Maple Sufganiyot with Dulce de Leche filling provide an exotic break from the Hanukkah doughnuts routine, with a sweet, creamy and luscious caramel filling and a dulce de leche glaze studded with maple flakes.
A fusion of Israeli, Latin and Canadian flavors
It’s hard to imagine a Hanukkah sufganiyot recipe that better represents my family than maple sufganiyot with dulce de leche filling.
My Jewish Israeli roots bring in my favorite sufganiyot dough recipe - a fried doughnut unlike any other, as soft and pillowy as a cloud.
Then my husband’s Colombian food heritage is the dulce de leche - the sweet, milky and luscious filling that is created when condensed milk is cooked low and slow.
Finally, the maple flavor permeating this sufganiyot recipe throughout is the Canadian in me. We chose to make our home in Quebec, where maple can be tapped straight from the tree for several weeks in late winter, and both our children were born as true Canadians.
I can think of no better way to honor our unique combination of flavors than with this maple doughnuts recipe.
Drawing inspiration from Roladin sufganiyot
The inspiration for these Maple sufganiyot came from one of my favorite Israeli bakeries, Roladin.
For years, Roladin Bakery became known for the specialty Hanukkah sufganiyot it would release in December.
With flavors that range from Oreo sufganiyot to Coconut Banana sufganiyot, each year Roladin amazes and captures the imagination of Israeli children and families with their patisserie-inspired creations. Each Roladin sufganiya is a work of art, and it shows!
So for Hanukkah this year, I wanted to try my way at adapting a few Roladin sufganiyot recipes of my own.
This Maple Dulce de Leche creation is one of my favorite results!
What are sufganiyot?
Sufganiyot - also known as Israeli doughnuts - are deep-fried round balls of dough that are traditionally filled with strawberry or raspberry jelly.
A popular yet not substantiated Israel folktale places sufganiyot at the centre of the Creation Narrative, when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden and God offered them jelly doughnuts as a way of cheering them up.
But according to food historian Emelyn Rude, sufganiyot can be traced back to “sfeni” the original deep-fried dough balls eaten during Hanukkah by Jews in North Africa. The practice soon spread to other parts of Europe by Jewish merchants and blended with the savoury-filled pastries popular in Europe at the time.
The origin of the name is so ancient that it is not clear when or how they took their name. A possible root is the word sfog (ספוג) meaning “sponge” that is still used in contemporary Hebrew. Others point to the ancient Greek word “sufan” that carries the same meaning.
Sufganiyot, together with other fried foods, are traditionally eaten during the days leading up to Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of oil lasting for more than eight days.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah (also spelled Chenukah or Chanukah) is an important cultural Jewish holiday that is also referred to as “The Festival of Lights”. Despite its proximity to Christmas, Hanukkah is not a strictly religious holiday that comes from the bible, but one of “dedication” as the name implies that developed later on as Jews lived in Israel.
In Hanukkah, we celebrate the perseverance of the Jewish settlement in Israel - the Maccabis - against the Greek emperor, who wanted to force all Jews to convert. The Maccabis barricaded themselves in the Temple, and despite an 8-day siege, managed to both keep a menorah lit the whole time and produce a dizzying array of fried foods - all from a single oil canister.
In light of that oily triumph, Hanukkah is marked with 8 days of menorah lighting - the Hanukkah menorah is called a hanukkiah and it has 8 candles instead of 7 - and by eating loads of fried foods.
Children are also given coins every day, chocolate or real, and are encouraged to spin a dreidel.
The exact dates change every year as the Hebrew calendar is a lunar one, but it is always between late November and December. Hanukkah celebrations last 8 days and include the lighting of the menorah, daily special prayers and lots of fried foods.
What is so special about these Maple Sufganiyot?
These maple sufganiyot are essentially the best maple doughnuts you can make at home, with the added bonus of a caramel-like, dulce de leche filling!
These sufganiyot are:
- Loved by children
- Dairy-free and vegan friendly (see variations)
- Easy to make
- Fast dessert option
- Perfect for Dulce de Leche filling lovers
- Creamy and crispy
These are the ingredients that you will need to make this sufganiyot recipe:
For the Sufganiyot Dough:
- White flour
- Active dry yeast
- Vanilla extract
- Rum extract
For the Dulce de Leche filling:
- Whipping cream
- Dulce de Leche
- Vanilla Pudding
For the toppings:
- Skor toffee bits
- Minced pecans
- Maple flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
- Mixing bowls
- Standing mixer (or hand-held mixer)
- Deep Fryer or Dutch Oven (this Lodge one is on sale now!) or heavy-bottomed pot
Making the Maple Sufganiyot dough:
Begin by mixing the active dry yeast and ½ cup of warm water to activate it. Then add the sugar. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
In your mixer bowl, place flour, salt, sugar and the moist yeast. Mix lightly with a kneading hook. Then add milk, eggs, extracts and brandy and continue to mix for about 3 minutes on low speed. Gradually add the butter and mix for another 4 minutes on high speed until you see a soft and pliable dough forming.
Form the dough into balls weighing about 30 grams (the size of a ping pong ball) then place on a tray prepared with little oil at intervals of 5-4cm. Cover the tray with cling film and a towel and let it rise for one to two hours until it has doubled in volume.
Frying the Maple Sufganiyot doughnuts:
Start by heating canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Place your doughnuts in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes flipping once on each side until golden in colour.
