How to Make Hanukkah Donuts – Sufganiyot Secrets

This is my perfected recipe for making filled Hanukkah Donuts or, Sufganiyot.

We like to observe Jewish feasts and memorial days as a family. We’re not Jewish, but we have learned so much from following the feast calendar, and it’s added depth to our faith as a family.

We’ve done Passover for years, but the Holiday celebrating the Festival of Lights was new for us last year. If you’d told me there was a Jewish Holiday that centered around deep fried foods, I would have started celebrating sooner!

The first year I made filled donuts was a bit of a disaster. We needed a tried and true recipe because this year we are making hundreds for our Hanukkah party! This is what I came up with after hours of research and multiple test batches.

Make Your Own Hanukkah Donuts

This post contains affiliate links to some of our favorite specialty tools for making donuts for the Festival of Lights….thanks for helping us keep the lights on (did you see what I did there?)



(bucket list item “taste test donuts as my day job”…check!)

Traditional Hanukkah Donuts

For the full process and tips, check out our video

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Hanukkah Donuts (Sufganiyot)


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  • Author: Trina
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours
  • Yield: 40 donuts 1x

Description

No fail recipe for traditional filled donuts for Hanukkah


Ingredients

Scale

1 3/4 c. hot water (105115 degrees)

1/2 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. yeast

68 c. flour

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 stick softened butter

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

coconut oil for frying (enough so that your oil is at least 3 inches deep in a heavy pot)

1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)


Instructions

  1. Mix yeast and sugar in hot water in a two cup measuring cup or small bowl (see video for how to get the perfect temp water without a thermometer!). stir gently then let sit for 5 minutes till yeast is dissolved and starting to expand.
  2. Pour yeast and sugar mixture into mixer and add 4 cups flour. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time to the dough, mixing completely before adding the next one.
  4. Add the salt and optional flavorings to the dough.
  5. Turn mixer on medium and add flour, one cup at a time, until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Touch test the dough and make sure it’s not too sticky. It should not come off on your finger when you poke it.
  6. Add the butter and mix until it is fully incorporated into the dough. Set a timer and knead the dough for 15 minutes – this is key to getting a great rise on your donut!
  7. Let dough rise, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes. 
  8. Divide the dough into 40 pieces. Using the counter top and a cupped hand, firmly roll the pieces into smooth, round balls.
  9. Place each donut on its own square of parchment paper (cut the larger sheets to 4 in. square) and then on cookie sheets and cover with plastic wrap you have greased as well so it doesn’t stick to the rising dough. Let rise in a warm place until double or triple in size. 
  10. Next get your oil heating. Goal temp is 325 degrees. You know it’s close to ready when a wooden spoon inserted in the hot oil releases bubbles.
  11. When your donuts have at least doubled in size, test one in the hot oil. Lift it by its parchment paper so you don’t disturb the rise, and gently put the whole thing – paper and all, into the oil. Pull the paper out with tongs immediately after (it will slide right out from under the donut) so the donut cooks evenly. 
  12. Cook one one side till it’s deep, gold brown, then flip it by pushing it with a spoon or chopstick to make it roll over. Cook for another minute or two till it’s the same color as the other side, then lift to a cooling rack to drain.
  13. Once it’s cool enough to touch, break the donut open to test for doneness. If your donut is fluffy all the way through, you are ready to fry up the rest. If it is still gooey in the middle after having fried it to a dark golden brown, then lower your oil temperature by 10 degree increments and keep testing till you find the temp that works for your donuts – cooking them through without making the outside too dark.
  14. Once your oil temp is correct, fry 4-5 donuts at a time (don’t overcrowd) until all donuts are done. Work quickly or the last of your donuts will be over risen by the time you get them in the hot oil and this results in lumpy shapes.
  15. Let cool completely and then fill with your filling of choice.
  • Prep Time: 2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: deep frying
  • Cuisine: Yiddish

The simplest and most traditional filing is strawberry. But don’t think we were content to stop there….

Homemade Hanukkah Donuts

We also made

Bavarian Cream

Chocolate Ganache

Oreo Cookie

Blueberry Cream.

Some we dusted with powdered sugar, some we dipped in chocolate or vanilla glaze, and the Oreo donut got a sprinkling of oreo crumbs on top of the glaze.

The secrets to filling your sufganiyot without breaking a sweat:

  1. Large size pastry bags. Don’t mess with the tiny ones from the grocery store. If you wanna be generous with your filling, you need a generous pastry bag. https://amzn.to/3IfoCPH

2. For runnier filling (like chocolate ganache, bavarian cream, and strawberry jam) you will want a nice, extra large donut filling tip. This makes piping runny filling into the center of your donut a breeze. Here’s the one we use: https://amzn.to/3ppBhqu

3. For the thicker, whip cream based fillings, just cutting off the end of your pastry bag till you have a 1/2 inch slot works great.

4. To ensure you actually get a nice amount of filling in your donuts, it helps to pre-poke the holes with a small paring knife and wiggle it around in there to create some space. (You can see us do this on the video) This is an extra step but it goes quickly if you set up an assembly line…and NO ONE complained about bigger filling compartments!

5. Cut the slit in the side, vs. top or bottom – less leakage and prettier presentation.

6. Fill them first, then dip them in their topping glaze. It’s really messy to try to fill an already glazed donut.

7. Fry your donuts in coconut oil – don’t worry, they won’t taste like coconut, but this will make them easier to digest than vegetable oil (to geek out on what oils are best for deep frying and avoid gall bladder attacks, check out my post on Good Fats.)

Here’s our filling and glaze recipes:

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Chocolate Donut Glaze


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  • Author: Trina

Ingredients

Units Scale

1 c. powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. milk


Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, add more milk or powdered sugar till you get a ‘dippable’ consistency.

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Vanilla Donut Glaze


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  • Author: Trina

Ingredients

Units Scale

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

23 Tbsp. milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk, adjust consistency by adding more milk or powdered sugar till it’s smooth and “dippable”.

 

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Blueberry Cream Donut Filling


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  • Author: Trina

Ingredients

Units Scale

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. blueberry jelly


Instructions

Whip cream until stiff.

Stir jelly thoroughly with a fork to help break it up.

Fold jelly gently into the whipped cream

transfer to piping bag to pipe into donuts

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Oreo Cookie Donut Filling


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  • Author: Trina

Ingredients

Scale

1 pint heavy whipping cream

8 oreos or chocolate cream cookies


Instructions

Place cookies into a gallon plastic bag, seal it, and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.

Whip the cream until stiff.

Gently fold crumbs into cream.

Use a piping bag to fill the donuts with filling.

Dip the donuts in vanilla frosting, then sprinkle with more crumbs.

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