Italian Honey Clusters

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + standing Cook: 5 min./batch


about 2 dozen

Updated: Oct. 04, 2023
My mother made these treats, known as struffoli in Italian, for neighbors, teachers and anyone who stopped by. This is an Easter, Christmas and special-occasion classic, and many call them cookies even though these are honey-coated bits of deep-fried dough. —Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
Italian Honey Clusters Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Nonpareils, optional


  1. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, aniseed and salt. Stir in eggs and milk. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Shape into a disk; wrap and let stand 1 hour.
  2. Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into 1/2-in.-thick ropes; cut crosswise into 1/2-in. pieces. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350°. Fry pieces, a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place dough pieces in a large heatproof bowl and keep warm in a 200° oven.
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, combine honey and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and drizzle over dough pieces. Stir to coat. Immediately spoon into prepared cups. Sprinkle with pine nuts and, if desired, nonpareils.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 161 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 27mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.