It’s Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi gras, Martedì grasso, every year, for this occasion, I am tempted to prepare pancakes to celebrate the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, but then invariably my origins win. So, I always end up preparing frappe, called also chiacchiere, a traditional dessert for Carnival in my home country, Italy. They are a thin layer of a sweet dough fried in oil and then dusted with icing sugar. Delicious! I share my grandmother’s recipe with you, which I modified a little because in her recipe the unit of measurement was “eggshell”: 3 ½ shells of sugar, 3 ½ shells of liqueur… 😊 My kids enjoy using the pasta machine to make thin sheets of dough, and also cutting shapes (strips, rectangles, rhomboids, ribbons) out of them with a zigzag cutting wheel.

Frappe di Carnevale

  • Servings: 12-15

Pancakes or a traditional Italian dessert for Carnival/Shrove Tuesday? My Italian origins win. Here is a recipe from my granny’s cook book. Enjoy it!


Frappe recipe | ingredients-tools at craftymessymom
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 30 g butter, cubed
  • 15 ml liqueur (Grappa, or Anise liqueur)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • sunflower oil for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting


    • rolling-pin
    • wood pasta board
    • pasta machine (mine is a Marcato Atlas 150)
    • pasta/pastry zigzag cutting wheel


On a wooden board pour flour, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix them (1). Form a “volcano”, making a hole in the middle of the flour mixture (2), add the eggs in the “crater” of the volcano (3). Beat the eggs with a fork and gently start incorporating the flour to the beaten eggs (4). Add the liqueur (5) and keep mixing with a fork. Add the cubes of butter and incorporate them into the ball of dough (6), kneading. Keep kneading for at least 10 minutes, until the dough has a uniform texture and colour. It should be soft and smooth (7). Wrap the dough with cling film and let it at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Cut the dough into small slices (8), make them flat with a rolling-pin (9). Start to use the pasta machine. Pass each piece through the flat rollers with the regulating knob set on position 1. Repeat the process several time, flouring the pasta sheet each time it is passed. Decrease the thickness of the sheet (10), one number at time, from 1 to 5 (about 1 mm thick at the end). Cut the stripes into rectangles or rhomboids (11a and 11b). Fry them (12). At the end dust with icing sugar (13). Enjoy it!!!


This dose is enough for two heaped trays.
Maths Cookie image

CraftyMessyMom’s Maths Cookies

KIRFs: telling the time.
  1. If I make the dough in 15 minutes, let the dough rest for 15 minutes, prepare the stripes in 30 minutes and fry them in 30 minutes, how long does it take to prepare this dessert?
  1. If the dessert is ready to eat at 15.40, what time I started preparing them?

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