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Sweet Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe – Sufganiyot

I admit that it has been years since I made a Hanukkah jelly donuts recipe. What was I waiting for?

These rich donuts that are fluffy, pillowy, and light, are so worth it.

​However reading the previous sentence has me wondering how something so pillowy and light packs in so many calories!

Ah, well. Once a year is so worth it!

Hanukkah is the time I get to satisfy my vice which involves eating fried foods.

But do you know why it is traditional to eat fried foods at Hanukkah?

It was a miracle! 

The word Hanukkah actually means dedication.

Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees-a small group of Jewish fighters, reclaimed it from the Greeks who had banned Judaism.

​Judas Maccabee reclaimed the temple in 164 BCE-if I have my numbers right.

To rededicate the temple one must have pure oil to consecrate the eternal light, that burns eternally in all temples.

The Maccabees had only enough for one night, but miraculously, the light burned for 8 nights.

This gave the people time to find more oil and this is also why we celebrate Hanukkah-the festival of light, for 8 nights.

And yes- we traditionally eat fried foods because they are cooked in oil.

Not so bad, huh? 

hanukkah jelly donuts recipe

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a joyous time marked by the glow of candles, and the aroma of frying latkes-which permeates our home sort of like a fast food restaurant.

Yes, I burn several candles (this one is my favorite) to help cover the oil smell!

The other popular fried food that steals the spotlight during this festive season is the iconic Hanukkah jelly donut, or sufganiyah.

Sufganiyot is plural!

Which in my mind is correct, because whoever eats just one?

Making this traditional hanukkah jelly donuts recipe isn’t hard, but it does take time.

Just like any donut recipe, except for cake donuts, this is a yeast dough that does need to rise.

The first rise is the longest and the second rise is only about a half hour.

The good news is they fry in about 1 minute.

Yes, they do need to cool a few minutes before filling with your favorite jelly and then sprinkling with powdered sugar.

hanukkah jelly donuts recipe with powdered sugar

 I make mine about the same size as a donut in a donut shop, but some make them small, almost like a donut hole.

Want to create your own batch of pillowy, golden-brown goodness?

This is what you need for this Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package instant dry yeast
  • Sugar
  • Warm Water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Unsalted butter-very soft
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Jam or Apricot Jam
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Dutch Oven for frying

Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe

Guidelines For Making this Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the yeast, sugar, warm water and salt using a whisk.

2. With the dough hook attachment: add the egg yolks, milk, vanilla and combine.  Mix on low speed. Add flour in gradually to the wet mixture until a soft dough forms and the dough starts to form a ball.

Scatter the room temperature soft butter in teaspoons over the dough in several stages, and use the dough hook to combine.

Incorporate the butter fully and use the mixer to knead the dough until it is smooth, shiny and elastic, and pulling away from the bowl, about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Remove dough from bowl and clean bowl. Then grease with a teaspoon of oil and place the dough ball in the oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot for 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled in size.

4. Roll and Cut: Using the heel of your hand, punch dough down gently and turn out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll out to a 1/4″ thickness and cut out your dough rounds. I used a 2.5″ round biscuit cutter to achieve about 20 donuts.

Place each round on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until puffed, about 30 minutes.

5. Heat the Oil:In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches of oil to 350°F. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil stays at the right temperature throughout the frying process.

6. Fry the Donuts:Carefully place about 4 donuts at a time into the hot oil using a slotted spoon, ensuring there is plenty of room for them to expand. Fry until golden brown on both sides, up to 2-3 minutes per side. (My donuts fried very fast even though I was using a cooking thermomenter. They still were cooked all the way through!) Use the slotted spoon to transfer the donuts to a wire rack lined with layers of paper towels to absorb excess oil.

7. Fill the Donuts:Once the donuts have cooled slightly, use a wooden skewer or a sharp paring knife to poke a hole in the side. Fill a piping bag, pastry bag, or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off, with your favorite jam—strawberry, raspberry, or any other thick jam of your choice. Insert the tip into the hole and gently squeeze to fill the donut with a burst of fruity goodness.

8. Coat with Powdered Sugar: For an extra layer of flavor, sprinkle the donuts with powdered or granulated sugar. 

9. Serve and Enjoy: These pillowy donuts, filled with sweet jam and fried to perfection, are sure to become a cherished tradition in your home during this Jewish holiday.

