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Lokmades or Loukoumades – Cypriot and Greek Doughnuts



Loukoumades or Lokmades, as they are called in Cyprus, take their name from the Arabic words “luqma(t) plural luqūm”, lokma and lokum, meaning morsel or mouthful. They are fried, shaped into small round ballls, served with honey, cinnamon and walnuts or plain in Cyprus dipped in sugar syrup.

The doughnuts I tried in Greece are different from the ones we used to eat in Cyprus and at the beginning they did not thrill me, probably because I had only tried those they made at the panigyria (fairs).      Thinking of this now, this was probably due to the fact that many batches were fried over and over again in the same oil and my guess is that the honey they used was probably imported, which was of inferior quality and much cheaper.

When I tried the homemade ones, they were amazing!

In Cyprus, it’s exactly the opposite.  When we were kids our parents would take us to the panigyria and we loved Loukoumades and Shiamishi, which were by far better than the homemade ones.   The ones sold at the fairs were the best and don’t ask me why.  

Before I made them I thought that the only difference between the Cypriot and the Greek ones was only a matter of the syrup used in Cyprus and the honey used in Greece.  However, I was wrong!

Last year when I made Akoumia they were really close to the ones we used to eat when we were kids.  After making them I only realized that they had something in common and that was the starch they both had.

Frying loukoumades

When my sister visited me recently, I made Akoumia and she liked them very much.I told her how many attempts of making them failed and she asked me to tell her what ingredients I used.When told her she revealed to me that the most important ingredients was missing.  That ingredient was potato!!!

When I made her recipe they were perfect. Crunchy outside and soft and juicy inside just as I remember them like those we used to eat at the panigyria with Shiamishi.

My sister’s recipe is in my Cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook, sold on all Amazon stores.

Cypriot Loukoumades or lokmades

Much later, a friend of mine gave me the recipe and made the Greek Loukoumades myself.

They did not remind me of the Cypriot ones but served with Greek honey and walnuts and cinnamon on top, made them really delicious.


Preparation time: 5 minutes

Resting time:  30 – 60 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Makes: about 25



  • 12 ½ grams fresh yeast (or 8 grams dried yeast)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup tepid water

Other ingredients:

  • 210 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup tepid water
  • Abuot 3 cm, mild olive oil or vegetable oil to fry them

To serve:

  • Thyme honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 grams crushed walnuts


  1. Dissolve the yeast with some lukewarm water, sugar and a couple tablespoons flour.  Cover and set aside until it bubbles.
  2. Put the remaining ingredients in a large bowl together with the starter. Add the remaining lukewarm water gradually, mixing with a whisk until you have a thick batter.  Cover and set aside until it doubles in volume.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small pot so that the oil is about 3 – 4 cm (1 1/2 inches).
  4. Place your left hand in the batter and trying to grab the batter with your fist.  A small amount of batter will pop up among your thumb and forefinger. Use a teaspoon, dipped in oil, to take that amount and put it in the hot oil.  Continue quickly until the pot is full, wetting the spoon in the oil, so that the dough does not stick to the spoon.
  5. When fried, the dough will double in size, so adjust the amount if you want to make smaller or bigger ones.
  6. Fry until golden on both sides.
  7. Remove to a platter using a slotted spoon.
  8. Crush the walnuts.
  9. Add lots of honey on top and sprinkle with some walnuts and cinnamon.
  10. Serve as is or with ice cream.

Note:  If you have a thermometer, lukewarm water is around 40o C / 104 F.  If not, try the traditional way by testing the water using you little finger.  If you can stand the heat and count upto five, then the water temperature is fine.


Another update:  10th May, 2016

When I recently made some loukoumades,  I kept some without adding any honey syrup.
loukoumades with loquat jam2

Instead, I made some mini sandwiches and served them with loquat jam and some Greek graviera. They are perfect for breakfast, brunch or just for a snack!




Update 17th October, 2016:

Bananamoustoloukoumades (Loukoumades made with Grape Must and Banana)

No, this is not a tongue twister but I cannot find a more suitable word to describe these “loukoumades” (doughnuts) made with grape must (juice of fresh grapes), called “moustos” in Greek and banana!

When we came to Athens, we brought with us some fresh grape juice, as my children wanted me to make some moustalevria for them.    I bought some at the farmers’ market in Nafplio and kept it in the deep freezer.

A few days ago, I had a dream or rather a nightmare, that I was making moustalevria but instead of it turning into a pudding it became like dough.  I kept thinking of this dream and since then the idea of making moustoloukoumades was swirling in my head.

Today, I made moustalevria and kept some grape juice to make loukoumades.  The recipe is exactly the same as the above but instead of adding water, I added grape must.

When I was about to fry them, I saw the bananas on the counter and decided to add some in the batter, so I cut two of them into 2 cm pieces and mixed them in the batter.


The grape must added a slightly sourish but aromatic taste to the dough and in combination with the banana inside and the toasted almonds and walnuts, honey and cinnamon on top, made them the best loukoumades ever!


Other relevant posts:


Kolokytholoukoumades (Battered Courgette Flowers filled with Cheese)

Akoumia Symiaka

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

5/5 (3)

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31 Responses

  1. pixen

    Ola kala Ivy!

