Layla at Home: Loukoumades

Loukoumades [loo-koo-MAH-thez], our signature dessert at Layla, is a traditional Greek “donut” with Mediterranean origins dating back to the 13th century. Chef Cole Dickinson’s iteration features golden-fried dough balls, warm honey, candied pistachios and a side of whipped lemon curd dusted with bee pollen. This beguiling alchemy of flavors and textures – sweet and tart, doughy-soft and crunchy – is a satisfying and immune-boosting finish to any meal. Read on for Chef Cole’s no-longer-secret recipe for this decadent dessert.


  • 1 cup water ~95*F
  • 1 cup milk ~95*F
  • 10 grams (.35 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 3 5/8 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil

Whisk yeast with warm liquids in a bowl and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, add all ingredients into the bowl of a mixer and attach the dough hook. Mix for approximately 5 minutes or until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Remove from the mixer, place into a container and allow to proof overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the cooler and allow to come to room temperature.


Bring 1 quart blended oil to 325*F. Using two spoons, scoop out golf ball size portions of loukoumades dough and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.


  • 4 cups honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom ground

Heat the honey in a medium sized pot. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 1 minute. Allow to infuse overnight before using.


  •  1 cup egg yolks
  • 1 cup grams lemon juice
  • 1 cup grams water filtered
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ pound butter
  • Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients except butter. Cook over double boiler until ribbons. Blend in butter by hand. Whip by hand after it has cooled and serve as a dip for the donuts.

Candied Pistachio

  • 1 pound pistachio shelled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup glucose syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom ground

Bring all ingredients except pistachio up to a simmer. Once simmering, add the pistachio and simmer for one minute. Remove and bake on a silpat non-stick backing mat for 10-15 minutes at 325*F. Remove and season with salt. Chop slightly in robot coupe or by hand on a cutting board.

Honey & Bee Pollen

To finish, drizzle the honey on the loukoumades and garnish with the pistachios. Garnish the lemon curd with bee pollen, and serve on the side as a dip or topping for the loukoumades (see lemon curd photo below). Enjoy!

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