A Hanukkah Aebleskiver Sufganiyah, Gluten Free

What’s a jelly donut got to do with Hanukkah? Not much, really. Somewhere around 1920 the Israeli Labor Force decided to hark the fried little donut into a commercially made treat for Hanukkah – since latkes were easily made at home (and who decided that?) jelly donuts could be made by the labor force.  Donuts equaled jobs. Novel. Read more about that here.

Thus, the adorable little sufganiyah, which is Hebrew for jelly donut became the most popular Hanukkah treat next to Latkes, especially in Israel. The sufganiyot (plural) are not anything like Krispy Kreme which look like Amazons compared to the Hanukkah treat. The sufganiyah is a small jelly-filled fried dough dusted with powdered sugar meant to be popped into the mouth in about one bite.

Growing up, we ate our share of latkes but never any jelly donuts. These days I refuse to fry anything in our postage stamp sized apartment because I will be smelling it for months. But these little Aebleskiver treats make for some very fun pretend fried jelly sufganiyot. Totally gluten-free and Hanukkah worthy.

Have some mini red potato latkes and then make these Aebleskiver Sufaniyot. If you don’t have a pan, think about getting one. I like this one. And you’ll probably want this book.

Both are perfect Hanukkah gifts, by the way!

Have a very happy Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Aebleskiver Sufganiyah, Gluten Free (Jelly Donuts)
These are incredibly delicious even if they don't look perfect. Don't under cook them - best to let them get a little toasty than pasty - the flavor improves. If you buy the Kevin Crafts book (above) you can learn to make very pretty Ebelskivers. A little jam or jelly goes a long way, but use a flavor you love. And be generous with the powdered sugar coating because, after all, these are "jelly donuts" for Hanukkah. A celebration!
  • 155 grams GF Flour (50 g superfine brown rice flour, 50 grams tapioca flour, 55 grams GF oat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • jar of your favorite jelly or jam
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled for coating the pan
  1. Make sure your handy Aebleskiver pan is ready for action and butter is melted, cooled and ready for brushing - along with whatever you are using to turn the little balls. I used two chopsticks.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 or 200 degrees and place a sheet pan in the oven. You'll be transferring the cooked "donuts" to the oven to keep warm while you finish up the batter.
  3. Weigh the flours and whisk together. Add the sugar, salt, baking powder and whisk. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks with the milk, melted butter (2 tablespoons) and the vanilla.Stir into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter until no white streaks remain but be gentle so you don't deflate the whites. The objective is to lighten up the batter.
  4. Brush the extra melted butter into the wells of the pan working quickly. Over medium heat, as the butter starts to bubble, add a heaping tablespoon of batter to each well. Spoon in a very tiny teaspoon (I used even less) of the jam/jelly into the center of the batter heap. And then top with another tablespoon of batter over the jam/jelly.
  5. Cook until the bottoms are browning and crisp - a few minutes. Then carefully (you'll get the hang after the first batch) flip them over one at a time using the chopsticks - all in one motion so that the batter doesn't spill over the edge and the jam/jelly stays inside. Don't worry if you mess it up - the technique will start to make sense after a few turns. Cook on that side until the "donut" is crispy and golden brown. Adjust the flame as needed. It should take just a few minutes.
  6. Move to the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm while you continue. Repeat the same process until all the batter is used up. Then sift powdered sugar over the "donuts" on all sides and serve right away while slightly warm. And be in awe of how you created Hanukkah donuts using an Aebleskiver pan.


  1. I really want to pop one of those right in my mouth. They’re beautiful.
    I had no idea that sufganiyah were part of a stimulus plan. Maybe that’s why we still have such high unemployment.

    xo Nicole

  2. One of my favorite brunch restaurants in Chicago has Aebleskivers on the menu (alas not gluten-free) but I always wanted to try them. I may have to think about getting one of these pans.

  3. Would the recipe work okay with egg substitute? They look delicious!!!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I’m not sure. Doesn’t hurt to give it a try – bet it will still taste great. I’d still try to froth or whip the egg replacement to get it light and fluffy, but honestly – I don’t know how it will turn out or how much you should substitute. 2 large eggs weigh about 5-6 gramsounces-ish. Hope that helps. Let me know if it works.

  4. These look divine! I happen to have an Aebleskiver pan collecting dust in the cupboard, so I’m going to give these a try! Great holiday recipe.

  5. Is it possible to substitute coconut oil for butter in the recipe?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I have not tried using coconut oil, Jessica. But I don’t see why it would not work. Use the same amount, or even slightly less (in the batter). It may alter the flavor slightly, but I bet it still tastes great. Let me know how it worked out if you try it.