jelly doughnuts Recipes

jelly doughnuts

I have been promising you a recipe for homemade jelly doughnuts for as many Hanukahs as this site has been in existence, which is to say 9, including the one that begins next week. This might lead you to conclude that I like neither fried food, doughnuts or even jelly, or all over the above showered in unholy amounts of powdered sugar, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, which is that I like them so much that if they want a chance to live out their short shelf-life destiny, they should stay far from my home.

stretchy dough, hooked
a thwunk of doubled doughnut dough

These round jelly doughnuts are sometimes called sufganiyot, or at least when they hail from Israel and are consumed during Hanukah. However, in my vast — for research, guys, just for research! — jelly doughnut studies, I can tell you that there are sugared round versions of these in dozens of other wonderful places on earth. In Germany, these would be called Berliners; in Poland, pączki (I get mine at the Polish butchers on 2nd Avenue; how about you?), in Russia, ponchiki, in Ukraine, pampushky, in Italy, bombolini (swoon), in Finland, munkki (although not all of these varieties are always filled with jam) and, hey, who wants to go on a Fried Dough World Tour with me?

time to make the doughnuts

cooking the first side
from the oil
draining on towels
tough choices
filling the doughnuts

What almost all of them have in common is yeast dough enriched with egg and a bit of butter which gives them a stretchy, rich but not very sweet quality that I find hopelessly addictive. They fry for just a couple minutes each, and are best the first day, which means they are useless in trying to teach anyone the value of delayed dessert gratification, but means you’ll be something of a hero to anyone who has Eat Doughnuts Still Warm From The Fryer on their life list, not that we know anyone like that.

jelly doughnuts
jelly doughnuts, please don't ask about what happened to the minis
jelly doughnut doing a cheerleading tower

Doughnuts, previously: There are two recipes on this site to date for doughnuts, apple cider doughnuts that should come with a warning for parents of rapidly-growing-up kids — or, at least, me — that they include photos of a one month-old in argyle knee socks slumped over a can of Crisco. [I lost about an hour this week staring at that photo.] Plus, chocolate doughnut holes, which are the perfect party size and include the same curly-haired moppet, now old enough to bang on an empty Crisco can like a drum. Ah, wholesome family memories! Both are excellent recipes, but they are notably absent in my single favorite doughnut quality: yeast. Yeast doughnuts are to cake doughnuts what brown butter is to fresh, what caramel is to plain sugar, what homemade vanilla extract is to anything you can buy in a bottle. Today is the day to make that right.

Next up: NOT a dessert, promise. I know it’s been a bit of a sugar stampede here this last week or two. We’ve got baking on the brain! I also am finding it hard to focus on dinner with so many rugelach pinwheels to make. But here are a few weeknight favorites that, for us, fit the bill but also do not keep us too busy to get all of the fun baking done, too: Cold Noodles with Miso, Lime and Ginger, Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale, Squash Toasts with Ricotta and Vinegar, Sizzling Chicken Fajitas, Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings, Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole and Baked Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

On Pinterest: A visual guide to everything worth baking this month, such as all 71 cookies in the Smitten Kitchen archives and homemade food gifts. Come see!

Signed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks: I work with McNally-Jackson, an independent bookstore in Soho through which you can order a signed Smitten Kitchen Cookbook with your choice of inscription; I sign them, they mail them out. We have a hard deadline for Christmas shipping (i.e. you’d pay standard and not rushed shipping and the book will reach you by Christmas) of this coming Monday, December 15th. [Order Custom Inscribed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks from McNally Jackson]

One year ago: My Great Linzer Torte Love
Two years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
Three years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
Four years ago: Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Five years ago: Build Your Own Smitten Kitchen (the only gift guide I’ve ever made, now with hopefully all-fixed links) and Creamed Mushrooms on Butter-Chive Toasts
Six years ago: Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken and Bread Salad
Seven years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
Eight years ago: Winter Panzanella</a, Homemade Orecchiette with Tomatoes and Arugula, Chicken Skewers with Dukkah Crust and Pecan Squares

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Valerie’s French Chocolate Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Bowties with Sugar Snaps, Lemon and Ricotta
2.5 Years Ago: Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
3.5 Years Ago: Dobos Torte

Jelly Doughnuts [Sufganiyot, Berliners, Pączki, Bombolini, etc.]

Updated 12/22/14 with a slew of additional notes and tips, after someone (ahem) made these two more times in a singe weekend. I found the dough easier to work with an extra spoonful or two of flour; it called for 2 1/4 cups, now calls for 2 1/3. I now share a second method of filling the doughnuts for more perfect centers. And I’ve written in the option of either doing the first rise or the second overnight in the fridge (but not both; the dough cannot handle two days in the fridge). We had two brunch parties this weekend, and to make things easier I pre-filled the doughnuts (the peskier method, below) and proofed them the second time in the fridge overnight. All I had to do in the morning was fry them, which takes all of 10 minutes, tops. And then: warm, fresh doughnuts for all. (Hooray.)

Yield: 16 2-inch doughnuts
Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 7-gram or 1/4-ounce packet) active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) lukewarm (not hot) milk
2 large egg yolks
Few gratings of orange or lemon zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 30 grams) butter softened
2 1/3 cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1 egg white, whisked until frothy (for peskier filling method)
Vegetable oil for deep-frying, and coating bowl
1/2 to 2/3 cup jam or preserves of your choice
Powdered sugar

Make the dough: In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and milk. Let stand for 5 minutes; it should become a little foamy. Whisk in yolks, any zest or extracts you’d like to use, then butter. Don’t worry if the butter doesn’t fully combine.

By hand: Add half of flour and stir with a spoon until combined. Add second half of flour and salt and stir as best as you can with a spoon, then use your hands to knead the dough until it forms a smooth, elastic round, about 5 minutes. Try, if you can, to resist adding extra flour, even if it’s sticky. Extra flour always makes for tougher/dryer doughnuts and breads. Sticky hands and counters are always washable!

