Dessert

LOUKOUMADES: GREEK DOUGHNUTS IN A HONEY SYRUP

Fried dough + honey syrup = who wouldn’t like that! Loukoumades are my favorite! They are the Greek version of a doughnut in honey syrup.

Loukoumades are fried to a nice golden crisp on the outside but they’re still soft and chewy on the inside. They’re drenched in a honey syrup and then dusted with cinnamon. I’ll wait while you get a paper towel to wipe the drool….

Just like everything else I make, they’re simple to make at home, and definitely a crowd-pleaser. Plus, they’re very economical to make, so I highly recommend that you make these for your next gathering. You can watch me making them on my video.

Let’s go over the ingredients:

Syrup:

  • sugar
  • water
  • honey
  • cinnamon stick

Doughnuts

  • 2 (.25oz) packages dry yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  • milk
  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • sea salt
  • pure vanilla extract
  • canola oil for frying

Can you believe that’s all it takes to make delicious doughnuts in honey syrup? They’re so delicious and inexpensive to make.

Can I make a small batch or make them ahead?

Unfortunately, this isn’t something you want to make ahead of time. However, you can make the syrup ahead of time since it needs to be room temperature to roll the doughnuts in, and you can make the dough the morning of your gathering. After it has risen for an hour, just cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Pull it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to make the doughnuts so your dough isn’t super cold when you fry it.

If you want to make a smaller batch or aren’t making them for a crowd, you can just cut the recipe in half. They are addictive, so watch out!

Have you tried Greek honey?

It’s my favorite type of honey and if you can get it, I highly recommend it. It’s very aromatic and has herbal notes from Greece’s fields of thyme, oregano, and sage. If you can’t get it, try local honey.

When you make your syrup, be sure to stir it as it comes to a boil so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Once it comes to a boil, you can reduce the heat to simmer. You’ll only need to stir it occasionally until the sugar has melted completely.

Tips for the yeast

Similar to making bread, you’ll start by dissolving the yeast in ½ cup of lukewarm water with sugar. Make sure it’s not too hot so it doesn’t kill the yeast, and not too cold so it doesn’t take forever to activate the yeast.  You want to make sure the yeast activates though, so set it aside for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture gets foamy. If it doesn’t foam, start again with new yeast. It’s important for the yeast to be active when making the doughnuts.

Salt is a big yeast killer. Never put salt directly into your yeast water. The trick is to stir your salt into your flour. It will be dispersed enough to not affect your yeast.

Want to save an extra step? Because you need lukewarm water and lukewarm milk to add to your yeast water, I measure my milk into a large measuring cup, then add hot water to it. There you go… lukewarm milk and water.

Frying your doughnuts

For the oil, I like to use canola oil when frying, and I try to get organic to stay away from GMO’s. To know when it’s ready to fry your doughnuts, the temperature should be between 350˚-375˚F. You can stick a wooden skewer straight down into the oil. If bubbles start rising up very quickly, it’s ready!

When you’re ready to start frying, a great tool to have is an ice cream scooper. It will make things super simple. Put it down in a glass of water between scoops to help the dough release from the scoop. If you don’t have a scooper, just use a couple of tablespoons.

When you put your scoops in the pan, try not to overcrowd the pan. You want to leave enough room to allow them to be flipped and move around a little bit. Also, be sure to have a tray lined with paper towels ready for your doughnuts. Any excess oil will drain off of your doughnuts before you dip them into the syrup.

Topping options for Loukoumades

After you roll your doughnuts in the honey syrup, I like to sprinkle them with cinnamon. Honestly, the more the better, but a lot of people like to sprinkle ground walnuts or powdered sugar on their loukoumades.

They are so light, airy, and delicious! I love the syrup and cinnamon combination, and they’re even better than the ones you get at the festivals.

If you like these, also try the apple version, my Diples (greek honey turnover fried pastries), and my Almond Palmiers (elephant ear pastries).

Print Recipe

Loukoumades - Greek Doughnuts In Honey Syrup

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Ingredients

  • Serves 6:
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 (.25oz) packages dry yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • about 4 cups canola oil for frying
  • confectioner's sugar and cinnamon for dusting
  • Syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

1

Dissolve yeast in half cup of lukewarm water, whisk in 1 tablespoon of sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.

