Sufganiyot are jelly-filled donuts eaten in celebration of Hanukkah — though one taste, and we think you’ll agree they’re delicious enough to eat every weekend!
The dough for these pillowy pastries is brioche-based with notes of orange and vanilla, and it fries up with a texture that’s part beignet and part donut — lightly crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. We used strawberry preserves in this recipe, but you can use whatever jam or pastry cream you prefer. Our Vanilla Custard would make a terrific choice.
Sufganiyot are easy to make. The dough rests in the fridge overnight and then it’s snap to roll out and cut. The one tip we have from the test kitchen: Make sure your frying oil temp stays at 350º the whole time, otherwise the sufganiyot won’t cook properly. (With oil that’s too hot, they’ll get overly brown on the outside and be undercooked inside; with oil that’s too cold, they’ll absorb oil and get heavy.)
We love that these donuts are on the small side because — with the perfect dusting of powdered sugar on top and the littlest bit of strawberry jam oozing out the side — you will definitely want to eat a few of them.
In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
Whisk in the remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Mix on low speed and slowly add the liquid ingredients and the butter. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Gently form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Roll the dough to ¼” thickness. Using a cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into 2” or 2 ½” rounds. Lightly knead, reroll, and cut the scraps.
Transfer the cut donuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer, heat 3” of oil to 350º. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process. Line a sheet pan with paper towels.
Working in batches, fry the doughnuts for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip and fry for 1 minute. Transfer the donuts to the prepared sheet pan.
Transfer the jam to a squeeze bottle or a pastry bag fitted with a small, round piping tip. Use the squeeze-bottle nozzle or piping tip to make a hole in each of the donuts. Squeeze 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam into each donut.
Dust the donuts with powdered sugar and serve warm. Leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.