Pignolata Calabrese

Pignolata Calabrese is a traditional fried pastry from Calabria, Italy. It is made by taking small balls of dough and shaping them into small pinecone-like shapes, which are then deep-fried until golden brown. The pastries are typically coated in a sweet syrup made from honey and sugar and are sometimes topped with chopped nuts or chocolate. Pignolata Calabrese is a popular sweet, often served as a dessert or as a treat during special occasions.


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until a dough forms.
  2. Roll the dough into small balls about the size of a cherry.
  3. Using your fingers, shape each ball into a small pinecone shape.
  4. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large, deep skillet or pot to 375F.
  5. Carefully place the pignolata into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove the pignolata from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  7. Mix the honey, sugar, water, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Brush the pignolata with the syrup, making sure to coat them well.
  9. Allow the pignolata to cool before serving.

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