Original Italian Graffe Recipe from Naples

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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Graffe are a traditional dessert from Naples and are prepared for Carnival; they’re donuts but they differ from the American ones because of the ingredients and also the final result. The recipe for making perfect Italian graffe is not easy to find and each family (or pasty shop or restaurant) pretend to have the original one.

Why you should make graffe

For sure the graffe are luscious with the sugar sticking on your fingers and your lips and the sensation of eating something different from the usual; not to forget the fact that when you fry you’re definitely happy. So forget your dietary plans and start making some graffe or ciambelle fritte: it will be a revelation and you will be easily forgets shop made donuts.

Ingredients for 20 graffe

  • 1 kg of strong flour
  • 300 grams of butter
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 grams of water
  • 37 grams of fresh yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • vanilla essence
  • 2 liters of seed oil


  1. Heat a tablespoon of water and, once ready, crumble the yeast and mix thoroughly with the help of a tablespoon of flour.
  2. Pour the flour into a large bowl, make a hole in the middle and pour all the yeast over with all the other ingredients in no particular order. Mix well with your hands until you get a soft dough and let it rise for 1 hour.
  3. Take the dough and handle it quickly with floury hands then get 20 balls of dough and give each of them the shape of a 12 cm long cord with which to form donuts sealing them in the end.
  4. Place the donuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let them rise, covered with a damp cloth, for 1 hour.
  5. Once ready heat the oil and fry the donuts. Drain and dry them with kitchen paper and sprinkle with sugar.


Preparation time: 2.8 hours

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

ciambella fritta

Advices on how to make perfect Italian graffe

1. The oil should always be at a maximum temperature of 160° otherwise the donuts will remain raw inside and will burnt outside;
2. For a fluffier texture add some mashed potatoes to your dough;
3. Add some soy flour to the strong flour for a less greasy final product;
4. While you’re frying, cheep the uncooked graffe far from the stove otherwise the dough will become too soft;

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