Krapfen and Sufganiyot – aka Special Donuts

Once upon a time in my fairytale childhood my Omi (grandmother) used to bake and cook for my extended family of 13 quite often. I saw my cousins all the time and it was really special. One of the things she used to make for us was a whole pile of Krapfen (donuts). These were so special and amazing that one of my cousins thought about opening a chain of donut stores that he would call “Grandma’s sweet buns”. Didn’t happen but those times live in all of our memories and though times are different (especially this year) we can still share the memories – and I like to do that through special food. I made these this year for Hannukah and turned this recipe into Sufganiyot.

Ok, this is funny (my dad would be laughing) for a couple reasons. I come from a mixed background. Omi – from whom this recipe comes, was from Transylvania and was not Jewish. But the other side of my family on my Dad’s side is Jewish. Proving that we are all more alike than different, I discovered sufganiyot (which I did not grow up with) is a treat for Hanukkah from Israel. Upon inspection, the base for them is actually exactly the same as Omi’s Krapfen. Eastern European cooking and recipes being much the same across different countries and cultures. This made me extremely happy and this year I made krapfen and sufganiyot for my son Leo.


Ingredients for krapfen and sufganiyot

5 cups flour


2 pkg vanilla sugra

2 handfuls of sugar

1 package of yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and a spoon of sugar

1.5 -2 cups warm milk

2 egg yolk

1 spoon rum

6 spoons melted butter

Ok so you will notice the “measurements” on here are old school grandma type. Do your best. A spoon in my grandmother’s kitchen meant a large soup spoon. More than a teaspoon probably less than a full measured tablespoon. Godspeed. (but it did work for me – then again I did bake with her in her kitchen on occasion)


Ya, my grandma’s recipe came with none but I found this on Martha Stewart – so I used this as a how to guide.

Basically – combine dry ingredients and make a well, mix in all wet ingredients then turn out onto floured surface and knead around 10 minutes. Set aside in greased bowl with towel or plastic wrap overtop for around 1.5 -2 hours (it should double). Turn out and roll on floured surface to around 1/2 ” thick and cut out circles using a drinking glass (2″ or bigger ). Allow these to rise again to around double. Fry in oil till golden on either side and set on paper towel to absorb oil. When cool enough use a flavour injector to inject in strawberry jelly (or any other) and top with powdered sugar for serving.
Tip- only put jelly in and sugar on when ready to eat or they will go soggy. Next day warm up in toaster oven first and then fill.