With a stand mixer: Add half the flour and let the dough hook mix it in slowly, on a low speed. Add second half of flour and salt and let the dough hook bring it together into a rough dough. Run machine for 3 to 4 minutes, letting it knead the dough into a smooth, cohesive mass.

Both methods: If the dough is already in the bowl, remove it just long enough to lightly oil the bowl. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour, or in the fridge overnight.

There are two ways to fill doughnuts: In the easiest method, you fill them after they’re cooked with a piping bag. The filling is usually a little imperfect, off-center or slightly messy, but it takes the least effort by far. With the peskier method, you pre-fill the doughnuts, sealing the edges; the centers will be picture-perfect and neat, but it does take longer to assemble. Both will make you a hero to anyone you make these for, promise.

Easiest method: On a lightly floured counter, roll dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds; no need to re-roll scraps unless you wish; I like to keep the odd shapes for getting the hang of frying before cooking the final doughnuts. Or, if you’re vehemently against scraps and re-rolling, you can make small square doughnuts, which are surprisingly cute. Let cut dough rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature, loosely covered with a towel at room temperature, or in the fridge overnight, on an oiled tray, covered loosely with oiled plastic wrap (use this longer rise only if did the 1-hour rise the first time; two overnights is too much for this dough).

Peskier method: On a lightly floured counter, roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds; no need to re-roll scraps unless you wish; I like to keep the odd shapes for getting the hang of frying before cooking the final doughnuts. Or, if you’re vehemently against scraps and re-rolling, you can make small square doughnuts, which are surprisingly cute. Brush the edges of half the cut-outs with egg white, and in the center of each, add a tiny dollop (much less than you think you’ll need) of jam. Use the remaining cut-outs to form lids. Pinch every speck of the edges together tightly, almost as if you were making ravioli; you’ll want to seal these spectacularly well. Let filled doughnuts rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature, loosely covered with a towel at room temperature, or in the fridge overnight, on an oiled tray, covered loosely with oiled plastic wrap (use this longer rise only if did the 1-hour rise the first time; two overnights is too much for this dough).

Both methods, fry the doughnuts: Heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F (175°C) in a cast-iron frying pan (I like using one because it so delightfully re-seasons them) or heavy pot. Use your dough scraps to practice and get an idea of how quickly the doughnuts will cook. Then add about 4 doughnuts at a time to the oil, cooking on the first side until golden brown underneath, about 1 to 2 minutes, but often less so keep a close eye on them. Flip doughnuts and cook on the other side, until it, too, is golden brown underneath, about another minute. Drain doughnuts, then spread them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra oil. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

If you haven’t filled your doughnuts yet, i.e. you’re using the easier method: When doughnuts are cool enough to handle, place jelly or jam in a piping bag with a round tip with a 1/4- to 1/2-inch opening. You can fill doughnuts from the tops or sides; I did half with each. Press the tip of the jam bag halfway into the doughnut, and squeeze in the jam until it dollops out a little from the hole. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Finish doughnuts: Either generously shower doughnuts with powdered sugar on either side, shaken from a fine-mesh strainer, or roll the doughnuts gently in a bowl of powdered sugar.

Eat at once. Don’t forget to share. If eating these on the first day, leave any remaining doughnuts uncovered on a plate. These are best on the first day, but my son did not (shockingly) say no to one that had been in an airtight container at room temperature overnight for breakfast this morning, so I guess they’re not inedible on the second day. They will need to be re-powdered, however, as it absorbs into the doughnuts when they’re in a covered container.

To make these dairy-free: You can use warm water, soy, almond or coconut milk instead of the dairy milk, and coconut oil, shortening or margarine for the butter. I made a version with both coconut milk and coconut oil, orange zest and a bit of almond extract that were a big hit.

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173 comments on jelly doughnuts

  1. There’s a bakery near us that sells Berliners and I buy a dozen of them during Chanukah for parties, renaming them sufganiyot. I’m very tempted by this recipe. Very, very tempted.

    Incidentally, did you see the article about doughnuts in the NYTimes a few weeks ago? I could have sworn they did a similar one less than a year ago…Now all I can think about is getting that halavah doughnut at the car wash place in the West Side.

  2. Oh man, yeasted jelly doughnuts fresh from the fryer are high on my favorite foods of all time list. I try to make them once a year for the Polish version of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day.

    It’s not exactly gourmet of me, but I *love* them filled with the Solo brand apricot filling from the can.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe! When I was little my mom baked similar pieces which we call in Germany “Krapfen” – but I didn’t know the recipe so far. But thanks to you now I am able to try this out, I am sure your recipe is as tasty as the “Krapfen” my mom baked :) Thanks for that!

  4. Oh my goodness! Bon appetit published a recipe for sufginayot last year and I wanted to make them but never did. Clearly, my priorities are not in line! Now I’m going to make these as soon as possible! :)

  5. I would love a fried dough world tour! Doughnuts any time, zeppoles, funnel cake, panzerotti in Milan (well, at least those *taste* like savory doughnuts), I will take whatever I can get. I highly doubt that I would ever make them myself, but my god I love these pictures.

  6. For paczki, the only thing missing is a little bit of booze (traditionally Spiritus, Polish grain alcohol, but my great-grandmother used brandy)–supposedly it keeps them from getting too oily during frying (probably also explains the brandy in her chruschiki). Interesting too, paczki are usually filled before frying–it’s a test to see how well you sealed the dough if none of the jam comes out :-) And according to my grandmother, the key is to use a brown paper bag when you toss them in sugar, no other method will do.

