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Lemon-Scented Raspberry Jam Doughnuts: Making Hanukkah Sufganiyot with Kids

Lemon-Scented Raspberry Jam Doughnuts: Making Hanukkah Sufganiyot with Kids

By OneHungryMama

Thanksgiving weekend is barely over and, already, Wednesday marks the first day of Hanukkah! I am so not prepared. Well, except for these sufganiyot (traditional Hanukkah jelly doughnuts). I gave this recipe, a twist on my favorite, a test run this weekend and got fabulous results. So I can’t be in too bad a shape.

Think my 4-year-old will accept a doughnut as his first Hanukkah gift? (Even if he makes them with me?!)

Doughnuts are easier to make than you probably think. It takes time, for sure - time for the dough to rise at several points in the process - but most of it is unattended. The time you spend attending to this recipe is measuring, kneading, rolling and cutting, all things that are fun and easy to do with the kiddos.

In the recipe below, you’ll find notes on how kids can help at every step. It may be hard for younger kids to be patient in between steps when the dough needs time to rise, but it actually breaks their participation into manageable pieces. Depending on how you frame things, you can make each new step a discrete mini-project.

As for the recipe, feel free to use any kind of jam you have on hand. (Sometimes I go with a peach-apricot center.) You can skip the lemon zest, especially if you choose a jam other than raspberry, but I find that it works great with the raspberry filling. Raspberry and lemon are a delicious combo, especially when done subtly like in this recipe. You get just a hint of bright lemon and a quick punch of raspberry with a whole bunch of delicious sugary fried dough. YUM!

Delicious enough to be my present!

Read More Recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnuts

Baked Chocolate Cinnamon Doughnuts

Strawberry and Nutella Sufganiyot

Lemon-Scented Raspberry Jelly Doughnuts

makes about 18 doughnuts


  • 3/4 c warm milk, heated to about 110 degrees
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, about 1 scant Tbsp
  • 2 1/2 c flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 c sugar, plus 1/2 c for coating
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • Vegetable oil for frying and for greasing a bowl
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam


1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy.

{Have kiddo watch the foam form. It’s almost like a science experiment! While you’re waiting for the full 5 minutes to pass, have kiddo measure flour and sugar for the next step.}

2. Add 3/4 cup of the flour, all of the sugar and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir until well combined before adding in the egg yolks, vanilla, zest and remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour. Continue to mix until relatively combined, then work the dough with your hands until the flour is very well combined.

{Stirring and kneading are perfect activities for kiddo. Let ’em at it! Older kids can also try their hand at separating eggs.}

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Then knead the butter into the dough, piece by piece, until all of the butter is well incorporated.

{More kneading! First without butter, then with. Talk about the way the butter changes the texture of the dough and the feel on their hands.}

4. Transfer dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Degas the dough, then cover with plastic wrap again. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

{Kiddo can oil the bowl and, if they are around, degas the dough. What fun to poke a ball of dough and watch it deflate a bit!}

5. Take the dough out of the fridge and bring it back to room temperature. This will take about 30 minutes. Then, on a floured work surface, roll the dough until about 1/4″ thick. Using a 2″ round cookie cutter (or anything round with a 2″ diameter that can cut through dough, like a mini prep bowl or a lid with a sharp edge), cut out rounds. Reroll the scraps and cut out more rounds. You may have to do this one more time. You should be able to get at least 36 rounds total.

{Don’t call kiddo back into the kitchen until the dough has returned to room temp. Older kids can roll out the dough on their own. Give younger kids a small piece of dough to roll on their own while you roll out a bigger piece. Or allow them to put their hands on your rolling pin to help. Kids of most any age should be able to cut out rounds.}

6. Line a baking sheet with a clean, non-terry cloth kitchen towel. In a small bowl, lightly beat the separated egg whites. Using your fingers, brush egg white around the edge of a dough round. Place about a 1/2 teaspoon jam in the middle of that same dough round before topping it with another round. With egg white still on your fingers, press around the edges to seal the two rounds together. Repeat until all of the doughnuts are assembled. Transfer the doughnuts to your toweled baking sheet and allow them to rise for about 30 minutes, until they double in size. (This rise time is the only one that is very time sensitive. Check every 5 or 10 minutes. The dough is ready for cooking when it springs back slowly. It needs more time if it springs back quickly and has sat too long if it doesn’t spring back at all.)

{It can get a little messy—and will surely lead to imperfect doughnuts—but even very young kiddos can help assemble the doughnuts. If your kiddo is old enough to keep from putting his egg covered hands in his mouth, allow him to apply the egg white wash and seal. Otherwise, put him in charge of the jelly. It’s okay if it isn’t confined to the smack dab middle!}

7. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot until it reaches 360 degrees on a hot oil thermometer. Working in batches of 4 or 5, fry the doughnuts, turning once, until golden brown. It should take about 1 minute total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain.

{Time for kiddo to leave the kitchen. Cooking with hot oil can be very dangerous and should be left to adults only}

8. While doughnuts are still hot, roll them in remaining sugar to coat completely. I like to roll each batch in sugar before I begin frying the next batch (which means that these only drain for a moment; don’t worry about them being greasy). This ensures that the sugar sticks nicely, but just keep an eye on your oil temperature. It can overheat in between batches. Serve doughnuts immediately, if possible.

{Kids can roll the doughnuts in sugar, so long as they aren’t too hot. Be very careful. I keep a few doughnuts on the side for my Hungry Boy to roll when I’m all done frying. It’s no big deal if sugar doesn’t stick as well on his small, cooled batch.}