These pillow-y soft and sweet Vegan Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts) could not get any easier. Don’t believe me? Grab a roll of biscuit dough from the supermarket and give them a try! That’s right. I said store-bought. Less than 20 minutes to make!
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Hey Internet, do you like baking from scratch? I do.
But donuts have been on my big list of “scary. I won’t do that.” for years.
And you know what, I still kinda haven’t--because these vegan sufganiyot are made from store-bought biscuit dough. Oh yes, I went there.
First of all, suf-gan-what?
Sufganiyot, pronounced soof-gan-e-yot (it’s Hebrew!), are jelly donuts dusted with powdered sugar. They’re a Jewish tradition enjoyed for Hanukkah.
You might remember I’m Jewish, if you’ve seen my e-book Plant Based Jewish Recipes!
Well these aren’t in there because I hadn’t thought of an easy way to make the suckers yet. And truth be told, I didn’t think of this method.
And I made them vegan. And I’m including a little more info since I was left with a few questions after seeing their recipe.
Anyway. Why do Jews eat jelly donuts for Hanukkah?
Well, first, Jews eat lots of fried foods for Hanukkah to celebrate the oil lasting for 8 nights instead of 1. They are also a sweet treat to enjoy on this joyous holiday.
While Hanukkah is not the most important Jewish holiday (think Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach (Passover), etc.), it is the one most folks recognize.
And it’s pretty easy to cook for.
Enter my vegan jelly donuts (sufganiyot).
What You’ll Need
- Safflower seed oil: Or another high heat but neutral flavor oil. Traditionally, Hanukkah foods include oil to symbolize the oil lasting 8 nights. If you don’t prefer to cook with oil, these can be baked or air-fried.
- Refrigerated (uncooked) biscuits: Check the back of the package to make sure it’s vegan, but most refrigerated canned biscuits are vegan. If you’re having trouble finding it, you can use store bought or homemade pizza dough, roll it out, and cut out rounds with a large biscuit or cookie cutter.
- Seedless raspberry jam: Use a flavorful seedless raspberry jam or another type of jam or any filling you like. Vegan chocolate hazelnut spread would be delicious here too. The key is for the filling to be quite thick so it doesn’t run out of the donut.
- Organic powdered sugar: The organic powdered sugar is for dusting the donuts after. Since the biscuit dough isn’t very sweet and the jam isn’t super sweet (at least the raspberry jam I purchased was not), you need a bit of sugar on top to make these vegan sufganiyot a sweet treat. Make sure to buy organic, as non-organic sugar (at least in the United States) is often made using animal bone char during the filtering process.
A Note on Equipment
While you absolutely NEED very little to make this recipe--a large pot, the ingredients, and an implement to get the jelly into the donut--it helps to have a few things around to make the process easier.
I also HIGHLY recommend a frying thermometer or similar (NOT an oven thermometer) to test how hot the oil is. We don’t want it to be too hot--350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) is ideal.
A splatter screen will help protect your skin against oil splatters.
To flip and remove the donuts, I highly recommend a spider strainer --kind of like a slotted spoon crossed with a ladle.
You'll want to cool the donuts on some sort of rack so the excess oil drips off. I recommend a regular grated cooling rack. Make sure to place a tray or foil or something under the rack to keep the dripping oil off your counter.
You can use a regular wooden skewer or similar to poke a hole into the cooled donuts for the jelly. Don’t use something too big like a knife or you might split the donut.
Either a piping bag with a large tip (or use this basic piping tip set which is what I use) or a condiment bottl are very useful for injecting the jam into the donut. In a pinch you can use a spoon or a butterknife, but it’s a little challenging and can be messy.
How to Make Easy Vegan Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
- Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large pot over medium high heat. How long it takes depends on the strength of your burner and the thickness of your pot--it took about 10 minutes for me. Note that it’s important to have the right temperature of oil--pick up a frying thermometer or similar and keep testing the oil. Once it’s at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius), you’ll want to turn the heat down to medium or medium low and periodically re-test the oil. The actual cooking process is quite quick once the oil is the right heat. I’ve read online that you can place a wooden skewer in the oil temporarily to test the oil--if it starts bubbling little bubbles then it’s hot enough.
- While the oil heats, open the can of biscuits, set up a plate of the separated biscuits to one side of the pot, and a cooling rack to the other side. I recommend placing a baking tray or foil or something else underneath the cooling rack to catch any oil drip. Carefully add the donuts, working with no more than 3 or 4 at a time depending on the circumference of your pot. The donuts will inflate and you don’t want them to crowd each other. When you drop them in, try to either use your spider strainer or drop them in so that they splash AWAY from you. Best to use a utensil for this. And ideally cover the pot with a splatter screen to help protect your skin against oil splatters.
- You want to cook the biscuits for approximately 1-2 minutes. They’ll brown quite quickly so you can gently lift one after a minute and see if it’s brown enough. They do get pretty deep in color--like a warm amber color.
- Use a spider strainer or slotted spoon to carefully turn the donuts over and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Finally, use the spider strainer again to remove the donuts from the oil and place on the cooling rack. Flip after 5 minutes to help them cool evenly and drip off excess oil.
- Cook the remaining biscuits--you may need to turn up the heat again as adding the refrigerated biscuits does lower the oil temperature--but just test it with your thermometer before doing so.
- Let all the donuts cool completely.
- Now use a wooden skewer (or similar) to carefully poke a hole into the center of the donut. I tried going from both the sides and on top. Because this dough is actually meant to be biscuits, they tend to split when poked from the side, so I recommend doing it from the center of the top of each donut. Make a hole that goes halfway down and then gently wiggle the skewer around to make space for the jam. It’s easier than it sounds. I make the holes about ½” to ¾” diameter.
- Load the jam into a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner cut off) fit with a large tip or feel free to use a condiment bottle or even a small spoon to inject the donuts with jam. I’ve tried all these methods and I find that a proper piping bag with a tip (and coupler) enables you to get the most jam into your vegan jelly donuts.
- Add your powdered sugar to a sifter or a tea strainer and generously powdered the tops of your donuts with the organic powdered sugar..
- If you cut holes in the tops of your donuts, you may choose to “top off” the jam just a bit for decoration. Enjoy!
- These vegan sufganiyot, like most donuts, are best on the first day but still tasty the second. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2-3 days.
More Easy Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- These Vegan Snickers Bites
- Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
- Or if you want to get fancy: Smores Cookie Bake
- Vegan Mug Brownie
- Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (no chill)
- Matcha Pound Cake
- Vegan Vanilla Mug Cake
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants. I got high compliments on this one! :)
These vegan sufganiyot / vegan jelly donuts are:
- Bursting with tart raspberry jam
- And the perfect dessert for kids and adults!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!