Cartellate (Christmas Pastries)

November 16, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Kneading dough during a cooking classWhat better way to end the year than with a holiday treat from our Puglia cooking vacation! Cartellate originate from the northeastern Pugliese town of Altamura, which is the world-renowned “town of bread.” With this simple recipe, you can bring a bit of Italy into your kitchen and holiday celebrations for some holiday cheer.

Journey to Puglia on a culinary adventure!

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pugliese Christmas pastries or simply looking for a great seasonal recipe, cartellate are sure to please. You can discover Puglia on a culinary vacation in Italy to learn to make these and other specialities with our local chefs, all while exploring the region with our warm and friendly guides.

Learn more about why we love the Puglia region of Italy!

Christmas Cartellate from Puglia


Making cartellate Christmas pastries by hand

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Cook method: Frying
Servings: 48

For the Dough:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 3.5 oz of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz white wine (possibly sparkling)


  • 2.25 cups honey or Sapa (grape syrup)
  • 1 glass of water or (better) white wine
  • Some sugar and cinnamon powder

Looking for more pastry recipes for special occasions? Try this one for Easter fiadonetti.


Cartellate pastries on a culinary tour of Puglia1. Mix the flour, olive oil, salt, and white wine. If needed, add more white wine so that the dough has a not too soft, but not too dry consistency.

2. Roll out the dough (it should be very thin), then cut it into strips about one finger wide and 15 centimeters long.

3. Roll the strip forming a rose-shaped decoration. Repeat until all dough has been used.

4. Fry each piece of dough until golden, only 1-2 minutes.

5. To create the decoration, warm the honey by adding water or white wine until it’s completely melted.

6. Dip each cartellata into the honey and then dust with some sugar and cinnamon powder.

You might also want to try other Italian Christmas pastries such as Caggionetti from Abruzzo or the famous Panettone.

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One response to “Cartellate (Christmas Pastries)”

  1. […] into desserts such as honey cakes or Cartellate (Italian honey […]

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