Cream Puff Fritters

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Preparation info

  • Makes about


    small fritters
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

  • About

Sfingi taste wonderfully delicate and complex even though they are one of the easiest pastries to make. Nothing more than teaspoon-sized bits of cream puff paste (pasta bignè) dropped into hot oil and fried until golden and puffed, then rolled in flavored sugar, sfingi have an elusive delicacy that makes you want to taste yet another to determine its source. One important note: since the paste itself contains no sugar, you must roll sfingi in the sugar while still slightly warm or they will be dull and tasteless.


    Cream Puff Paste

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • quarts light or pure olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying

    Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 cup sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Lemon Sugar

  • 1 cup sugar mixed with grated zest of 1 lemon


For the cream puff paste, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil in a heavy pan. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir until smooth and return the pan to the heat to dry out the paste, until the bottom of the pan is filmed. Remove to a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for a few seconds to cool.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth between each addition.

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan and drop the batter into it, by level measuring teaspoonfuls, 10 or 12 in rapid succession. Fry the puffs, stirring often with a slotted spoon, until they are well risen and a deep golden color, about 3 minutes.

Drain the fritters on paper towels and roll half of them in the cinnamon sugar and the other half in the lemon sugar while they are still warm. Arrange the differently flavored fritters on separate platters and serve immediately.