Hanukkah Sufganiyot

With Hanukkah fast approaching this year, we can almost smell the scent of freshly frying sufganiyot in the air. During the festive holiday, Jewish people commemorate Hanukkah by eating fried foods in relation to the miracle of the burning oil lamps in ancient Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. During this time, you’ll often find traditional favorites such as latkes, brisket and of course, sufganiyot on the dinner table. A delightful dessert, sufganiyot are deep-fried jelly  donuts that are topped off with a liberal sprinkling of powdered sugar. Whether you plan to celebrate Hanukkah or not, there’s no denying that eating these delicious sweet treats are one of the biggest highlights of the holiday season.

Although many sufganiyot recipes call for pre-made jams or jellies, we find that making your own jam at home gives it a distinct, rustic quality that you simply can’t find in a store-bought can. After all, there’s nothing like that homemade touch to take these donuts to the next level. The process to make this jam is incredibly simple with just two ingredients needed–sugar and raspberries. While you can add pectin to make raspberry jelly instead, the incredible flavor of this jam is due to the absence of it, giving it a more concentrated, old-fashioned intensity.

Hanukkah Sufganiyot 

Yields: 20 servings


For the dough

  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

For the raspberry jam

  • 4 cups of raspberries
  • 4 cups of white granulated sugar

Special equipment

  • A deep-frying thermometer
  • 2 and 1/2-inch cookie cutter
  • Piping bag and 1/4-inch round tip

1. In a large bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes foamy. Add the flour, eggs, butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and vanilla extract and combine together until a dough forms.

2. Lightly dust a surface with flour. Using your hands, knead the dough for around 8 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft. Add a little bit of flour to achieve this consistency if needed.

3. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place for the dough to rise for about 1 hour to and 1.5 hours.

4. While the dough is rising, make your raspberry jam. Place the sugar in an ovenproof pan and warm in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Boil the raspberries in a saucepan over high heat while stirring constantly and mashing the berries. Allow to boil for a full minute before removing the saucepan from the stove. Add the warmed sugar to the mixture and continue to boil for another 5 minutes until it forms a gel. Remove the jam from the heat and allow it to cool.

5. When the dough has finished rising, lightly flour your surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use your cutter to cut 20 rounds and cover with plastic wrap. Allow for the dough to rise for about 15 minutes.

6. Heat up your oil in a saucepan over medium heat until the deep-fry thermometer reads 370 degrees. Use a slotted spoon to carefully drop about 4 rounds into the saucepan at a time for about 40 seconds on each side. When they’re finished cooking, remove them from the oil and place onto a paper-towel lined baking sheet that’s filled with sugar. Roll the donuts in the sugar while they’re warm. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of your  donuts.

7. Use a toothpick to prick a hole in each donut. Fill a pastry bag with your homemade raspberry jam and pipe about 2 teaspoons of jam per donut. Repeat this process with the rest of the donuts.

8. Sprinkle powdered sugar generously on top of the donuts. Add a dollop of jam to the middle of each donut.

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