Growing up in Israel during the 80s, Sufganiyot were sold with either strawberry jelly or Dulce de leche, also known as caramelized milk.
Nowadays every bakery, coffee shop and grocery store sells artisan Sufganiyot with unique fillings and toppings like toffee pudding, marshmallow, hazelnut, pistachio cream, and more…so feel free to go wild with your favorites. Of course, the Sufganiyot are also delicious plain.
Hanukkah is all about fried foods, so make latkes if you also want to try another Hanukkah classic.
*I recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients instead of measuring with cups and spoons.
All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour is perfect for making Sufganiyot. The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a digital scale. To accurately measure flour without a scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cup until the flour reaches just over the top of the cup. With the back of a knife, scrape off the excess flour so that it is level.
Yeast (active dry yeast): Active dry yeast needs to be bloomed in liquid before being used to make dough. However, it is not necessary to bloom newly purchased yeast. Instead, it can be added directly to the dry ingredients.
Water: It’s best to use water between 100°F and 110°F (38°C- 43°C); it helps to activate the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t overthink the water temperature. You want the water warm. Not hot. Not cold. Not freezing. Just warm.
Sugar: For the sweetness of course. But sugar also feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature.
Butter: Unsalted at room temperature and cut into small pieces.
Salt: To balance the flavors, don’t skip!
Liqueur: The trick to getting a crispy (not soggy or oily) exterior when deep-frying doughnuts is adding a touch of alcohol to the dough.
Oil: Any neutral-tasting oil such as canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil with a high smoke point.
Jam/Jelly: Any jam or jelly without big fruit chunks. You can also fill your Sufganiyot with anything that has a thick yet pipe-able consistency.
How to Make Sufganiyot Step by Step
- Make the dough: The dough should be soft, stretchy, and a little sticky.
- Let the dough rise: Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 90 minutes to two hours or until it doubles in size. *If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature.
- Roll the dough into roll dough to ½ inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many Sufganiyot as you can and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Let the dough rise again. The second rise can take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the room temperature.
- Fry. Heat a large deep pan or pot of oil until it reaches 350°F/180°C. The oil should be around 3 inches deep for best results when frying.
- Fill with jelly. Fill the Sufganiyot after they have cooled to room temperature. The fillings might melt if the doughnuts are too hot. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry only 3 to 4 Sufganiyot at the same time.
- The oil should be at 350°F/180°C degrees. If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will burn before they’re cooked through. If the oil is too cold, the doughnuts will be very oily. Use a candy thermometer and adjust the heat as needed, and always allow the oil to come back to the temperature in between batches.
What If I Don’t Have a Candy Thermometer?
The easiest and safest method to check the oil temperature is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles forming around the wood, your oil is ready to fry. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again.
- Fill a piping bag with the jelly or desired filling and pipe it into the doughnuts. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the doughnut, gently squeezing the filling inside. Squeeze slowly so that the filling reaches all the air pockets in the doughnut.
What If I Don’t Have a Piping Bag?
Instead of piping, slice the doughnut open part of the way using a knife and gently spoon some jam into the doughnut.
A fresh, hot doughnut is truly an amazing treat. Sufganiyot, like most doughnuts, are best eaten the same day as they are made. If you need to store them, the best way is to place them in an airtight container, seal the container, and keep the doughnuts at room temperature for up to two days.
You can freeze the doughnuts and keep them fresh for up to two months. Thaw doughnuts on the kitchen counter at room temperature for an hour or slightly more if needed. doughnuts can be warmed in the microwave; however, limit the microwaving time to 15-second intervals and check continuously to prevent overheating.
More Recipes You’ll Love
All opinions are always 100% honest and my own. Links are affiliate links. If you click a link and buy something, I receive a commission for the sale. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you are free to use the link or not as you choose. If you do use my links, I appreciate your support!
Sufganiyot- Israeli Hanukkah Doughnuts
- 3 -inch round cookie cutter OR a glass
- 3 and 1/2 cups (500g) sifted all-purpose flour plus a little more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon (10g) dry active yeast
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) lukewarm water (105°F to 110°F/40°C to 43°C)
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Brandy, Cointreau, or Vodka
- Zest from ½ lemon
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- 5 Tablespoons (65g) unsalted butter at room temperature cut into small pieces
- Oil for deep frying and greasing the dough
- About 1 cup of your favorite jelly
- About ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar for garnish
Make the dough:
- Put flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Add the eggs, water, vanilla, brandy, and lemon zest, and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Occasionally scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If the dough hasn't come together, add a few drops of water as needed.
- Add salt and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- While the mixer is working, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until all of the butter is absorbed. The dough may look very soft and might be sticky – that's ok.
The first rise:
- Lightly flour your hands and your working surface. Shape and knead the dough into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled. This will take 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on how warm your room is. If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature.
The second rise:
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously oil it; set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to ½ inch thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many Sufganiyot as you can and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Fry the Sufganiyot:
- When ready to fry, heat a large deep pan or pot of oil until it reaches 350°F/180°C. The oil should be around 3 inches deep for best results when frying.
- Carefully drop the Sufganiyot into the oil. Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry only 3 to 4 doughnuts at the same time.
- Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet or a plate using a slotted spoon.
Filling the Sufganiyot
- Fill the Sufganiyot after they have cooled to room temperature. The fillings might melt if the doughnuts are too hot.
- Once Sufganiyot has been filled, you can dust it with powdered sugar for a pretty finish.