Sufganiyot (Israeli Donuts)
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A cross between a beignet and a jelly donut, sufganiyot are pillowy donuts that are eaten in Israel and around the world during Hanukah.
A cross between a beignet and a jelly donut, sufganiyot are pillowy donuts eaten in Israel and around the world during Hanukkah, when foods fried in oil symbolize the miracle of oil that burned for eight days instead of one in the Hanukkah story. Sufganiyot are traditionally filled with jelly or jam, but if your crew doesn’t care for jelly in their donuts (my son once described biting into a jelly donut as “a terrible surprise”), the filling options are limitless: custard, Nutella, pudding, pumpkin butter, apple butter, or dulce de leche are all great options. Sufganiyot are also delicious plain.
I know that making donuts at home can seem a little daunting because yeast and hot oil are involved but, I promise, it really is simple — and this recipe is faster and easier than most because the dough is not kneaded and requires only a single rise. If you need a little encouragement to give donut-making a shot, watch this video of celebrated cookbook author and authority on all things Jewish-food-related Joan Nathan making sufganiyot in Jaffa, Israel. It makes me want to hop on a plane!
What you’ll need To Make Sufganiyot
How to make Sufganiyot
To begin, combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Warm water helps activate the yeast. The temperature doesn’t need to be exact so no need to use a thermometer; just try to get it about the temperature of bath water. (If you place your hand under the stream of water in the faucet, it should feel hot but you should be able to leave your hand there without it stinging.)
Add the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of oil, and vanilla to the water/yeast mixture and whisk with a fork until combined.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
Whisk to combine.
Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture.
Stir with rubber spatula until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (no need to clean it first).
Let the dough rise on the countertop until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and dust heavily with flour. Generously dust a clean countertop and your hands with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the counter and dust the dough with flour.
Pat the dough into 1/4-in-thick rectangle, making sure the bottom doesn’t stick and adding more flour to the counter and your hands as needed.
It should be about 10 to 12 inches in size.
Using a pizza wheel or very sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 two-inch squares. Sufganiyot are traditionally round but I much prefer to make them square — you don’t need to worry about having the right-sized cookie cutter or patching together scraps of dough.
Transfer the dough squares to the floured baking sheet, leaving a little space between the squares. Sprinkle the squares lightly with flour.
Add enough of oil to a large Dutch oven or heavy pot to measure about 2 inches deep and heat over medium heat to 350°F. (If you don’t have a candy/deep-fry thermometer, drop a 1-in cube of bread in the oil; if it takes about 1 minute to get golden brown, the oil is at the right temperature.) Place 6 dough pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through frying.
Adjust the heat, if necessary, to maintain the oil temperature between 325°F and 350°F.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donuts to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining donuts.
Use a paring knife to puncture the side of each to form a pocket in the center.
Place the tip of a squeeze bottle or piping bag into the pocket and squeeze 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam or jelly inside. (Alternatively, if you don’t have the right tools or just don’t want to bother, serve the filling on the side.)
Using a fine sieve, dust the donuts generously with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
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Sufganiyot (Israeli Donuts)
A cross between a beignet and a jelly donut, sufganiyot are pillowy donuts that are eaten in Israel and around the world during Hanukah.
- 1 cup warm water, heated to about 110°F (see note)
- 1 tablespoon instant/rapid-rise or active dry yeast (note that this is more than 1 packet)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for coating
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus about 2 quarts more for frying
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 1 cup jam or jelly (or custard, Nutella, pudding, pumpkin butter, apple butter, dulce de leche, etc.), optional
- Combine the water and yeast in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Add the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of oil, and vanilla to the water/yeast mixture and whisk with a fork until combined.
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (no need to clean it first) and let the dough rise on the countertop until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and dust heavily with flour. Generously dust a clean countertop and your hands with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the counter and dust the dough with flour. Pat the dough into ¼-in-thick rectangle (it should be about 10 x 12-inches in size), making sure the bottom doesn't stick and adding more flour to the counter and your hands as needed. Using a pizza wheel or very sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 two-inch squares and transfer to the floured baking sheet, leaving a little space between the squares. Sprinkle the squares lightly with flour.
