Apulian Scarcelle

Easter is approaching and one of the most famous and colorful desserts of the Apulian Easter tradition are scarcelle. They can be purchased at bakeries or pastry shops in many Apulian cities or prepared at home with poor ingredients, given that this was a dessert made in middle and low social class families, using eggs, flour, milk and oil. The peculiarity of Apulian scarcelle is that they can be given the shape you prefer (bunnies, doves and so on) and therefore it is pleasant to prepare them even in the company of your children.

Alternatively, for lovers of “pure” tradition, the classic shape is the donut or basket that “welcomes” hard-boiled eggs (another symbol par excellence of Easter). The flavor does not change, they will still be delicious and will enrich your Easter menu with a touch of color and sweetness.

Apulian Scarcelle
Apulian Scarcelle ©www.fattoincasadabenedetta.it

The recipe for Apulian scarcelle

Ingredients for 8 Apulian scarcelle:

  • 1 kg of 00 flour
  • 300 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g of whole milk
  • 200 g of extra virgin olive oil
  • baking powder (16 g)
  • zest of 2 lemons

For the glaze:

  • 100 g of egg whites
  • 400 of icing sugar
  • lemon juice

To decorate:

  • 8 hard boiled eggs
  • colored sprinkles


  1. Pour the flour, baking powder and granulated sugar onto a pastry board and create a well.
  2. Add the grated lemon zest, the lightly beaten eggs and knead with your hands, slowly pouring in the oil and the milk until you create a homogeneous mixture which you can shape into a ball.
  3. Leave the dough to rest for about 30 minutes covered with a kitchen towel.
  4. While the dough is resting, you can boil the eggs to make them hard-boiled, then, when ready, let them cool.
  5. Take the dough again after half an hour and divide it into approximately 24 portions and shape them into a loaf approximately 30 centimeters long.
  6. Create a “braid” of dough by joining 3 strands of dough together, then join the two ends giving the typical donut shape, until you obtain 8 little pieces.
  7. Place the scarcelle on a baking tray covered with baking paper and place the hard-boiled egg in the centre.
  8. Cook in a preheated static oven at 180° for 50-55 minutes (or ventilated oven at 160° for 40-45 minutes).
  9. Leave to cool and in the meantime prepare the icing with the beaten egg whites and lemon juice.
  10. Once you have obtained a frothy mixture, add the icing sugar little by little.
  11. When the icing takes on a creamy consistency, decorate the biscuits and cover with colored sprinkles or with your favorite food decorations (for example, you can add colored eggs or smarties or decorate with puppets such as chicks or bunnies).

The shells prepared in this way can be stored for 2 or 3 days under a glass bell jar.

Mostaccioli ©SaraTM via Canva
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Purcidduzzi salentini ©SaraTM via Canva
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