    Firstly, your blog made me wanted to go back to Athens … :’-( I missed the food and my Greek friends. They sure feed me a lot… hahhaha… even though they said ‘it’s only little… a bit of this, a bit of that’. Oh my tummy…

    Now… your Loukoumades I havent’s taste from Cyprus. The first time I tasted it when I was in Athens. My Greek friend told me that the Loukoumades he bought was from a well known shop in Athens. The taste quite taken me aback because it’s very..I mean really, really sweet… 😀 This dessert also reminds me of my favourite – Gulab Jamun which is made from deep fried milk base dough in oil or clarified butter and dip in sugar syrup flavored with cardamom, rosewater or saffron. Sometimes, maple syrup is use as well.

    The idea of eating it with honey and jam is great! Definitely, I will try it when I can get some Orange Flower water! Will the taste differs if I omit the Orange Flower?

    Thank you for sharing the recipe and reminded me to return to Greece ASAP!


  2. Ivy

    Hi Pixen, thank you for visiting and I know which ones you friend was referring to but still I insist that they do not compare to the Akoumia or the Cypriot ones.
    I visited your site earlier and was impressed about your knowledge of mushrooms, however I was unable to leave a comment as I had to log in to leave an account.

  3. Peter G

    Another interesting post. I had no idea that the Cyprian loukoumades were so different. And using the potato sounds interesting. Great and informative post Ivy!

  4. Bellini Valli

    These doughnuts remind me of the potato doughnuts they prepare at a fruit stand not far from here. They make them every Saturday and roll them in sugar and cinnamon. You have to be there very early to get them though:D

  5. Ivy

    And I thought they were unusual because of the potato:-) Shall try them with cinnamon and sugar next time.

  6. Passionate baker...& beyond

    Hi Ivy…fancy p…….s in doughnuts!! Must have made the crunchy difference..yummy. BTW congrats on winning the book at Maninas…looking forward to more blogging from you; tch tch; no excuses, or will have to blame Ben!! You’ve changed your avatar picture too…take care girl. Cheers

  7. Ivy

    You are right it must be the p…….o. I was lucky to win that lovely book. I forgot to blog about it. Hope to do so today. Must make some living as well girl, thanks to Ben.

  8. Pixie

    What a fabulous new treat Ivy; I so enjoy reading about your dishes, most I’ve yet to try for myself! So much work went into this one!

  9. Núria

    Hola Ivy! Bravo for you and for not giving up at the third try! Thanks, this way we can all enjoy your loukoumades.

  10. Rosie

    Oh Ivy your doughnuts are breath taking girl!! What beautiful photos too! Gosh I wish I lived nextdoor I’d be knocking on your door right now to try one of these little gems 🙂

    Rosie x

  11. Ivy

    @ Pixie: It wasn’t that difficult to make but I have the mess afterwards.

    @ Nuria: I must have made them more than three times.

  12. Ben

    I don’t like doughnuts that much, but yours look so delicious! Thanks for you entry and good luck 🙂 And congratulations on becoming a Tupperware consultant. I love it because I love Tupperware and it is so much fun!

  13. Ivy

    Ηi Ben and thanks for your help. They call us dealers in Greece as if we are drug dealers (lol).

  14. pixen

    hi Ivy,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry for the inconvenience. I already rectify the leaving your email thingy. It’s privacy of course 🙂 I may try to change to Blogger but not sure how… Will se about that later.


  15. Ivy

    Okay thanks for doing that.

  16. Swati: Sugarcraft India

    Wow Ivy, these doughnuts are breathtaking.. Great photos too :))

  17. pixen

    Hi Ivy,

    I changed my blog to Blogger 😀 So, I think people wont have any trouble. I hope to get my own URL soon.

    See you…


  18. Ivy

    It’s nice to have you back Swati.

    Pixen shall go and check again.

  19. Ivy

    Pixen, I’m back. It’s still the same. I have to get a WordPress Account in order to leave a message.

  20. Lulu

    These look delicious. I have fond memories of making doughnuts with my grandmother, but these sound even better!

  21. Jennifer

    I am drooling!!!!!

  22. Ivy

    @ Lulu: Isn’t it nice to have such “sweet” memories either with your grandmother or your mother?

    @ Laurie: thanks for telling me about this but you see in Greek we say “friteza” which is not a Greek word. I could not find a translation for this word in a dictionary but I’ve seen the word fritters used for deep fried food so I thought it would be the noun used for the kitchen tool making fritters (lol).

  23. Laurie Constantino

    Well, having an untranslatable word is always a problem! 🙂 Maybe you could post a picture of it? Please??

  24. Ivy

    Laurie, how silly of me, I forgot to mention that I found the word and corrected the post. I wanted to say deep fryer.

  25. Cakelaw

    These look so good Ivy. They always serve Loukmades at the Greek festival here, and it is delicious.

  26. Yes Ivy, Gulab jamuns are similar to this recipe, except we use flour and dry milk powder instead of potatoes and other ingredients. But the cooking way is similar 🙂

    Try this if you find it there, otherwise let me know I will send it to you 🙂

  27. Ivy

    Vani, potatoes are only used in the Cypriot loukoumades whereas in Symi, an island of Greece they use rise. In the rest of the country it’s just with the most simplest dough mixture of flour, yeast, water and a pinch of salt.

  28. Lisa

    Never thought of adding potato to the dough. I will definitely try them.

  29. Ivy

    Thank you Lisa. Hope you do!

  30. John

    I can't find the recipe. Please help.

    • I apologize John but the recipe has been removed as it is going to be published in my cookbook.I will send it to you by e-mail.