Castagnole – Italian Carnival Fried Sweet Dough

What are Castagnole?

Castagnole, a typical carnival dessert, are small balls of fried dough rolled in sugar. They owe their name to the similarity of their shape to chestnuts and are a delight for the eyes and the palate.

Originally from Emilia Romagna, castagnole are now prepared and appreciated throughout Italy thanks to their simple preparation and wonderful taste. There are numerous ways to prepare them, such as with ricotta, with alchermes, or baked, and they are all delicious.





Italian deep-fried dough will make you feel like you’re at a carnival in Italy. Follow the few steps below and loads of deep-fried happiness will come to you.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword carnevale, carnival, Castagnole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 60 castagnole
Calories 27kcal
Author Nonna Box


  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 45 grams butter
  • 8 grams baking powder
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolks
  • 20 grams milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum or anise
  • a pinch salt
  • oil for frying
  • additional granulated sugar for rolling


  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then mix in the sugar, the seeds of the vanilla bean, and the grated zest of half a lemon.
  • Cut the soft butter into small pieces and add along with the egg, the egg yolk, the rum, and a pinch of salt and mix.
  • Stir in the milk and move the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it until you get a soft dough, then wrap it in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Divide the dough into six parts and make a thick cord from each piece.
  • Cut each cord into pieces of about 2 cm, then work them with your hands to form balls.
  • Heat the oil and fry a few balls at a time, paying close attention to the temperature of the oil. It must be hot but not excessively so, because otherwise the castagnole will burn on the outside and remain raw inside. Drain the castagnole and let them dry on absorbent paper, then roll them in the granulated sugar.


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Baked castagnole

To cook the castagnole in the oven, simply place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. When they are still hot, dip them quickly in a small bowl with diluted orange juice, alchermes, or limoncello and then roll them in granulated sugar. Alternatively, simply sprinkle the hot castagnole with icing sugar.

How to store castagnole

It is preferable not to store the castagnole but to consume them the same day. The dough, on the other hand, can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 1 day.


Fabulous Wheat-Free Vegan Pancakes and Toppings

    Debra Daniels-Zeller’s article Fabulous Wheat-Free Vegan Pancakes previously appeared in Vegetarian Journal. Enjoy these recipes: Buckwheat-Banana Pancakes, Ginger-Apricot Pancakes, Light Lemony Oatcakes, Blueberry Hotcakes, Carob-Barley Pancakes, Zucchini Griddle Cakes, Apricot-Almond Topping, and Summer Berry Topping. See: To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal in the USA, see:

    Read More


      Crispy, flavorful and absolutely delicious these, Air Fryer Chicken Crispers are a deliciously easy dinnertime meal the whole family will love! CHILI’S CHICKEN CRISPERS (NO OIL NEEDED!) I am a huge fan of Chili’s. I know it’s not cool to love chain restaurants these days in the world of foodies but I am too old… […]

      Read More

      Dietary Choices Affect Air Quality

        image from By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD Did you know that around 100,000 people in the United States die prematurely each year due to air pollution resulting from human activities (like driving)? And that about 20,000 of those deaths are linked to agriculture? I had no idea of this issue until I read a […]

        Read More