Frittelle – Italian Carnival Fried Doughnuts Recipe

Frittelle is Venetian fried doughnuts served during Carnival, they are round pastries, yummy!!

Italians celebrate Carnival (Carnevale) around three weeks or so before Easter. Traditionally, my family in Verona is preparing frittelle, a type of doughnuts, around the Carnival season. So, this time of the year I always have a craving for frittelle – no matter where I am.


Those mini Italian doughnuts are very fun for the kids, they dress up in costumes and enjoy the parade with the giant Carnival floats. It’s a really festive celebration and, of course, we have delicious sweets just for Carnival: frappole and frittelle. So, here is the frittelle recipe:


  • 10 oz./280 grams (2 cups) flour, all-purpose
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried yeast (or 1 oz./28 grams fresh (cake) yeast)
  • 8 oz./225 grams water, lukewarm temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange peel
  • rum soaked raisins (optional)
  • oil for deep fryingfrittelle
  • sugar for coating


  • Put the yeast in the water and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl; mix together and after the yeast is ready, pour the water and yeast mixture into the bowl along with the juice and peel, and mix by hand until a very sticky dough forms (if using rum-soaked raisins, add them at this time). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled.
  • Place the oil into a deep pan (I used a wok) and heat to a medium high temperature.
  • Test the oil by dropping a tiny piece of dough into it: if it doesn’t begin to fry right away, the oil is too cold; if the dough browns too quickly, lower the heat as the oil is too hot.
  • When the oil temperature is correct, take a piece of dough (it will be very sticky) and pull into a doughnut shape with a hole in the center.
  • Drop into the hot oil and continue to make more. It is helpful to have another person frying the doughnuts while one person is shaping them, as it just too difficult to do both things at once since the dough is so sticky.
  • The frittelle will rise and cook quickly, so turn them as soon as they begin to brown on one side. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oil and place on paper-towel lined plate for a minute or two.
  • Dip the frittelle into the sugar and cover completely. Place on a serving plate. Best eaten the same day.

I suggest serving these immediately! They are truly best when eaten the same day they are prepared.

Buon Appetito!

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