Sicilian pignolata

Pignolata or Pignoccata is an ancient Sicilian dessert. It’s usually found in Sicily during Christmas and Carnival. It is similar to the truffle from Naples but it has a different shape like small pine cones.



  • 500g whole eggs 5 whole flours

    200g sugar

    100g honey

    1/2 glass water

    A pinch of salt

    One large orange is the zest

    100g sprinkles, toasted almonds and candied orange


Mix the flour with the sugar in a bowl. Next, add the salt, sugar, orange zest, and whole eggs.

Mix all ingredients together by hand. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Make it into a block shape. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Divide the dough into small pieces, and roll them into ropes (1 cm in thickness). Each rope should be cut into pieces about 1 cm in length. Then, roll each piece into small balls using your hands.

You can now cook the dough balls. In a large saucepan heat oil to 170 degrees. Place a few pieces of dough on a plate and fry them until golden brown (about 3-4 min). Next, use a skimmer to remove the dough and drain them on a towel-lined plate. Continue this process until all of the dough is fried.

When the balls are still warm, place them in a bowl. Place them immediately on a plate, stacking them as if they were pinecones. Sprinkle the sprinkle on top.

A different pignolata exists, which is found mainly in Messina and Ragusa regions and dates back to the Aragonese dominance.

The most well-known Messina recipe is the pignolata. It’s covered in a sweet chocolate and lemon icing.

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