butter up into small chunks and add this to the bowl as well.  Mix until this is mealy.  Blend in the 3 eggs and vanilla.  I use a standing mixer, but this can be done by hand.  Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes.   
  • Shape into a ball, cover the dough and allow it to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. 
  • Lightly dust your hands and work surface so the dough doesn’t stick to you as you are working with it. 
  • Roll out the dough, then cut it into strips about as wide as your index finger.  Roll the strips into ropes about ¼ inch thick. Then cut into ¼ inch pieces (they should be about marble sized). I find it easiest to line up the ropes and cut a bunch at one time.)  Make sure all the pieces are separated on your board, so they don’t stick together while cooking. 
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees F, hot enough so the balls of dough cook quickly and don’t absorb too much oil. 
  • Fry the dough balls in non-crowded batches, just until golden – it will only take a couple of minutes.  Turn with a slotted spoon or wire strainer to make sure they turn golden on all sides.  As each batch is cooked, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels.   
  • In a large pot, boil together the honey, sugar, and lemon juice until melted and smooth.  Remove the pot from the heat.  Add the struffoli and stir gently until all of the balls are evenly coated.   
  • Arrange the struffoli into a wreath shape, or mound like a Christmas tree, on a serving plate. Lightly cover with sprinkles and serve! 

Nutrition

Calories: 1079kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 94g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g | Monounsaturated Fat: 58g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Let me know if you try this Italian Christmas dessert recipe. These are the best struffoli and perfect for the festive holiday season.

If you are looking for other Christmas cookie ideas, you might also like these Festive Chocolate Covered Oreo Christmas Cookies.

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xoxoBella is a popular travel and lifestyle blog featuring travel inspiration, fashion, recipes, dog mom tips and fitness motivation. Bella Bucchiotti lives with and advocates for Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease awareness.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Ingrid Thompson wrote:

    5 stars
    I have always wanted to try to make these! This looks beautiful!

    Posted 10.2.21 Reply
  2. Mimi wrote:

    These turned out so good and as an Italian I should know XD I can’t wait to have them again this year

    Posted 10.4.21 Reply
  3. Amber Myers wrote:

    Oh yum, these look and sound amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever tried this before.

    Posted 10.4.21 Reply
  4. 5 stars
    These look and sound amazing for the holidays, and what a fun presentation too!

    Posted 10.5.21 Reply
  5. Nina wrote:

    Yum! these look so good. I’m celiac and hypoglycaemic but I desperately want to eat these even though they’d murder my insides :p .

    Posted 10.5.21 Reply
  6. 5 stars
    Oh wow, I have never heard of this before, but they look quite yummy! Your recipes are so creative and festive.

    Posted 10.5.21 Reply