Have Chanukah for breakfast with these jelly doughtnut muffins. A bit of tapioca or corn starch makes them extra soft, and cinnamon-sugar and an injection of jam makes them festive.
I like to kick off Chanukah excitement with a batch of these sufganiyot muffins. Sufganiyot, Israeli jam-filled doughnuts, are the heralds of Chanukah in Israel in the same way that pumpkin spice is the herald of fall, and the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas, cycle in the US. (Sufganiyot's competition is Krembo, chocolate-covered, marshmallow crème-topped cookies that also appear in the winter around Chanukah.) Sufganiyot are fun and festive to make, but they are a bit of work. These muffins, on the other hand, are quick, but taste just like cake doughnuts filled with strawberry jam. They charm kids and adults alike.
Making the muffins
To make these muffins taste like cake doughnuts, the batter is just a little different from standard muffin batter. It uses tapioca or cornstarch to get a silkier texture (like you'd get from cake flour), and the addition of yogurt makes them delicious. As with all muffins, you'll want to mix as little as possible once you add the dry ingredients--just enough to evenly moisten them. The batter will be thicker than regular muffin batter. If you've got a large cookie scoop, it's perfect for portioning out the batter into the muffin cups. I use this #16 scoop with is just under 3 ½ tablespoons, and this 4-tablespoon (¼ cup) scoop would also work well. (You wouldn't think it, but my scoop gets a ton of use, portioning out pancake and waffle batter and all sorts of things--and, of course, giant cookies.)
Filling the muffins like sufganiyot
Once the muffins cool a bit, the tops get dipped in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar. Cinnamon isn't usually used in sufganiyot, but here it adds a little extra. Then a bit of powdered sugar finished them off so they really look like little sufganiyot.
Filling the muffins is fairly easy. You'll need an implement for this task, either a piping bag with a tip or a squeeze bottle. After warming the jam and loading it into the bag or bottle, you make a hole with the tip and squeeze gently to fill. If you don't have a piping bag or bottle, you could also use a zip-top bag with one corner snipped off. In this case, you'll want to poke the hole for the jam with a skewer or toothpick before inserting the jam.
I prefer the squeeze bottle here because you this way I can scoop the jam into it (I use an ordinary spoon) and then microwave the jam right in the bottle. My squeeze bottle is designed for cookie decorating, so it fits a coupler for a piping tip on top. (I have this set.) But any squeeze bottle would work.
Looking for more breakfast treats?
- Hazelnut Yogurt Scones with Dark Chocolate Chips - easy and so satisfying with a cup of coffee.
- Old Salem Pumpkin Muffins - these regional specialty are like a cross between pumpkin bread and gingerbread.
- Apples and Honey Muffins for Rosh haShanah - I guess I have a thing for holiday-themed muffins?
Sufganiyot Muffins (dairy)
- Piping bag, squeeze bottle, or zipper bag for filling the muffins
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch or tapioca flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt, any kind
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
For filling & topping:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon - optional
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- ½ cup berry jam
- powdered sugar, for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C and line one muffin pan.
Make the muffins:
- In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch or tapioca, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, eggs, and melted butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just combined.
- Scoop about ⅓ cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden and risen, and a tester comes out clean.
Dredge & fill:
- Once the muffins have cooled slightly, place the sugar and cinnamon, if using, in a small bowl. Melt the additional 2 tablespoons of butter. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the muffins with the melted butter, then dip them into the sugar.
- Using a skewer or other similar tool, poke a hole in the side of each muffin. Warm the jam slightly in the microwave or on the stove and transfer to a piping bag, squeeze bottle, or zipper bag with the end snipped off. Fill each hole with jam.
- Once completely cooled, dust the muffins with powdered sugar.