Sufganiyot (Jelly Donut) Cake

November 21, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Finally, Hanukkah has a cake to call its own! AND it tastes like a donut!

Brioche adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi. Filling from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Sarah Jampel

Serves: at least 8

Ingredients

For the brioche dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar (or up to 1/2 cup if you want a sweeter cake)
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups (374 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided (12 of the tablespoons at room temperature, cut into small cubes; 4 tablespoons for melting)
  • 1 pinch Sugar (plain or vanilla-scented), for coating

For the raspberry whipped cream filling:

  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 cup raspberry preserves (preferably seedless)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Add the warm milk and water into the bowl of a stand mixer with a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over top and step away for 3 minutes. The mixture may bubble (or not—mine didn't); stir it with a wooden spoon or spatula until it looks creamy.
  2. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, then add the flour and salt to the bowl and pulse the mixer a few times in order to make the flour damp. Then mix at medium-low speed (scrape down the bowl as needed) until you have a shaggy mass, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and decrease the speed to low. Pour in the beaten eggs in 3 additions, making sure that each is incorporated before you add the next part. Then, beat in the rest of the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Return the mixer to low speed and add the 12 tablespoons of butter that you've cut into small chunks. Wait until each is incorporated before adding the next one. There is a lot of butter in this recipe, which means this part is going to take some time and you might get antsy. Be patient. (I found that scraping down the sides of the bowl and aiming the butter cubes into different areas of the bowl helped ease my mind.) When all of the butter is incorporated, your dough will be very soft and silky.
  5. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides and begins winding its way up the dough hook, about 10 minutes. It's important to let the mixer do its thing at this stage—I set a timer and stepped away so that I wouldn't be tempted to stop the process prematurely.
  6. Lightly butter a large bowl and scrape the dough into it. Cover it with plastic film and let it rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, an hour or so. (In the winter, I recommend using the aid of a space heater.)
  7. Deflate the dough by lifting it up on the sides and letting it plop down into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Deflate the dough every thirty minutes or so until it stops rising, about 2 hours (so you'll slap down your dough about 4 times). Then press plastic wrap around the surface of the dough and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. When you're finally ready to bake the dough, butter two 8- or 9-inch cake pans. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Shape each half into a bowl, cupping it and pushing out the air. Place the balls seam side-down, one in each cake pan, and cover with parchment paper. Let them rise in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough balls are nearly doubled.
  9. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400° F. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden and you can feel that there is dry air inside of the dough balls when you tap them.
  10. As soon as your dough is close to being finished, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and ready a bowl with sugar. Take the cakes out of the oven when they're finished and, while they're still hot, douse them with the melted butter. You should hear the butter sizzle a bit as it hits the hot pan -- that's what you're looking for. Use a spoon to generously sprinkle the sugar over the cakes. It should adhere to the melted butter.
  11. While the cakes cool, make the raspberry whipped cream. Chill the mixing bowl and beater for at least 15 minutes (I do this in the freezer to expedite the process). Beat the cream in the bowl until you have soft peaks (you'll be able to see beater marks in the cream, but it will still be light and cloud-like). Add the preserves and beat until they're incorporated and the peaks are a bit stiffer.
  12. Let your cakes cool completely before carefully slicing them through their bellies, like hamburgers. Use a spatula to apply a generous amount of jammy whipped cream to the bottom halves of the cakes, then sandwich it with the cake tops.
  13. This cake will be messy to eat and the filling will ooze out, so share with unfussy guests and use napkins accordingly.

More Great Recipes:
Pastry|Cake|Milk/Cream|Raspberry|Jam/Jelly|Hanukkah|Winter|Dessert

Reviews (18) Questions (1)

18 Reviews

Tam O. December 24, 2016
Can this be made without a stand mixer??
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. December 24, 2016
I wouldn't recommend it. You really need the power the stand mixer to develop the gluten in the dough and incorporate all of the butter. BUT, before stand mixers, people did make brioche by hand—so if you do have a lot of arm strength and are willing to give it a go, you might have success!
 
Lauren B. December 20, 2015
I started the dough one day and finished everything else the next day, the party being in the afternoon. I kept the finished cakes in the garage because it was cool there and it kept the filling from being squishy. We used a serrated knife to cut them and it was not messy at all. I would not make this in advance. The brioche wiill get aged
 
Louise December 6, 2015
Another question - is this ok to make a day ahead? Or does it have to be made the day it's served?
 
