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Loukoumades – Greek and Cypriot Doughnuts

Loukoumades – Greek and Cypriot  Doughnuts

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Loukoumades (pr. Lou-kou-MAH-dhess) or Lokmades (lock-MAH-dhess), as they are called in Cyprus, are Greek doughnuts.

Loukoumades new image

They take their name from the Arabic words “luqma(t) plural luqūm”, lokma and lokum or loukoumi, meaning morsel or mouthful.

A simple yeasted batter is made with yeast, flour and water (NO MILK) in the traditional recipe.

They are then fried in extra mild olive oil (or vegetable oil if you prefer), shaped into small round ballls.

They are served with honey, cinnamon and walnuts or plain in Cyprus. The Cypriot ones are dipped in a simple 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!

Cypriot Loukoumades or Lokmades

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 image

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 I told her she revealed to me that the most important ingredients was missing.  That ingredient was potato!!!

That recipe is included in my cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus Kopiaste!”

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.

loukoumades frying image

Greek Loukoumades

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.

Loukoumades Kypriakoi image

What else can I do with loukoumades?

Loukoumades with loquat jam and graviera image

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!

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 for loukoumades 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.

Loukoumades with banana image

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!

Instead of banana, I have also made them with apple slices and with chocolate.

Loukoumades with Lemon Curd

A few days I made some Lemon Curd, with our lemons.   As we had to consume it soon and I did not have much time to make another dessert to use it, I made some extra large loukoumades.

Loukoumades with lemon curd and ice cream image
Loukoumades with lemon curd and ice cream

I filled them with lemon curd and served them with kaimaki (Greek flavoured) ice cream, honey and walnuts mixed with cinnamon and sesame seeds.

An easy, simple but delicious dessert!

Savory Loukoumades?

Why not? Check out my Kolokytholoukoumades!

Greek loukoumades image

Loukoumades - Greek and Cypriot Doughnuts

Yield: 50
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Loukoumades are Greek doughnuts which are fried and shaped into small round balls, served with honey, cinnamon and walnuts or plain in Cyprus dipped in sugar syrup.



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


  • 230 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup tepid water
  • About 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 of 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 between your thumb and forefinger. Use a teaspoon, dipped in vegetable 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, stirring them regularly with a slotted spoon, until golden on all sides.
  7. Remove on kitchen paper to absorb some oil (optional).
  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.


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.

Nutrition Information
Yield 50 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 46Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 11mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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Collage Loukoumades Greek Doughnuts image

Other relevant posts:


Kolokytholoukoumades (Battered Courgette Flowers filled with Cheese)

Akoumia Symiaka

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Saturday 27th of February 2010

I can't find the recipe. Please help.


Sunday 28th of February 2010

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.


Wednesday 11th of March 2009

Thank you Lisa. Hope you do!


Wednesday 11th of March 2009

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


Wednesday 27th of August 2008

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


Wednesday 27th of August 2008

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 :)

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