    I have to say, though, the size of these looks perfect. My mom and grandma always complain about the paczki sold in stores as they’re huge; my great-grandmothers were just the size of your palm.

  7. Sorcha

    These do look good. Here in Israel, the standard jam is closely followed in popularity by “ribat chalav” which is basically dulce de leche so I made a batch from your recipe today, to use to fill the doughnuts I’m planning to make during Chanukah, so thanks for filling in the part of the recipe that I lacked. I’m now officially ready :)

  8. Madeline

    Deb! Two quick questions: 1) Also a NYCer, I live in a small apartment and am afraid to fry anything (latkes, doughnuts, etc.) because I’m worried that the frying will stink up my tiny apartment, and I’ll smell like latkes/doughnuts for days. Was this a problem in your apartment? Or did you just open doors/windows and deal with it? 2) I know you said not to ask what happened to the mini doughnuts, but since I’d love to try making mini ones, can I ask what happened? Was there too much jelly or something? Thank you so much! Xoxo

  9. Micky

    I was born in Israel so for Chanukah we always had sufganyot! But my mom is Italian and when we moved back to Italy I discovered we could have “bomboloni” all year round :-D
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Hope to try it next week!

  10. Lauren

    You are the Devil. Raspberry jelly? OMG! Someone else just suggested Apricot…I hate you all. It will now be impossible NOT to make these. I’m going to go for as many HUGE ones as I can, thus eating fewer of them. Logical, right?

  11. Katie

    I really need a kitchen thermometer for stuff like this so that I’m not afraid to fry (everything I fry burns. Everything) Any suggestions?

  12. Shoshanah

    I learned to make soufganiot on Kibbutz back in the 1970’s and I have made them every since each year at Hannukah time. And yes they must be eaten as soon as possible when they come out of the oil, properly filled and powdered. My family refers to left over jelly donuts as hockey pucks, so we try to have enough guests to devour all of the donuts.

    Your process is absolutely on target down to the paper towels!! I will share one idea that others may like. Instead of vanilla extract, I use rum and it is just wonderful!!!

  13. Jess

    Wow, these look REALLY yummy! I’m definitely going to give the dairy-free version a shot — maybe for Christmas? Thank you for posting such a sweet (ha, ha, ha) recipe; I can’t wait to try it!

  14. Khendra

    They look delicious!
    Beware of Berliners in Germany during Carnival time! Then they may be filled with mustard for a kind of joke!

  15. Kim

    Do you think it would work to roll these in granulated sugar when you take them out of the fryer? Then I could fill them with Nutella and have bomboloni to remind me of my days in Rome.

  16. Yse

    My family is from Israel and we always add some brandy (about 2 tablespoons) to ours and, whenever possible, use fresh (cake) yeast. It makes a huge difference. The orange zest is essential though, do not skip this. I like to add a bit extra. My favorite fillings are raspberry or apricot jam though I’ve been known to add “caramel” jam as well.

    This recipe is AMAZING for a suganyot caramel filling. Use really good, high fat european style cultured demi-sel butter. I like organic valley’s for this use (the foil wrapped kind).

  17. Rachel

    This recipe brings bag fond memories of being an exchange student in Finland about a decade ago. The lovely family I stayed with took me to the open-air market to try doughnuts like these, except that they were filled with spiced ground meat, potatoes, rice, etc., and topped with ketchup and mustard. Delicious!

  18. I laughed for five minutes over that picture of your little one, posed with the Crisco can. He may as well know from an early age that fat is part of good food. :)

  19. Masa

    Two questions: if I make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge, does it need to come back to room temp before cooking? And also, do you have a suggestion regarding which candy thermometer you use? I’ve had the worst luck with these. Thanks!

  20. Kristina

    Deb we are on the same page! I’ve been working on a list of flavors for donut holes to make this year. Would like to make a chocolate version to fill, how would you suggest I do that? Thank you!!

  21. Mia

    Deb, thank you so much for this recipe. We just moved back to the states after living in Germany for 3 years. Krapfen is something we always loved around the holidays and I’m glad i can make them at home this year.

  22. Liz

    I hope you took a picture of Jacob holding the can of Crisco! Just imagine those 3 images all together, one at 1 month, one just shy of a year, and now your full-fledged grown boy!

  23. Minik

    That photo of Jacob!!!
    Man, I hate frying things; it makes such a mess. My husband happened to see these when I was checking your site today and he insists I make these; what have you done Deb :) They really do look verrrry special.
    We decided to fill these with tahini+honey mix. Let’s see how that goes.
    I have a question:
    Since they are fried, do you think it would make any difference in taste if we let the dough ferment overnight or just one hour? Thank you!

  24. Susan

    I am not a doughnut person but was inspired to make some after having a bite of some of the worst doughnut-shop doughnuts I’d ever sampled (which reinforced why I don’t like doughnuts). But, it spurred me into questioning my dislike when so many people love them. So, I researched and found a recipe from a trusted source and gave it a go. Solved: It was the fry oil that appears to be the culprit. Shops reuse the oil, sometimes too long. I guess I had always had doughnuts that had been fried in old oil and weren’t drained well enough..cuz that is where my years of doughnut indigestion seemed to indicate the problem lie.

    I am still not a doughnut fan, but I enjoyed making them and everyone loved them..but then, they (people I love, know and trust!) always liked doughnut shop doughnuts, too, so…..

  25. Pika

    These look good! In central Europe we however eat these in Carneval time, in particular on Fat Tuesday (Pancake Day in UK, maybe also in US?). And to add to your list, in Austria they are called Krapfen and in Slovenia krofi.

