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A pile of honey balls on a platter topped with nonpareil sprinkles


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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian


This easy homemade Struffoli is such a fun Christmas dessert! Cute little balls of fried dough are coated in sweet honey and topped with your favorite holiday sprinkles.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 5 cups more for frying
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 22 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • Sprinkles to garnish


  1. Place the eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until well whisked.
  2. Turn the mixer to medium and add in the orange zest, oil, vanilla, salt and 2 cups of flour. Mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for 1-2 more minutes, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Add the extra 1/4 flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
  4. Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Dust a large baking sheet with flour and set it aside.
  6. Break off a small portion of the dough and roll it into a long rope. Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut the rope into 1-cm pieces and roll each piece into a ball (no larger than the size of a chickpea).
  7. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, cover with a towel and repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Line another large baking sheet with paper towels and set it aside.
  9. In a 5-6 quart deep pot (or Dutch oven) heat the remaining 5 cups of oil over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350°F. Working in batches of about 20-25 balls, place them in the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. If necessary, press the balls down into the oil using a slotted spoon to ensure the browning is even.
  10. Once golden, remove from the dough balls from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to the lined baking sheet. Repeat with all the dough.
  11. Place the honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to thin the honey slightly.
  12. Remove the paper towels from under the fried dough balls. Pour the honey on top of the balls and use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to stir, coating them completely in honey.
  13. Arrange the honey-coated balls on a large platter in a mound or wreath shape. Alternatively, you can make individual servings by placing portions into muffin liners.
  14. Top with more honey, if desired, and then sprinkles.


Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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