The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe

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Ready to Eat - The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe www.compassandfork.comToday we feature a popular dessert eaten throughout Greece and Cyprus. Authentic loukoumades are basically Greek donuts. They are drenched in a honey-based syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon, sesame seeds and crushed walnuts. And they’re easy to make.

Our version of authentic loukoumades comes with a twist. For the batter we use labna (strained yogurt, also sometimes called labna cheese) and no yeast. The use of the labna delivers a lighter batter, precluding the need for the yeast. The sweetness comes from the honey syrup and cinnamon. It is a decadent treat and typical of desserts in Greece and Cyprus.

Worried, you can’t find labna? Don’t worry; labna is easy to make at home with Greek-style or Turkish-style yogurt.

We also take a look at the popular desserts throughout Greece and Cyprus. As you would imagine, many of the famed ingredients of the region feature heavily in the most popular desserts. Think honey, walnuts and seasonal, fresh fruits. Filo pastry also features prominently. Read on to discover more.

Greek & Cypriot Desserts

Greece and Cypus also share many common dishes with their neighbor Turkey. Bragging rights are important! And perhaps the most famous discussion around whose version is best, centers around the incredibly popular baklava.

Turkish Baclava - The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe www.compassandfork.comThere has been an age-old argument as to it’s origin and whose version is superior. Greece or Turkey? There are slight differences between the two versions. Turks generally use crushed pistachio nuts for the filling and Greeks generally use crushed walnuts. Outside of that, the crisp filo pastry and delightful, honey-drenched, nut filling is a sublime pleasure in both Greece and Cyprus. You can read more about Turkish desserts here.

Some other popular desserts in Greece and Cyprus (Cypriot name in brackets) include:


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  • Galaktoboureko (galatopoureko), a dessert of semolina custard/cream filling in filo.
  • Kataifi (kandaifi), those magnificent strands of pastry, wound into a cigar shape and soaked in syrup.
  • Mahalepi, (machaleppi) probably Cypriot in origin but also found in Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. It is a creamy pudding which floats in rosewater syrup.
  • Rizogalo, rice pudding, a no butter, egg-free dessert, which looks more like a thick custard and is flavored with vanilla, lemon peel or orange zest.
  • Daktyla, lady fingers filled with ground almonds and cinnamon sugar.
  • Bourekia, filled with cinnamon-flavored anari cheese (substitute with ricotta). May also be savory.
  • At Christmas you will find kourambiades, or shortbread biscuits, as well as melomakarona, spicy buns drenched in honey syrup and baked.
  • Spoon desserts, pictured below. You can read more about spoon desserts here.

Greeks spoon sweets - The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe www.compassandfork.comBut it is not all honey, syrups and custards. Fresh, in season fruit plays a major part of the Greek and Cypriot diets. Think strawberries, black cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines. Then there are watermelons, grapes and figs.

And what about a dessert wine to accompany these brilliant desserts?

How about commanderia? Did you know, commanderia is the world’s oldest, known, named wine? So good Richard the Lionheart called it, “The wine of kings and the king of wines”. From Cyprus, the grapes are picked late and dried in the sun to enhance the sugar content and give the wine a mature, almost burnt flavour. It is not unlike port.

For a Greek treat, how about mastika? The alcohol to have at the end of a meal. Mastika often accompanies desserts made with almonds and is served at wedding feasts as a digestive. It has a sweet smell and flavor similar to anise. Variations are also found in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania. Raki, in Turkey, Iran (arak) and Greece, is also similar in that it is made with anise.

And so to our authentic loukoumades recipe for today.

No Yeast Authentic Loukoumades Using Labna

We made our authentic loukoumades with labna. It is easy to make. A tub of Greek yogurt, two minutes’ work and twelve hours in the fridge, is all you need. There is also a myriad of other uses for labna.

You can use Greek or Turkish yogurt as an alternative, but you will need to reduce the amount you use because of the much higher water content. Make the labna, you will love it!

