Sufganiyot (AKA Homemade Jelly Donuts)

I can’t believe it’s almost Chanukah! Didn’t we just put away our sukkah?!

When we moved to Israel, one of my favorite new traditions to adopt was making of sufganiyot, instead of latkes (levivot), on Chanukah.

One year, my friend and I offered to make sufganiyot for the Chanukah party at our kids’ gan (preschool). It seemed like a lovely idea at the time. Two hours into the deep frying, we were having some regrets! Eventually, we finished all 200 sufganiyot (we made them slightly larger than donut hole size) and they truly were delicious. Even the sabras asked for the recipe.

Aside from a great (if somewhat patchked) recipe, the sufganiyot were also especially good because we figured out a great way to fill them with jelly. We got a 10 mL syringe from the pharmacy and filled it 4-5 cc’s with seedless, ever-so-slightly watered down strawberry jelly. Then we inserted the tip of the syringe into the side of the donut — and let it rip!

My kids love helping with this part now, and even my littlest one can push the button on the syringe. I’m sure it’s not a completely novel idea, but it’s definitely our favorite Chanukah hack. Oh, and our other “hack”? Buying a deep fryer. My husband thinks it’s absolutely essential. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it definitely makes the frying process easier and faster.



  • 1 T dry yeast
  • 4 T white sugar
  • 3/4 c lukewarm milk or water
  • 2-1/2 c white flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 T butter or margarine
  • Strawberry jam (the kind without seeds), ribat chalav (caramel), or chocolate spread
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vegetable oil — lots and lots of it
  • Syringe or pastry tube


Mix yeast with 2 tablespoons of sugar and milk or water. Let it sit until bubbles form.

Sift flour and mix in remaining sugar, cinnamon, egg yolks and yeast mixture.

Knead dough until ball forms. Add butter/margarine, and continue kneading until absorbed.

Cover the dough with towel and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 – 1/4-inch. Using a juice glass or 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into 24 rounds. Let them rise for another 30 minutes.

Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a large pan to about 375 degrees. (Or use a deep fryer — much simpler!) Drop the doughnuts into the hot oil, about five at a time. Turn them to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

When cool enough to handle, use a syringe or pastry tube to pipe jelly into the center of the donut. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

What’s your favorite Chanukah recipe? Are you a sufganiyot person? Or do you prefer latkes? Perhaps your family has another favorite oily treat! Share your favorite recipe in the comments section.

Since this is the last Friday in November, I will pick the name of the winner of the Target gift card on December 1st – the first night of Chanukah! If you want to be entered into the drawing, just make sure you leave a recipe on this post (or any of my other Recipe Exchange posts).

Shabbat Shalom!




  1. I just started reading your blog and I love it! If only I could follow your advice and start saving money. My favorite chanukah recipe is a kid-friendly food project. I have 5 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 10 and this is something that they all enjoy making and eating! It’s for edible menorahs. This recipe is for one project. I let each child do their own individually.
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
    5 pretzel rods cut in half
    9 raisins
    2 or 3 graham crackers
    assorted jimmies or sprinkles

    Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Place all items in front of the child and allow them to assemble and get messy! Enjoy!

  2. Having grown up in Israel my husband in partial to Sufganiyot, yet we seem not to make them as often as we make latkes. We often expert with our latkes. IN addition to the traditional latkes we make sweet potato ones and zucchini fritters. Here is our Sweet potato latke recipe.

    yield: Makes about 26 pancakes
    active time: 30 min
    total time: 30 min


    1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
    2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    3/4 cup vegetable oil


    Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.

    Heat oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into oil and flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towels to drain

    Top with sour cream &/or apple sauce….mmmmmmm!!!!

  3. My kids are firmly convinced that Rice Krispy treats are a special food for Hanukkah. We get together with my father-in-law’s family every Hanukkah. My husband’s aunt brings Rice Krispy treats to the party because that is her fall-back pareve dessert for all occassions. But because we only see her once a year and I never make Rice Krispy treats, my kids thinks they are only for Hanukkah.

  4. Oooh, good stuff here. My son actually did Chaia’s edible chanukkiyah at gan – a huge hit. My normally super-light eater gobbled down no less than two chanukkiyot!

    Here is my printable “lazy sufganiyot” recipe:

    I also tried a yeasted sufganiyot recipe this year that came out very nicely, carrot latkes that had great flavor but the wrong texture, and oven-fried potato latkes that were almost perfect. Maybe I will even get to blog about them before the holiday is over! Uh, and there will be no fried anything in this house for some time to come.

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