Israeli Hanukkah donuts (AKA sufganiyot) have taken on a life of their own in the past decade. Classic fillings like strawberry jelly or custard are annually overshadowed by bigger, bolder flavors — match-white chocolate! Berry pavlova! Orange-elderberry!
This year, the sufganiyot stakes were raised once again. So we’ve rounded up the best of them, from cereal milk-infused fillings to donut-flavor popsicles and, most notably, a barrage of savory sufganiyot. Things have gotten weird, and we are here for it. Let’s dive in.
1. Chocolate “Hotdog”
From Jacobs Bakery, Kiryat Ono.
No folks, this sufganiya isn’t really a hotdog, but an oval donut sliced lengthways, then filled with vanilla cream with a log of raspberry ganache coated in milk chocolate (the hotdog part) perched on top. Drizzles of strawberry “ketchup” and passion fruit “mustard” complete the look.
2. Date and Nougat
From Kadosh Bakery, Jerusalem.
Coined the “Abu Dhabi,” referencing the 2020 peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, this donut celebrates Emirati dates. Stuffed with a date cream, topped with nut and cocoa nib nougat, finished with gold leaf, this sufganiya is a decadent taste of the Middle East.
3. DIY Kanafeh
From Nitzan Sasson (@nitzsweets).
Paying homage to the flavors and textures of the Middle Eastern pastry, kanafeh, this donut is filled with sweet cheese and has a nest of caramelized kadaif (shredded phyllo) perched on top. It also comes with a test tube of fragrant syrup to pour lavishly over the donut at your whim.
4. Foie Gras and Fried Onion
From Pita Basta, various branches.
This is the indulgent Hanukkah treat we all deserve this year. Crispy fried onions that offset the rich foie gras are stuffed into a donut — cut in half, burger-style, with a brûlée top. Probably best to limit yourself to just the one.
5. Cereal Milk
From The Showroom Bakehouse, Tel Aviv.
A playful reimagining of beloved childhood breakfasts, these “Cereal Killer” sufganiyot are filled with creme patisserie infused with sweet cereal, like fragrant Cini Minis, fruity Trix, and chocolate Crunch.
6. Everything but the Bagel
From Paz Gavigon (@paz_gavigon).
Your Sunday morning bagel got turned up a notch. These savory donuts are generously covered in everything but the bagel-style seasoning and filled with flavored cream cheese, like basil and smoked salmon. Brunch goals.
7. Jelly Donut Popsicle
From Paletas, Tel Aviv.
The sufganyeta — no, this isn’t a term you failed to pick up at Hebrew school — is not your traditional sufganiya. Because it isn’t one; it’s a donut flavor popsicle created by Tel Aviv’s favorite all-natural popsicle company. The outer layer is made from donut-infused milk (sweet and creamy), which surrounds a homemade berry jelly center.
From Fika Bakery, Tel Aviv.
Fusing Swedish sweet treats with White City flavors, Fika’s drool-worthy sufganiya selection is full of unusual pairings. Our favorite donut is inspired by the classic Swedish Prinsesstårta (princess cake). It’s filled with creme patissiere and raspberry jam, and topped with mint-colored marzipan crowned with a perfect pink marzipan rose.
Header image credit to Betenmelea, Paz_gavigon and Kadosh Bakery via Instagram.