  26. Norah

    Whaaat?! You make “berliner” (I am german-speaking, so thats what we call them)?! Thats amaazing! They look really really great and yummy. You know, ever so often I read your blog in the evening and make a recipe of yours a few days after. I find your site very inspiring and also love that you have many vegetarian and bean-based recipes. So, you often hear me saying: “oh, its according to a smitten kitchen recipe” :)

  27. Rosa

    Holy cow, the 2nd Street butcher with the paczki! I’m from Chicago but live in St. Louis and often miss easy access to Polish food. Imagine my excitement during my first trip to New York last month when I stayed around the corner from that butcher and got to have paczki again. Now I have a recipe to make them myself!

  28. Jelly doughnut are one of those few things that I feel like I love so so much but will never have homemade. And after this post I feel like it’s time for change!


  29. Derek

    Deb – fried foods hate me. I mean, finding that right temperature for the oil in a pan on my electric cook top is elusive. Perhaps it is just my issue? The first stuff takes forever. The next are nearly instantly burned. The next take forever…and on and on. How do you keep the temperature in the range that cooking stays predictable? Do you use a thermometer left in the oil and/or instant read?

    Would it be wrong to bring chocolate into this somehow? Heehee….

  30. Maria

    For a fat Tuesday version my mom sometimes fries these in butter fat (ghee), or a mix of temperature resistant coconut oil and butter fat. Yum! I still haven’t made any doughnuts myself, but you’re inspiring me to put up with two inches of oil :) Thanks!

  31. I made these doughnuts and it is an attack on my self control. Instead of using regular raspberry jam (huge fan) I used a local jam here in Utah with cinnamon, vanilla and raspberry somebody gave me as a gift this Christmas. Doughnuts with raspberry cinnamon and vanilla jam are now a Christmas treat! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. deb

    Rachel — I think it would be just fine, but put them in the fridge before they’ve proofed for the last 30 minutes, i.e. right after you cut them. Maybe let them warm up a bit at room temperature before frying.

    Derek — You are correct, it’s absolutely exasperating and it’s my least favorite part of deep-frying too. A deep-fryer (the machine) will keep temperatures even, but I hardly fry enough to justify one. I just keep checking the temperature — with this recipe, nudging it up and down as needed. Fortunately, these are forgiving. If they brown quickly, just flip them sooner. If they’re done on the second side very quickly, just take them out. I didn’t have any that were undercooked in the center, even when the oil got too hot.

    Susan — I could definitely see that being a problem at places that aren’t careful about lingering flavors. The nice thing about making them at home is that you know the oil is fresh. (Sadly, I don’t fry enough to ever get much re-use out of mine.)

    Minik — Yes, you can do the first rise overnight in the fridge.

    Sarah — No, but you’d probably want them fully cool before filling them or it will of course melt terribly. You might also try a chocolate pastry cream, which should be more forgiving.

    Kate and Sarah M., re, if you don’t have a piping tip — So you’ll want to roll your dough half as thick, even as little as 1/8-inch. Put a tiny spoonful of jam in the middle of half the circles. Whisk one of those leftover egg whites to make it foamy, and brush it around the edges, then put a second round on top of it, sealing the edges together around it. Make sure it’s brushed and sealed well. It’s more work, but you’ll probably also get jam more neatly inside, i.e. perfectly centered and all that.

    Taya — Yes, you need to let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge once you’ve made the dough, then a second time for 30 minutes once you’ve cut the shapes. I do think it can be done on a weekday night, because after that 1.5 hours, they fry very quickly. Or, you can get things in motion the night before by proofing the dough in the fridge. Then, on the next weekday night, you’d only need to roll them out, cut them and let them rise the second time (30 minutes) before frying.

    Shelly — Yes, do it! Same method. You’re not going to get as much in as you would if you were doing the more complex filling method I mention to Kate in this same comment, but it couldn’t be easier.

    Liz — No photo this time. :( He’s in school all day! No fun at all.

    Kristen — You want to make yeasted chocolate doughnut holes? Or would these suffice?

    Masa — No, because I think between rolling it and letting it sit out for 30 minutes for the second proofing, it will be warmed up enough. They’re not very thick.

    Nicole — Similar, although brioche doughs usually have more eggs and more butter. Because they’re awesome.

    Candy thermometer — I don’t have a favorite brand — although I think mine is from Muji. I tend to just do a search on Amazon if I’m nervous about choosing, and opt for the one with the best reviews, even if I then try to buy it at a local kitchen store. :)

    Madeline — Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I live in fear of the latkes I was going to fry up tomorrow for next week. Terror! My new apartment isn’t as tiny (uh, only because the other was a shoebox) and has better ventilation so I wasn’t as aware of smells. However, what aroma there was, was to me pleasant. Fried yeasted dough! I had very brand new oil and it’s just yeast/flour/sugar, so no stink to it, no burnt pieces. An hour or two later, I would never have known anything was fried. Re, the mini ones, I just mean that they were gone before anyone else had a chance to know they existed, heh. I made them with a 1.25 or 1.5-inch round. You can fill them, but only a tiny drop. They cook up just fine, though, and taste great.

  33. Kristina

    Oh I was looking at that recipe and it sounds great but a chocolate yeasted donut might be just the ticket for my list of favour combinations. One dough and different fillings might be less daunting for me.

  34. janna

    I remember the photo with the Crisco can – so adorable! And I think I need to make these – I’ve made yeasted donuts, but not jelly-filled….

  35. Margit Van Schaick

    You bring back wonderful memories of my mother making these–often– and that at age 12, I could easily eat several at a time! In Hungarian, we called these “fank”. So delicious. My mom used “Sno-Kreem” to fry. To think of all the hydrogenated oil I’ve consumed! Now, I only eat organic, healthy stuff(at least most of the time). Also used to make French Fries in the same stuff. Often. So, so delicious! Thanks for this very appetizing recipe! I will make these for my 2 1/2 year old grandson (and for myself, too) this week-end. Family traditions, you know.