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The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe www.www.compassandfork.com
Loukoumades (Greek Donuts)
Loukoumades (Greek Donuts)
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Greece and Cyprus. So famed for their desserts featuring honey and walnuts. Here is another classic. Loukoumades, small Greek donuts, covered with honey syrup, cinnamon, sesame seeds and crushed walnuts. And in another twist, the batter contains labna, precluding the need to use yeast. If using thick yogurt instead of labna, use half the quantity because of the high liquid content
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4people 10minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Prepare the syrup first. Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once the syrup has boiled, turn off and allow to cool.
  2. Make the batter. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, add the labna (or half the quantity of yogurt) and stir to combine well. In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour and baking powder. Add to the labna mixture, along with the whisky, if using. Stir well to combine.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 f (95 c) to keep cooked loukoumades warm. Over a medium heat, place enough oil in the pan to come half way up the loukoumades. When the oil is hot but not smoking, and using 2 spoons, carefully drop about 1 teaspoonful of batter into the oil. Wet the spoons between each puff. Turn the puffs using a slotted spoon and cook until golden brown. Place cooked loukoumades on a plate covered with kitchen towel to drain excess oil. Place in the oven to keep warm between batches.
  4. When all are cooked, place loukoumades on a serving plate. Drizzle with the honey syrup and sprinkle with ground cinnamon, sesame seeds and crushed walnuts.
Recipe Notes
Light, moist and tasty these greek donuts are a great end to any meal! Cinnamon, walnuts, sesame and honey make it a healthy treat treat! The Best Authentic Loukoumades Greek Donuts Recipe www.compassandfork.com
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30 Responses

  1. Derek @ Dad With A Pan
    | Reply

    Yeah, I think I need to makes these. Like TONIGHT!

    • Editor
      |

      Indeed. They are a bit of fun and not the normal sort of thing that I cook. So I enjoyed doing something a little different.

  2. Trish
    | Reply

    Um…… you had me at donuts. Looks delicious!

    • Editor
      |

      I know, they are rather hard to go past aren’t they?

  3. Sarah
    | Reply

    Everything about these are making me drool! {That honey-based syrup….I can’t even….} Can’t wait to try out this recipe! 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      I hope you enjoy them when you make them Sarah. We certainly did. Thanks for your comment.

  4. I love loukoumades, and I really want to try out your version because as much as I love fried sweet dough (haha), labneh is one of my FAVORITE dairy products. I grew up in a blended Middle Eastern household, and when my mother would buy labneh I’d basically just serve myself and eat it with a spoon. I bet it adds a beautiful balanced tartness to the doughnuts!

    • Editor
      |

      So pleased you know about loukoumades and labneh. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make labneh and you are right, you can just sit there and eat it. So thick and creamy.

  5. Janice
    | Reply

    One time, I went to visit my aunt & uncle, and when I opened the door, I could smell they were frying something: they decided to make me loukoumades. I probably ate a hundred of them that day! It was the best day ever 🙂
    I’ll have to give your recipe a try some day!

    • Editor
      |

      That’s a nice story Janice. I’m glad you experienced some good memories from reading my post. I hope you enjoy the loukoumades. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Noel
    | Reply

    I’ve been reading a ton about Greek recipes so tempting to try something so different than what I normally eat! These look simple and that’s right up my allet.

    • Editor
      |

      They are fairly simple. Glad you enjoy Greek food. We have featured a number of Greek recipes in the last 2 months. Thanks for your comment.

  7. These Greek donuts look so delicious!

    • Editor
      |

      Yes, tasty little numbers. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    | Reply

    These Greek donuts look so delicious!! Definitely a must try!

    • Editor
      |

      Thanks for that. They were delicious and we enjoyed them.

  9. Lisa @garlicandzest.com
    | Reply

    These look so tasty! I want to make them NOW!

    • Editor
      |

      I hope you enjoy them, Lisa. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Tarah Vongbouthdy
    | Reply

    Oh my! Those look so good! I love how you included the detailed recipe for us to make 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      Good luck with it Tarah. We enjoyed them very much.

  11. Tracy | Baking Mischief
    | Reply

    Loukoumades sound delicious! I love honey in desserts so these sound right up my alley.

    • Editor
      |

      The honey makes them I think. And so very Greek. I hope you enjoy them.

  12. Kate @ VeggieDesserts
    | Reply

    These sound great! I love Greek food, and this is a real treat! Yummy.

    • Editor
      |

      I’ve never made donuts before, so was pleasantly surprised how easy they were.

  13. Just Jo
    | Reply

    I really do love reading your blog posts – so full of food facts! I love labna, cinnamon and donuts so I am quite sure I would love these 😀

    • Editor
      |

      Thank you so much for your comment. I do enjoy the history of food. The labna is great and goes well making tzatziki

  14. What an interesting dessert! I’m not really familiar with Greek desserts but I’d love to make this. Cooking and trying new cuisines is a hobby of ours. This will definitely be a “to do”.

    • Editor
      |

      Marisa, I hope you enjoy the loukoumades (maybe more Cypriot than Greek). We like learning about new cuisines as well. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Helen Costello
    | Reply

    Oh I am so keen to visit Greece to try some authentic loukoumades. I often make my own Greek desserts which are just too delicious – Full of syrupy goodness! Great post.

    • Editor
      |

      Yes the syrupy goodness is great isn’t it? Also common in nearby Cyprus and Turkey.

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