How to eat Hanukkah ‘sufganiyot’ without guilt

Baked whole-wheat cranberry-orange donuts. Credit: "Joy of Kosher" with Jamie Geller.
Baked whole-wheat cranberry-orange donuts. Credit: "Joy of Kosher" with Jamie Geller.

By Jaime Geller/

The average Hanukkah sufganiya (jelly donut) has between 300 and 400 calories of nearly pure oil and fat. In honor of the miracle God bestowed on the Maccabees, making oil meant for just a day last eight days, the delicious donut and other traditionally oily Hanukkah foods become annual killers for your diet.

For those who are health conscious but do not want to be deprived of the annual treat, here are three healthier recipes selected from Consider substituting or reducing ingredients further as needed for your diet.


Contributed by: Tamar Genger MA, RD on

These baked donuts taste more like cake since they are not fried, but they are still very tasty. In addition, they use the healthier option of whole-wheat flour.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ready Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 12 mini donuts


1 cup white whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons corn meal

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons liquid coconut oil

6 tablespoons coconut milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon or vinegar

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cups Chopped Fresh Cranberries

For the Glaze

1/4 cup fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a nonstick mini donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, orange zest, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.

In a small bowl whisk the coconut oil, the coconut milk mixture, egg white, and vanilla together. Add the wet and dry ingredients and fold in until just mixed, and add chopped cranberries. Stir until just mixed. Spoon into donut pan.

Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Make glaze. While donuts cool, in a small saucepan heat the cranberries and orange juice until they burst about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, mash berries with fork, add powdered sugar and vanilla stir well. Dip donut into glaze and serve.


From Jaime Geller on

Another recipe that forgoes frying in oil.

Prep Time: approximately 2 hours

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Ready Time: approximately 2-3 hours

Servings: 24 doughnuts


1 (1/4-ounce) package rapid rise dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1 egg yolk

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup 1% milk, warmed

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons margarine or butter, cut into 9 pieces

Cooking spray

3/4 -1 cup strawberry jam

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Dissolve the yeast with the 1 tablespoon of the sugar in 1/4 cup warm water.

In a standing mixer with a paddle, beat egg yolk, egg, yeast mixture, 1/4 cup of sugar, and milk.

With paddle going, add flour and salt.

Add margarine one piece at a time. Dough should be sticky but elastic.

Turn out dough onto floured surface. Knead once or twice. Shape into ball. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and place in a warm area for at least an hour or until dough is doubled.

Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

Divide dough in half. With lightly oiled hands, take approximately 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into ball. Place on greased baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough placing balls 2 inches apart (about 12 balls per baking sheet). Cover with a kitchen or tea towel and let rise 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place jam in a pastry bag fitted with a medium pastry tip or use a small ziplock type of bag fitted with a medium pastry tip. Pastry tips are available at most craft stores.

Press tip into donut and squeeze at least 1 teaspoon of jam into donut, or more if desired.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.


If you don’t have a standing mixer, use a hand mixer for Step 2 and beat the egg yolk, egg, yeast mixture, sugar, and milk for about 1 minute. Knead the rest of the ingredients together by hand: first the flour, then the salt and margarine, one piece at a time, then proceed with Step 5.


From Jaime Geller on

Try these apple zeppole as a change over for doughnuts. The recipe itself is not low-fat, but the portions are bite-sized.

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ready Time: 28 minutes

Servings: 12


1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup Water

1/4 cup Granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup all purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 granny smith apple (about 1 cup), peeled and diced

Vegetable oil for frying

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1 tablespoon orange juice


In a medium saucepan, heat butter, water, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add flour. Return to low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Continue to cook for 1 minute.

Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed with a paddle attachment for 1 minute or until cooled slightly. Add eggs one at a time. Add apple and mix until just combined.

In a heavy medium sized pan, heat oil to 350 degrees F on a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Using a 1-teaspoon scoop, carefully drop batter into hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough and dust with powdered sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk together jam and orange juice and serve with zeppole.

Jamie Geller is the only bestselling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen—not because she doesn’t love food—but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing,” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now hailed as the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (New York Times), she’s the creative force behind and “Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller” magazine. Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen—quickly. Check out her new book, “Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.” 

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