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Jul 9, 2019

Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

These jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) are made with a lemony scented dough and filled with sweet plum jam. These two-bite jelly doughnuts are a traditional Hanukkah treat, but you'll want them all year long. 

Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

These little round jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) are little bites of sweetness. They are evidently a popular treat in Israel during Hanukkah.

These doughnuts are fried in oil to symbolize the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days instead of one, according to The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan.

I've always been intimidated by the idea of frying dough, but after making these New Orleans Beignets, I figured I might actually be able to make these doughnuts!

Jelly doughnuts

How to make sufganiyot:

First, make the dough in a stand mixer. Be sure to add the zest of a lemon or half of an orange to the dough for a lovely scent. Once you've mixed the dough, place it in the refrigerator to rest overnight. This will make it easier to handle. 

Next, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/2 inch thick, and use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut the dough. You only need to let the rounds rise for about 30 minutes before frying. 

I fried these doughnuts in a heavy Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. These only take about 3 minutes per side to fry. You will worry that the middle of the doughnuts are not done, but if you monitor the temperature of the oil, your dough will cook perfectly. 

After removing the doughnuts from the oil, dust them with powdered or granulated sugar while they are still warm. In the case of granulated sugar, you can also toss the doughnuts in a paper bag with some sugar. The top photo is with powdered sugar, and the second photo is with granulated. I think I preferred the granulated. 

The final step is injecting these doughnuts with jam. If you use a fruit preserve, be sure to puree it to ensure that it will flow through a piping tip. I injected these with plum jam.


When you are squeezing jam blindly into a doughnut, it is really hard to tell if you are adding too much, not enough, or just the right amount. Can I just tell you how excited I was when I sliced one of these sufganiyot open and found that it was the right amount? I counted one-two-three-four after doing a test squeeze onto a plate. 

Equipment you might need to make these doughnuts:

  • Stand mixer (this dough is super wet, so a stand mixer makes kneading easy peasy)
  • A candy thermometer. I prefer a non-digital one so I don't have to worry about batteries. 
  • A Dutch oven. You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality pan. Cast iron will help the oil hold its temperature. 
  • A 2-inch round cookie cutter. I love this set of cookie cutters
  • Some sort of tool to inject the doughnuts with the jam. A pastry tip would work, but I used a plastic squeeze condiment bottle, which worked great. 

Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts

What to do with leftovers:

These doughnuts are best served immediately, or at least the day they are made. After that, the jam gets absorbed by the dough. They are still delicious though, so don't throw them out! 

Hey guys.... I made jelly doughnuts!!!! You can too!!!! 

This month's Bread Bakers theme is fried yeasted bread and our host is Sneha's Recipes. 
Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts with plum jam

Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear how it worked out for you.

Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

Yield: 12 doughnuts
These jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) are made with a lemony scented dough and filled with sweet plum jam. These two-bite jelly doughnuts are a traditional Hanukkah treat, but you'll want them all year long.


  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated zest of a lemon
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered or granulated sugar for dusting the doughnuts
  • 1/2 cup plum jam (or apricot, raspberry, or strawberry)


How to cook Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the lukewarm water, instant yeast, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix well. 
  2. With the mixer running, using the dough hook, slowly add the flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. The final dough should be sticky. 
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours. 
  4. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Gather up the scraps, re-roll, and cut again. 
  5. Place the rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. 
  6. Heat 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven to 365 degrees F. In batches, fry the doughnuts, about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. 
  7. Drain the doughnuts on paper towel lined plates and dust with powdered or granulated sugar. 
  8. Fill a plastic squeeze condiment bottle or pastry bag fitted with a small pastry tip with the jam. 
  9. Insert a small knife into the side of the doughnuts and then inject the doughnuts with about a teaspoon of jam using the condiment bottle tip or pastry bag. 
sufganiyot, doughnuts, jelly doughnuts
breakfast, Hannukah
Jewish, Israeli
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love the jelly oozing out of those doughnuts Karen! They are so tempting.

  2. They look marvelous! I was curious to see how close these would be to the Polish jelly filled donuts after I looked up your title. Very close indeed, though I love the color of the plum jam, just beautiful. I'd love to try these side by side with the paczki, surely the origins are similar as one is eaten for Hanukkah and one for Fat Tuesday before Lent.

    1. Great minds think alike Kelly! I bet the origins are very similar.

  3. I never had a doubt in my mind, Karen. You can do anything! I used to make beignets when my daughters were still at home as a weekend treat but it's been years now since the last batch. I've never done filled doughnuts though. Growing up, my favorite was always the lemon-filled, although your plummy bites are tempting. Perhaps it's time!

  4. You pulled these like a pro! This might surprise you, but I've never had a jelly doughnut in my life... sounds quite delicious

    methinks you must look for a "jelly-injecting-tool" to have in that little drawer of gadgets that keeps overflowing... (wink wink)

    a great woman needs the right tool for the jobs!

    1. Ha ha! I'm sure there's the perfect tool out there that I totally need!

  5. Lemon scented dough and plum jam, this is heaven. Loved the way these were shaped and injected with just the right amount of jam. I would definitely love to try these.

    1. Thank you! I was hoping that the amount of jam would be just right!

  6. These jam doughnuts looks so delicious.........

  7. First, thanks for linking this to First Monday Favorites. Second, please stop torturing me. Just kidding, but these looks so totally awesome, I may have to try them out.


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