moroccan donuts – sfinj

Chanukah is the holiday of lights, miracles, and donuts! Every year, for Chanukah, I make the classic jelly donuts – “sufganiyot” in Hebrew – but this year, I decided to go back to my roots. For the first time in my life I made Moroccan Donuts, or “sfinj.” Sfinj are traditional Moroccan donuts.

I was a bit nervous because my mother never made them, so I assumed that they are hard to make (when I told her that I made them and it was easy she said she never liked them or any fried pastry, that’s why she never made them). The dough is made with fresh yeast and is pretty easy to make, but it is very soft and sticky, so you must work quickly. 

Honestly, I enjoyed the process, it was therapeutic. 

The great thing and the bad thing about these yummy pastries is that they’re fluffy and light, much lighter and fluffier than traditional sufganiyot.

AND the best part: they are vegan! 

Happy Hanukkah!


Moroccan donuts

Before you start, you should know that the dough needs one and half or two hours to rise. Also, I urge you to make sure that the frying pan is placed on a rear burner and that the small kids are not in the kitchen. 

Optional: my husband came up with the brilliant idea to coat them with cinnamon mixed with sugar, which made them taste like churros. My neighbor suggested to drizzle them with maple or agave syrup. You can also simply eat them with jam. God they’re so good. 


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  • Reply Tom Levin December 24, 2011 at 09:52

    Mmmm… Well done cousin!!!

    • Reply Shelly December 24, 2011 at 20:23

      Thanks Babe!

  • Reply Adam Becker December 26, 2011 at 00:03

    Astounding Sfinj – and being one of the only ones to have actually tasted them straight from your kitchen, I must admit that these donuts are the delight of Chanukah: they taste amazing and have a texture to die for…
    Once again, good job!

    • Reply Shelly December 26, 2011 at 00:12

      Thank you dear! you’re always invited in my kitchen xs

  • Reply Carmit December 26, 2011 at 17:27

    The best Donuts ever.
    Great blog easy to follow recipes,nice pictures.Well done.

    • Reply Shelly December 26, 2011 at 18:48

      Thank you!

  • Reply Ronna November 14, 2013 at 19:50

    When I lived in israel I remember a morrocain friend made a similar fried dough but she let the dough free form into the oil. When they were stacked up on the plate they were dripped with lots of honey. Is sfenj the same thing????

    • Reply Shelly November 21, 2013 at 20:42

      Ronna, I think so. But perhaps it was shbakia, which is also fried and covered with honey? You just reminded me to make this recipe for chanuka. Thank you!

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