Lauren B. December 5, 2015
Louise, I just made this and it was a total HIT! I had to share the recipe with a ton of my guests. We had multiple delicious baked goods on the table but the 2 cakes were GONE!! My oven is a convection one and I actually use the temp suggested in recipes instead of letting the oven adjust to 25 degrees lower. Every oven is different. It took 25 minutes and the tops were browned and the breads rose well. I had buttered the cake pans liberally so they were only slightly stuck to the bottom. They did not spread all the way to the edges so it was easy to unstick them with a spatula. I had the melted butter and sugar ready when I took them out of the oven and I used a pastry brush to slather on the butter. Husband was very pleased to apply the sugar right after and it adhered nicely to the crust. Because my loaves did not spread to the edge of the cake pan I was able to get the butter pretty fat down the sides. I don't have 2 springforms of the right size so I didn't even think about this. An alternative if you are nervous might be to cut parchment paper to fit in the cake pan bottom so you can lift out the loaf w/o anything being stuck on the bottom. Yes, the butter and sugar were done in the pan. Then I left them in to cool off. You hafta put the sugar on RIGHT after the butter or else it doen't adhere. Mine looked JUST like the photo here, which does not happen that often when I bake. Everybody really loved this, even very particular husband! Also, when I cut the loaves prior to applying the filling, he pulled out a little bit of the top's interior to make a little more room for the filling, he said. However he then was jamming the torn pieces into his mouth, causing me to wonder if this was just a ruse! ?
 
Louise December 5, 2015
Not clear when you take the cake out of the oven? It's pretty clear you douse with butter while in the pan - but then the sides don't get buttered. Do you sugar while in the pan? Abd then take out when cool?<br />Would you recommend making in a springform to make easier to take out?
 
Rahel December 5, 2015
It says to take them out of the oven and then douse them with the butter: "Take the cakes out of the oven when they're finished and, while they're still hot, douse them with the melted butter."
 
thistle809 December 5, 2015
Thank you so very much for this recipe! You may have Christmas envy, but I admit that many of my most wonderful and cherished holiday memories (which began in childhood and are still being made) are of this Presbyterian girl sharing food and fun with her amazing Jewish friends. I always thought the best foods were the ones served at Jewish festivities. (Please don't tell my Scottish ancestors!)
 
Lauren B. December 2, 2015
I want to make this for Saturday so I hope somebody will answer! When you are saying to make a cup, do you mean to pull the edges down i to the center and put that side on the bottom? Does this make 2 cakes? It says all purpose flour but when I make challah I use bread flour. Shall I just use all purpose? I would also like to know what, "Overnight," means. Thanx and hope to hear from you BEFORE I start to do this...????
 
Amanda R. August 25, 2015
If I have a very large round cake pan, would I be able to make one very large donut cake instead of two 9 inch cakes?
 
Lia P. December 21, 2014
When you say leave the dough in overnight- what's the minimum/maximum time? I'm hoping to put it in the fridge this afternoon and bake it tomorrow afternoon but not sure if that's too long...
 
Rahel December 21, 2014
This was delicious! I made one with blackberry preserves and one with chocolate ganache. The chocolate filled one was a big hit.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. December 21, 2014
Hooray! So happy to hear it.
 
Yael H. December 19, 2014
Mine didn't spread in the pan in step 8--basically stayed in ball shape and poofed up instead of out. Could this be because in step 7 I fell asleep and so wasn't able to slap down the dough every 30 minutes (it rose for 2 hours in the refrigerator and was quite large when slapped down)?<br />Also, are you supposed to bake it with parchment paper on or off? I took it off, and it got verrry brown when baked 25 minutes (my oven isn't generally too hot).<br />Thanks for any insights.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. December 21, 2014
Hi Yael,<br /><br />I'm not sure what the affects of not slapping the dough down every two hours might be, but it definitely could have affected the way your loaves rose. Mine spread both up and out. What was the texture like on the inside? <br /><br />You should definitely remove the parchment paper before baking. You can cover the brioche with a loose tent of aluminum foil if the tops are browning too quickly and the bread is not cooked.
 
Rachael D. December 13, 2014
What is the best way to get a symmetrical bowl?
 
Sally Z. December 13, 2014
is there something missing from step 8? what seams? From the later directions it looks like you join the side together after cupping it?
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. December 13, 2014
Hi Sally! Sorry for the confusion. There's no step missing: You'll end up with a seam from cupping the ball into the dough, and you'll want to make sure that side faces down.