Struffoli (Italian Honey Balls)

Originating from Italy, Struffoli is a delightful dessert that has captured the hearts and palates of people worldwide for decades. This bite-sized delicacy consists of small dough balls, typically fried until golden and then coated in honey. Struffoli’s origins can be traced back to the regions of Campania and Calabria, where it is often enjoyed during festive occasions and celebrations.

Struffoli is typically made from a sweet dough mixture rolled into small balls before frying. After frying, the Struffoli are coated in honey and often garnished with sprinkles, nuts, or other toppings. The result is a dense, bite-sized treat with a crunchy exterior and a soft pillowy interior.


While Struffoli is traditionally associated with Christmas in Italy, its popularity has spread to other countries, including the United States and Canada, where many Italian communities enjoy it. Beyond Christmas, Struffoli can be savored throughout the year, making it a versatile sweet treat for various occasions. Over time, other desserts have derived from Struffoli, such as zeppole, a similar fried dough pastry often enjoyed during the Italian feast of St. Joseph’s Day.


Holiday Variation

To make Struffoli festive for any holiday, not just Christmas, consider incorporating different flavors and decorations. For example, during Easter, you can add pastel-colored sprinkles and candy-coated chocolate eggs. For Halloween, black and orange sprinkles or miniature pumpkin candies can bring a playful touch. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to adapt this scrumptious treat to suit any occasion.


Struffoli is a versatile dessert with a rich history and worldwide appeal. Whether enjoyed during the traditional Christmas season or otherwise, Struffoli brings joy and a touch of sweetness to the table for all to enjoy.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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