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+ servings
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
40 mins
Rest Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins

Ballokume is a traditional Albanian biscuit from the city of Elbasan, prepared from cornmeal, eggs, sugar, and butter and traditionally eaten on March 14th during Dita e Verës (Summer day).

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Albanian, Vegetarian
Servings: 40 ballokume
Author: Vera Abitbol
  • 2 cups melted butter (warm)
  • 2 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water of ashes (or 2 tablespoons of milk)
  • 6 cups cornmeal
  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of ashes from a wood fire into a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of water and stir well. Let stand and steep for 30 minutes, then strain through a cheesecloth.
  2. In the absence of ashes, milk can be used.
  3. In a large copper container, add the melted butter.
  4. Add the sugar and mix well for 3 minutes with a wooden spoon until you obtain a foamy mixture.
  5. Then add the eggs one by one while continuing to beat for 10 minutes.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of water of ashes (or 2 tablespoons of milk) and beat again for 5 minutes.

  7. Finally, add the flour gradually and mix all the ingredients until obtaining a very homogeneous dough.
  8. If the mixture appears liquid, add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of all-purpose flour and mix well.
  9. Cover the dough and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  10. Preheat an electric, gas oven or wood oven to 350 F (170 C),

  11. Form small 2 oz. balls and place them, spaced well on a baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment paper.
  12. Flatten each ball slightly after shaping them
  13. Bake for 40 minutes.
  14. When out of the oven, wait 20 minutes before placing the ballokume on a rack to allow them to cool completely.
  15. Store them in an airtight metal box.