Follow us


The best Carnival desserts in the Italian tradition

Carnival sweets

How many Carnival sweets do you know? Here are the best recipes and unmissable traditional Italian delights to bring to the table!

As far as Carnival desserts are concerned, we are truly spoiled for choice. The list, in fact, is very extensive and the recipes are all truly delicious, to satisfy all palates, because it doesn't matter how your Carnival menu begins, but how it ends !

In typical Italian cuisine, at the top of the list we certainly find Carnival chiacchiere, which take on a different name depending on the region. Curiously, in fact, they are called Chiacchiere throughout the central south, but also in Milan, Bugie in Liguria, Sfrappe in the Marche, Frappe in Rome and surrounding areas, Sfrappole in Bologna, Cróstoli in Trentino and Friuli Venezia Giulia and Galani in Venice.

Carnival sweets
Carnival sweets

Another Carnival dessert typical of the boot are Castagnole, originally from northern Italy, but prepared widely throughout the Bel Paese. Instead, in the tradition of Neapolitan cuisine, during the Carnival period, Migliaccio is prepared, a simple and quick dessert based on semolina and ricotta.

To be honest, every Italian region and every Catholic country has its own traditions: every foodie knows that this is a good opportunity to taste all the different Carnival recipes depending on where we are! What we propose below is a small journey into the gastronomic tradition of our territory (and beyond). The Carnival desserts we offer are almost all fried and delicious: we'll take care of the diet later!

Tips for fried Carnival desserts

To obtain good frying it is better to use fats of vegetable origin. We always recommend seed oil, which can withstand high temperatures, without altering its properties. However, olive oil is not recommended as it has a too strong flavour.

It is very important to respect the optimal oil temperature ; if it is not high enough, you risk getting fried food soaked in fat. On the contrary, if the oil is too hot, the food will quickly burn on the outside and not cook on the inside.

Do you want to always have some Carnival desserts ready, just to be defrosted and ready to fry? If you plan to have guests for a snack or dinner on a holiday, you can prepare the dough and various desserts first and freeze them before cooking . The only precaution to follow is to take them out of the freezer a few hours before frying them.

Fried Carnival sweets

In the happiest, colourful, loudest and craziest party of the year we can indulge in a few more indulgences. Even if every extra kilo is worth it at Carnival, to lighten the preparations you can also use the oven as a cooking method. Obviously not all Carnival recipes are also suitable for the baked version, but we will explain how to make excellent Carnival chiacchiere which are also excellent cooked in the oven! Seeing is believing.

The recipe for Carnival chatter

Chatter Carnival
Chatter Carnival

Small talk or lies are undoubtedly the queens of Carnival and to think they are so simple to do! Although they are easy, you will have to take into account that… fried foods are unforgiving. So try to prepare them on a sunny day or ventilate the kitchen as much as possible immediately after finishing frying.

Ingredients for the chiacchiere or frappe recipe (for 4 people)

  • 250 g of strong flour such as 0
  • 35 g of butter
  • 30 g of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • 1 glass of grappa (optional)
  • zest of half a lemon
  • icing sugar to taste
  • peanut oil for frying

Start by beating the eggs in a bowl and set them aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar, add salt, sifted flour, lemon zest, liqueur and a pinch of baking powder. After mixing, add the beaten eggs and continue kneading until you obtain an elastic consistency . Let it rest for about 15-30 minutes , then roll it out with a rolling pin. Using a pasta machine, obtain a thin sheet of dough, fold it up and roll it out again (repeat twice). The last layer must be a few millimeters thick. Cut out the chatter with a serrated wheel, making one or two cuts in the center. Fry them in oil at 170-180°C , drain them on kitchen paper, then dust with icing sugar once cooled.

Carnival pancakes or Venetian fritole

Venetian Carnival fritters
Venetian Carnival fritters

They are the tastiest and most delicious balls: the sweet Carnival pancakes or frittole (very popular especially in northern Italy). Soft and rich in raisins , you really won't be able to do without them, and not only during the Carnival period.

