5 Italian deep-fried pastries you should try to make at home

Patricia Hului

Just because international travelling is impossible right now, you can always have a taste of another country through food.

How about ‘travel’ to Italy and try their deep-fried pastries by making them yourself?

Unlike French pastries which require a lot of time and work, Italian deep-fried pastries are comparatively easy to make.

Here are five Italian deep-fried pastries you should try to make at home:


Many refer bombolone as the Italian version of the doughnut but it is also similar to German berliner pfannkuchen.

It is basically round fried dough, either empty or filled with creme patissiere, chocolate, Nutella or jam and topped with icing sugar.

The basic ingredients are flour, yeast, salt, sugar, egg, water and butter as well as oil for frying. Some variation of bombolone does not include eggs.

Plus, the original version of bombolone actually uses lard for both the dough (instead of butter) and for frying the pastry.

To add an extra kick in flavour, the modern version of the recipe even uses a bit vanilla and rum in the dough.

Give these recipes a try here, here and here.


Zeppole is another Italian deep-fried pastry topped with powdered sugar.

Traditionally, it is eaten to celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day on Mar 19 every year.

As for the filling, the common ingredients are custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream or butter and honey mixture.

To make the dough, you need flour, eggs, salt, sugar, butter, water and milk.

So what are the differences between zeppole and bombolone?

Unlike bombolone which is rolled into shape from a dough, zeppole is almost a batter. To fry zeppole, you need to spoon them into the oil.

Zeppole is practically more like a fritter, hence it is less chewy than bombolone.

While bombolone is filled with flavoured ingredients such as cream and chocolate, zeppoli has its added flavour on top of the pastry.

Here are some of the recipes for zeppole; here, here, here.


Known as Venetian doughnuts, this Italian deep-fried pastry is commonly served during carnivals.

It is more similar to bombolone compared to zeppole as they are yeast-risen fried pastries.

There are many variations of frittelle, both filled and unfilled version.

The unfilled version have raisins mixed into the dough while the filled version has fillings such as pastry cream.

If you like your deep-fried pastry without extra calories of fillings, you can definitely give frittelle a try.

Here are the recipes; here, here, here.


Speaking of Italian deep-fried pastry without any filling, here is an easy pastry to make at home.

Castagnole are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside that are best eaten while they are still warm.

The common ingredients are flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs and butter.

The key to make the perfect castagnole is to fry them at the right temperature.

Cook them in a too high temperature then the pastry is cook on the outside but not on the inside.

However, fry them in a too low temperature the pastry would become soggy.

The perfect temperature is between 170-175 degree Celsius.

Here are the recipes; here, here, here.


This Italian deep-fried pastry is known by many names according to the different regions in Italy but they all refer to the same sweet dough which has been rolled out, cut-up and then fried.

They all made from flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, oil, liquor or wine, citrus zest and icing sugar.

Unlike other pastries on this list, chiacchiere is more on the crunchy side.

For Malaysians, imagine kuih lidah buaya or kuih tiram.

Traditionally, they are eaten in the period before Lent season according to Christian calendar.

Here are the recipes: this, this and this.