- Add enough of oil to a large Dutch oven or heavy pot to measure about 2 inches deep and heat over medium heat to 350°F. (If you don't have a candy/deep-fry thermometer, drop a 1-in cube of bread in the oil; if it takes about 1 minute to get golden brown, the oil is at the right temperature.) Place 6 dough pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to maintain the oil temperature between 325°F and 350°F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donuts to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining donuts.
- When the donuts are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to puncture the side of each to form a pocket in the center. Place the tip of a squeeze bottle or piping bag into the pocket and squeeze 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam or jelly inside. (Alternatively, if you don't have the right tools or just don't want to bother, serve the filling on the side.)
- Using a fine sieve, dust the donuts generously with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
- Note: Warm water helps activate the yeast. The temperature doesn't need to be exact so no need to use a thermometer; just try to get it about the temperature of bath water. (If you place your hand under the stream of water in the faucet, it should feel hot but you should be able to leave your hand there without it stinging.)
- Nutritional information was calculated assuming that approximately ¼ cup of the oil is absorbed into the donuts when frying and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar was used to dust the the finished donuts.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: The dough can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Let it sit out at room temperature for about an hour before rolling out and cutting.
- Per serving (24 servings)
- Serving size: 1 donut
- Calories: 138
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Sugar: 8 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Sodium: 78 mg
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
These were amazing! I had such a fun time making these and they were delicious!
Thanks for sharing this recipe. Although the instructions seem straight forward mine didn’t cook through the middle and ended up raw. What can I do differently before I make my next batch?
Sorry you had a problem with these! It sounds like the oil was a little too hot and the outsides browned before the insides were fully cooked. To eliminate any guesswork, you may want to invest in a candy thermometer so you can ensure the oil is at the right temperature.
i love sufganiyot
I’ve made these twice in the last week already! I love to cook but am not a baker and this recipe so was easy to follow and they came out beyond delicious both times! I tried jelly and nutella but can’t wait to make them again to try all sorts of different fillings. I think we just found a new Hanukkah tradition ~ thanks! 🙂
You have done it again with another fail-proof, top-notch recipe. These were unbelievably fluffy and tasty, especially when considering how little effort goes into the entire process!
This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so very much for sharing!!
I made these and they turned out absolutely amazing!! Thank you for the delicious recipe I will definitely be saving this and using it every year. Probably more than once a year. Thank you!
Made these twice in 2 days to rave reviews! “Those were literally the best jelly donuts evahhhhh! Usually jelly donuts are so disappointing but I seriously enjoyed yours. Warm, dough had the right texture and full of jelly.
“I’m not sure when I’d ever make them but can you send the recipe if you don’t mind?”
Sending her this link to your recipe. It’s really easy and amazing. I did cut them into circles but your way looks good too!
Wow! I’m so grateful for this no-knead recipe! I was able to make these fairly easily, and I am no star baker. They came out great — I’m so proud! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Happy Chanukah!
I can’t wait to.try this recipe! I’m planning on making the dough tonight and frying them up tomorrow–if I fry them.mid afternoon, will they still be ok to serve for dessert tomorrow evening? Also, why cut them in squares rather than.using a 2″ cookie cutter? Thanks so much!
Hi Ellen, these are definitely best if served hot, but you can get away with serving them a few hours after they’re made. And I cut them in squares because it’s easier and makes for less waste. Hope everyone enjoys!
These were so easy and UNREAL!! Two flags:
1. You may need more flour than called for based on the weather, temperature inside, etc. I ended up with about 4 cups of flour and it was still super sticky.
2. When filling the donuts try to use something that can get the tip all the way in the back of the donut otherwise the jam is just in one little part.
Thank you for this incredible recipe!!!
Hi! Very excited to try making these! Can the dough be left in the refrigerator for one night? We are traveling for a Christmas lunch with my in-laws, and I was asked to bring dessert. I want to bring these, but I don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn. Thanks!
Yes, that will work; just let the dough sit out at room temperature for about an hour before rolling out and cutting. Enjoy!
It tasted delicious! It’s a new family favorite!
Hi – I’ve never made anything like this before but I’m going to try making these today! Finger’s crossed. 🙂 If I wanted to make them to bring to a holiday dinner, is that possible. Or only best to make them at home and serve right after frying?
