Easy Raised Doughnuts ~ Cuddureddi

Easy raised doughnuts, or cuddureddi as they’re known in Italian, are a deep-fried classic that’s synonymous with celebration—regardless of whether or not there’s an occasion.

A pile of sugar-dusted easy raised doughnuts on a white plate.

Essentially a brioche dough made with lard instead of butter, this pastry is a slightly richer recipe than Sicilians usually admit to. The delicious result reminds me of early mornings when my uncle took my cousins and me to school and would treat us to warm doughnuts dripping with marmalade. Irresistible!–Fabrizia Lanza

What are cuddureddi?

Cuddureddi. That means the holidays are coming if you’re from the south of Italy. Well, technically it means an easy doughnut recipe that’s essentially denser and less sweet than the typical American glazed doughnut is coming. But in Italy, this easy doughnut recipe is synonymous with celebration. So go on. Celebrate.

Easy Raised Doughnuts | Cuddureddi

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: 3-inch round doughnut or cookie cutter; deep-fry or candy thermometer



Mound the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center. Add the yeast, milk, lard, and salt to the well. Gradually stir in enough flour with your hands to form a paste, then work in the remaining flour to form a dough and knead until very smooth. (The dough will still be quite sticky at first, but refrain from adding more flour. It may take up to 30 kneads or so before the dough smooths.) 

On a floured work surface using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 1-inch thickness, then cut into rounds with a 3-inch doughnut or cookie cutter. Cut the holes from the middle with a smaller cutter (or, in a pinch, the cap of a soy sauce or other smallish bottle).

Place the cut pieces of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise for about 30 minutes.

In a deep, heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it measures about 350°F. Slip a few pieces of dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip carefully and fry until the other side is golden brown, another minute or so.

Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove dough from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining dough.

In a shallow bowl or in a brown paper bag, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and dredge or shake the cuddureddi in the sugar mixture. Serve the doughnuts warm. Originally published November 29, 2013.

Print RecipeBuy the Coming Home to Sicily cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I really love this simple doughnut recipe. I used the ingredients that I had on hand—heavy cream and instant yeast—and, as you may have guessed, this worked perfectly. I had a three-inch biscuit cutter, but no cutter small enough for the center hole. I opted to use the lid from a bottle of soy sauce. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. These doughnuts are simple and bland, which make them the PERFECT vehicle for using your imagination. Apple pie spices or pumpkin pie spices in the batter come to mind. Chocolate icing or, as the recipe calls for, sugar and cinnamon. With this simple recipe, ANYONE will look like an experienced baker.

These were nicely chewy on the outside and tender on the inside. As the recipe states, the dough is quite sticky, but I found that by sprinkling it with a little extra flour, it handled perfectly. For the cinnamon sugar, half of the amount stated in the recipe was more than enough for my 17 doughnuts. They were most delicious shortly after they came out of the oven, but even after a couple of days they were still very enjoyable.


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  1. Being half Sicilian and half Calabrase, we would make these every year at Christmas time. Always they would be made with potatoes as the base rather than “just” flour. We would fry them plain or stuff them with an anchovy and then fry them. They were enjoyed in the afternoon before our big, Christmas eve fish dinner. Will have to try these to see how they taste.

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