Castagnole: the sweet and very soft fritters to make

Castagnole: the sweet and very soft fritters to make

Castagnole are traditional Italian sweet treats that are typically enjoyed during Carnevale, which is the festive period leading up to Lent. They are small, fried dough balls that are often dusted with powdered sugar. The name "Castagnole" comes from the Italian word "castagna," which means chestnut, and the shape of the dough balls resembles chestnuts.

The dough for Castagnole is typically made with flour, sugar, eggs, and sometimes a leavening agent like baking powder. Lemon zest is also sometimes added for extra flavor. The dough is mixed together, formed into small balls, and then deep-fried until they become golden brown and crispy on the outside. The fried Castagnole are then dusted generously with powdered sugar, which adds sweetness and a nice finishing touch.

These delightful little treats are popular in various regions of Italy, and their exact recipes may vary slightly depending on the location. Castagnole are enjoyed as a snack or dessert during Carnevale celebrations and are often served alongside other traditional Italian carnival treats like fritters, chiacchiere, or zeppole.

Overall, Castagnole are a delicious and indulgent treat that brings joy and a touch of sweetness to the festive season of Carnevale in Italy.

A recipe for traditional Italian Castagnole, which are small fried dough balls typically enjoyed during Carnevale:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest (if using).
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the melted butter to the beaten eggs and mix well.
  3. Pour the egg and butter mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir everything together until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it gently for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour as needed.
  5. Divide the dough into small pieces and roll each piece between your palms to form small balls, about the size of a cherry.
  6. In a deep pot or skillet, heat vegetable oil to a temperature of around 350°F (175°C).
  7. Carefully drop a few dough balls into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Fry them for about 3-4 minutes, or until they turn golden brown, flipping them occasionally for even cooking.
  8. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fried Castagnole from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat the frying process with the remaining dough balls.
  9. Allow the Castagnole to cool slightly, then transfer them to a serving dish. Dust generously with powdered sugar to coat them completely.
  10. Serve the Castagnole while they are still warm and enjoy!

Note: Castagnole are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Before serving again, you can warm them briefly in the oven to regain their crispness.

*Recipe on video and text may differ from each other!

How to cook Castagnole: the sweet and very soft fritters to make:

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