Ingredients for the Carnival pancakes recipe (for 6 people)

  • 400 g of manitoba flour
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 30 g of granulated sugar
  • 30 g of fresh brewer's yeast
  • zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 handfuls of raisins
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • granulated sugar for decoration
  • peanut or sunflower oil for frying
  • water to taste

In a bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and the grated zest of a lemon. Also add the eggs, the yeast dissolved in a little warm water, the milk and the sultanas soaked in rum (or water). Knead vigorously for about 10 minutes, then leave to rise on the radiator, covered with a wet kitchen cloth, for a couple of hours.

By spoonfuls, dip the balls into the oil at around 170°C/180°C and, before serving , cover each sweet pancake with sugar (icing or granulated).

Carnival chestnuts

Carnival chestnuts
Carnival chestnuts

Fried castagnole differ from the Venetian variant due to the absence of raisins and are thus a little lighter (obviously it is still fried).

Ingredients for the soft chestnuts recipe (for 6 people)

  • 200 g of 00 flour
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 30 g of granulated sugar + to taste
  • half a sachet of baking powder
  • 50 g of butter
  • 1 untreated lemon
  • 1 small glass of rum
  • icing sugar to taste
  • sunflower seed oil to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt

Get a bowl and start combining and kneading the flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, pinch of salt, grated zest of an untreated lemon, rum and butter at room temperature. Move everything onto a work surface and knead by hand for 15 minutes .

Make salami out of the dough and then cut into small balls that are not too large. Fry the Carnival sweets in oil at a temperature of around 170/180°C until completely golden.

Sweet ravioli with ricotta

sweet ravioli
sweet ravioli

Crispy on the outside, but with a delicious and superlative cream on the inside, sweet ricotta ravioli are a daydream during the Carnival period. Easy to make, they can be cooked either fried in oil or in the oven, for a lighter version.

This typical product does not have just one region of origin: it is prepared almost everywhere during Carnival.

Ingredients for the ravioli with ricotta recipe (for 6 people)

  • 300 g of flour
  • 150 g of butter
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g of ricotta
  • icing sugar to taste

First, let's make the pastry that makes up the outer shell: combine cold butter, sugar and flour in the mixer and rotate the arm intermittently, so that the mixture becomes sandy. Also add the egg and mix; make a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.

In the meantime, mix the ricotta with a spoonful of icing sugar. When the time comes, roll out the dough and cut out discs of 8 centimeters in diameter; place a spoonful of ricotta cream inside each one and seal well before dipping in hot seed oil until completely golden.

Neapolitan braces


Neapolitan graffe (often confused with zeppole) are very popular donuts during Carnival, made with potatoes. There are many versions , one above all the one without potatoes, which takes the name – precisely – of zeppole.

Ingredients for the fried staples recipe (for 8 people)

  • 300 g of potatoes
  • 450 g of 00 or Manitoba flour
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 50 g of butter
  • 1 egg
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • oil for frying to taste
  • 40 g of sugar + to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • 5 g of dehydrated brewer's yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt

Prepare the yeast by combining 100 g of flour and yeast sifted with warm milk. Mix well and let rise in a dry place for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for about 30-40 minutes , then peel them and mash them. Take the yeast, add the potatoes, the remaining flour, the salt and the sugar and start kneading by hand or with the planetary mixer fitted with the hook. Then add the egg and the butter little by little and continue kneading until you obtain an elastic and smooth dough. Let the dough rise until doubled , then move to a floured work surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, then make discs with a pastry cutter or by cutting balls with a smooth-bladed knife. Make the donut, leave to rise for another hour in the turned off oven, then fry in oil at 170/180°C .

Carnival roses

Carnival roses
Carnival roses

The best chat ? DefinitelyCarnival roses . They are fried sweets that look just like roses, filled in the center with cream or jam… and with delicious candied or syrup cherries. What are you waiting for, try them.

