Venetian fritters

In Venice, the Carnival is a spectacular event and during this period – which depending on the year can go from 8 January to the first days of March – there is no restaurant, pastry shop or bar that does not sell “fritole“, the typical Venetian fritters: soft and sprinkled with sugar, they are often enriched with raisins, pine nuts and sometimes filled with pastry cream.
Even if we are not in the Carnival period nor in Venice, we can enjoy some excellent homemade Venetian fritters. The ingredients are simple: flour, eggs, sugar, a little yeast and as much milk as needed to obtain a rather firm and consistent batter; the dough for these Italian carnival fritters must then rest for about an hour and a half. To form the fritters you don’t have to touch the mixture with your hands, but slide it from a spoon (or an ice cream scoop) directly into the boiling oil. Carnival fritters should be served still hot, after being covered in granulated sugar.
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venetian fritters italian recipe carnival fritters pancakes with raisins and custard from Venice Italy by tasty corner

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Rest time1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Cooking time15 Minutes
  • Serving6 servings
  • Cooking methodFrying
  • CuisineItalian regional
  • SeasonalityEvergreen
  • RegionVeneto

Ingredients for 15-18 Italian Carnival fritters

31/3 cups all purpose (AP) flour (400 gr)
1/2 tablespoon dried beer yeast (5 gr; or 10 gr fresh yeast)
1/2 cup water (120 ml, warm)
3 tablespoons sugar (plus more to garnish the fritters)
2 eggs (medium size)
2 cups milk (approx; 240 ml)
1 tablespoon rum
1 lemon (grated zest only)
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup raisin (100 gr; or 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup pine nuts)
2 cups peanut oil (500 ml; for frying)
1/2 cup custard (optional, to fill the fritters)


1 Bowl
1 Small bowl
1 Whip Hand
or1 Tablespoon
1 Ice Cream portioner
or2 Tablespoons
1 Frying Pan
1 Glass
Food Film
Blotting Paper

How to prepare the typical Venetian Carnival fritters

Qui trovi la versione italiana della ricetta Puoi trovare la versione italiana della ricetta qui!

To prepare the Venetian fritters, start by soaking the raisins in water. Put the dried yeast in a glass and add 1/2 cup of warm water, then mix well with a spoon until the yeast has completely dissolved.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with three tablespoons of sugar and the grated lemon zest, taking care not to damage the white part of the lemon, which has a bitter taste.

Then pour the water in which you dissolved the yeast onto the flour and start mixing with a whisk or spoon.

pour the yeast dissolved in water on the flour for the Italian fritters

Also add the rum to the mixture. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Pour the eggs into the dough, then start adding the milk little by little, always mixing.

pour the milk little by little into the fritter dough which shouldn't be too liquid

When you get a fluid but quite consistent dough, do not add more (I needed 1 cup of milk, but the dose can vary according to the type of flour, the size of the eggs…).

the dough of the Venetian fritters must be consistent and homogeneous

Squeeze the raisins and add them to the mixture, stirring again to distribute them. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour and a half, even two.

add the raisins to the fritter dough

To help leavening, I put the bowl in the oven off with the light on. When the dough of the Venetian fritters has doubled its volume it will be ready.

When the dough of the Venetian fritters has doubled its volume it will be ready.

Don’t worry if after touching the dough it deflates, when you go to fry the carnival fritters they will rise again. Heat about 2 cups of peanut oil in a pan and, when it is very hot (about 338 °F – 170° C), take small quantities of dough, about half tablespoon, and drop them into the inside of the boiling oil.

spoon the fritters mixture into the boiling oil

A practical solution is to use the ice cream scoop, which will make it easier for you to detach the dough from the spoon, but don’t fill it completely: if you make excessively large fritters, they could remain raw inside. If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, use two spoons.

When they start to swell, turn the fritters, so that they brown well on both sides, then drain them with a slotted spoon and let them dry on a sheet of kitchen paper. While they are still hot, roll them in the granulated sugar.

Roll the Venetian fritters in the granulated sugar

Serve the Venetian fritters when they are still hot, at the end of a meal or as a dessert during the Carnival period. If you want to fill the fritters with custard, put the cream in a piping bag with a smooth spout, pierce each fritter and gently press down on the piping bag to fill it with a dollop of cream.

en_v_ venetian fritters italian recipe carnival fritters pancakes with raisins and custard from Venice Italy by tasty corner

How to store Venetian Carnival fritters

You can keep Venetian fritters at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.

Tips and variations

As mentioned, you can enrich these carnival pancakes with pastry cream and/or pine nuts. For the sweet tooth, you can replace the raisins with chocolate chips. If you don’t want to use rum or another liqueur, you can omit it.
For perfect frying, the oil should be around 338° F (170°C). If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you can test it with a little bit of dough, which must make bubbles once immersed and immediately rise to the surface. However, it is also important that the oil is not too hot, otherwise the fritters will color too much on the outside and remain raw on the inside. For this reason, it is better not to make fritters that are too large, the cooking of which is more difficult to manage.

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