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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman


This popular Italian dessert has been passed down from generation to generation. Feel free to garnish the dish with small candies for some extra sweet decoration.





Prep Time

90 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Struffoli



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (from ½ large orange)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ stick (2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, at room temperature)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white wine (such as pinot grigio)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • To Assemble:

  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1½ cups hazelnuts (toasted (see Cook's Note))
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Sugar sprinkles or dragees (for decoration)
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting, optional)


  1. For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until ¼ inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into ½-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip of pastry into ½-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375°F. (If you don't have a thermometer, a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes at the desired temperature.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough balls to a paper towel¬ñlined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be rolled on a floured work surface into ½-inch-thick logs and cut into equal-sized ½-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small balls and fried as above.)
  5. To assemble: In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
  6. Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter. Using a large spoon or damp hands, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape. Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance).
  7. Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar, if using. Remove the glass from the center of the platter and serve.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
48 grams
5 grams
12 grams
Saturated Fat
1 grams
40 milligrams
106 milligrams
2 grams
32 grams
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