Photo credit Micah Siva
Prep Cook Yield Ready In
20 minutes + 2 hours resting time 25 minutes 12 2 hours 45 minutes

How to Make Air Fryer Jelly Donuts for Hanukkah

All the flavor of sufganiyot, none of the deep frying.

It is customary to eat food fried in oil on Hanukkah, to signify the oil used to light the Temple’s menorah miraculously lasting for eight days, instead of the one day it was meant to. Before starting a family, my parents lived in Israel for a year, and brought their favorite Israeli dishes with them when they returned to the U.S. Among them were sufganiyot — Israeli donuts made with a yeasted dough, stuffed with sticky jelly and topped with powdered sugar, which are synonymous with Hanukkah. While in many North American households latkes reign supreme, the real star of my childhood Hanukkahs were fresh-out-of-the-oil sufganiyot, flavored with orange zest.

This recipe is a lighter version of the Hanukkah staple. Instead of frying the sufganiyot, I use an air fryer, which simplifies the process. Without the fear of oil splatters and resulting clean-up, there’s no reason not to make sufganiyot this year.

Ingredients

  • 1 7 g package instant yeast (2¼ tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup milk 
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ cup strawberry or grape jelly
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, flour and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, vanilla, egg and orange zest.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on medium-low for 5-6 minutes, or until a smooth dough forms. It will be slightly tacky. If using your hands instead of a mixer, combine with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms, then transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 90 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface, cutting it into 10 smaller pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on the lined baking tray.
  6. Cover with the kitchen towel and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes.
  7. Place 4-5 donuts into the basket of the air fryer, ensuring they do not touch.
  8. Air fry at 375°F for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  9. Meanwhile, add your favorite seedless jam to a squeeze bottle or piping bag (or even a turkey baster!). Insert the tip of the bottle into the top of each sufganiya and squeeze approximately 1 tsp jam into the donut. It will feel heavy, but shouldn’t seep out the sides.
  10. Before serving, dust the sufganiyot with confectioner’s sugar.  

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