valentine’s day donuts

by aspen&pine


“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz

Happy Valentine’s day everyone! I think today is a good day to splurge a little, and having donuts for breakfast is the perfect way to do it. These are actually called sufganiyot (soof-gone-YOT), a ball-shaped, jelly-filled donut that is popular in Israel. The dough can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator to fry up in the morning.



Recipe modified from Bon Appetit magazine

Makes: about 16

2 1/4 tsp. yeast, or 1 envelope
2 Tbsp. warm water
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
2 Tbsp. water (original recipe called for orange juice)
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature

Frying + Assembly
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup jam
1 recipe chocolate cream (below)
1 recipe glaze (below)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Put Yeast, 1 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 2 Tbsp. warm water into a large mixing bowl and combine. Let sit 5 min. or until foamy. Whisk egg yolks, milk, water, salt, vanilla, 2 cups of the flour, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar into the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon about 2 minutes.

Add the butter 1 Tbsp. at a time, stirring between each addition to incorporate butter into dough. Gradually add the rest of the flour a little at a time until dough is no longer sticky, but still soft and shiny.

Turn dough onto a floured counter and knead 5 min. until it no longer sticks to your hands or work surface. Wash the mixing bowl and coat with a layer of butter. Place dough into buttered bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm, still area of the kitchen for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (If your house is cold, put your dough into a slightly warmed oven to rise.)

Roll the dough out on a floured counter till 3/4″ thick. Using a floured round cutter, cut donuts, twisting cutter at the end (this helps the dough puff up more during frying). Re-roll the scraps and repeat. Place donuts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a towel, and let rise 40-50 minutes.

While waiting for the second rise it is a good time to prepare your filling (recipe below). Pour vegetable oil into a heavy saucepan until about 4″ deep. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels to put the cooked donuts. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. and fry each donut for 1 minute on each side or until golden.

Cool slightly, then fill and dust with powdered sugar or glaze them. To fill use a pipping bag, fill bag with either jam or pastry cream, then insert piping tip into top of donut and fill. I made some only glazed (for Jordan), some with chocolate filling dusted with powdered sugar (for me), and some with strawberry jam dusted with powdered sugar (not pictured).


1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)

Pour milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium until steaming. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add milk slowly, whisking the whole time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, whisking constantly over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and the cream is smooth. If there are any lumps in your pastry cream, you can press it through a sieve. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, then refrigerate until set.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. water

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Dip one side of sufganiyot into glaze. Then fill with jam or pastry cream if desired.