15-Minute Recipe: Authentic Venetian Carnival Fritters Made Easy

Easy Venetian Carnival Fritters with raisins

Get a taste of Venice with this super easy fritters recipe that only takes 15 minutes! This Venetian carnival fritters recipe is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and bringing a piece of Italy to your kitchen. So grab your ingredients and let’s get frying!


Venetian Carnival Fritters, also known as “Frittelle di Carnevale” in Italian, are delightful fried pastries commonly enjoyed during the Carnival season in Venice, Italy. Carnival Fritters are among the simplest and most delicious carnival desserts typical of Italian cuisine, especially the Venetian tradition. These are soft balls made with a basic batter containing flour, eggs, milk, sugar and citrus-flavored raisins. First form the balls with a spoon in just a few seconds, then deep-fry them in boiling oil and roll them in sugar. Soft as clouds, fragrant and tasty, fritters are uniquely delicious and should not be missed during the most colorful celebration of the year.

Like any traditional recipe, there are variations depending on the Italian region where they are made. The recipe provided here is for the original Venetian Carnival Fritters, also known as Venetian Fritole. This is a very easy preparation that can be completed with your eyes closed in exactly 5 minutes, plus 10 minutes for cooking.

Ideal for enjoying both hot and cold, they remain very soft for a day, making them perfect to prepare well in advance for buffets and carnival parties. Give them a chance, I bet everyone will love them!

These are our other carnival recipes:

Variations of the Classic Venetian Fritters

This time-tested recipe for Venetian Carnival fritters allows for numerous variants. Dried fruits like dates, apricots, or blueberries make excellent substitutes for raisins in the dough. Alternatively, fill the fried fritters with custard or chocolate using a piping bag. Simply omit raisins from the dough and fill after frying for these options. Creativity in the kitchen leads to new discoveries and celebrates life’s sweet pleasures.

Authentic Venetian Carnival Fritters Ingredients

The ingredients for Venetian Carnival Fritters may vary slightly depending on the recipe, but here are the typical ingredients:

  • Flour: All-purpose flour serves as the base ingredient for the fritter batter.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar adds sweetness to the fritters.
  • Milk: Milk is used to moisten the batter and create a smooth consistency.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent and contribute to the structure of the fritters.
  • Baking soda: Active dry yeast or instant yeast is used to leaven the dough, creating a light and airy texture.
  • Lemon or Orange Zest: The zest of a lemon or orange adds a refreshing citrusy note to the fritters.
  • Raisins or Candied Fruit (optional): Some recipes may include soaked raisins or chopped candied fruit for added texture and flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall taste of the fritters.
  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is needed for frying the fritters until they turn golden brown. I usually use peanut oil.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is often dusted on top of the fritters before serving.

Venetian Carnival Fritters Video Recipe

How to Make Venetian Carnival Fritters

First, soak the raisins in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the excess moisture. This initial soaking allows the raisins to become plump and tender.

Prepare the batter

While the raisins are soaking, in a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add grated zest of orange and lemon, taking care to remove only the colored outermost part of the citrus so as not to impart any bitter flavor. Thoroughly combining the dry ingredients ensures even rising and texture in the finished fritters.

Mix dry ingredients

Next, crack the eggs directly into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Begin mixing with a hand mixer while slowly streaming in the milk until a smooth batter forms without any lumps. Careful mixing is important to achieve a lump-free batter that will yield light and tender fritters. Now add the raisins.

Add eggs, milk and raisings and mix well

Fry the Fritters

Bring a tall-sided saucepan of oil to 175°C over medium heat. Use two tablespoons to carefully add batter directly to the hot oil, allowing it to flow smoothly. This ensures the fritters enter the oil gently and maintain their shape as they cook.

The fritters should not brown or sink to the bottom, but rather rise to the surface, filled with bubbles as the interior cooks. Fry for approximately 1.5 minutes, gently flipping occasionally until golden brown, monitoring that the oil does not overheat which could cause burning and compromise texture.

Once cooked, transfer to paper towels to drain excess oil and produce a crisp exterior.

Once all batter is fried, arrange the fritters on a serving plate and dust with powdered or granulated sugar, rolling to fully coat. This final coating provides a sweet finish.

The Venetian Carnival fritters are now ready to enjoy!

Venetian Carnival Fritters with raisins

How to Store Venetian Carnival Fritters

Venetian Carnival fritters are best enjoyed fresh, so try to consume them on the day they are made, while they are still fresh and crispy outside.

If you plan to enjoy them within a day or two, you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container or a sealed bag. Make sure to place a layer of parchment paper or wax paper between the fritters to prevent them from sticking together.

If you need to store the fritters for a longer duration or to keep them fresh in warmer climates, you can refrigerate them. Place the fritters in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to maintain their moisture.

If you have a surplus of Carnival fritters or want to save them for later, freezing is a great option. Allow the fritters to cool completely, then individually wrap them in plastic wrap or place them in a freezer-safe bag. Proper wrapping helps prevent freezer burn and maintain their quality. Frozen Carnival fritters can typically be stored for up to 2–3 months.

Before serving, allow them to come to room temperature, then reheat them in a preheated oven at a low temperature until warmed through.

Easy Venetian Carnival Fritters with raisins
Easy Venetian Carnival Fritters with raisins

15-Minute Recipe: Authentic Venetian Carnival Fritters Made Easy

This recipe is for the original Venetian Carnival Fritters, also known as Venetian Fritole. This is a very easy preparation that can be completed with your eyes closed in exactly 5 minutes, plus 10 minutes for cooking.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 25 fritters

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g 00 flour or all-purpose flour 1⅔ cups
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g milk ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp
  • 80 g raisins soaked in water for 10 minutes (½ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar to decorate
  • Peanut oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • First, soak the raisins in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes, then squeeze them dry.
  • While the raisins are soaking, mix the flour, sugar, sifted baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the grated zest of orange and lemon.
  • Then crack the eggs directly into the dry ingredients and mix.
  • Start mixing with a hand whisk while slowly pouring in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth and lump-free.
  • Add the raisins and mix well.
  • Bring a tall-sided pot of oil to 175°C (347°F) on the stove. Use two spoons to scoop the batter directly into the hot oil.
  • The fritters should not burn or stick to the bottom, but rise to the surface filled with bubbles. Cook for about 1.5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until golden brown, and drain on paper towels.
  • Once all are fried, serve the fritters on a plate sprinkled with granulated sugar, rolling them to coat on all sides.
  • Your Venetian Carnival Fritters are ready!

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