Greek Loukoumades (Authentic Recipe)

Greek Loukoumades

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Looking for something special in Greek dessert recipes, try these traditional Greek loukoumades instead of your boring old baked cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The recipe is especially yours to try if you are a beginner-level chef. The Greek doughnuts, also known as honey puffs or doughnut holes are much easier to make than traditional Greek Baklava, which requires a lot of layers of pastry sheets and nuts. Top these fried doughnuts with honey and nuts, or any of your favorite toppings.

Although Greeks bake some special Melomakarona or KOURABIEDES for Christmas parties, Loukoumades is also a festive dessert and is made and distributed during New Year celebrations. Crispy outside and soft on the inside, this Greek honey dessert is going to be the best snack item on your menu. But of course, if you are in search of a more hearty traditional Greek dessert, you can make Galaktoboureko.

Historic fun facts of Loukoumades

Loukoumades can be traced back to Ancient Greece. They originated first in 776 BC when the dessert was served to the winners of the Greek Olympic games and was known as Honey tokens.

It is one of the oldest documented desserts in Greek history. The poet Callimachus mentioned Loukoumades in one of his writings.

The literal meaning of loukoumades is “deep-fried pastry balls soaked in sugar syrup”. In some Greek parts, Loukomades are garnished with sesame seeds or cinnamon powder as well.

In Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries, loukoumades are known as Lokma, which can also be traced back to the times of the magnificent Ottoman Empire. Lokma was served at festivities and celebrations.

Loukoumades Ingredients

For Loukoumades

  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 ¼ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • Oil for deep frying the Loukoumades

For Toppings

  • Cinnamon powder
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Honey
  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Your choice of crushed nuts (pistachio, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

Ingredient Notes and Variations

All-purpose flour

Since they are doughnuts, all we need is simple ingredients from our pantry, like All-purpose flour. When mixed well, it gives ample softness and bounce to the Greek honey doughnuts. I have never tried using flour alternatives for this recipe, but if you want to go vegan or keto, do try almond flour for this recipe.


Milk serves as a medium for yeast for its activation. It also forms the dough and makes it soft and smooth. Use whole cream milk for this recipe for the creamy taste and soft, bouncy texture.


While sugar is used in the desserts to sweeten them up, it’s not the same with the loukoumades. You just need enough sugar to activate the yeast, the sweetening is done with honey.


Use active dry yeast for this recipe to quickly double up the dough. The best quality yeast puffs up the loukoumades and gives them the traditional soft inside texture they are famous for.

Honey and toppings

The traditional loukoumades are dipped and coated well in honey which gives them the best taste. This is the basic topping after which you can go for customizations. Chop a few pistachios or almonds and top up your Greek fried dessert. A bit of cinnamon powder or powdered sugar also goes well with honey. For kids, you can drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup or heavy cream on loukoumades.

How to Make The Best Loukoumades?

Step 1: Preparing the dough

Formation of the dough is most crucial to the loukoumades. It should be a bit loose, but thick and sticky. You need to start with the exact amounts of ingredients and adjust them later according to the consistency.

Heat the milk so that it’s just lukewarm. Mix sugar and warm water into it. Be careful not to make the liquid too hot as it will not activate the yeast successfully.

Dissolve the yeast in this liquid.

Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in the medium-sized bowl of a stand mixer. I always use KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer, but you can also knead the dough by yourself, or use an electric beater. Pour in the flour and salt. Add oil and mix.

Use the dough mixing hook of your stand mixer to mix the ingredients at a medium-low speed. As the mixer works, pour in slowly the yeast mixture and let the mixer work up the dough.

Keep the mixer working until the dough is loose, thick, sticky, and soft. Remove the mixer. Cover the dough and keep it in a warm place for about an hour before using. During this time, the yeast will release carbon dioxide and will cause the dough to rise and double up.

dough for Greek Loukoumades

Step 2: Making the balls

After an hour, mix the dough with greasy hands once again. With the help of a scoop spoon, scoop out small balls from the dough. If you want to refrigerate them, set them on a lined baking dish and wrap them in plastic wrap.

