Butter-free Italian Castagnole: a quick and tasty recipe

castagnole senza burro

Butter-free Italian Castagnole: a quick and tasty recipe

Olio Farchioni
5 from 2 votes
A Carnevale treat,  healthy and tasty.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 500 kcal


  • Electric whisk
  • Large pan
  • Slotted spoon


  • 150 g Pastry flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 40 g Sugar
  • 1/2 sachet Baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Speciale per Dolci Farchioni
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • to taste Olive Oil (for frying)
  • to taste Icing sugar


  • Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk.
  • Add oil while mixing.
  • Add flour and baking powder.
  • Add zest.
  • Keep mixing
  • Put a large pan on the stove with plenty of olive oil. 
  • When the oil is hot enough, scoop a spoonful of the dough (use two spoons) and drop it into the oil.
  • Turn over your castagnole until golden, remove them from heat with a slotted spoon and place them on kitchen paper.
  • Let them cool down and then sprinkle with icing sugar.
castagnole al cucchiaio senza burro

In Italy, Castagnole is a dessert typically served during Carnevale, the period before Lent. These fluffy fried balls are very popular, and they are also very easy to prepare. In today’s recipe you won’t have to knead any dough, because the butter-free batter (good for the lactose-intolerant) can be collected with a spoon and poured directly into hot oil.

Butter-free castagnole: 4 good reasons to use extra virgin olive oil 

There are several reasons why we decided to replace butter with extra virgin olive oil in the preparation of castagnole:

  • As is known, olive oil is much healthier than butter, as it is rich in “good” fats and antioxidants. 

  • Castagnole prepared with extra virgin olive oil are softer and fluffier (oil is less viscous than butter and takes in more air during mixing). 

  • Butter-free castagnole stay fresh and soft longer, thanks to antioxidants in the oil. 

  • Castagnole  prepared with extra virgin olive oil can be eaten by the lactose-intolerant

What about seed oil? Well, unlike what many people think, even if seed oil is colorless and odorless, it is not at all lighter than olive oil as its fats deteriorate during cooking and may damage your liver. In addition, seed oil does not add anything to the taste of castagnole.

Butter-free Castagnole: preparation tips 

Our recipe is simple, but you may need a few tips: 

  • For castagnole to be really fluffy you need to thoroughly whisk eggs and sugar until foamy

  • Use a light oil with a smooth taste for your batter: Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Speciale per Dolci Farchioni is cold-extracted, and was designed to replace butter and seed oils in desserts. Why did we select this oil? It enhances the  flavor of the dough and keeps it light, the taste of your desserts will be more balanced and it is also available in versions containing natural flavors (vanilla and cinnamon) if you wish to add a pinch of imagination to your recipe.

  • Take the ingredients out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before using them: they should be at room temperature for perfect blending. 

  • Use olive oil for frying. Its high smoke point makes it withstand high temperatures without burning. We used Olio Di Oliva Farchioni; its fruity and delicate scent makes it perfect for frying. 

  • To check oil temperature, drop a little bit of dough into the pan: if it starts to sizzle and rises to the surface, go ahead and fry your castagnole! 

Is your mouth watering? Well then, don’t feel guilty and get to work!

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