It is important to maintain a medium heat, so as not to burn them. After removing, place the Maple Sufganiyot doughnuts on a plate lined with absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
Making the Dulce de Leche filling:
Whip the cream and vanilla pudding until a firm consistency is obtained. Fold in dulce de leche filling. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Maple doughnuts assembly:
Inject about 15 grams (approximately a tablespoon) of your filling into each doughnut. Dip the top of each doughnut in the filling to give them a glaze then sprinkle with skor toffee bits, pecans, and 1 teaspoon of maple flakes.
Storage and Making in Advance
Maple sufganiyot should be eaten right after making them, as they are best when piping hot! In general, any deep fried doughnut recipe is going to taste best when freshly made.
However, the dulce de leche filling and glaze can be made in advance and kept in a separate container until ready to pipe.
Any leftover sufganiyot can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free Maple Doughnuts
To make these into gluten-free Maple doughnuts, follow my gluten-free sufganiyot recipe for best results. You can also substitute the flour in this recipe for your favorite all-purpose gluten free flour replacement. I have had great results making these Maple sufganiyot gluten-free!
Vegan Maple Doughnuts
The hardest part of making these maple sufganiyot vegan is making vegan dulce de leche, which really isn’t hard at all! In fact, I already have the recipe for dairy-free dulce de leche.
Use an egg replacement product in place of the eggs in this recipe, and coconut cream in place of the whipping cream.
Change out the toppings - You can switch out the toppings to create new and exciting combinations that fit the occasion or keep it simple with a soft glaze and nothing else. Since Dulce de Leche filling is the king of this recipe, try to keep all other flavors balanced and let it shine.
If you are not a fan of Dulce de Leche filling, you can find more sufganiyot doughnut options including this amazing Oreo Doughnut recipe.
What else can you do with Dulce de Leche Filling?
Since this glossy and super easy Dulce de Leche filling can be stored and kept frozen this is a great opportunity to test more dishes and desserts. You can use it on birthday cakes, crêpes, cupcakes or place straight on ice cream. This buttery pecan pie with a rich maple syrup dulce de leche cream is a perfect choice for holiday dinners and cold winter nights.
You may also want to experiment with savoury dulce de leche combinations on grilled cheese sandwiches or for glazed ham.
- To get a nice frying strip in the center of your Hanukkah sufganiyot, make sure your dough rises well! You also want to get the oil to good frying temperature, nestle the sufganiyot closely together so that they do not turn over on their own, and cover the pot after inserting the doughnuts into the oil, to produce a moist steam environment.
- Give your maple sufganiyot some time to cool down before injecting them with the Dulce de Leche filling. Too hot and the filling will start to ooze out. The same is true for dipping in the glaze. You also don’t want to wait too long since they can harden after a few hours.
- If your dough doesn’t rise, due to the temperature of the room or the dry yeast, your doughnuts will not achieve a fluffy consistency so it is best to try again. You may, however, repurpose your dough to make an easy flatbread pizza like this flavorful garlic scape pesto and goat cheese vegetarian pizza.
What is better than a Dulce de Leche sufganiyot? Having different types of sufganiyot to choose from.
Get inspired with some of my favorite sufganiyot recipes whether you are hosting a Hanukkah party or want to wow your guests at your next gathering.
Find more sufganiyot recipes here:
For more Hanukkah recipes:
Tried and loved this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! Your reviews mean a lot to me, so if you've got any questions, please let me know in a comment.
Maple Dulce De Leche Sufganiyot
Maple Sufganiyot Dough:
- 1 kg of white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100 g ½ cup sugar
- 20 g 5 tsps active dry yeast
- 240 ml 1 cup cold milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- 1 teaspoon brandy
- 90 grams of soft butter
Dulce de Leche Filling and glaze:
- 250 ml 1 cup whipping cream
- 250 ml 1 cup dulce de leche
- 2 TB vanilla pudding
- 100 g Skor toffee bits
- 100 g minced pecans
- 50 g Maple Flakes
- Activate yeast - mix 5 teaspoons of active dry yeast into ½ cup of warm water. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar. Let stand for 10 mins.
- Put flour, salt, sugar and moist yeast in a mixer bowl. Mix lightly with a kneading hook. Add milk, eggs, extracts and brandy and mix about 3 minutes on low speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium and set for another 3 minutes. Gradually add butter and mix for another 4 minutes on high speed until a soft and pliable dough is obtained.
- Form the dough into balls weighing about 30 grams (the size of a ping pong ball) and place on a tray smeared with a little oil at intervals of 5-4 cm. Cover the tray with cling film and a towel and let it rise for one to two hours until doubled in volume.
- Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry the doughnutsfor 3-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. It is important to maintain a medium flame, so as not to burn them. Remove to a plate lined with absorbent paper.
- Make the filling: Whip cream and vanilla pudding until firm. Fold in dulce de leche. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Fill and coat the doughnuts: Inject about 15 grams (about a tablespoon) of the selected filling for each doughnut. Dip the top of each doughnut in the filling. Sprinkle with Skor toffee bits, pecans, and 1 teaspoon of maple flakes.
Welcome to At The Immigrant's Table! I blend my immigrant roots with modern diets, crafting recipes that take you on a global kitchen adventure. As a food blogger and photographer, I'm dedicated to making international cuisine both healthy and accessible. Let's embark on a culinary journey that bridges cultures and introduces a world of flavors right into your home. Read more...