  36. In Czech, jam doughnuts are called “koblihy” and the jam is sealed inside before frying: You cut out a round, put a little jam in the middle, top it with another round of dough and seal the edges. It is more work but there is no jam leaking out and somehow, to me a least, it makes them taste better. This is the recipe my grandmother used to make and I make on New Year’s Eve:

  37. Julia

    Hey Deb! I really love your site and have already cooked a lot of your recipes – always delicious.
    In Austria they are called Krapfen. They are usually filled with apricot jam (Marillenmarmelade) and taste quite heavenly. Also popular is a filling like vanilla pudding.

  38. Oh how I love Sufganiyot!
    Your sufganiya looks really delicious!
    Except from the regular jam filling, I love the Sufganiyot with dulce de leche Yum!
    Thanks for sharing.

  39. My husband and I are neither one Jewish but we love to celebrate all holidays. Normally we make latkes and matzo ball soup this time of year. We discovered sufganiyot last year and made them. It’s going to become a holiday tradition, I think. They are so good! Who can resist a jelly doughnut?

  40. Calisson

    Looks fabulous. And I think doughnuts are even better rolled in granulated sugar as opposed to powdered sugar. It adds a delightful crunch to the edge.

  41. MJ

    These doughnuts (in Berlin we call them pfannkuchen) are also a German New Year’s Eve tradition– you buy or make as many doughnuts as you like, but you fill one with mustard instead of jam. It’s almost like the whoever-finds-the-plastic-baby-in-a-Mardi-Gras-king-cake-hosts-the-party-next-year kind of thing, except there’s no associated promise of hosting next year’s gathering… everyone just has a good laugh at you. German humor: does not mess around.

  42. These look amazing! Doughnuts are my weak spot. I ordered what I thought was a jelly doughnut in Tokyo many moons ago… it was filled with bean paste. Not quite the same!

  43. deb

    Lindsay — I did. However, I had trouble clipping mine to the cast-iron skillet so I used a meat thermometer a frequently dipped it to check the temperature.

  44. clb72

    Last year my 3 year-old daughter and I made your apple cider donuts for Channukah– this year we’re making these! Thanks so much for inspiring a family tradition.

  45. jwg

    Help. Didn’t know where else to tell you. The Cashew Butter balls on the site have an non-existing baking time listed-300&#176F. I’m going to take a chance and use the temp. for Mexican Wedding Cakes but thought you ought to know.

  46. Anna

    Weren’t you the one telling us about the wonders of browned butter?

    I resisted for ages, only ever made some once for some cookies (spoon cookies, from, what? Gourmet?) but never since.

    Tonight I made some double stuffed potato ravioli, and drizzled some browned butter over the top (with chives). So delicious! I think my diet plans are in trouble.

  47. Dear lord Deb, just took a look at that baby in knee socks and my ovaries are actually throbbing. That hair! I am wild with jealousy! Mine were cue balls until they were one!

  48. A big thank you from Australia for putting measurements in grams. Had absolutely no idea what a stick of butter was or completely infuriated trying to scrape out a tablespoon of rock hard cold butter. I love ‘Cook’s Illustrated’ and ‘The Cake Bible’ but sometimes get frustrated at having to convert the measures.
    Love the look of those donuts…

  49. karen on the coast

    So, I
    skirted around the »Sticky Toffee Pudding«,
    dug into the »Pickled Cabbage Salad«,
    gave a nod of *must make* to the »Parker House Rolls«,
    peeked at but passed up on the »Classic Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce«,
    did not crumble (but did drool) at the sight of the »Cranberry Pie with thick Pecan Crumble«,
    hungered after the »Twice Baked Potatoes with Kale« (I mean, Kale!!) but withstood,
    bathed in dreams of »Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix« with white marshmallows floating all around,
    breathed deeply of the »Ginger Biscotti« aroma wafting through my imagination —
    and stood firmly in the midst of it all.

    But this, Deb, this — what have you done?? You have slipped the key I had thrown away into the solidly bolted door in my soul marked »Childhood Memories of Viennese NomNoms«

    — and now?? arrrrrggghhhh…

  50. Thanks for posting this recipe with photos and more importantly, both metric and US measurements. (I have both in my kitchen) I can’t wait to try these at home!

  51. deb

    Karen — It’s torture, right? But his hair is STRAIGHT now and I don’t know why it turned on us. We are not over it.

    Anna — Guilty as charged. December is made for browned butter. We can all repent in January, I suppose.

    jwg — Whoops, now fixed. A typo I make all the time. Not that you asked the boring details, but the code ° in HTML makes the degree sign. I probably leave off the last semicolon about 10% of the time, so you see part of it and it’s confusing. Regardless, the other baking time would be just fine here. Hope they were a hit.

  52. Dulce

    OMG…. I just made these and OMG…. they are perfect!! I plan on filling some of them with “dulce de leche”.
    Greetings from Mexico =)

  53. Frances

    Everything you make looks so amazing… and I must say I can always trust that your recipes will be delicious! Question about the signed cookbooks: is the signing available for the UK version? Thank you and have a great weekend!

  54. Jen

    I have resisted making sufganiyot for the Hanukkah dinner I always host for my husband’s family because the thought of trying to fry stuff at the last minute while the family hovers around (and offers “advice,” undoubtedly), makes me very afraid. I’ve always wondered if frying them a couple hours in advance would really be ok. So your little one was ok with them when older, but what about the grown ups? Would they be *close* to as good as fresh a few hours later, or is it a pale comparison?

  55. Tina

    Great Recipe, they look amazing!
    I’m german and as some persons said before, in Germany they are not just called ‘Berliner’. They have all over Germany different names in different places. Especially around holiday season they came in lots of different variaties, filled with chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, egg liqueur, nutella, different fruit fillings… sooo many delicious stuff. My personal favourite is a classic one filled with strawberry jam and hmm (i’m not sure if there’s a english word for it) powdered sugar mixed with water as an icing (?) on top.
    Greetings :)

  56. Jay

    Made these for kids after a sleep over. Covered a few in chocolate sauce made from milk, sugar and chocolate chips. Add sprinkles and the kids were happy The adults followed the recipe. We loved these!

