How lucky are we that no Hanukkah celebration would be complete without Boston Cream Donut sufganiyot. The soft fried dough filled with caramel, jelly, or custard is an Israeli staple that satisfies every donut lover's tastes. In our house, we love Boston Cream style sufganiyot. What could be better than soft, lightly sweetened dough filled with fresh custard and topped with chocolate glaze? Baruch Hashem for Hanukkah!
Boston Cream Donuts From Scratch
Boston cream sufganiyot are yeast based donuts with a fresh custard filling and topped with a chocolate glaze. The custard filling is so delicious and lightly sweet you'll want to grab a spoon and forget about filling donuts. And since this custard can be made while you are waiting for the dough to rise, you might do exactly that! It's that good. The custard will need to chill in the fridge before using, so I suggest making it first, then getting to work on the donut recipe. The chocolate topping should be made last, as it needs to be fresh and hot when you glaze the top of the donuts, but we will get more into that later.
Yeast Based Donut Dough is Not Scary
This dough comes together surprisingly quickly and easily and is not at all intimidating for those of you who freak out at the thought of messing around with yeast. One of the "scariest" parts of dealing with yeast is wondering if it will work or not. That is one of the reasons why we proof the yeast before we begin.
Yeast is a living organism. It is freeze dried; combine it with warm water and a bit of sugar to rehydrate the yeast so it can get to work making your dough rise. The sugar feeds the yeast so it can produce the gasses that cause all that fabulous rising action. Sometimes those little packets you buy at the grocery store have been sitting on the shelf a long time. The yeast inside dies and your dough doesn't rise. Sooo frustrating! I like to buy a big bag of a yeast I know is consistently reliable and keep it in my freezer. It can last for years in the freezer and you will know you always have good yeast at your fingertips.
Boston Cream Donut Custard Filling
Custard is a delicious, rich, and creamy dessert made from egg yolks, sugar, and cream. It is surprisingly easy to make and tastes so good on its own but can also be added to other desserts to make them seem fancy. As mentioned above, custard needs time to cool. If you make the custard before the donut dough, it will be ready by the time the donuts are fried and ready to be filled!
One of the trickiest parts of making custard is tempering the eggs. By adding a small amount of the hot milk to the eggs, you acclimate the eggs slowly to the heat; otherwise they will curdle and your custard will be ruined. You can help prevent this from happening by starting with your eggs at room temperature.starting with your eggs at room temperature
Another massive custard deal breaker is lumps. Be sure you are stirring constantly while it cooks or lumps will form. If they do, be sure to strain your custard before using it.
You can even make the custard a few days in advance. It will last 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Custard is perishable and absolutely must be kept refrigerated but cannot be frozen. It will not thaw well.
As we mentioned earlier, this chocolate is best used hot. After your donuts are filled, carefully dip the top of your donut into the hot chocolate glaze. Get a nice coat then let it sit to dry. The result will be a smooth, even, shiny coat of chocolate topping. You will know when the chocolate starts to cool because it won't go on quite as smoothly and evenly. Reheat the chocolate for a few seconds and you're back in business.
While the donut dough and the custard recipes here are easily adapted to be pareve, or non-dairy, this chocolate glaze is all dairy and it's all good! You are welcome to make a non-dairy version and tell us about it in the comments, we'd love to know what you made!
Probably the easiest way to fill your donuts is with a piping bag fitted with a pastry filling tip. I happened to have a brand new disposable 20 ml syringe and it actually worked amazingly well, but I had to refill it in between each donut. With a piping bag, you fill it up and can probably complete the entire recipe in one go. Poke a hole in the side or top of your donut, then slowly and gently squeeze the filling until you feel it is filled up to your liking. You can always add more, but if you over fill it or fill it too quickly you are at risk of bursting your donut or having the filling ooze out the hole.
Best Fillings for Sufganiyot
Even if you don't want to make Boston Cream sufganiyot, this dough recipe is perfect for any filling and topping. Your sufganiyot can be enjoyed any way you like them. Maybe you're a traditionalist and prefer jelly with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Here are some fun ideas of ways to top or fill your own custom sufganiyot:
- Strawberries and whipped cream
- Apple pie filling
- Powdered sugar
- You tell me!
If you like this recipe you'll love these:
Boston Cream Donut Sufganiyot
- Stand Mixer
- Wide pot
- Wire rack
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar divided
- 1.5 cup warm milk or water any pareve or dairy milk works
- 4-5 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoon butter or non-dairy butter room temperature
- large bottle of oil for frying
For the Custard:
- 2 cups milk any pareve or dairy milk works
- ⅓ cup sugar
- salt pinch
- 2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoon butter or non dairy butter
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- salt pinch
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup optional
To make the dough:
- In stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or large bowl, proof yeast by mixing with two tablespoons sugar and warm milk or water. Let sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
- Add three cups of flour, baking powder, egg and yolk, and rest of sugar. Mix well at a low speed. Add one cup of flour, salt, then add one tablespoon of butter at a time until incorporated.
- Knead for five to seven minutes, adding extra flour as needed for a smooth consistency. Set in warm place to rise for 45-60 minutes.
- Gently pull off handfuls of the dough and lightly form into balls. I made mine 2 oz each which makes 24 medium sized donuts. You can make yours any size you prefer.
- Rest on a baking sheet for a second rise of 30-45 minutes. They will double in size during rising.
- Fill a wide pot ⅔ of the way with oil and heat on medium high to 350º - 360ºF. When it is the right temperature you should immediately have bubbles forming around the dough as you drop it in the oil. Fry two or three doughnuts at a time for about two minutes on each side. Be sure not to crowd in the pot or they will not cook right and will be oily on the inside.
- Rest on wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.Place paper towels below wire rack to catch oil drips but do not rest donuts on paper towels or they will become soggy.
- Pipe your filling into the doughnut.
- Dip top of donut into glaze topping.
To make custard:
- Heat the milk over medium high heat and bring it to a simmer, almost to a boil.
- While the milk is being heated, place the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mix. Set aside until the milk comes to a boil.
- As soon as the milk starts to bubble, remove it from the heat. Slowly pour about a half of the hot milk in a thin stream, into the egg mix, while whisking constantly to temper the egg mix. When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
- Heat the custard over medium heat, while whisking vigorously until it starts to thicken – this should take about 1 – 2 minutes.
- While whisking, let the custard come to a boil (the custard will release bubbles). Lower the heat and cook for a further 1-2 minutes after you see the first bubbles break the surface. Remove from heat and add the butter. Whisk in the butter until it’s completely mixed in.
- Pour the custard into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface. This is to prevent a custard skin from forming on top.
- Let the custard cool down to room temperature and then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours, until it’s completely chilled.
To make the chocolate glaze:
- Put all the ingredients except butter into a saucepan or microwave safe bowl.
- Heat over a medium low heat over a double boiler. Stir until chocolate is melted and the sauce looks smooth and shiny. This can be done in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted, smooth and shiny.
- While the sauce is hot add butter and stir until fully incorporated.
- Use immediately. If it cools down too much you can warm it up again on the stove or in the microwave in 15 second intervals.