upclose photo of struffoli Italian honey balls
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Struffoli Italian Honey Balls

Struffoli Italian Honey Balls, delicious crunchy pastry balls covered in honey, a traditional Italian Christmas dessert recipe from Naples. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Rosemary Molloy / An Italian in my Kitchen



  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 5 3/4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 zest orange
  • 2 3/4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Orange Juice
  • 3 eggs


  • 10 1/2 ounces honey
  • sprinkles
  • slivered almonds


  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder and the salt, then add the butter, orange zest, sugar and Grand Marnier (or orange juice), start to combine with a fork until crumbly.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine, when almost combined move the mix to a lightly floured flat surface add an extra 1 - 1/2 tablespoons flour and knead together to form a soft dough.  Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest 30 minutes.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into thin ropes 1/4 inch in diameter.  Cut to make small cubes and roll each cube into a ball slightly smaller than a marble. Try to make them all the same size.
  • In a medium pot add 2-3 inches of oil and heat to 350°F add the struffoli (in batches) turning a couple of times and when golden drain on a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
  • While struffoli are cooling in a large pan on low / medium heat, heat the honey until warm and slightly watery. Add the cooled struffoli and mix to coat, then sprinkle with sprinkles and slivered almonds.
  • Then form the honey balls into desired shape, dome, donut (see video)** pyramid.  Let the finished Struffoli sit until the honey solidifies (approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours) and then serve.  Enjoy!
  • **lightly oil the glass before placing in the middle of the plate.  


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 109mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.9mg