Struffoli: An Italian Christmas Eve Tradition

If you’ve ever heard of Struffoli before, chances are you’re thinking of the honey balls sold at bakeries around this time of year. Yes, those are a version of struffoli…but not the version I grew up enjoying.

My grandma, nonna, was an amazing cook.

cooking with nonnamy brother Joe and I cooking with nonna

She had her own special way of making struffoli, using a homemade icing instead of honey.

Yet, when my nonno passed away and she got sick, her cooking ceased. Me personally, being someone who sees the love and togetherness that food brings, felt that something was missing every Christmas Eve…nonna’s struffoli. Luckily, my cousin Jackie had the recipe and passed it along to me. I’ve been making it every Christmas Eve ever since.


Now, you may be expecting me to share the recipe, as I typically do. But sorry bloggies…this one is on lock.down. It’s just something that’s too important to me, too meaningful to let go. As if it’s a secret that’s just between nonna and I.

Making struffoli can be very daunting, as it has steps with words like “volcanoes” and “snakes.”

IMG_0425making the volcano

This year, I had a helper!


Having the assistance of my friend Colleen was a huge help!



The recipe fills two Christmas tins. Colleen kept one for being a prized helper and I’ll be bringing the other to our traditional Italian Christmas Eve this evening.


Merry Christmas, everyone- and may you always keep family in your heart!


What is a traditional recipe that you make every year for the holidays?


4 thoughts on “Struffoli: An Italian Christmas Eve Tradition

  1. I remember how amazing this recipe was from Christmas at your house in college. It is wonderful to have this memory to keep alive through tradition each year. Merry Christmas!!

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