  57. Oh, Deb, I *died* seeing that picture of your son with Crisco! My son is one month on Friday (he has lots of thick, slightly wavy dark hair — I’m so afraid he’s going to lose it!) — I’m already weepy at how much he’s changed since he was born.

    Also, these donuts look great. :)

  58. Nal

    My german grandmother made a similar doughnut she rolled in granulated sugar, sliced partially opened and filled with raspberry jelly and sweetened whipped cream (the german word for cream is schlag – everything tasted better “mit schlag” and its fun to say as well!)

  59. Ben

    I made these today and some of them turned out quite lovely and others were flat little discs of dissappointment. Any idea why they didn’t rise?!?

  60. NYCYN

    I made the doughnuts yesterday for my own birthday present. I grew up next to a wonderful German family, and each year on New Year’s Day we would go to their home for fresh (amazing) doughnuts. Such splendor has only been duplicated while living/traveling in France, Italy, Austria. We have tried to follow the German recipe, but it has always been a lot of work for mediocre results. But your recipe was divine! I made the dough the night before, left it on my counter to rise over night since my house is on the cool side, shaped and fried them in the morning – and they were perfect. While I love the idea of continuing my neighbor’s recipe, I will follow the idea (start the New Year with yeast doughnuts so that you start the year with something rising well) using this recipe!
    There also used to be a decent place for Polish doughnuts in Brooklyn (on the north end of Williamsburg, which could be gone since that neighborhood became as hip/expensive as it is now), comparable to the place on Second Ave.

  61. Stephanie

    Deb, I can nearly guarantee you’ll see the curls again. Our wee Jewish boy had huge blonde curls until age 3, when he had his first haircut. Suddenly, he was a straight-haired brunette! Oy! Now, it’s straight-haired winters with a drop of wave, and we know spring is coming when it starts to curl. All summer we get highlights and curls, especially when it’s summer.

    Also, can’t wait to make these sufganiyot!I got a baby deep fryer as a Chanukkah present a few years back. I can’t eat wheat, so need to replicate occasional fried things at home. I pull it out 2-3 times a year. Your recipes always translate well, so I will try these.

  62. Leah

    These look delicious! I never thought of using a shallow pan before to fry them. I always use deep pots. Also love the idea of inserting the jam through the top of the donut as opposed to the sides or bottom.

  63. Farrell

    Deb, I made these yesterday and they were perfect! Dough was made on Saturday and rested in the refrigerator. I pulled it out early to let it warm up a bit. The doughnuts fried up beautifully. They will be a star, along with Latkes and Gravlax, at our Hanukkah party this week. In order to verify your claim that they could sit for a few hours I subjected myself to taste tests throughout the day. They were a bit more dense as they sat, but still wonderful. I used Oat Milk and margarine for a non-dairy version. I appreciated that the sweetness came more from the sugar coating and jelly rather than an overly sweet dough.

  64. Dani

    Deb, I want to make these SO bad but am terrified I’m going to set my tiny apt ablaze in the process…is it possible to bake them instead of fry?

  65. marianne

    I am just curious about the oil for frying. You may have posted about this before. Is vegetable oil the preferred oil for frying. I’ve heard that sunflower or peanut oil are better for higher temperature frying. I was curious if you thought that those oils would affect the taste.

  66. Aviva H

    Hi can’t wait to make these! Curious if I make the dough the night before how long can I leave it in the fridge? I’m thinking I’d like to make dough one night and fry the next night. Will that give the dough a yeasty taste will it be ok or…? Thanks :)

  67. deb

    marianne — Peanut and sunflower and sometimes safflower are all popular for deep-frying. I’ve probably used peanut the most often; it seems to leave very little of an oily feeling behind on food, which is why I understand it to be popular at restaurants for french fries. That said, I alluded to it here kind of jokingly, and I know it’s a hideously unpopular ingredient these days and no doubt, all sorts of terrible for you (though, I’m not really eating doughnuts as part of a diet plan, of course, either), but I think Crisco is wonderful for deep-frying things like doughnuts, which are often served not warm but at room temperature. The reason is that it’s solid at room temperature, and thus the doughnuts have no oily feel on the tongue or in the hands whatsoever. All of those others oils we mentioned are liquid at room temperature, and I find the oiliness more noticeable. So, just throwing that out there as another option.

    Dani — Although I could never say with 100% certainty that you won’t cause a fire (!), I promise, it’s not as scary as it seems. Just a skillet of oil! Frying gets scary when you’re dropping wet things in oil; they hiss, sputter, splatter, etc. These aren’t terribly wet, being dough and all that. They make a gentle sss and are done in about 3 minutes each, tops. That said, I think you could bake them. But perhaps just brush them with a little oil or butter on all sides first so you still get a nice texture/color on the outside? They will likely taste more like challah/brioche rolls.

  68. Nikki S.

    I made the donuts for my family yesterday. Although they turned out so well that everyone wants me to make more (even my gym-loving parents), I really didn’t have an easy time of it. The dough was much sticker than yours seemed to be, and it was hard to make clean cut outs. Any idea where I went wrong?

  69. Sarah

    Sufganiyot is to Israel what the Cronut is to NYC. The best ones are definitely the caramel/butterscotch ones, but they are SO hard to find here, and when I do they are always pareve (and therefore not that great). Made this dough last night and some dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk … can’t wait to fry ’em and fill ’em tonight!

