How to make Sufganiyot - Israeli Jam Donuts

How to make Sufganiyot - Israeli Jam Donuts

Photo: Roland Zumbuhl, Wikimedia Commons
Sufganiyot, or Israeli jam donuts, are fluffy pockets of fried yeast dough filled with jam or custard. Fried on both sides in oil, they are a Hanukkah favorite in Israel. Take a bite and you will understand why!
This easy recipe is from Miki Shemo, a well-renowned Israeli pastry chef.

This recipe has been translated from the original Hebrew version on the Mako online Food and Cooking Magazine.

See the recipe on (Hebrew)
Preparation time: 1 hour   Total time needed: at least 3 hours   Yield: 40 donuts


1/2 kg flour (17.64 oz - about 4.5 cups of flour)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk or water

4 eggs

175 grams butter (6.17 oz - about 3/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon)

20 grams dry yeast (0.7 oz - about 4 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon brandy
Jam, custard or dulce de leche, for filling, according to taste
Cottonseed, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying


  1. Using a mixer with a dough hook, knead the flour together with the yeast, sugar and milk*.

  2. Add the eggs, brandy, and salt and mix for 7 minutes on a slow-medium speed.

  3. Add the butter gradually during the kneading, until the dough is smooth and consistent, without lumps**.

  4. Take out the dough and wrap it in glad-wrap dusted with flour. Set the dough aside and leave at room temperature for an hour and a half, until the dough is doubled in size***.

  5. Punch the air out of the dough, cover it a second time in glad-wrap, and put it in the fridge for two hours.

  6. Divide the dough into about 40 pieces, and roll into balls. Let the balls rise at room temperature until they double in volume.

  7. Heat up the oil until very hot****.

  8. Fry the balls on one side for 3 minutes, until the lower halves get a golden 'shell'. Turn the balls onto the other side and fry for another 3 minutes.

  9. Using a pastry bag, fill each donut with jam, custard, or whatever filling you fancy.

  10. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve.


Dough preparation:

*It is very important to stick to the time specified for kneading, as well as the speed specified for kneading.

**The butter should be cut into cubes and should be at room temperature, at the time of adding it to the dough.

During rising:

***Heat the oven up to 50 degrees Celsius and switch it off. Place a tray with water in the oven, and add the wrapped dough, leaving it to rise until doubled in size. This ensures that the donuts do not receive a tough outer shell and roll over as soon as they are placed in hot oil.

***Alternatively, you can cover the dough with a clean tea-towel.

The oil:

****It is preferable to use cottonseed oil, which doesn't burn and does not give off odors. This type of oil can also be used again over Hanukkah for additional fryings.