2

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and add to the yeast mixture with the remaining water, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until the lumps disappear in the batter.

3

Cover the bowl that the batter is in with plastic wrap or with a clean cloth and set it aside in a warm place to rise, undisturbed for 30 minutes. Make sure the bowl is big enough. When the batter rises it will double in size.

4

Mix the dough with a spatula, cover again and let it rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

5

While you are waiting for the dough to rise, make the syrup. Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Lower the heat and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.

6

Heat the oil for frying in a saucepan until very hot, but not smoking.

7

Keep a glass of water nearby. Using two teaspoons, carefully drop a teaspoonful of dough into the hot oil and repeat until there are enough puffs to comfortably fill the pan while still having some room to flip them over. My pan usually fits 6 puffs at a time.

8

Each time you drop one puff into the hot oil, dip your spoons into the water to clean them off before getting another teaspoon of dough.

9

Fry the loukoumades until golden brown. About 3 minutes.

10

Transfer them onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

11

You can soak them with syrup using one of these two methods:

12

Either, dip them into the honey syrup a few at a time, or just pour the syrup over them.

13

Sprinkle some powdered sugar and cinnamon over them and serve immediately!!!!

14

Enjoy 🙂

Pin for your Pinterest!

Greek-style donuts in honey syrup dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan
    November 15, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Do you know how to make Greek Christmas and Easter breads

  • Reply
    Loukoumades | Nickbesbeas's Blog
    December 30, 2019 at 2:18 am

    […] A holiday favorite for breakfast, there’s nothing quite like loukoumades. My mom made them every year for us on Christmas morning, but I stayed in California for the holiday this year so decided to make them myself. Credit for this recipe goes to dimitrqsdishes.com (https://www.dimitrasdishes.com/loukoumades-greek-doughnuts-in-a-honey-syrup/). […]

  • Reply
    Dora
    January 3, 2020 at 4:44 am

    Dimitra,
    I am Greek as well and I loved your loukoumades. I have 2 questions. first How hot do you make your oil ? Second, can I refrigerated the left over batter. It made too many

    • Reply
      dimitra
      January 6, 2020 at 1:01 am

      Hi Dora!
      The oil should be between 350 -375 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than that and the loukoumades will absorb the oil. The batter can be refrigerated for 1 day. I have not kept it longer than that. ALl the best, Dimitra

  • Reply
    Alex
    March 3, 2020 at 2:44 am

    Hi Dimitri. Love this recipe ! I have one question after leaving the dough in the fridge (can I cook the Loukoumades right away or do I need to wait for the dough to cool down a bit?) thanks !

    • Reply
      dimitra
      March 5, 2020 at 1:28 am

      Hi Alex! It is best to let the batter come to room temperature so that the oil does not cool down. If the oil cools while frying they will be greasy. Hope this helps. Best regards, Dimitra.

  • Reply
    Antigoni Nimorakiotakis
    April 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    How much yeast in teaspoons or tablespoons?

  • Reply
    Katerina Tsavaris Kouvatsos
    April 26, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Dimitra!
    I’m originally from Astoria then moved to Tarpon Springs! I have a great friend who lives in Houston, Despina. Anywho, supplies are limited during this time and found whole wheat flour in my cupboard. Can loukoumades be made with whole wheat flour or a mixture of 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups all purpose flour?
    Thank you for your shows, love them! Keep them coming!

    • Reply
      dimitra
      May 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Katerina! I grew up in Astoria 🙂
      Honestly, I’ve never made them with whole wheat. I don’t think that would be a great idea. If you do give it a try make a smaller batch and let me know how it turns out 🙂 Whole wheat tends to make doughs heavier and denser. They also change the flavor a bit. xx

  • Reply
    Dimitrios Kastominities
    May 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Dimita,

    I just wanted to ask how long you can keep the cooked Loukoumades for. I made a little more than was needed and I have extra.

    Do they need to be refrigerated or can I leave them at room temperature?

    • Reply
      dimitra
      May 4, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Dimitrios,
      They taste best the day that they are made but, honestly loukoumades have never (ever!) gone to waste in our home. haha! I would refrigerate them 🙂

      All the best, Dimitra

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