Loukoumades (Loukoumathes): Greek Honey Puffs

Greek Honey Puffs - Loukoumades. Photo © Lynn Livanos Athan
    150 min
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Greek: λουκουμάδες, singular λουκουμάς, pronounced loo-koo-MA-thess, loo-koo-MA-tha

Loukoumades are the Greek version of a donut--golden puffs of fried dough that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. After they are fried they're bathed in sweet syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts. This recipe hails from Matina Caribacas a friend and fellow parishioner at our church who perfected her loukoumades after many years of trial and error. 

There are a few tips to making the most delicious loukoumades. First, give the dough time to rise in a warm place and you will be rewarded with an airy pastry. Also be sure you are dissolving the yeast in lukewarm water. When frying, do so in batches and do not crowd the pot--otherwise, the loukoumades will stick to each other and the oil temperature will lower. 

Although the traditional honey syrup is the perfect sweet coating, a drizzle of chocolate or scoop of vanilla ice cream is never a bad idea. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. whiskey or brandy
  • 2 cups canola or corn oil
  • Ground cinnamon and walnuts for serving
  • For the Syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey

How to Make It

  1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add the dissolved yeast, whiskey and remaining 1 1/2 cups water to the dry ingredients. Using an electric hand mixer, mix the batter for 3 minutes on medium high speed making sure that there are no lumps in the batter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours to rise.
  4. Prepare the syrup while the batter is rising. Add the sugar, cinnamon stick, water and honey to a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep warm.
  5. When the batter is about double in size, heat the oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan until very hot but not smoking.
  6. Using two spoons, carefully drop about a teaspoon full of batter for each puff into the hot oil. Turn the puffs using a slotted spoon and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove the puffs to a plate lined with paper toweling to absorb excess oil.
  7. Dip the hot puffs in the syrup and then sprinkle with cinnamon, ground walnuts or even with confectioner's sugar. Serve immediately.