  70. Yael

    These sufganiyot came out great! I was not sure when I rolled the dough to half an inch that they will rise up to the occasion, but they totally did! They were round and cute and the Israelis at the table said they tasted just like home! Thank you and happy Chanukah!

  71. Kirsten

    My son and I both love your blog. Today was his 17th birthday, and these were his birthday breakfast.
    Fantastic! I used orange zest and almond extract, and they were phenomenal with just a tiny drizzle of honey (it’s a mother’s prerogative to save her offspring from undercooked pastry). The rest were filled with a peach bourbon jam we’ve been saving for just such an occasion (Isn’t this what all jams aspire to?). Thanks for making a great memory!

  72. deb

    Hi Maria — I didn’t know that egg yolks were verboten if trying to make this paerve, or maybe you were just hoping to veganize it? There’s a commonly used egg substitution of flax seeds and water, but I haven’t auditioned it here.

  73. Hi Deb! I just made these (while singing the Sufganiyot song form “Shalom Sesame”) and they were delicious! However, some of them got really dark brown, really fast, despite the temperature falling below 350 degrees. I used a candy thermometer, so the dial rested on the pan handle and the tip touched middle of the pan rather than floating in the the oil. Would the thermometer touching the pan make a difference in the temperature reading? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Amanda — I actually found that mine cooked very quickly too. They were still cooked through, so just take them out as soon as they hit the right color. Re, thermometer touching the pan, yes, it can make it read higher.

  74. Elise

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe. I discovered my Jewish heratige a little late in life and this is our first year celebrating Hanukkah. My son and I made these today and they turned out perfect. You have made this family very happy!

  75. Dina

    Deb – help! I made these the other night and they came out golden brown and delicious. But I had trouble filling them – because the jelly isn’t firm (like, say, a buttercream) I didn’t have as much control over the piping bag as I normally do and I couldn’t really fill the donuts so well without making a huge mess. (Delicious mess, but sticky nonetheless.) When I bit into the filled donuts, they were only full for about 3/4 inch from the insertion. Any tips to help with the filling part of the process! I want jelly the whole way through!!

  76. Joelle

    Amazing! I just made these and OMG Soooooo yummy. I added a little extra flour as it was a hot humid day. Cook time for me was only 30 or so seconds for the first side and a little longer for the second. I will make more tomorrow. Mmmmmmmmm

  77. Vidya

    This is insane. I had sufganiyot on the brain and was hunting for a good recipe. I didn’t even think to check here, but when it was time for my weekly Smitten update, what did I find…sometimes I think you can actually read minds. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve got the dough rising right now.

  78. Helen

    We were introduced to packzis when we moved to Canada; Detroit is just across the river from us. Big polish communities on both sides, so Shrove Tuesday is “Poonch-key” day for us. Order ahead or buy them early, or they’re all gone. Last year I stood in line, waiting to buy them custom filled. Nutella or prune? Raspberry jam or lemon? Decisions, decisions! Yours look delicious, Deb, and may push me to overcome my “fear of frying”, lol.

  79. Mary Moss

    My comment is tardy, but i still wanted to thank you for this recipe. I MADE JELLY DOUGHNUTS. Still can’t believe it. Just another one of those things that i always thought I’d leave to someone else. Never again….

  80. Mary Moss

    I stored these doughnuts individually in plastic wrap (commercial variety) but any will do. IN FACT- what really happened was this! – My guy (insane) just assumed that these doughnuts would be good no longer than our first night of Chanukah, so he pitched them into our compost bucket. The following morning being irate and momentarily baffled, i quickly scavenged them out of the compost, dusting off coffee grounds and such, only to eat them later. They were STILL delicious.
    So they lasted unwrapped and mingling with unsavory elements a whole night.
    These will be great no matter what.

  81. deb

    Doughnuts — Guys, I just added a TON of extra directions and tips on such things as: using more flour for a less sticky dough, how to fill the doughnuts so they’re “perfect” (although it’s a bit more work), doing either the first or the second rise in the fridge overnight and more. This weekend, I, uh, made these two more times and found, when planning ahead for a brunch party, it was easier to do the more labor-intensive pre-filling of the doughnuts the night before, proof them the final time in the fridge overnight, and drop them right into the fryer in the morning. 10 minutes of work once you wake up, and you all get freshly cooked, hot doughnuts, hooooray!

    Amy — Were you thinking of using a doughnut pan or just baking them on a tray? I actually haven’t tried these in either, but I’d bake them at 350, wouldn’t expect them to take terribly long. They’re more like a roll if you don’t fry them, so you can look at individual roll baking times for estimates. (10 minutes, maybe?)

    Debbie — I added this in the new notes too. At room temperature, on a plate (i.e. uncovered) for the first day. If you have leftovers (crazy!) in an airtight container overnight. In an airtight container, the powdered sugar will absorb, will need to be re-powdered the next day.

    Dina — The new notes and suggestions might help. The piping bag is definitely, as you noted, an imperfect method, but by far the easiest. You might try the peskier one next time (prefilling, but you’ll get perfect centers out of them) to get it just right.

  82. Lori

    I used this recipe and slightly altered it to make it dairy free. And let me say, best ever soufganyiot! I just have a question, how do you get them in the oil without deflating them? I try to lift them ever so carefully, but I always end up leaving an indentation. Thank you!

  83. special living la

    yeah, so I made these and they were good and I faked it in a photo but they were not beautiful like yours :)
    First time ever to make sufganiyot!

  84. anon

    if you do the second method of filling them will they still look as round and cute as yours do in the picture? how do you pinch them closed without making them look super ugly

  85. anita

    Pleased to see you mentioned the Finnish munkki! We usually don’t dust them in powdered sugar but roll them in regular white sugar, if eating right away. Otherwise, they’re best stored frozen and sugared after defrosting. They’re popular year-round but especially around May Day.

