Grandma Helen's Struffoli

Recipe by Steve P.


  • 2
    cups flour
  • 12
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 4
    tablespoons sugar
  • 2
    teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1
    teaspoon vinegar
  • 12
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1
    fluid ounce whiskey (rye, bourbon, or Canadian is fine but not Scotch)
  • 3
    cups honey (Traditionaly we have always used Golden Blossom brand if not available use pure clover honey)
  • oil (for deep frying) or shortening (for deep frying)
  • multi colored sprinkles (These are the little round hard sprinkles rather than the soft elongated ones used on ice cream cone)


  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add all liquid ingredients (Except honey) to dry to form a dough.
  • Knead dough well to incorporate all ingredients.
  • For balls roll dough out in 1/4 inch round strips like pencils.
  • Cut the pieces at small intervals with an angle cut.
  • How far apart you make the cut is your judgment call, as the smaller the spacing the smaller the balls and vice versa.
  • Mom likes the look leaving them as is with the angle cut giving a unique shape to the balls as they fry.
  • If you prefer perfectly rounded balls, you can roll the pieces in the palms of your hands like miniature meatballs before frying.
  • For ribbons cut some of the dough in flat strips about 1/2 inch wide preferably using a crimped edge cutting wheel as it gives a fancy serrated edge to them.
  • Form loops or bow shapes with the ribbons and deep fry balls and ribbons separately until golden brown (ribbons as they are flat will cook quicker than the balls).
  • Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Heat honey in a deep pot until it starts to thin out and become pourable.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Dip bows and ribbons in warm honey and set aside.
  • Add balls to the honey and toss to coat.
  • Transfer balls to holiday platter and top with the ribbons and bows.
  • Or you can mound the balls to look like a Christmas tree and decorate with bows on the sides.
  • Sprinkle with multi colored sprinkles.