Ruth Oliver's Loukoumades. Photography: Dania Weiner. Styling: Diana Linder.
Ruth Oliver's Loukoumades. Photography: Dania Weiner. Styling: Diana Linder.

Loukoumades – Greek Donuts

Every bakery in Greece sells these small donuts - tiny, crisp and dipped in a delightful and sticky syrup

Loukoumades are airy donuts dipped in sugar syrup that hail from Greece. The name Loukoumades means “food that ends quickly”, an apt name since these tiny, crisp donuts are bite-sized and easily gobbled up in minutes.

Simple Syrup (baker’s tip) – almost all sweets created under the rule of the Ottoman Empire use syrup to moisten the pastries. Here are some things you should know about using syrup:

Ratios: prepare a syrup from sugar and water boiled together in a ratio of 2:1 (2 parts sugar to 1 part water).

Method: cook the ingredients on low heat for 15 minutes, so that during this time the water will evaporate and the sugar will begin to color, until a thick and golden syrup is obtained.

Lemon: added towards the end of cooking. It balances the syrup’s sweetness and adds to its golden hue, which is why it is also popularly known as “honey syrup”.

Seasoning: during cooking or towards the end add the flavoring agents, for example: citrus blossom extract, rose water, cinnamon, lemon or orange rind, cardamom and saffron.

Use: It is important to pour the syrup when there is a clear temperature difference between it and the sweet. It is best to prepare and cool the syrup in advance and wait for the sweet to come out of the oven or the frying oil, but you can also do it the other way around.

Ingredients for Loukoumades - Greek dounuts

For the dough:

  • 3 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cube (25 grams) fresh yeast
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the sugar syrup:

  • 3 cups (600 grams) Sugar
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) water
  • 1½ lemons juiced


Prepare the dough:

  • 1. Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 8 minutes until uniform and smooth.

  • 2. Cover and let rise for an hour to an hour and a half until doubled in volume. Mix to remove the air and leave to rise for another 15 minutes.

  • 3. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and cut a hole with a diameter of around ½-inch (1-1½ cm).

  • 4. Heat oil for frying. Squeeze the piping bag and with the help of scissors cut out a small loukoumade each time with a diameter of ½-¾ of an inch (1-2 cm) until the pot is full. Fry for about 2 minutes until golden on both sides

  • 5. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately dip in the cold syrup. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Prepare the syrup:

  • 6. Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil in a pot, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.

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