  86. Tracy

    I made these for the first night of Chanukah, and they were fantastic. Though donuts can never be quite as good the next morning, we found that a quick zap in the microwave really helped. Thanks for another great recipe!

  87. mia

    My friends liked these over flourless chocolate cake! Who knew that was even possible! I ended up doing the peskier method by accident (I rolled out dough too thin for the easier way) and they weren’t hard to do. However, I think i will try filling after frying next time because the dough stayed moist near the jam. It was cooked, but a texture I’ll try to avoid in the future. Folks have already asked if I deliver.

  88. Morgan

    Happy New Year! I made these on Jan. 1 and they were delightful! I made the dough in the cuisinart the night before, let it rise for a few hours and then put it in the fridge overnight. I rolled out of bed the next morning, let the dough come to room & it was delightful! It was one of my first times frying at home, and I really didn’t have any issues at all. I filled them after frying with a homemade grape jelly and they were SPLENDID!

  89. Oh yummy homemade doughnuts, thank you for posting this recipe. I will definitely try it as I have 3 constantly hungry teenagers to feed. They love their veg – but they love their treats more!!!! I’m fairly new to blogging (5 months) and have joined Bloglovin in the last week!! Please come and check out my site if you have time?
    Ps did I mention, all my writing, photos and blogging has been done using my IPhone 4S!!!!

  90. Maexie

    Hi!i am from Germany and my hometown bakery fills Berliners with Vanilla cream and jelly and calls them “vampire kisses”. They also offer them filled with nougat cream and with Eierlikör (egg liqueur). All of them are AMAZING!! Maybe You would like to try one of these versions … ;)

  91. frizz

    I made these today and they were fantastic. I used the “easy” method of filling. I did, however, pre-poke a hole with a chopstick, so I thought the filling worked out great. I tried jelly but also tried some with some leftover lemon curd.


  92. Leah

    In the hope that you read comments from old recipes, I’m here to say: this is the reason that this blog has the reputation and following that it does. I wanted to make paczki for Fat Tuesday; it’s a tradition in southeastern Michigan, where I’m from, and while I’ve found a great bakery in Greenpoint that makes them, I didn’t feel like making the trek in this weather. Defected for a different blog because it was billing its recipe specifically as paczki and claimed some authenticity, and it couldn’t have been a bigger disaster. Dough so soft I literally could not form it into anything and wound up washing half down the drain just in an effort to peel it off my hands. Every single donut wound up in the trash. Almost in tears (partly due to back pain from hauling my stand mixer around my kitchen and partly due to hormones [pregnancy fist bump]) I found this recipe and could not have been happier with the process and final product. Turned out perfectly and made just the right amount, since I concur that they are best the first day and don’t make for great leftovers.

    Just wanted to say, thank you for all the time and attention you put into testing and revising your recipes so that your readers can feel confident that their kitchen projects won’t be disappointing failures! Between you, Dorie, and Ina, I need never Google again :)

  93. Arien

    I whipped these up yesterday in a cooking frenzy. They are so good! Even with half whole wheat flour when I ran out of AP. The texture of the brioche is perfect.

    For anyone worried about deep frying–I used less than an inch of oil (ok, actually home rendered lard which makes them very not kosher) in a deep Dutch oven and had practically zero spattering.

  94. SamanthaJess

    RE “the peskier method”: I have tried both ways, don’t bother with this method. Several of the donuts sides do not stick as well as you would like them to and… well… let’s just say that the fried result is a doughnut that partially comes apart, makes you blush, and that you do NOT want to bring to work…

  95. Aleks

    I’m not the only one saying this, but my mother’s paczki were filled before frying, and it has slightly ruined bought donuts for me that are filled after frying, it’s just too messy for me.

  96. Liz

    I just came up with the most amazing Hanukkah-miracle hack on this lovely recipe! I didn’t have enough oil to fill up a cast-iron pan, and so I put a little coconut oil (maybe 2 tsp) in each little round of my aunt’s ebilskiver pan, and voila: light, lovely, doughnuts, and barely a dent into my jar of oil!
    I also skipped the roll-out of the dough and just formed balls in my hands (and maybe I worked in some apple pieces first). They came out super great – my best doughnuts ever! I realize people are more likely to have extra oil on-hand than an ebilskiver pan (how many Jews have a Norwegian aunt?), but this worked out great for me! And, it’s making me reconsider the whole Hanukkah miracle story – haven’t we always been able to come up with economical ways to make do?

  97. Anna

    I love this website and all of the recipes! I just made these for the first time last night and my toddler helped every step of the way and loved it! I just wanted to say that I wasn’t sure if I could freeze the dough and then fry it later, as I didn’t see anything here about that, but I tried it and it worked! I just let them defrost a bit and then fried and filled according to the decorations.

  98. Jenn

    Brilliant! Thank you so much for this recipe. It wasn’t fussy at all, and the donuts are delicious! Between this and the SK latke recipe, you’re really helping to make my family’s Hanukkah. :)

  99. Mel

    Deb thank you SO much for this recipe!!!!!! It was such a success!!!! I’ve never made doughnuts before, but with the last night of Hannukah I figured I’d give them a try! The recipe was super simple, and my only two regrets were rolling the dough a bit too thin (but not terribly so) and not having a candy thermometer. I made do by testing scraps as you said. They came out perfectly and I then filled them somewhat awkwardly with a ziploc piping bag :). Powdered sugar and they were ready to go! They were absolutely delicious!!!!! My SO LOVED them and they were so simple that I am looking forward to making them again!! Thank you! (and Happy Hannukah to you and yours!!) :-)

  100. Laura

    I’ve made these twice now and they are fantastic. Thanks so much! I’d love some pictures or more specific advice on how to seal the jelly in without ruining the shape of the dough. Maybe for next Hanukkah! :)