The Hanukkah story is a celebration of two miracles, one of might, and one of light. The former refers to the triumph of Judah the Maccabee and his small band of Jewish fighters reclaiming the desecrated temple in Jerusalem.
The latter refers to the purification and rededication of the temple. To do so, the Maccabees needed oil to light the menorah within the temple but only had enough to light it for a single day.
However, by the grace of God, the menorah burned for eight whole days, and the temple was healed.
Now, Jewish people eat donuts throughout the Hanukkah season because these sweet treats are cooked in oil, thus reminding the eater of the aforementioned miracle of light.
This is why, today, we’ll be checking out the best Hanukkah donut, or should we say sufganiyot, recipes on the web!
Most sufganiyot donuts contain classic strawberry jelly, so that’s where we’re going to start our exploration of this delicious and meaningful snack.
This recipe makes 16 tasty jelly donuts, and it can be prepped in as little as 40 minutes, including rising time, so rumbling tums won’t stay rumbling for long! What’s more, they’ll feed two people for the full eight days of Hanukkah.
It’s a simple recipe that covers all essential bases with aplomb, ensuring that the resulting donuts are soft, sweet, and oh so delicious.
Part of the reason it’s such a quick recipe is that it calls for store bought jelly, which is of course absolutely fine, but if you’d rather whip up your own, you can expect the entire preparation process to take about 20 minutes longer.
But, that’s a small price to pay to make your donuts your way!
Most followers of the Jewish faith stick to either very strict or somewhat restricted diets, but did you know that of all specialist diets, veganism is most aligned with Jewish values, so we felt it important to include this fantastic vegan donut recipe with lingonberry jelly.
If you’ve never heard of lingonberries, it’s likely because they’re more popular across Scandinavian nations than they are in the Western world — This is why you’ll find plenty of lingonberry jelly in Ikea.
In fact, if you’re struggling to find your own lingonberries, we’d recommend picking up some premade jars from everyone’s favorite Swedish flat-pack furniture company.
Now, as for how the recipe creator has veganized a typically dairy-based recipe, it mostly comes down to the use of aquafaba, which is the liquid that tinned chickpeas arrive in.
There’s also a generous amount of vegan butter in this recipe, ensuring a rich flavor and fluffy texture.
For the uninitiated, brioche donuts are the best of the best. Made with fortified dough and lots of fatty ingredients, they’re the ultimate indulgent donut, and although decadence isn’t usually a part of Hanukkah celebrations, it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself from time to time.
But the real reason we included this recipe on our list is the magnificent blueberry and elderberry jelly, proving that you don’t need to stick to the strawberry standard if you’d rather push the envelope with some more exciting flavors.
And if you’re not sure where you’d source elderberries from, don’t sweat it, as this recipe calls for elderberry cordial rather than fresh berries, and you should be able to find that in most stores.
Due to their richness, these probably aren’t the best sweet treat for all eight days of Hanukkah, but they’re absolutely the best way to kick the festivities off or bring them to a close.
You know what’s healthier (and just as tasty) as strawberries? Cranberries, that’s what! Cranberries offer the same tart sweetness as the popular red berry, but bring a number of additional health benefits to the breakfast table.
Plus, we feel that cranberry jelly is a fantastic way to keep things novel over the Hanukkah season, especially if you plan on having a donut every day.
The recipe calls for the use of a premade cranberry sauce for an expedited prep process, but if you do decide to take this handy shortcut, be sure to pick up some jellied cranberry sauce rather than free-flowing.
Otherwise, things are guaranteed to get messy, so do that shirt of yours a favor and pick up the right consistency cranbos!
We have no idea why apple jelly isn’t a more popular product, as it’s one of the tastiest things we’ve ever eaten in our lives, and you can get in on the apple-y magic with this epic recipe.
As apple jelly isn’t as readily available as, say, strawberry or raspberry jelly, you’ll have to whip some up yourself, but don’t worry; it’s actually a really easy job.
You can make your jelly chunky to add an extra textural element to each bite, or you can distill the essence of the apples into the jelly before straining it to remove the bits, resulting in a silky smooth filling that’ll have you wishing Hanukkah was eighteen days long.
The pomegranate holds special significance in the Jewish faith. Said to host 613 seeds, each representative of one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah, they’re symbolically synonymous with the very architecture of Judaism.
This is why you’ll often see pomegranate-shaped decorations on the scroll covers of Ashkenazi Torahs.
They’re also listed as one of the seven spices of Israel in the Torah and are thought to represent love and fertility.
As such, they’re the perfect fruit to use in a jelly recipe while making some Hanukkah donuts, but this recipe takes poignancy to a whole new level with the addition of citrus, as the yellow citron (or etrog) is also of utmost importance to Jewish communities.
Can’t get your hands on any genuine etrogs? No worries; the lemon is a suitable and abundant stand-in, which is why this lemon jelly donut lands a spot on our prestigious list.
Lemon isn’t exactly a tried and tested donut filling, but it can be really refreshing if you get the sweetness just right.
These donuts don’t sit as heavily on the stomach, which makes them a great choice if you’ll be eating them every day for the entire holiday.
If you’re not a fan of lemon but you like the poignancy of using citrus in your donuts, why not give this lime jelly donut recipe a try? It’s a little off-the-wall, but way nicer than you might think.
Just imagine a key-lime pie in donut form… sounds delicious right? Correct; these donuts are absolutely delightful.
In fact, they’re so darn tasty, you’ll find it hard not to eat the whole batch on the very first day of Hanukkah.
Granted, lime isn’t for everyone, as it’s quite a powerful and unique flavor, but you can spruce it up a great deal by adding blackberries to the equation, forming the perfect marriage of natural acid and sugar.
Actually, in our opinion, the blackberries are the best part of this recipe, not just because they’re absolutely scrumptious, but because they’re abundant in the wild, meaning you can work lots of awesome family foraging trips into the preparation process.
The in-the-field action and hand-picked fruits make the final products of this recipe taste all the sweeter, and as Hanukkah is in part a celebration of labor, there’s a parallel here that means every bite isn’t just packed with flavor, but spiritual significance too.
Okay, so cards on the table, this recipe is actually for strawberry and blueberry jelly donuts, but get this… the creator calls for a generous sprinkle of chia seeds in the jelly, which is why these donuts are labeled as chia jelly donuts.
Chia seeds themselves cannot be jellied and have very little flavor, but what they can do is enhance texture, for as they absorb moisture, they develop a gel coating that acts as a thickening agent, making them an excellent vegan substitute for eggs in baking.
What’s more, chia seeds are incredibly good for our health, and if we’re planning on eating them for eight days (or even just a couple of days), it’s good to know that our donuts are at least a little nutritious.
If you’d like a break from the traditional strawberry jelly in donuts but you’re not looking to really push the boat out and experiment with flavor, how does raspberry jelly sound?
This exceedingly simple raspberry jelly donut recipe is the perfect option for those who want to keep things fresh without over-complication, and the resulting donuts are as mouth watering as can be!
Hanukkah is one of the happiest holidays on the Jewish calendar, a celebration of triumph and of God’s love, and with plenty of these donuts to dine out on, your Hanukkah is sure to be as joyful as ever — Chag Urim Sameach!