Kefir Baked Sufganiyot – Baked Jelly Doughnuts

Sufganiyot, also called sufganiyah, are a traditional dessert eaten during Hanukkah. Deep-fried and topped with sugar, they’re round, sugar-coated doughnuts filled with different flavors of jelly. They’re also high in fat and sugar, meaning we have to be careful when we eat them (careful not to eat all of them, that is).

Like most doughnuts, sufganiyot are typically made with milk and deep-fried in oil. Understanding that buttermilk can often be substituted for milk, we couldn’t resist coming up with our own kefir-ized version. Ever mindful of our belts, we used our Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir in place of buttermilk and skipped the fryer all together (muffin tins are super handy). A few less than ideal attempts later, we’ve come up with an excellent recipe that we’re excited to share with you today!


While sufganiyot are most often filled with red jam, they don’t have to be (especially if they’re small, like ours). Whether you enjoy a different flavor of jam, prefer a creamy cheese, or go straight for chocolate, these kefir-ized treats are sure to be a staple at your holiday table for years to come. If you’re in need of filling inspiration, consider some of the following:

  • Farmer Cheese, raisins and mixed chopped nuts/seeds (with a dash of salt!)
  • Mashed banana and fudge
  • Homemade lemon curd and crushed almonds
  • Hazelnut butter and crushed pretzels
  • Chunky nut butter and shaved dark chocolate
  • Marzipan and chocolate sauce
  • Dulce de leche
  • Crushed pineapple, shredded coconut and coconut crème

Baked Sufganiyot – Baked Jelly Doughnuts

  • 3/4 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temp, + 2 Tbsp butter, melted (for rolling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar + 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling, if filling with jam)
  • Filling of choice (see above)

Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350° F. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter, vanilla extract and the sugar together until creamy.

To the wet mixture, add one third of the kefir, followed by one third of the flour, mixing until combined before moving on. Continue alternating between the kefir and flour until everything is incorporated. Let the batter rest for about five minutes.

After the batter rests, spoon about one tablespoon of the mixture into each mini muffin cup. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (may vary by type of oven). Remove from the pan immediately to cool.


While the sufganiyot are cooking, set out two bowls – one with the remaining sugar and one with the melted butter. When the sufganiyot are no longer hot, dip the tops in the butter, followed by the sugar. Set aside on a cool surface or wire rack to dry and set.

After the they’re are completely cooled and the sugar is set, poke a hole in the bottom of each sufganiyot. Using a pastry bag or plastic bag with a pastry tip, pipe/squeeze the filling, careful not to over fill. If the filling is chunky, try using a larger pastry tip. Alternatively, you can slice them open and spread your filling on each half. Enjoy with a glass of kefir or coffee!

Store on the counter in an air-tight container.

I guess I looked sort of badass
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