Israeli Sufganiyot

Orly Ziv
Recipe by
Orly Ziv

Probably the most famous Israeli Hanukkah food, sufganiyotsufganiyotסֻפְגָּנִית"Jelly doughnuts;" traditionally eaten in Israel during Hanukkah; singular: sufganiyah. are fried donuts. While they are commonly filled with jelly or other ingredients, this recipe makes easy drop donuts. The cheese in the dough gives them a particularly wonderful texture.

1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 cup soft white cheese, like ricotta
2 eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for topping
Strawberry jam (optional, to serve on the side)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cheese, eggs, canola oil, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Pour oil into a small, deep pot so it comes up about 2 3/4 inches (7 cm). Heat the oil.
  3. Using a spoon, make small balls with the dough. Working in batches, drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden. Transfer to a wire rack or a paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Top with powdered sugar, and if you'd like, serve with strawberry jam.

Tips for Frying Doughnuts

  • Heat the oil to a temperature between 360°F and 375°F
  • Allow time for the oil to get hot again between batches

Reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration by Orly Ziv. 

Looking for more holiday dishes to round out your menu? Find additional recipes for a festive Hanukkah​​​​​​​