Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Carnival fritters, Italy-style
( Castagnole )

Our original home cooking

Italian castagnole are one of the most popular Carnival deep-fried sweets. So you can imagine how many recipes you can find in cookbooks and Internet. Here is my own version without butter. I prepare them on Shrove Thursday or Tuesday and I choose the liqueur to flavor them thinking of my guests. Alkermes if there are children and Cointreau if my castagnole are dedicated to adults. Sometimes I bake my castagnole, you can find the recipe below.

difficulty: easy

time: preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 15 minutes
total time: 45 minutes

calories: 221 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 200g (7 ounces) all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) granulated sugar plus more for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau liqueur or Alkermes
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 10g (1/3 ounce) baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Peanut oil for frying
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 15 minutes
total time: 45 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 221 (kcal) 12 % - 925 (kJ)
Protein: 6.0 (g) 12 % GDA
Total fat: 5.2 (g) 8 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 38.2 (g) 15 % GDA
Sugars: 13.0 (g) 15 % GDA

Download free PDF version (256 download).

Castagnole recipe


  • - Prepare castagnole dough.
    Put flour together with baking powder and sugar in a bowl or on a work surface.
    Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs, olive oil, salt and liqueur.
    Slowly draw in flour from the edge of the well, stirring, and work until a smooth, elastic dough forms.
    Slice your dough.
    Stretch every slice on a lightly floured work surface until you have a cylinder thick like a finger.
    Cut every cylinder into 2 to 3 cm long pieces.
    Take each piece and reduce it to a little ball, using the palms of both hands.
    Put all your small balls aside.


  • - Heat peanut oil in a skillet.
    Add your castagnole and cook until light golden brown.
    You need only few minutes.
    Remove them with a slotted spoon and put on absorbent kitchen paper to remove fat in excess.

Just before serving

  • - Sprinkle castagnole with granulated sugar according to your own taste.
    Let them cool down and serve immediately.



  • - I prefer to eat warm castagnole but anyway these deep-fried sweets taste good even cold.
  • - I generally prepare castagnole in advance (the day before) not to have my house that smells unequivocally of fried food and then I warm them up a few minutes at 90°C (200°F) just before serving.
  • - You can also bake castagnole in the oven if you believe in healthy eating but in this case I usually use another dough. (baked castagnole)
  • - There are several recipes for castagnole depending on the Italian region. You may vary some ingredients including liquor. In Marches eg, people have the habit of kneading with liquor Mistrà. Many use butter but I prefer olive oil (use 50g - 1 3/4 ounces unsalted butter instead my oilve oil dose). Whenever I can, I replace butter with olive oil now that nutritionists and doctors invite us to decrease or avoid saturated fats.
    Other variants may be the addition of raisins or ricotta cheese in the dough.

Menu planning

  • - These doses are sufficient for thirty to forty pieces depending on how big your balls are. In general, these doses serve 6 people and much more if served with other sweets or at the end of your lunch or dinner.
  • - Serve them as a snack in the afternoon. If you cook them for your children substitute Cointreau with orange juice or Alkermes.
  • - Prepare them for a Carnival party. In this case serve them with other sweets and savory dishes (pizza, focaccia, savory pies or tarts, crostini, canapes, sandwiches).

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - It's very difficult to have the real amount of frying oil and sugars to be sprinkled on after cooking.
    So nutrition facts don't include these ingredients. If you want to include these ingredients, you have to add 150 calories per 100 g of this cooked dish.
  • - Do not eat too much fried food for a healthier diet.
  • - Fiber per serving: 0,7 grams.


What's the right wine for " Carnival fritters, Italy-style "?

My husband and I like very much the sweet bubbles of Asti Moscato (from Piedmont - Italy) to pair to these Carnival fried sweets but it is fantastic Moscato di Pantelleria too (from Sicily)