Hi Tara, These are best warm, but they’ll still be good at room temperature (after all, they are donuts)… 🙂
Can I use instant yeast that doesn’t need to be added to water and is instead added to dry ingredients and auto activated? Would I then use the same 1 cup of water in the recipe? Would that still rise?
Yes and yes 🙂
Can’t wait to try this recipe. If the dough is made ahead can the cut out pieces of dough be frozen? I’d like to make the dough today and fry them later in the week. Wasn’t sure the dough would last that long in the fridge. Please advise
Hi Paula, I think it would work to freeze the cut dough. Just make sure you’ve brought it to room temperature before frying. Please LMK how they turn out!
Could you air fry these instead of using oil?
Hi Connie, Unfortunately, I don’t think that would work. Sorry!
Looking forward to making these for our family Hanukkah party next week! If I want to do as much prep as possible ahead of time, can I go as far as cutting the square earlier in the day and then refrigerating them until I fry them just before we’re ready for dessert? If it’s ok to do that, should I bring them to room temperature before frying, and if so, for how long? Thanks so much for your guidance!
Jane, you can refrigerate the squares and fry them later and, yes, bring them to room temperature before frying. Hope everyone enjoys! 🙂
I really appreciate your responsiveness! It’s one of the many things that sets you apart. 🙂
Hi, where can I find the ingredients?
Hi Lily, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!
Just made our first batch ! Also first time ever deep frying anything. Found that 1.5, or even 1 min per side a bit much.
Super easy to follow directions, and taste great too.
Making more for a bigger Chanukah party- going to try 45 sec per side.
Do you make any changes if you use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?
No, instant yeast is perfect. enjoy the sufganiyot!
How long can these be stored?
Hi Amber, I wouldn’t recommend storing them — these are best if eaten right after they’re cooked.
Can the dough sit in the fridge overnight before shaping and the second rise?
So, you let it rise on the counter in the bowl for 1 hour then shape, cut, place on baking sheet then put in fridge overnight? I’m trying to figure out how to prep the dough the day before the party! Thanks!
Yes, that’s correct. Just bring the squares to room temperature before frying. Enjoy!
What is Confectioner sugar, same as regular sugar ?
Hi Daniella, Confectioners’ sugar is also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar and it’s very finely ground, so it looks like powder. It is not the same as regular sugar.
I was skeptical at first, as I’ve never tried a sufganiyah recipe that didn’t require kneading. But then again, I’ve never made such delicious sufganiyot as these! They were so easy to make, and fried up beautifully. Usually mine go stale after a day, but these lasted three days in an airtight container (without Jelly). They tasted just like the ones I get in Israel! Will definitely be making again!
That video you linked to above is sooo adorable and makes me feel more confident to try to make these!! 🙂 Yum!
Oh My They We’re So Easy To Make And I Am An Avid Fan Of Anything Jelly Donut Scrumptious Just Scrumptious My Only Suggestion Is Make Double Batch 👏😇💕….Kim
Mine didn’t puff when I fried them, what did I do wrong?
Sorry to hear you had a problem with these! Did you make any adjustments to the recipe? Did the dough seem to rise okay?
First time I’ve made sufganiyot that the dough was actually workable — my family ate the whole batch. Thanks!
These are so good and easy to make – I’m thrilled to finally get to make them. I didn’t have powdered sugar but did have powdered Swerve and it worked great. The dough is not very sweet, but I like it that way. Thank you!
Can you make the dough ahead and then pat, cut, and cook it later the same day?
Fantabulous donuts! I made the dough, and the granddaughter filled them and covered them in powdered sugar. Everyone said they were the best donuts, yet. I’ll be using this recipe from now on. We filled some with lemon curd, Nutella, marionberry, and left some plain. Thanks again, and Happy Hanukkah!
Hi Jenn, how come you don’t need to knead this dough? I see so many recipes out there that require you to knead.
Hi Serena, I find that kneading the dough can make them tough.
I brought these to a brunch! They were delicious! Will make them again next year for Hanukkah!!!
By far the best recipe I have made yet! I make these all the days of Hanukkah for family and friends and they don’t disappoint. This year instead of chocolate I used homemade Italian cream! Unreal!