Italian Honey Balls (Strufoli)

    1 hour 5 minutes

    These biscuits are also known as strufoli. If pine nuts aren't available, use slivered almonds instead.

    58 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 65g butter
    • 3 cups (375g) plain flour
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 1 1/2 cups honey
    • 3/4 cup pine nuts
    • 80g multicoloured sprinkles

    Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hour5min 

    1. Melt the butter or margarine over low heat. Mix together in a large bowl 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Add sugar, baking powder, lemon rind and salt. Make a depression in the middle. Drop into it the eggs and the melted butter or margarine. Mix with a wooden spoon and then with the hands until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed. Knead dough on floured surface until it isn't sticky anymore.
    2. Break off pieces of dough and roll into ropes about the size of a pencil. Cut into pieces 5mm long. Roll these pieces into little balls and set aside.
    3. In deep frying pan, heat oil about 5cm deep. Fry balls until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
    4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 1/2 cups of pure honey to a boil. Let honey boil gently for about 3 minutes before adding little dough balls, stirring gently with wooden spoon until they are well-coated.
    5. Remove balls from honey with a slotted spoon and place in a deep dish or mound them on a platter. Sprinkle surface evenly with nuts and multicoloured sprinkles. Cool.

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    Reviews in English (47)


    Excellent recipe. Just like my Grandma made. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the honey and toasted the pignoli (pine nuts) before sprinkling on top. I've also made them in individual servings, mounding a heaping spoonful into foiled muffin cups. Makes about 32 smaller servings. Great for giving a few small portions to the lovely elderly Italian couple next door!  -  20 Dec 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I tried to copy my Grandmother's recipe. This was close, but not quite right. I was told that I should have cooked the honey longer to give it a darker color. It was not sticky enough, so the presentation was a flop.... literally. Very messy, too much work, not worth it. For those who attempt this, here's the best tip: When you roll the dough into "ropes", simply cut the ropes into the sizes you want them to be. Once you fry them, they will plump up into ball shapes. I wasted so much time shaping the dough into balls before frying them... a step that was completely unnecessary unless you have so much time on your hands that you don't know what else to do with your day.  -  16 Apr 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This recipe is almost identical to my grandmother's recipe brought with her from Naples, Italy. The only difference is that she added an extra egg, and 2 extra tsp. of baking powder. They come out lighter and less dense. You do not have to roll them into balls. Just roll into a rope, cut into pieces and fry in hot oil. To solve the problem with the honey being too thin to hold everything together, my grandmother always heated the honey with sugar. If using a large bottle of honey, use 1 cup of sugar and heat on the stove till bubbly. Then toss the strufoli into the hot honey, remove with slotted buttered spoon, and begin mounding onto a platter with the buttered spoon or, if you hands can take the heat, buttered hands. They will hold together nicely into a nice mound.  -  13 Dec 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)