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Tulumbe (Balkan Pastries)

Tulumbe or Balkan pastries originate from the Ottoman empire days, according to #Wikipedia. These are simply fried batter socked in syrup. They remind me so much of churros, the only difference are churros are not soaked in syrup but coated with powdered sugar.

The most important part to nail down is getting the dough right. You start off by making the dough using water and oil in a big pot on the stove. Once the dough is right, from there it's all pretty simple. The dough can be made using your hands or even better with a mixer!

These are simply irresistible, oblong-shaped, moist, sweet pastries. If you have a sweet tooth, this mouthwatering extra aromatic, syrupy bite-sized tulumbe recipe is a must try.

Recipe Yields: Approx. 25

Time: 50 minutes.


Sweet Syrup:

  • 5 cups water

  • 4 cups sugar

  • Lemon slices


  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cup water

  • 7 eggs

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • Extra oil for frying

  • Churro pipe (or pastry bag with a star nozzle)

If you don't have one, this one below works perfect and has the star nozzle you need:


How to make the Dough:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oil. Bring it to a boil.

2. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off or set it to low and gradually add the flour.

3. Keeping the heat on low, stir the dough in with a wooden spoon until a dough texture has formed and all the flour is incorporated.

4. Transfer dough ball to mixing bowl and knead mix for a few minutes for a smooth texture.

5. Beat in the eggs using a mixer, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

5. The right batter is achieved once it is silky, smooth but a bit sticky.

How to make the Syrup:

1. Prepare this a few hours before you've made the dough because the Balkan pastries/tulumbe need to be placed in room temp/cold syrup.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water, bring to a boil.

3. Over medium heat, stir together until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Let water and sugar boil for a while (about 1 hour). Stirring occasionally.

5. Add lemon slices.


1. Pour oil into a saucepan for frying and set it on the stove.

2. Turn on heat to low.

2. Place the dough into the pastry bag or pipe.

3. Gently squeeze out the batter (using a star nozzle) and cut the pastry gently placing it into the oil by using scissors or a knife.

4. Deep fry the tulumba (Balkan pastry) over MEDIUM heat so it is thoroughly cooked in the middle.

5. The surface of the pan should be comfortably filled but not overwhelmed otherwise they will stick together.

6. Fry until golden brown. Turn them around gently or push them in the hot oil for even frying.

7. Once they are fried transfer them into the cold syrup.

8. Repeat frying for next batch.

9. IMPORTANT: For each round of frying, take your pot off of the heat. Let the oil cool down to room temperature.

10. Allow the Balkan pastries to sit in the syrup over night or for a few hours to soak the syrup.

Refrigerate & serve with a cup of coffee.

All my love,

Amina Brdarevic

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