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, we adopted the tradition of making sufganiyot for Chanukah instead of latkes (levivot).

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 recipe for the dough, the sufganiyot were especially good because we figured out a quick and easy way to fill them with jelly. We got a 10 mL syringe from the pharmacy (just ask — they’ll give them to you for free) and filled it with 4-5 cc’s of 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 an absolutely essential kitchen appliance. I’m not sure I’d go that far (I have other appliances I really can’t live without), but it definitely makes the sufganiyot-making process much easier and faster.


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

This post originally appeared in 2010, but I keep getting requests for it, so I’ve bumped it back up toward the top of the blog.


  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.

  5. Tried this today, and the dough wouldn’t come together pre-butter :/ I ended up adding the egg whites in – couldn’t find what to do with them in the recipe … any idea what I screwed up?

    • This recipe just uses the yolks. I’m so not a baking expert, but tell me — what does “wouldn’t come together” look like?

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