Venice Carnival recipes

The traditional Venice Carnival recipes: 'frittelle', 'galani' and 'castagnole'

The traditional Venice Carnival Recipes are famous all over the world: frittelle Veneziane, galani and castagnole are typical Carnival cakes, appreciated by tourists and Venetians. During the festivities, Venice is invaded by the scent of frittelle and other Venice Carnival food, a mellow and inebriating atmosphere that conquers even the most demanding and refined palates.

The inviting aroma of the various Venetian Carnival cakes and the windows full of galani and frittelle make it impossible to avoid the temptation... A little taste and you cannot do without the moreish delicious Carnival cakes.

Venice Carnival recipes

The origin of the Venice Carnival recipes is an very oldand the many variations that exist nowadays represent a fascinating testimony of the different traditions that have followed over the centuries of the original Carnival recipes Italy.

The Carnival frittelle recipe has the greatest number of variations: fried frittelle, baked frittelle, cream frittelle, egg frittelle, frittelle with or without raisins... but the original frittelle Venezianedo not have additional ingredients that alter the original flavour: frittelle Venezine are soft, delicate and, as is the case with cherries, one leads to another...

Among the Carnival cakes, cenci (crostoli or galani) are the easiest to make at home: fried galani or baked galani, their aroma and crispness make them one of the most popular traditional Venice Carnival recipes.

Castagnole stand out among the recipes of Venetian Carnival food, they are small and compact and can be fried or baked...

Carnival cakes recipes: frittelle Veneziane

Undisputed queens amongst the Venice Carnival recipes, Frittelle di Carnevale are to be found throughout Veneto; in addition to traditional frittelle Veneziane, there are variations that include the addition of fruit, flowers, vegetables and in some cases even herbs, rice and polenta.

During the Republic of Venice, frittelle were produced exclusively by fritoleri; in the seventeenth century. Fritoleri joined in an association that guaranteed, to those who belonged to it, succession for children and exclusivity for production in a specific area. The corporation remained active until the fall of the Venetian Republic, but the art of fritoleri disappeared from Venice at the end of the nineteenth century... It is said that fritoleri would mix frittelle, made with eggs, flour, sugar, raisins and pine nuts on large wooden tables and then fry them in huge pans with oil, lard or butter. Once ready, the frittelle were sprinkled with sugar and placed on large dishes, alongside the ingredients used in order to emphasize their authenticity. The Carnival frittelle recipe is known, with different variations, in many regions of Italy.

25g beer yeast
300g flour
1/4l milk
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
50g butter
70g raisins
30g pine nuts
lemon peel
2 tablespoons brandy or rum
peanut seed oil for frying

Wash the raisins and dry with a clean cloth. Dissolve the yeast in warm milk and melt the butter in a bain-marie. In a large bowl put 50g of sugar and knead with the eggs, add the melted butter, yeast, raisins, pine nuts, lemon zest and rum and stir until the dough is smooth. Slowly add the flour and a pinch of salt. Work the mixture vigorously and let it rest for an hour until it has doubled in volume. Heat the oil well and, using a spoon to give them shape, fry the Frittelle di Carnevale until they are puffed and golden. Drain on absorbent paper and serve sprinkled with the remaining sugar.

Carnival cakes recipes: Galani (crostoli, cenci, chiacchiere)


The carnival recipe Italy for Costoli or Galani is older than that of frittelle Veneziane: its origin dates back to Romans who, during the Spring Festival, with the same mixture used to make lasagna, prepared cakes very similar to Galani, fried in pork fat and sprinkled with sugar. There is a subtle difference in the thickness and shape of Veneto crostoli, typical of the mainland, and Venetians galani, typical of Venice and the lagoon, but the mixture does not change: galani are thinner and their shape is reminiscent of tapes; crostoliare large rectangles with a thicker dough.

500g flour
100g sugar
50g butter
2 eggs
125cl white wine
a pinch of salt
grated lemon peel
a tablespoon of rum or anisette
oil for frying
Icing sugar

Mix into a smooth paste all the ingredients, being careful not to create lumps.

Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Leave to rest and then, with the help of a rolling pin, make the dough as thin as possible. Cut into diamond shapes with small cuts in the middle and fry the carnival crostoli in hot oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

In addition to the traditional crostoli and frittelle carnival recipes Italy, two other famous Venice Carnival cakes are large frittelle filled with custard and small castagnole.

Carnival cakes: recipe for frittelle with custard


500g flour
170g sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 eggs
a glass of milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
lemon peel
1 pinch of salt
oil for frying
Icing sugar


3 egg yolks
80g sugar
350ml milk
50g flour
lemon peel

For the custard: whip the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan, slowly add the flour, a little milk and grated lemon peel. Mix and gradually incorporate the milk. Cook the cream over low heat, stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.

For the frittelle: Mix eggs and sugar in a bowl, add the grated lemon peel. Mix yeast, flour, salt and vanilla and incorporate the previous mixture, add the milk to keep the mixture smooth and elastic. Remove the mixture with two teaspoons to form a ball the size of a walnut and fry in very hot oil, when it rises to the surface it is ready. Cook about 5-6 pancakes at a time. Drain the frittelle on paper towels.
Put the cream in a pastry syringe, pierce the frittelle and put in a little cream. Place the cakes on a serving dish and decorate with icing sugar.

Carnival cakes: Castagnole


400g plain flour
50g sugar
80g butter
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder vanilla
grated lemon peel
oil for frying
Icing sugar

Castagnole, a simple and delicious recipe for Carnival, are prepared in a very short time: in a bowl, soften the butter and incorporate sugar and eggs. Stir, add the grated peel of a lemon, a pinch of salt, flour and yeast. With a spoon, make balls the size of a walnut and fry in hot oil. As soon as the ball takes on a golden colour, drain on paper towels. Serve the Carnival castagnole with a dusting of icing sugar.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff