Loukoumades (Greek donuts with honey) are a simple but delightful Greek dessert. These Greek donuts are fried until golden and crispy while remaining soft on the inside. Finish it with honey syrup or powdered sugar and crushed nuts.
Easy Greek donuts with honey syrup
Crisp and golden on the outside and soft on the inside, loukoumades are the Greek version of donuts or, more accurately, donut holes. They’re little balls of fried dough bliss that are topped with a sweet honey syrup. Add some crushed nuts, ice cream or even chocolate sauce and you have yourself a fine, decadent
These loukoumades begin with a simple dough that’s left to rise for an hour then rolled into donut balls, which are quickly fried then dipped into the honey syrup. The honey syrup contains just 3 ingredients and can easily be prepared while the dough rises, allowing these Greek donut holes to come together quickly.
While honey is really all you need forserving, I love to top these off with some cinnamon, powdered sugar and crushed nuts. If you want to be super indulgent, add a scoop of ice cream or chocolate syrup.
What you’ll need
These Greek donuts are made with a handful of pantry staples and topped with a simple 3 ingredient syrup.
For the Loukoumades
Water – The water should be lukewarm, not hot or cold.SugarActive dry yeast – The dough must rise before it can be formed into donuts.All-purpose flourCornstarch Milk – Any dairy milk or nut milk will work. Like the water, it should be lukewarm.Extra virgin olive oilOil for frying – I used grapeseed oil.Crushed nuts – Walnuts, cashews and pistachios are all good options. I used a combination of walnuts and cashews.For serving – Ground cinnamon and powdered sugar to sprinkle over the top.
For the syrup
WaterHoney – Be sure to use pure honey. I use this Greek honey. Sugar
How to make loukoumades
This Greek treat is super easy to make, just make sure to account for an hour of rise time for the dough.
Prepare the dough. Mix together the water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until the yeast begins to bubble and the mixture gets foamy, about 10 minutes. Mix in the flour, cornstarch, milk and olive oil. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for an hour. The dough should double in size.Prepare the honey syrup. Combine a cup of water with the sugar and honey, bringing it to a boil. Allow it to simmer for 20 minutes then remove from heat and set aside to cool.Form the dough into donuts. Punch the dough to deflate. Form the dough into golf-size balls with your hands then arrange them on a large tray or sheetpan.Fry the loukoumades. Heat the oil until bubbling. Carefully add the donut balls to the heated oil, taking care not to overcrowd the saucepan. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turning with a spoon, until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined tray. Dunk in the syrup. Dunk the hot loukoumades in the cooled syrup and transfer to a serving plate.Serve. Once you’ve fried and dunked all donut balls, drizzle with more syrup then sprinkle with ground sugar and cinnamon.
Tips for success
For perfectly golden loukoumades, there are a few things to be aware of and keep in mind as you fry them.
Be sure the yeast is good. If the yeast does not get foamy and bubble, it’s no good. Throw it out and use different yeast. If the yeast isn’t fresh, the recipe won’t work because the dough won’t rise.Don’t crowd the pan. You will definitely need to fry these Greek donuts in batches. Don’t try to squeeze too many in the pan at once or they won’t get the crisp outside that you want and may even get mushy inside.Make the syrup ahead of time. The syrup should be room temperature before you roll the donuts in it. If you make it the day before, it has plenty of time to come to room temperature and you won’t have to wait in the moment.
Loukoumades can be served with just honey, powdered sugar and cinnamon as I do in this recipe or if you want to be extra indulgent, you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or chocolate sauce on top. I do recommend the crushed nuts for a little crunchy twist to balance the soft and sweet textures.
How to store leftovers
Loukoumades should be enjoyed fresh out of the pan. Unfortunately, they do not hold up well for making ahead or storing leftovers. You can try to store leftover donuts in an airtight container on the counter for a day or so (without the syrup) but I find that fresh is really the way to go. If you don’t think you’ll be able to finish off all 60 of them, you can easily cut this recipe in half as well.
More dessert ideas:
Loukoumades (Greek Donuts with Honey Syrup)
For the Loukoumades
1 cup lukewarm water2 tablespoons sugar2 tablespoons active dry yeast3 cups all-purpose flour2 tablespoons cornstarch1 cup lukewarm milk3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oiloil for frying (I used grapeseed oil)⅓ cup crushed nuts, such as walnuts, cashews or pistachios) (I used a combination of walnuts and cashews)ground cinnamon (to serve) powdered sugar (to serve)
For the syrup
1 cup water1 cup honey1 cup sugar