Classic Jelly Doughnuts

Hanukkah is a holiday I am a little ambivalent about. On the one hand it does not require too many family feasts. But on the other hand – lighting candles and the traditional foods that accompany it stress me a little. As someone who watches her eating habits every single day and tries to maintain a reasonable body fat percentage, it’s a dangerous holiday.

Even though I’m not a big fan of fried foods in general, when it’s warm and fresh it really is hard to resist. Every holiday I make doughnuts at least once for my family and friends, and we host a small party on one of the holiday days.

This classic jelly doughnuts recipe runs in my family for years. It’s traditional to make them at least once a year, accompanied with other fried holiday treats like quick cream donuts and levivot.

These jelly doughnuts are classic, homey and easy to make. The dough is soft and has a rich texture that after frying gets crunchy on the outside but soft and buttery on the inside. I fill them with strawberry jelly (everyone’s favorite, and a classic itself), but you can fill it with any other filling you like – chocolate, vanilla, etc.

Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

So delicious | Photo: Natalie Levin

Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

Perfect for Hanukkah | Photo: Natalie Levin

4.29 from 7 votes

Classic Jelly Doughnuts

Servings 20 medium doughnuts
Author Natalie


For the dough:

  • 650 grams (4 cups + 2 tbsp.) all-purpose flour
  • 12 grams (3 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) soft butter
  • 100 ml. (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 180 ml. (3/4 cup) lukewarm milk (or water)
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. rum or brandy
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon optional
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For frying:

  • 1 liter vegetable oil

For the filling:

  • Strawberry jelly or any other filling you like

For serving:

  • Sugar powder


  1. Dough: in a standing electric mixer with kneading attachment, place flour, yeast, sugar, butter, sour cream, milk, eggs, salt, rum, lemon zest and vanilla and knead on low-medium speed for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and form a round shape.
  3. Transfer the dough to the lightly greased bowl, cover and allow rising in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until it almost doubles its volume.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 parts and each part into 10-12 equal sized pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a small ball shape and place it on a well-oiled tray. Grease the top of the doughnuts, cover and allow rising for another hour until the balls almost double their volume.
  6. In a wide pot, heat the oil to a temperature of 170c degrees (it is recommended to use a thermometer for maximum accuracy). If there is no thermometer, you can check if the oil is hot enough by sticking a wooden spoon into the oil. If tiny bubbles are formed around the handle of the spoon, the oil is warm enough.
  7. Fry the doughnuts for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove into a plate lined with paper towels. Cool for a few minutes at room temperature and fill with jam using a piping bag.
  9. Serve the warm fresh doughnuts with powdered sugar on top.

Recipe Notes

  • The donuts are at their best on the day of preparation, and if you do not eat them right after frying, it is recommended to heat them a little in a toaster or oven.
  • You can fill the doughnuts with any filling you like, according to your personal taste.
  • It is recommended that the ingredients be at room temperature while preparing the dough, to ensure elastic, easy-to-work-with dough.
Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

Classic Jelly Doughnuts | Photo: Natalie Levin

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