Loukoumades are bite-sized doughnuts that are golden and slightly crisp on the outside. They’re soaked in syrup and taste like they were sent from heaven. These Greek-style donuts are incredible served the traditional way: drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon. However, add ice cream and some toppings and you’ll have the best dessert that you’ve ever tasted. The perfect treat for your family and impressive enough for a dinner party!
Greek desserts are made with very simple ingredients yet they pack so much flavor. These loukoumades are up there on my top 5 sweet treats of all time. I used to enjoy them 3-4 times a year, mostly at Greek carnivals and on summer trips to Greece. However, after creating this recipe we have now entered very dangerous territory. They shouldn’t be this easy to make. Take a look at the ingredient list:
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
That’s it! A few basic pantry staples are all that you will need. The dough, which is more like a batter, comes together in 5 minutes. Then, it requires an hour to rise and that’s it! These loukoumades are the perfect dessert for a party. Make the dough right before your guests arrive and set it aside until after the main course is served. The entire batch can be fried in 10 minutes and on the table it goes.
The best loukoumades that I’ve ever had were at Kronos Bakery in Chania, Crete. They are like no other because they’re super crispy on the outside and hold the perfect amount of honey syrup on the inside. I’m guessing that they double fry them. There’s no other way to get them that crispy. To recreate that at home, fry the loukoumades until they are golden but still on the pale side and set them on a tray that has been lined with paper towels.
Then, right before serving them, fry them a second time until golden brown. Remove from the oil and dip them in the honey syrup and serve. If you’re ever in Crete, head on over there and give them a try. Here is a link from Trip Advisor.
Just when I thought that loukoumades could not possibly get better, we tried them loaded with ice cream and toppings and life will never be the same. haha!
Last summer we took a family trip to Crete. We stay in Chania where most of my family lives and go down to the port at least 3 times a week. There, we saw a cute little shop called Loukoumadaki. It’s a loukoumades shop where you can customize your Greek donuts with any of your favorite toppings. To be honest, I went in with very low expectations. I mean how can you improve on a dessert that has already been mastered?
Don’t get me wrong, traditional loukoumades are still my favorite but, these were pretty amazing. We tried them with gelato, Merenda (the Greek version of Nutella), strawberries, and strawberry syrup. You can choose from a huge variety of toppings. Anything from chocolate syrup, nuts, and sesame seeds to crushed cookies and chocolates.
When the ice cream hits those hot loukoumades it starts to melt and create a creamy sauce that is to die for. It makes the most delicious ice cream sundae that I’ve ever had and I am positive that your friends and family will go crazy for this dessert.
Now, if you’re ever in Crete, definitely stop by this cute little shop right on the port and give it a try. Here’s their Facebook Page.
What equipment do I need to make Loukoumades?
You don’t need much. If you already have a big mixing bowl, a whisk, a pot for frying, and a spider strainer, you can make loukoumades today. A spider strainer is very inexpensive and essential when making fried food. It helps get rid of most of the excess oil. Here are a few links from my Amazon affiliate. Clicking on them helps support my work without costing you anything extra. Thank you 🙂
Watch the video tutorial here
Can the loukoumades dough be made ahead?
Yes! You can make the dough ahead of time, cover the bowl (make sure that the container/bowl is large enough because the mixture will double in volume once it rises) and set in the refrigerator to rise. Take it out an hour before you’re ready to fry them and mix it to deflate the dough. Set it aside (covered) until ready to fry the donuts.
Is the dough supposed to be runny?
I’ve tested this recipe over and over again and found that a thinner dough creates the lightest, airiest loukoumades. They absorb syrup better and are very delicious. If you make the dough thicker they will still be delicious but, they will be a little on the chewy side. Let me know which way you like them better in the comments section.
I hope that you give this recipe a try and if you do, take some pics and share them with me on Facebook and/or Instagram. Your recreations bring a smile to my face each and every time I see them. Make these for your next get together and as always, Kali Orexi! xx
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Ice cream
The Wet Ingredients:
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The Dry Ingredients:
- 1 and ¾ cup (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons yeast
- ¼ cup (42 g) corn starch
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
For the Syrup: (double this recipe for extra syrupy donuts)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- walnuts, pistachios, or your favorite chopped nuts
- Chocolate hazelnut spread
- Melted white chocolate
- Melted dark chocolate
- Chocolate chips
- Crushed cookies
Make the loukoumades batter:
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk the mixture together until smooth.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for an hour.
Make the syrup:
Add the sugar, water, and cinnamon stick to a small pot and whisk together. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the syrup until the sugar has melted.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the honey and vanilla extract. Stir together until the honey is incorporated and set aside to cool completely.
Make the Loukoumades:
Heat the oil until it reaches 360 °F, 180 °C. It should be very hot but not smoking. If the oil is not hot enough the loukoumades will absorb the oil and become oily and dense. If it is too hot, they will brown too fast on the exterior and the inside will not cook properly.
Keep a glass of water near the work station.
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop some batter into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot so that the oil’s temperature does not drop too much.
Fry the donuts until golden all around. About 2-3 minutes.
Lift the loukoumades out of the oil with a spider strainer and drain as much of the oil as possible. Soak the loukoumades into the syrup. Toss them a few times and transfer them onto a plate.
Place the loukoumades into a bowl and top with a few scoops of ice cream and your favorite toppings. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
The loukoumades batter may be made a day ahead and allowed to rise slowly in the refrigerator. Cover the bowl with plastic or place in an airtight container.
The syrup may be prepared a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.