Apple Fritters—the Italian Way

A person holding a plate of donuts with powdered sugar.

There is nothing better than making apple fritters, Frittelle di Mele, while spending a Saturday afternoon with your children. Easy to prepare and mouthwatering as well, apple fritters are also a good way to get your kids to eat more fruit. Everyone likes them. 

Are you looking for ways to spend time with your kids? Why not think about having fun resulting in a delicious outcome?

A plate of pastries with powdered sugar on it.

What are apple fritters made with?

They are made with firm cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Honey Crisp, and should be organic if possible. Slice or dice these apples and dunk them into a simple batter made of milk, lemon, and flour. Cinnamon can be added to enhance the flavor of the apples. The result—fragrant fritters with a soft moist core that are really appreciated in cold winter. They make a perfect afternoon snack or a delicious dessert at the end of the meal.

Fried doughnuts in a white bowl with powdered sugar.

Yes, apple fritters are fried

Well, I know that  “delicious” doesnt often mean light, but allow yourself some good fried food every then and now: it wont spoil either your diet or your health. We usually have these fritters once a year but miss them all year long.  

Our Carnival season, or Fat Tuesday (also called Shrove Tuesday), is the best time to enjoy them. It is the last day of a few “fat” days from Fat Thursday to Fat Tuesday—the exact day changes every year—which is a period of great celebration before Lent. There are 40 days of fasting and praying, which prepares us for Easter. Hence, Fat Tuesday is traditionally the last chance to eat up all the inviting food leftover from the previous days’ parties. The food includes sweets, such as frittelle, which are fried in oil, and which were a very precious commodity in the past. 

Fried doughnuts in a bowl with powdered sugar.

How can you fry them?

In very hot peanut or sunflower oil. Dont use olive oil; it would make the fritters too heavy. Keep the temperature of the oil high: the apples will be tender and fluffy in the core, and the batter will get deliciously crispy. They can turn out spongy and soaked with oil if the temperature is not hot enough, and they can be too crispy on the outside and not cooked on the inside if the temperature is not right.  

Do you want to bake them, for a lighter version? Uhmmm, please dont. They wouldnt be the same as fried ones. Trust me. 

Enjoy them shortly after making them

Make the fritters right before eating or serving them. You can’t store them as they dont keep well. Neither cold nor heated fritters taste good, so cook only the right quantity.    

You have some batter left? Prepare more fritters. What about bananas or pineapple (if you have it in your pantry)? They are equally delicious.

Apple Fritters—the Italian Way

When you start eating them, you won’t be able to stop. Frittelle are unbelievably scrumptious. They require a few ingredients but provide a lot of fun for adults and children alike. 
Do you have a sweet tooth? Garnish them with some plain or chocolate custard, or whipped cream …a blast of flavor! 
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Apple Fritters, apples, frittelle di mele
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb or 3-4 firm apples (about 600g)
  • 1 cup of milk (240ml)
  • 1 cup of cake flour (150g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Oil (peanut or sunflower) for frying
  • Powdered sugar to garnish 
  • Cinnamon to taste
Servings 4 people


  • Prepare the batter: beat the egg, then whisk the milk and salt in a medium bowl. 
  • Stir in the flour a little at a time; mix well until evenly combined; 
  • Add a spoonful of flour in case the batter gets too wet; it should be runny but not watery; 
  • Set the batter aside; 
  • Peel the apples with a potato peeler; then cut the flesh from the core and cut them into rough rings or dice them into pieces; 
  • Squeeze the lemon on the apple slices; toss well so they don’t turn black;  
  • It is time to fry: fill a sauce pan with oil, about an inch (2.5 cm) deep. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C): check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. If using a toothpick, put it into the oil, and if bubbles appear, the oil has reached the right temperature. 
  • Dip the apple slices into the batter and coat them evenly. Fry a few slices at a time, 2 or 3, so as to not to lower the temperature. Use a slotted spoon and flip them over until golden; 
  • Transfer them to a paper-towel-lined platter to remove the excess of oil; 
  • In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar with cinnamon; 
  • Sprinkle the fritters with cinnamon sugar. Enjoy them warm; they won’t last long.

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