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Frittelle di Carnevale Recipe

Frittelle di Carnevale: Italian Custard Fritters

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4.8 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Manuela Mazzocco
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


A classic Italian Carnival delicacy – soft fried dough filled with rich and creamy custard. They are simply irresistible, year round.


Units Scale

For the Frittelle

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 large organic orange
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional for custard cream)

For the Custard Cream:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch


1. Prepare the Dough:

  • Warm 2 cups of milk in a large pan but do not bring to boil.
  • Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup semolina flour until smooth.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Combine Ingredients:

  • In the cooled mixture, mix in eggs, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt until smooth.
  • Stir in the orange zest and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

3. Make the Custard Cream:

  • Combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a pan and bring to a simmer.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch.
  • Slowly incorporate hot milk into the egg mixture, then return to heat, stirring until thickened.
  • Cool completely and refrigerate.

4. Fry the Frittelle:

  • Heat oil in a deep pan (no more than half full).
  • Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry until golden.
  • Drain on paper towels and let cool.

5. Assemble:

  • Optional: Whip additional heavy cream and fold into custard for a lighter, fluffier filling.
  • Make a hole in one side of the fritelle frittelle and fill with custard cream.
  • Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


  • Ensure the oil is not too hot to avoid uncooked centers.
  • Allow the custard to chill thoroughly to enhance flavor and thickness.
  • Resting the batter allows for better consistency and flavor infusion.
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Italian
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