These 5 Delicious Spins on Hanukkah's Sufganiyot Donuts Will Light Up Your Holiday Season

Who can pass up deep-fried carbs stuffed with sweet and savory fillings?

You probably already know that latkes, the traditional Jewish potato pancakes, are served during Hanukkah, but did you know that filled donuts are just as important a part of the Festival of Lights? They're called sufganiyot, and they're the most delicious reason to celebrate the season.

"Fried foods are traditional to enjoy during Hanukkah because of the miracle of the oil lasting for eight nights, instead of just one," explains Shannon Sarna, Editor of The Nosher, referring to the history of the holiday and the lighting of a menorah with olive oil at the Second Temple in Jerusalem more than 2200 years ago. "So for this holiday it's practically a mitzvah to enjoy fried foods."

Sarna adds, "The most important part of sufganiyot, or donuts, is not the jelly but rather the oil: that's actually the symbolic part of the food. In the U.S. it is most common to find jelly donuts dusted in sugar for Hanukkah. But in Israel you can find any flavor you might dream up, akin to the cupcake craze of the States. Sufganiyot can be filled with cream, jelly, ganache, pudding, and even lemon curd."

Mouth-watering, right? We rounded up five takes on these deep-fried Hanukkah beauties to get you in the spirit.

1.  Eggnog sufganiyot for the interfaith family

Sarna created the ultimate interfaith celebration donut, combining the original Jewish deep-fried batter recipe with a modern, eggnog filling twist. These are probably also ideal for office holiday parties, since they're a little something-for-everyone in spirit.

2.  The semi-homemade stuffed donut

If you're not the type to create your own batter and fry it up in the name of the Festival of Lights, that's okay too, because food blogger Sarah Lasry's version is a pre-made donut sliced in half and filled with all the glorious, oozy toppings one could ever dream of. She recommends opting for either jelly, custard cream or Nutella for an easy semi-homemade sufganiyot experience.

3.  Yeah, you can do savory too

Have you ever wondered, "Hey, what's the Jewish answer to chicken and waffles?" Food blogger and cookbook author Amy Kritzer of whatjewwannaeat.com has the answer for you—and it's oozing with chopped liver filling. We're not kidding, and yes, it is actually good.

4.  They can be mini, bite-size versions too

Sufganiyot don't need to totally destroy your diet (although that's half the fun). The miracles of Hanukkah can extend to your waistline as well because Tiberias, a kosher restaurant in New York, is serving mini versions for those who feel inclined to stay out of their kitchens and still make it into their pants.

A photo posted by Tiberias (@tiberiasnyc) on

5.  Gingerbread donuts are a thing

Rejoice! Your favorite holiday cookies and donuts can finally live as one happy, blessed union of carbs and deliciousness. Food blogger Whitney Fisch created this recipe to bring a little unity to the world via dessert (can we get an amen?), and it looks like it's bursting with all the best parts of the holiday season. And yes, her recipe calls for injecting the donuts with gingerbread filling—how fun is that?

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