Greek Loukoumades - 3

Step 3: Frying the Loukoumades

Heat oil in a deep wok. Use enough oil to deep fry the balls. One by one put the balls in the hot oil and fry until they are crisp and golden on the outside. Use a slotted spoon to flip them over.

The balls tend to puff up during frying, so make sure not to put too much of them in one batch.

Place the fried balls over the kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.

Greek Loukoumades - 2

Step 4: Coating with honey

If you want to go all classic, use an ample amount of honey and coat the loukoumades generously. Chop up some pistachios and almonds and use them for garnishing.

For young kids, you can prepare a chocolate sauce with butter, sugar, and cocoa powder and drizzle it over the loukoumades.

Heavy cream also makes an excellent topping for these Greek doughnuts.

Greek Loukoumades - 1

Can you make Loukoumades ahead of time?

Yes! You can make the dough of Loukoumades ahead of time to fry and serve them later. For this purpose, mix all the ingredients and form a smooth, soft dough. From the small balls out of them. Lay a greased butter paper on a flat baking pan and arrange the balls on it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

How to store Loukoumades?

If you want to store fried leftover Loukoumades, ensure that these puffs have been cooled down. Do not soak the extra loukoumades in honey, because storing honey-drenched leftovers might make them soggy. Arrange the fried loukoumades on a baking pan and wrap them with plastic foil. Keep them at room temperature. Use within 24 to 36 hours.

How to Freeze and Reheat Loukoumades?

Freezing the dough, non-fried doughnut holes or fried loukoumades is not recommended. It is not generally advised and done, but if you want to reheat the fried loukoumades, Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the loukoumades on a baking tray and wrap them with aluminum foil. Place them in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until nicely warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Lokma and Loukoumades the same?

Loukoumades (λουκουμάδες) is the Cypriotic Greek name for an ancient fried dessert that is popular in many cuisines. Lokma is the traditional name in Turkey. It is also known as lukma tul kazi in the Arabic dialect, where it originated during the Abbasid caliphate. In Indian Cuisine, similar desserts named Gulab Jamun and Jalebi are also popular. The basic ingredients and methods are the same, while the toppings might vary from cuisine to cuisine.

Is Loukoumades vegan or keto?

Not this recipe, because it has milk. But if you skip the milk and use a sourdough starter or an alternative to whole milk, they might become a vegan-friendly recipe. Similarly, with All-purpose flour, the recipe is NOT keto-friendly. You need to substitute the flour with a coconut meal to make it suitable for a keto diet.

What is Greece’s main dessert?

Without a doubt, Loukoumades are the most popular, bite-sized honey puffs and Greece’s main dessert. They are traced back to ancient times and were served on important occasions, also as tokens to the winners of the Olympic games. They are best tasted when glazed with original Greek Honey.  Other than Loukoumades, baklava, Greek bougatsa,  and Melomakarona are also popular Greek desserts. 

Can you make loukoumades ahead of time?

Yes, Loukoumades can be made ahead of time. However, it is recommended to make dough beforehand fry them for a quick fix, and prepare them in just a few minutes. And, if you have already prepared them, reheating them at 400F is recommended to maintain their texture and taste.

Greek Loukoumades

Authentic Greek Loukoumades Recipe

Adalynn Ward
Loukoumades are one of the best traditional Greek desserts which indulge you in their sweet, sugary texture, leaving you craving more. Try the recipe and add a delicacy to your dessert menu.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 4 persons


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • cup All purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • Oil for deep frying the Loukoumades


  • Cinnamon powder
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Honey
  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Your choice of crushed nuts (pistachio, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

How to Make?

  • Heat milk for a while and add sugar and water to it.
  • Dissolve yeast in the milk mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Use a stand mixer’s medium-sized bowl and add flour, salt, and oil.
  • Attach the dough mixing hook and start mixing at medium-low speed. Pour in the yeast mixture while mixing.
  • Mix it thoroughly until a smooth dough is formed. Let it sit in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles up.
  • Heat the oil for frying. Make small balls of dough and fry until nicely golden.
  • Put the fried balls on blotting paper to remove the excess oil.
  • Pour over your favorite toppings.


Serving: 1LoukoumadesCalories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1.5gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 0.5mgSodium: 43.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 6.6g
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Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!