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These Italian Honey Balls (Struffoli) are usually served on Christmas and other holidays. They are crunchy on the outside, soft and warm inside. Perfection! | yummyaddiction.com
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5 from 5 votes

Italian Honey Balls (Struffoli)

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Yummy Addiction


For the dough:

  • 3 1/3 cups (14 oz. or 400g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz. (85g) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1 orange
  • vegetable oil , for frying

For the syrup:

  • 1 oz. (30g) water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 7 oz. (200g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon

For garnish:


The dough:

  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Beat in the eggs and add the sour cream and brandy. Add the orange and lemon zest. Mix very well and knead until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let sit in a fridge for a half an hour.

The syrup:

  • In a saucepan, add the water and brown sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens a little bit. Add the honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix well. Set aside.

Making balls and frying:

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 5-6 parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each part into a very thin 1/2-inch thick log and cut into small equal pieces. Keep in mind that the dough pieces will double in size when fried.
  • Fill half of the pot with oil and heat to 375°F (180°C). Prepare a plate lined with paper towel. Working in batches, add some dough pieces to a metal strainer and lower into the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning them in the oil, until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate with the paper towel. Repeat with all the remaining dough.
  • Transfer the dough balls to the saucepan with the prepared syrup and mix well until nicely coated.

Forming a wreath:

  • Take a cake tin and put a glass, sprayed with cooking oil, in the middle of it. Arrange the honey balls around the glass to form a wreath. Drizzle the remaining honey over them. Sprinkle with the cranberries, poppy seeds, and almond slices, if using. Let sit for a couple of hours to set. Remove the side of the cake tin and the glass and serve. Enjoy!