Castagnole (Italian Doughnuts)

Castagnole (Italian Doughnuts)


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Castagnole are small Italian-style doughnut balls that are usually eaten around Carnival time just before Lent. I make them much more often than that because they are so easy and made with 5 ingredients you usually already have!


Serves: 6 

  • 3 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon 1 lemon zest (or lemon extract)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16g baking powder
  • 500g plain flour
  • sunflower oil, for deep frying
  • caster or icing sugar, for dusting

Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale and slightly stiff.
  2. Melt the butter then stir in 1 tablespoon milk. Add the butter mixture , lemon zest and salt to the eggs, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Sift in flour and baking powder then mix with a spatula. With you hands to make a soft dough. If too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of milk. If mixture is too soft, add more flour.
  4. Divide into balls, about the size of your fist and form a 1.5cm diameter cylinder with each ball. Slice each cylinder into smaller pieces.
  5. Heat sunflower oil in a deep saucepan or wok until it reaches 190 degrees C. Cook the doughnuts, a few at a time, flipping them over at least once, until golden brown and float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate then dust with caster or icing sugar to serve.

Oil Temperature

For deep frying, the perfect temperature of the oil should be between 90 to 100 degrees C. If you do not have a food thermometer, just use a wooden spoon: dip it in the oil and check if it make bubbles. If it does, the oil is ready for deep frying.

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