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jelly doughnuts Hanukkah Sadie Suskind

Photos by Rebecca Davis-Suskind

Try these scrumptious jelly doughnuts this Hanukkah

A recipe for traditional sufganiyot: Fried in oil, filled with jelly.

Former “MasterChef Junior” semi-finalist Sadie Davis-Suskind looks forward to jelly doughnuts when Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, starts.

“It’s one of my favorite holidays not only because it’s super-family-centric but also because it’s filled with delicious traditional Jewish foods, and foods that are very oily and fried in oil, which I quite like!” said Sadie, who also wrote a food column for The Seattle Times. (Oil is a frequent source of symbolic celebration during Hanukkah, representing a miracle in which oil that should have run out in one day lasted for eight days.) 

“There’s latkes (fried potato pancakes), which is a personal favorite,” said Sadie. She points out it’s clear where her dad’s preference lies: He’s “a total latke fanatic and demands latkes every single night of Hanukkah!” she says, laughing, as her mom confirms that. 

Another of her favorite holiday foods is a red-wine brisket. 

But, like most kids, she also has a soft spot for sufganiyot, jelly doughnuts fried, in, yes, oil. And, to the potential delight of doughnut-loving children and parents all around Puget Sound, she has agreed to share her family’s doughnut recipe here.

Grandma Sally’s Scrumptious Sufganiyot (mini-size version)


Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
Large deep pan
Candy thermometer
Plastic bag


½ cup sugar

1 packet active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

3¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons canola oil plus more for frying

6 large egg yolks

cup room temperature butter

2 cups fruit jam or jelly

Powdered sugar for rolling

Let’s get going: Line a plate with paper towels and put aside.

1) In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together your sugar, yeast and water. Let this sit for about five minutes until the yeast is foamy, then add your flour, salt, both oils and the egg yolks. Turn the mixer on low and mix for about one minute, until the dough comes together and you can see it forming into a ball.

2) Slowly add your butter and allow the ingredients to mix for about one minute. Then mix for another two minutes as you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl in a kitchen towel and let your dough rise for about four hours — or until it has quadrupled in size!

3) When the dough has risen, take your pan and pour in your canola oil 2 inches deep.  Heat the oil over medium heat until the candy thermometer reads 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4) Using a spoon, ice cream scooper or your hands, GENTLY drop golf ball-size balls of dough into the oil. Fry the balls for about 4 to 6 minutes until they are golden brown. Continue to do this in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the doughnuts as they cook. Remove cooked balls from the oil and place on papered plate to drain.

5) When the doughnuts have cooled slightly, make a small hole in each with a sharp knife. Fill your plastic bag with the jam or jelly, close it tight (twisting the top of the bag to get out all the air) and snip off a small piece of the plastic. Poke the tip of the bag into each doughnut and fill each completely. Roll the doughnuts in powered sugar and serve! 


jelly doughnuts Hanukkah Sadie Suskind

This updated story was first published on Dec. 8, 2020.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.