Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts)

Sufganiyot, also known as Israeli jelly donuts, are a Hanukkah staple. Make your own fluffy, jam-filled, powder sugar-dusted delights at home with this easy-to-follow recipe.

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on a Paper Towel Lined Cooling Rack Sitting on Parchment Paper

Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

Growing up, my mom would fry fresh sufganiyot on the first night of Hanukkah. We would look forward to it all year round. Our donuts included orange juice and a little cinnamon in the dough and were filled with jams and jellies (or even caramel!) and topped with a generous sprinkle of snow-white powdered sugar. 

The best part? Sufganiyot are best enjoyed right away, so it was a night to indulge in as many fried donuts as we could handle.

What Are Sufganiyot?

Sufganiyot are Israeli jelly donuts that are commonly eaten in celebration of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. They are often filled with jam and dusted with powdered sugar. 

It’s customary to eat fried foods during Hanukkah, like latkes and donuts, to commemorate a miracle: a small amount of oil kept the Temple’s light shining for eight days (hence the eight nights of Hanukkah). 

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on Parchment Paper Covered in Powdered Sugar

Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

Tips and Tricks

Sufganiyot are yeasted donuts, meaning they use yeast as a leavening agent instead of a chemical agent like baking powder or soda (like cake donuts). The yeast makes these jelly donuts fluffy and airy. 

Making yeasted donuts might seem challenging, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll get the perfect, fluffy donut of your dreams! 

  • Don’t add too much flour: Measure the flour by loosely scooping it into the measuring cup using a spoon and gently sweeping off the excess using the flat side of a knife. Or even better, weigh it! When mixing, your dough should be tacky and a little bit sticky. Don’t forget that you’ll introduce more flour when rolling the dough on your work surface.
  • Rest the dough: Like bread, yeasted donuts require gluten for structure. Giving your dough enough time to rest and rise is key to light and fluffy sufganiyot since proofing introduces more air into the dough.
  • Fry at the right temperature: Frying in oil that is the correct temperature will yield golden brown, fully cooked dough. If your oil is too hot, you’ll have burnt exteriors and raw middles; too cold, and your donuts will be grease-laden. Use a thermometer to ensure that your oil is at 370°F.
  • Three’s a crowd, four’s a party: Adding too many donuts to the oil will lower the temperature. Fry up to 3 or 4 at a time to ensure that your oil temperature stays consistent. Ensure the oil is at the proper temperature before adding another batch of donuts.
Powdered Sugar Sprinkled onto Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on the Counter with More on the Parchment Paper Behind It

Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

Tips for Filling Jelly Donuts

Don’t skip pre-poking the donuts before filling. Poking with a straw or chopstick creates space for jam and is the key to injecting sufganiyot. Without this opening, you won’t be able to get enough filling inside or the donut might rupture. 

If you don’t have a pastry injector, use a squeeze bottle, piping bag with a medium round tip, or even a turkey baster to pipe the filling inside. 

Sufganiyot Variations

While jam is a traditional filling, try adding your own unique spin. Fill the donuts with lemon curd, custard, or caramel for a delicious twist.

I use a biscuit or round cookie cutter for these sufganiyot, but get creative and cut them using a plastic lid, thin drinking glass, or measuring cup to create perfect circles. Or simply use a knife to cut them into squares.

Make This Recipe Ahead

While sufganiyot are best served fresh, you can prepare some things in advance to cut down on time. Make the dough the day before, cover it in plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge to rise overnight. In the morning, let the dough rest on the counter for 10 minutes, roll it out, and proceed with the recipe.

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on a Lined Cooling Rack Sitting on Parchment Paper and Next to a Knit Fabric

Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

Hanukkah Favorites

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts)

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rise Time 90 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 20 to 24 donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 105°F to 115°F

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 cups (380g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

  • 2 quarts  canola or vegetable oil, for frying (or as needed)

  • 1 1/2 cups seedless strawberry jam, raspberry jam, or grape jelly

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • Frying or instant-read thermometer

Method

  1. Proof the yeast:

    Combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes. The yeast should dissolve and small bubbles should form on the surface. (If not, your yeast has gone bad or your water is too hot or too cold. Start over!)

    Yeast Blooming in a Mixer Bowl for Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

  2. Make the dough and let rise:

    Add the orange juice, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

    Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Add the flour, salt, and cinnamon (if using) and mix on medium-low until a smooth and elastic dough forms, 7 to 9 minutes. The dough will be tacky but shouldn’t stick to the side of the bowl. If needed, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is slightly sticky but no longer sticking to the side of the bowl.

    Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp, clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

    Simple Tip!

    At this point, you can transfer the covered dough to the fridge and let rise overnight, proceeding with the remaining steps the next day.

    Liquid Ingredients Added to Mixer Bowl for Sufganiyot Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Dough in a Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Proofed Sufganiyot Dough with Finger Indentations in It

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

  3. Shape the dough and prep the filling:

    Lightly flour a work surface. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or floured glass. Collect the scraps, re-roll, and cut out once more.

    Place the cut dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Let rise until puffed up slightly, an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

    Add the jam or jelly to a pastry bag, zip-top bag, pastry injector, squeeze bottle, or turkey baster.

    Sufganiyot Dough Rolled Out on a Floured Counter Using a Rolling Pin

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Israeli Jelly Donuts Dough Cut into Circular Pieces and Placed on Lined Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on Lined Baking Sheet Covered with a Kitchen Towel for Second Proofing

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Jam Filling Added to a Squeeze Bottle

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

  4. Fry the sufganiyot:

    Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot with tall sides (like a Dutch oven) on the stove. Fill the pot with 2 to 3 inches of oil, leaving at least a few inches above the oil to help prevent it from boiling over. Heat the oil over medium heat to 370°F, using a thermometer to check the temperature.

    Meanwhile, set up a cooling rack topped with paper towels beside the stove. Set out tongs or a spider and a spatula.

    Using a spatula, carefully transfer 3 or 4 donuts, one at a time, into the hot oil. Fry until deeply golden on the bottom, about 90 seconds. Carefully flip and fry until a deep golden color on both sides, about 90 more seconds. Remove from the oil using tongs or a spider.

    Transfer to the wire rack lined with paper towels. Let the oil come back up to temperature and repeat with the remaining donuts. If needed, add more oil to the pot in between batches before reheating.

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Frying in a Pot of Hot Oil on the Stove

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Fried Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Placed on a Paper Towel Lined Cooling Rack on a Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

  5. Fill the sufganiyot:

    Once the sufganiyot have cooled enough to handle, use a straw or chopstick to poke a hole into the top center of each sufganiyot. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of jam or jelly into the center of each. They should feel heavy for their size, but no jam should seep out.

    Using a sifter or strainer, dust the donuts with powdered sugar right before serving.

    Fresh sufganiyot are best eaten the day of, but they will keep for a day in an airtight container at room temperature. Wrap a day-old donut in foil and bake at 350°F for 3 to 4 minutes, or until warmed through. Careful, the filling will get hot! 

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    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Filled with Jam with the Squeeze Bottle after Poking a Hole in the Middle of the Donut

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) Resting on a Paper Towel Lined Cooling Rack on a Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

    Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts) on a Paper Towel Lined Cooling Rack Sitting on Parchment Paper

    Simply Recipes / Mica Siva

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
452 Calories
22g Fat
59g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 452
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 114mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 95mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.