Lokma Dessert Recipe (Fried Sweet Dough Balls)

Turkish sweet fried dough balls sprinkled with ground walnuts. on a grey plate

5 from 2 reviews

Fried sweet dough balls soaked in sugar syrup. Crispy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside.




  • 2 cups water
  • 2,5 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 thin slice of lemon


  • 3,5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water

For Frying:

  • 2 cups oil (vegetable or sunflower oil)
  • ¼ cup oil to dip the teaspoon when shaping the dough



  1. Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low. Add in lemon juice and lemon slice. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it has a syrupy consistency. Remove from the heat and let it completely cool down.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, sugar and salt. 
  2. Gradually pour the water and keep whisking. You will get a runny and sticky dough. A bit thicker than a regular cake dough. 
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 50-60 minutes or until it doubles. 
  4. Uncover it and stir with a spatula to release the air inside it. Put it aside.
  5. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
  6. Put ¼ cup oil in a small bowl and place it next to the dough bowl. You will use it to dip the teaspoon when shaping the dough.
  7. Take some dough in your palm and squeeze it so that you see a ball shape of dough between your thumb and forefinger. Dip a teaspoon into the oil in the small bowl and using this spoon, scrape that dough ball between your fingers. Immediately place it in the hot oil. 
  8. Repeat this until the saucepan is full, but don’t overcrowd it. Make sure to dip the teaspoon you use in the oil before scraping the dough. Otherwise it will stick to the dough.
  9. Fry the dough balls until golden. 
  10. Transfer the fried balls into the cold syrup when they are still hot. Let them sit there for 3-4 minutes and then transfer onto another bowl using a slotted spoon. Leave the syrup in the saucepan.
  11. Store the leftovers at room temperature for up to 4 days.


  1. When frying the dough balls in batches, the oil might get too hot. And the balls might get golden very fast but their inside remains doughy. To avoid this, it is better to turn the heat off after the first or the second batch, wait for about 5 minutes and then turn it on again.
  2. If you find the traditional way of shaping the dough messy, you can just use a piping bag. Squeeze a small dough and cut it with scissors right into the hot oil. 
  3. Make sure the syrup cools completely before dropping the fried dough balls into it. 
  4. Don’t let the fried dough balls cool before putting them into the syrup. They should be warm to absorb it.


Keywords: lokma, lokma dessert