Fritters with honey and cinnamon   Traditional recipe from Umbria

Fritters with honey and cinnamon are very popular in Italy. They can be shaped as a donut and this cake is known as cicerchiata. This is a typical recipe in Marche, Abruzzo, Molise and Umbria. Cicerchiata is done for Christmas or Carnival. To be honest, every occasion is good to make this cake that is irresistible, really! :)) You have to prepare small pieces of dough in the shape of chickpeas that are to be fried and then dipped into hot honey. When still hot, they must be transferred in a donut mold. The final touch is the decoration with almonds, candied peel or codettas. There are a lot of versions. Here's my own simple version without candied fruit because my husband and I do not like sweets too sweet.

small fritters with honey and cinnamon in a donut shape zoom »
Fritters with honey

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • For fritter dough and frying
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • Powdered cinnamon (optional)
  • Olive or peanut oil for frying
  • For cake decoration
  • Grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) honey
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounces) candied fruit, cubed
  • Codettas
  • Time:
    preparation: 50 minutes
    plus resting time
    cooking: 40 minutes
    total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    medium difficulty
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 447 (kcal) 23 % GDA (*)- 1869 (kJ)
    Protein: 10.3 (g) 21 % GDA
    Total fat: 9.4 (g) 14 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 82.9 (g) 31 % GDA
    Sugars: 51.2 (g) 57 % GDA

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Recipe for Italian fritters with honey and cinnamon

Preparation and cooking

  • - Let butter soften at room temperature.
  • - Put flour in a bowl or on a work surface.
    Make a hollow in its center and add sugar, eggs, egg yolks, powdered cinnamon (if you follow my tip that you can read below) and butter, cut into little pieces.
    Beat eggs and other ingredients with a fork and then, using your fingers, begin mixing flour too, slowly, until a soft dough forms.
    Continue kneading with your hands quickly until your dough is smooth and elastic.
    At this point shape your dough into little cylinders and then cut them into little pieces like chickpeas.
  • - Fry these little balls in warm but not hot oil until golden.
    Transfer them on absorbent kitchen paper to remove the excess of fat.
  • - Put honey together with orange rind and candied fruit in a saucepan.
    Warm up and add some tablespoons of warm water if too thick.
    Then pour your small fritters into this mixture and cook over a low flame until fritters have absorbed all honey.
  • - Oil a ring cake mould, pour in your mixture and level its surface.
    Let it rest until honey has become solid.

Just before serving

  • - Turn out your cake on a serving platter.
    Your cake is ready to serve.



  • - For a light recipe: you can substitute butter with the same quantity of olive oil and use only 4 eggs making dough. Anyway it is difficult to reduce fat, it is always a cake rich in fat and sugar but so good ... how can you resist? ;))
  • - If you want, you can garnish cicerchiata with sliced ​​almonds so avoiding codettas, which I do not recommend highly.
  • - I generally do a simplified version of this sweet with a small change in the dough that allows me to remove the excess in sugar of its decoration. I add plenty of cinnamon to my dough that makes it much more aromatic. This way I can avoid garnishing its surface with candied fruit and I can join my fried balls only with honey. When organic oranges are available I add their zest to honey.

Healthy eating

  • - Calories, sugar and fat content of cicerchiata is only partial because, as I have written many times with regard to fried foods, it is not right to give values ​​that include cooking method too. Who's to say how much oil was actually used and absorbed? So you can read nutrition facts only from used ingredients, oil excluded.
  • - Fried food should be done rarely. My husband and I follow this rule but when we plan a savory or sweet fried food, we try to do it in a workmanlike manner and so it is always a true goodness ;))
    Remember a few but important rules in frying: the oil must be made from olives or peanuts, it must be abundant and you should not use it more than once. But the most important rule is to limit the serving per head. Alas!


What's the right wine for " Fritters with honey and cinnamon "?

Pair a liqueur to fritters with honey and cinnamon such as Italian orange-flavoured liqueur (arancino).