Categories: B-shul, Beth El Cookbook, Religious School

Sufganiyah (plural Sufganiyot) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah. Jews have adopted the custom of eating fried foods to remember the miracle associated with the Temple oil.  After the army of Antiochus IV  had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been destroyed. They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest, with enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. They used this, yet it burned for eight days (the time it took to have new oil pressed and made ready).

Sufganioyt (adapted from Joan Nathan’s, The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen)


  • 1 scant dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • Preserves (strawberry is traditional)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon
  • Stir in the milk, oil and eggs
  • Knead the dough until it forms a ball (by hand or in a mix master)
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for an hour (or keep in refrigerator overnight)
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch (dough should be at room temp)
  • Cut the dough into 24 rounds (abt 2” diameter)
  • Take ¼ teaspoon of preserves (or 4 chocolate chips) and place in the center of the circle.
  • Carefully close the dough around the filling and form a ball
  • Place the filled dough balls on a cookie sheet and let rest for 5 minutes before frying
    The oil in the fryer should be heated to about 375 degrees

Gently drop the doughnuts into the hot oil (do not overcrowd) and turn to brown on both sides

Drain on paper towels

  • Roll in sugar

During December the Zayin class will be making potatoe latkes, using the winning recipe from the 2011 Beth El Latke Throwdown. You can find this recipe HERE and in the Beth El cookbook Fishes, Knishes, and Other Tasty Dishes.  Buy the book online or stop by the Judaica Shop and purchase one.  It makes a great Hanukkah gift!



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