Sufganiot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)

"These plain or jelly-filled doughnuts are a favorite treat in Israel and a sweet alternative to the traditional latkes. Few people say no to doughnuts and this variety fits any appetite. I generally make a double batch of dough, refrigerate it and pinch off portions as I need for fresh treats or for taking along to a Chanukah party."
photo by Jozieo photo by Jozieo
photo by Jozieo
photo by NIN4NIN photo by NIN4NIN
Ready In:
42 doughnuts


  • 1 14 cups slightly warm water or 1 1/4 cups slightly warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 14 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 12 - 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose and half bread flour)
  • fine sugar (for coating donuts) or sugar (for coating donuts)
  • 1 12 1 1/2 cups apricot jam (optional) or 1 1/2 cups apricot jam (optional)
  • oil
  • shortening (three parts oil and one part melted shortening for frying, to fill up a good two-thirds of fryer)


  • Whisk together the yeast, water and sugar, salt, oil, egg yolks, egg, vanilla and lemon extract.
  • Blend well and stir in most of the flour to form a soft dough.
  • Knead by hand, machine or in bread machine (dough setting), adding flour as needed.
  • The dough should have some body, not too slack, supple, smooth and elastic.
  • Place in a greased plastic bag and refrigerate at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
  • If you are in a hurry, allow dough to rest at least 20 minutes, then proceed.
  • If dough has risen at all, punch or flatten down, then pinch off pieces and form into small balls, about the size of golf balls.
  • Otherwise, roll dough out to about three-quarters of an inch.
  • Using a two and half inch or three inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds.
  • Cover and let sit 15 minutes while heating oil.
  • In a deep fryer, or heavy dutch oven, heat about four inches of oil or a combination of oil and melted shortening.
  • Add the doughnuts to the hot oil (temperature should be about 375 F.) and fry until the undersides are deep brown.
  • Turn over once and finish frying the other side.
  • Lift doughnuts out using a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
  • To fill, make a small opening and spoon in jam or jelly, or just sprinkle lightly with regular or extra fine granulated sugar by shaking doughnuts in a paper bag.
  • Test oil temperature: It's a good idea to try frying one doughnut to start with.
  • Once the doughnut seems done, take it out and cut it open to see if the inside is cooked.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Amanda J
    I made these for a 7th grade school project. The whole class loved them. I poked a hole in the doughnut and used mom's cake decorating bags and icing tips to squeeze the jelly in them.
  2. Iron Bloomers
    These are heavenly!! The dough is a pleasure to use. The end product is fantastic. I filled some with strawberry jam/rolled in powdered sugar; some with homemade applesauce/rolled in cinn/sugar; & the rest were filled with a chocolate creme filling/rolled in powdered sugar. Next time I WILL make a double batch. Hats off to Mirj.
  3. javorice
    I can't say anything about the dough but I can tell you how you can put the jam in before frying. When the dough is ready, roll it out on floured surface to about 1/2 inch. You will have to do it in two batches.Use top of glass or cookie cutter to cut circles. Put 1/2 of tsp of jam on half of the circles, cover with the other half of circles, flatten edges a little bit and cut it out with the same cutter. Check if the cutting sealed the edge. And now it's ready to be fried with the jam already inside. It should have a yellow strip in the middle as when frying it flows in the oil and the middle is a little bit above oil level.
  4. lain4me
    i might try it a little later but it sounds really good
  5. little gigglys mom
    I make these every year, sorry I never posted a review. I also follow Mirj's advice about leaving the dough in the fridge and pinching off a bit each night. I've tried many ways to fill them and find that an (unused) medicine dropper like those in baby tylenol work well. I love mine with preserves, but my kids and husband insist on filling them with frosting. (I know, not the most traditional thing, but hey, it's fried and that's what matters!) Thanks so much. While everyone else gets store bought Munchkins, we get to brag that our's are homemade. Thanks so much for posting this. It makes something that sounds complicated so very simple.


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