Ingredients for the Carnival roses recipe

  • 240 g of 00 flour
  • 30 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 g of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of Marsala
  • custard or jam to taste
  • icing sugar to taste
  • 1 vial of vanilla extract
  • candied or syrup cherries to taste

In a bowl mix flour, sugar and vanilla extract. Add chopped butter, eggs and Marsala, mix until you obtain a dough. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for an hour . Roll out the pastry thinly with a pasta machine, then use three flower-shaped pastry cutters of different sizes to make flowers . Overlap the flowers to form roses, moistening the center with water. Fry the roses in hot oil, pressing them lightly in the center to obtain the characteristic shape. Drain them, place custard, Nutella or jam and 1 candied or syrup cherry in the centre. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve!

Stuffed donuts


No, we couldn't help but explain how donuts (filled with cream) are prepared. If it is true that they are one of the typical Carnival desserts, it is equally true that they are prepared, but above all they are eaten all year round . You won't believe it, but with a little skill and patience you will have them ready effortlessly on your dining table. We warned you…!

Ingredients to prepare the cream donuts (for 5 people)

  • 250 g of 00 flour
  • 12 g of brewer's yeast
  • 3 g of fine salt
  • 50 ml milk or water
  • 1 medium egg
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 20 g of butter at room temperature
  • 250 g of ready-made custard
  • seed oil for frying to taste
  • icing sugar to taste
  • grated zest of 1 organic lemon

Place flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook. Turn on the mixer and mix the ingredients at medium speed (or put everything in a bowl and mix by hand ). Add half the milk, with dissolved fresh brewer's yeast and, when absorbed, pour in the rest of the milk. Add the egg only after the milk is completely absorbed , then work to compact, then add the soft butter gradually. Work until you obtain a smooth dough , cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator until doubled in size (preferably for 8 hours or overnight). Alternatively, in a warm, dry place it will take 2-3 hours.

After leavening, roll out the dough forming a rectangle about 2 cm thick. Make vertical and horizontal folds to strengthen the dough and obtain the characteristic central line once cooked. Roll out the dough again and, using an 8 cm cutter, cut out some disks. Place them on a lined baking tray and leave to rise for an hour . Heat the oil in a high-sided pan and fry the donuts, turning them a couple of times. Finally, dust it with icing sugar or roll it in granulated sugar, only at the end fill them with the cream using a piping bag.

Carnival cakes

In addition to the classic fried Carnival desserts, there are also some very classic baked preparations (although not always well known compared to the first recipes in this article). In our opinion, the two proposals we are going to make you today are very delicious, and perfect for bringing a non-obvious dessert to the table (for breakfast, a snack or at the end of a meal). For those who never like to give up a good cake, we offer you three recipes: the arredanda, thegliaccio and the Arlecchino cake.

Crescionda with amaretti

Crescenda with amaretti
Crescenda with amaretti

The Carnival cake par excellence is perhaps the Crescenda Spoletina , a three-layer preparation with amaretti, chocolate and citrus notes. This preparation is a bit magical: you will see that the dough will separate during cooking, giving life to three different layers…

Ingredients for the Cresonda recipe (for 6 people)

  • 100 g of dried amaretti biscuits
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 120 g of dark chocolate
  • 60 g of flour
  • the zest of a lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 liter of milk
  • 50ml of rum
  • ground cinnamon to taste
  • butter to taste

Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk until you obtain a frothy mixture ; then add the flour, the zest of a lemon, the cinnamon and the amaretti powder. Add the milk, the melted chocolate and finally the beaten egg whites. Cook at a temperature of 180°C for approximately 50 minutes .

Neapolitan Migliaccio: the original recipe


The most loved Neapolitansemolina cake during Carnival is undoubtedly thegliaccio. This cake has ancient roots, following centuries-old traditions, it was made by mixing millet flour with pig's blood , from which its name derives.

