Italian fried sweet Venetian masks

Italian fried sweet Venetian masks

By 03/02/2014

How could I ever forget those colourful carnival parties in primary school?

In the days before Chinese cheap clothing, most children would have homemade carnival costumes. My well meaning mum used to make me look like a boy dressed as a girl.. she tried hard but I truly looked kind of naff. I remember a particular dress: I was meant to be a fairy with a thick and curly blond wig, a long and pointy (fairy-like was it?) sparkling hat, a large light blue dress with a splash of yellow stars attached to it; then a home knitted woolly red shawl on my shoulders + my lips smeared in bright red lipstick finished me off. Oh mio Dio..

Still I was very happy and quite proud of my dress until I went out and people asked me whether I was a boy.. dressed as a girl.. did they really mean a transvestite?? Surely not!

Carnival is all about being cheerful, partying and eating lots of sinful fried cakes. Plenty of calories in these but God sooo buonissimi! Last year I made the classicΒ chiacchiere or cenci and this year I made carnival masks which are kind of fun and you can involve your children in decorating them.

I love this time of year..Β  Happy carnival!

  • Prep Time : 1 hour minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes


On your worktop put the flour with the eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, liquor, lemon zest and butter. Mix the ingredients well with a fork

ingredients on worktop

Working quickly with your hands make a smooth ball then cover it in cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes

smooth dough

With the scissors cut a mask out of a piece of card. Flatten the pastry with a rolling pin or with the help of a pasta making machine. The pastry should be about 1,5 mm thick and smooth

cutting out the masks

making carnival masks

Fry the masks in hot oil turning them on both sides until they are slightly golden. Make sure you don't burn them! If you get a foam whilst frying this means the oil is not hot enough. Don't fry all the masks at the same time, just 3 or 4 each time.

frying in hot oil

When they are cooked fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil

cooked masks

And now the more creative bit - decorate your masks as you fancy.

You can just sprinkle some vanilla icing sugar or you can warm up some honey or jam, spread it over the masks and stick some chocolate or coloured strands, coconut flakes over it. Or you can decorate with chocolate icing.

Italian fried carnival mask cakes

Italian fried carnival cakes

Italian fried carnival cakes

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13 Responses to Italian fried sweet Venetian masks

  1. Louise

    lol, my mother use to make our clothes for school. I’m not sure if she was a good seamstress because, what do I know but, the other kids use to make fun of us so I’m thinking maybe she couldn’t sew all that well. She tried and I’m sure it was less expensive too:)

    I don’t think many people are thinking about Carnival yet. I’m glad to see you got your “groove” back, those masks are so creative and really amazing!!!! They don’t sound too hard to do either.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Alida…I would love to give these a try! I must pin them!

    • Alida

      So it wasn’t just my mum then. These days it is so much more affordable to buy costumes from supermarkets and they look pretty too! Much easier than 30 years ago.
      Yes they are really fun to make and delicious too! Grazie Louise!

  2. Javelin Warrior

    These masks are so beautiful, Alida! I love how these are prepared by frying and the chocolate drizzle is so simple but gorgeous… A wonderfully festive treat!

    • Alida

      Thank you Mark. Your comments are always very nice πŸ™‚
      I must say these were a real treat for my family. So moreish!

  3. Catherine

    Dear Alida, These are beautiful and bring back nice memories . Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  4. Diana

    These are just the cutest things EVER. I am heading over to your chiacchiere recipe….but just for a peek….because those things???? Well…you know how most people go crazy for chocolate? For me it is the chiacchiere! If I eat one, I MUST eat the whole box. They are very dangerous for me. Anyway….these are really fun!

  5. la cucina di Molly

    Che belle queste mascherine, sono carinissime decorate, sono deliziose, brava! Baci!

  6. Choclette

    Oh you do make such fabulous things Alida. Those carnival masks are such fun and so clever. What carnival were you celebrating?

    • Alida

      Italian carnival is once a year and it the time between Epiphany (the 6th of January) and Lent. Children go to parties and wear fancy costumes (and adults too) and there are lots of fried cakes around..

  7. Tammy

    Hi Alida! You have such a beautiful site πŸ™‚

    These Venetian masks look soooo delicious! OMG I wish I could try one…and they are so pretty too!

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my Nutella cupcakes.


  8. maria.pia

    My mum shoes and dresses were the best things i remember going around all venice thinking how nice i must look……good time ….and semplicity

    • Alida

      Absolutely. Simplicity is always best! My carnival costumes were all homemade and came from the loft.. lol but I thought I must have looked amazing! πŸ™‚

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