suggested video
suggested video

Castagnole: the Italian Carnival recipe for fried sweet dough balls

Total time: 65 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Castagnole (pronounced ku-stah-nyow-leh) are fried sweet dough balls which Italian people usually enjoy during Carnival period. Super easy to make, these sweet treats are crispy on the outside and soft, fluffy on the inside.

The Italian word castagnole means "small chestnuts" in English as they are small chestnut-shaped balls. They are made with a dough based on all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder and white rum. They are fried in boiling oil, rolled in sugar and served still hot.

If well cooked, castagnole will be a light, fragrant fried sweet, not at all greasy but very greedy. For flawless frying, choose peanut seed oil and bring it to a temperature of around 160-180°C (320-356°F). Use a large skillet or a thick-bottomed wok and fry a few castagnole at a time, to cook them evenly, and let them dry without covering them, to keep them crunchy on the outside.

These small and sweet balls are widespread in many regions of Italy, different in ingredients but equally incredible in taste.


You can also try other variants for castagnole with custard, ricotta cheese, chocolate.

You can also leave out liquor and flavor castagnole with lemon zest.

You can also roll castagnole fried dough balls in granulated sugar instead of decorating them with powdered sugar.

Can you bake Italian Castagnole?

If you don't want to fry, you can also bake castagnole in the oven at 170°C (338°F) for about 10 minutes. In this way you will get a much lighter dessert.

How to store Castagnole

We suggest you taste the castagnole at the moment, just fried and still hot. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day. Freezing is not recommended.

More Carnevale Food You'll Like

All-purpose flour
220 g
Granulated sugar
40 g
butter at room temperature
40 g
a pinch
White rum
1/2 cup
Baking powder
1/2 sachet (about 8 g)
Peanut seed oil
Powdered sugar

How to make Castagnole

Collect the all purpose flour in a large bowl and add the eggs. Mix lightly with a fork and add the soft butter, cut into cubes.

Mix with your fingers, then add the granulated sugar and white rum.

Pour in the baking powder, followed by the salt, and knead with your hands.

Work well until you have obtained a firm and homogeneous dough. Then put it in a bowl and let it rest for half an hour.

Take one portion of the dough at a time and roll it out to form a cord of about 2 centimeters in diameter.

Using a spatula or a knife, cut the cord so as to obtain not too small pieces.

Helping yourself with a little flour, swirl each chunk between your palms and shape it into small balls.

Heat abundant peanut seeds oil in a pan and, as soon as you immerse a wooden toothpick and bubbles form, start frying. You can also check with a digital food thermometer that the oil is about 160-180°C (320-356°F).

Dip a few castagnole at a time, taking care not to splash the oil.

Turn and shake the castagnole during frying so as not to let the foam overflow on the surface.

Drain the castagnole as they appear swollen and golden.

Dab them with absorbent kitchen paper and then transfer them to a serving tray.

Sprinkle the castagnole with powdered sugar layer by layer.

Serve the castagnole hot or lukewarm.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views