Hanukkah jelly donut recipe

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or attempting homemade donuts for the first time, these Hanukkah jelly donuts offer a delicious way to celebrate the festival. 

From the first time you mix the dough, to the moment you take that delightful first bite, these sufganiyot promise to be a highlight of your holiday season.

As you savor each bite of these homemade treats, you’ll not only be enjoying a time-honored tradition, but also creating memories that will last a lifetime. Happy Hanukkah!

Besides the aroma of oil, you will also be sweeping powdered sugar off the floor for days!

A Few Notes about Hanukkah Jelly Donuts:

The temperature of the oil does matter. I heated my canola oil over medium heat and let it cool down if it became too hot.

​Save your oil to make another batch!

The dough can also be flavored with orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom or whatever flavor your heart desires.

Hanukkah jelly donuts are very similar to all donuts, but tend to be richer and have more egg yolks.

Did you know the word sufganiyot means spongy dough?

Don’t want a jam filling? Try nutella, pumpkin butter, or whatever you want!

​Originally these donuts were filled with savory fillings that contained veggies or meat.

Hanukkah jelly donuts can also be filled from the top. Poke a small skewer in the center of the ball and squirt your filling in from the top.

Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe

Truth be told, Hanukkah is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar.

In Israel many families do not give gifts, but here in the US because of the proximity of Christmas, gift giving became popular for Hanukkah, too.

8 nights is a lot of gifts, so when my kids were wee ones, we often gave books.

I do love Hanukkah, though. On a cold night nothing beats the glow of the menorah and the taste of potato latkes, followed by Hanukkah jelly donuts to make me feel warm and comforted!

Happy Hanukkah. Wishing for peaceful times and the return of those who have been greatly missed.

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Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe

Hanukkah Jelly Donuts Recipe – Sufganiyot

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes*
  • Cook Time: 2 Minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 16 - 20 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Jewish

Description

These rich, pillowy donuts, traditionally filled with jam, are a Hanukkah treat.


Ingredients

Units Scale

1 packet instant dry yeast

1/4 c sugar

1/2 c warm water

2 egg yolks

1/2 c  milk

1 t vanilla extract

2.5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 t kosher salt

2 T unsalted butter, soft at room temperature

Vegetable oil for frying (Approximately 4 to 6 cups depending on the size of your Dutch oven)

Jam such as raspberry, strawberry or apricot for filling

Powdered Sugar


Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the packet of yeast, sugar and warm water together. Whisk well.

Add the egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract to the yeast mixture and use dough hook or whisk to combine.

Add the flour mixed with the salt gradually on low speed, until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball. In small spoonfuls add the soft butter to the dough, mixing well between each addition. As you mix, the dough will start to pull away from the bowl and become shiny and smooth and very elastic. Knead about 5 minutes using the dough hook.

Remove from bowl and shape into a ball. Rinse out mixing bowl and coat with a teaspoon of oil. Take your dough ball and, place into bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover well with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, 1.5 to 2 hours.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a 1/4″ thick rectangle. Use a 2.5″ or 3″ round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out your dough rounds. Place on parchment lined sheet. Gather the scraps and cut as many as the recipe will allow. Cover the tray with a damp towel and place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until puffy.

Pour 2″ of oil into a large Dutch oven or a very large pot and place over medium heat.  Heat the oil to 350 –  365 degrees, using a deep fry thermometer.

Working in batches of four, add the dough rounds to the hot oil and fry, flipping once, so that each side is golden brown. This should take no more than two minutes total and mine took less.

Let cool slightly and then either use a straw to poke a hole in the top middle of the donut or a sharp knife to slit the side open and then squirt in your filling of choice using a pastry bag or a ziploc with one corner snipped off. Place donuts on a wire rack and sprinkle well with powdered sugar. Best served immediately.


Notes

Donuts can be frozen after baking, though I have not tried it! Place in a large ziploc bag with wax paper between layers and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them thaw for 20 to 30 minutes on a plate at room temperature. Or heat in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes. The sugar may melt so feel free to sprinkle on more.

*Does not include rise time

Keywords: hanukkah jelly donuts recipe, sufganiyot recipe, sufganiyot, hanukkah jelly donuts, jelly donuts recipe, hanukkah donuts

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