Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Doughnuts)

November 16, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 2 dozen
Author Notes

These jelly doughnuts are traditionally eaten for Hanukkah. —Joan Nathan

Test Kitchen Notes

This sufganiyot recipe will find a spot at your holiday table every year. They're beautiful, fun, easy to make, and taste oh so good. This is most definitely a dessert to eat while you keep your eye on the dreidel. If celebrating the miracle of a day's worth of oil lasting eight nights means eating these perfectly fluffy and just-sweet-enough doughnuts, then we guess we'll eat one (or ten)—if we have to. But only if we have to. You'll find that you can't have just one! Joan Nathan, who developed this recipe, is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and expert on Jewish cuisine. She'll talk you through how to make the dough from scratch, then let it proof. Cut the lemon-scented yeast dough into cute rounds, fry them in hot oil until puffy and golden, then fill with apricot jam. Sounds like a winning combination, doesn't it?

Many of the ingredients you'll probably already have in your pantry or fridge, but keep in mind that you do need to invest in a pastry or cupcake injector, which are available at any cooking store or, of course, online, to easily insert the apricot jam into the doughnuts. It's the easiest way to do it, though you can also use a plastic bag and narrow tip if you don't want to buy an injector. Either way, you and your loved ones are going to fawn over these adorable doughnuts, and you'll find yourself making them for every Hanukkah and beyond. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar in the water and allow the yeast to bloom. Stir in the milk.
  2. Add the flour, egg and egg yolk, lemon zest, butter, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Mix with your hands, then knead the dough on a work surface until it becomes sticky yet elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour. If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature.
  4. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to ½ inch thick. Using the top of a glass, cut into rounds about 2 inches in diameter. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes more.
  5. Pour at least 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat until it's about to bubble (or do as I often do in an electric wok at 375°F).
  6. Working with 4 to 5 at a time, drop the dough into the oil. Cook, turning when browned, for about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Using a pastry or cupcake injector, insert a teaspoon of jam into each doughnut. Roll the sufganiyot in powdered sugar (or you can use more granulated sugar) and serve immediately.

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2 Reviews

MaryJane December 12, 2020
Is the flour and or liquid amount in this recipe correct? My dough came out really stiff.....I added 1/2 -3/4 cup more milk.
Gal December 7, 2015
These are delicious donuts that are very different from those we know at Dunkin' Donuts here in the US. Def try them, only be aware these are high in calories and fat (300 calories each), because the donuts are fried in oil.