Ingredients for the Neapolitan mile recipe (for 8 people)

  • 250 g of ricotta
  • 500 g of milk
  • 200 g of semolina
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 50 g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 g of water
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • icing sugar to taste

In a saucepan, heat milk, water (or extra milk), butter with vanilla and lemon peel (or other citrus fruit). After having flavored the milk, remove the skins and add the semolina gradually, stirring for about 10 minutes . Let the semolina cool. In another bowl, beat eggs with lemon and orange peel, add sugar until the mixture becomes frothy, then incorporate ricotta and semolina. Transfer the mixture into a cake pan and bake at 200°C for at least 50 minutes . Once cooled, decorate with icing sugar. Enjoy your meal!

Place the Carnival cake in a preheated oven at around 200°C for at least an hour .

Harlequin cake

Harlequin cake
Harlequin cake

Colorful and fun, the Arlecchino cake is perfect to serve as a snack for the little ones , perhaps during a little Carnival party. Don't be scared, preparing it is really very simple, you should just equip yourself with food colorings to make all the colours.

Ingredients for the Harlequin cake recipe (for 6-8 people)

  • 4 eggs
  • 140 g of butter
  • 300 g of 00 flour
  • 100 g of potato starch
  • 210 g of sugar
  • 100 g of milk
  • 1 lemon (peel)
  • 3 food colorings of your choice
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • Nutella to taste

In a bowl, mix the softened butter and sugar until you obtain a creamy mixture . Add the eggs one at a time, stirring constantly, and flavored with the grated zest of a lemon. Sift the flour, yeast and starch, incorporate them into the mixture, also adding the milk. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 bowls , color each with a pinch of food colouring. Butter and flour a 22cm cake tin and alternately pour in the colored mixtures. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes . Once cooled, cover the cake with chocolate cream and decorate with sprinkles as desired. Enjoy your meal!

Baked Carnival sweets

For those who don't want to give up lightness and shape even when it's a holiday, we've thought of two classic recipes, but revisited in the oven: chiacchiere and frittelle. As we will see, in reality the preparation recipe does not stray too far from the original: the big difference lies in the cooking (which in both cases saves us a lot of calories) and is also suitable for those who are looking for non-fried Carnival desserts.

Baked chatter

baked chatter
baked chatter

To make baked chiacchiere , you need just over half an hour (and it's really easy ). By baking, we get about half the calories : good news for those who are following a diet or trying to stay in shape.

Ingredients for the baked chiacchiere recipe (for 4 people)

  • 250 g of 00 flour
  • 25 g of soft butter
  • About 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • icing sugar to taste
  • 20 g of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 untreated lemon
  • a pinch of salt

Mix the powders in a bowl, then create a fountain on the work surface and add the eggs, butter and wine inside. Mix with your hands then leave the dough in the fridge for half an hour wrapped in cling film. Roll out the dough thinly, making two cuts in the center. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 15 minutes .

Baked Carnival pancakes

Baked pancakes
Baked pancakes

Last, but not least, the baked pancakes ! We could describe them as a compromise between traditional castagnole and cream puffs: the batter is actually very similar to the classic one, but the main difference lies in the cooking method, which allows us to save around 150 calories .

Ingredients for the baked pancakes recipe (for 4 people)
  • 4 eggs
  • 300 g of 00 flour
  • 200 g of potato starch
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 200 ml of milk
  • 170 g of granulated sugar
  • the zest of an orange
  • 1 teaspoon of rum
  • icing sugar to taste

Start beating the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until the mixture is frothy and decidedly lighter.; add milk, rum and orange zest to taste and mix.

At this point you must incorporate the powders, previously sifted: add them by spoonfuls, without ever turning off the whisk. Then place the dough on a baking tray or in special molds for mini muffins or spheres and cook in a convection oven for about 15 minutes at 180°C . Let cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before enjoying!

Riproduzione riservata © - WT