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Fantastic Sfinge Moroccan Donuts Recipe

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Oshrit Abergil – @oshritabergil
Moroccan donuts for Hanukkah: Airy, crispy, and heavenly sfinge that no one will be able to resist!
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Rising time :1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 15 donuts


Dough (15 donuts):

  • 3.5 cups/500 grams flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 flat tablespoon/8 grams dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups lukewarm water, start with 1½ and add gradually


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then add the rest and process into a dough for about 5-10 minutes. Do not knead too much; the dough should be sticky with lumps. Cover and let it rise for 40 minutes.
  • Knead the dough manually for a minute, cover, and let it rise for another 40 minutes.
  • Deflate the dough, give it a short rise with folding, cover, and let it rise for another 40-60 minutes. The dough should come out with lots of bubbles and be very sticky.
  • Heat a deep pot with oil over medium heat (if you have a thermometer, reach 355-375°F. If you don’t, adding a peeled carrot will prevent the oil from burning).
  • Prepare a bowl with water and oil. Dip your hands, take a dough ball the size of an ice cream ball, open it while creating a hole in the middle, and carefully place it in the oil. Flip when it turns golden, and the top part is no longer doughy. Fry for another minute, remove from the oil, place on a cooling rack, and roll in sugar/powdered sugar.


Tips for success:
  1. If the donut immediately gets a dark color during frying, it indicates that the oil is too hot. Usually, it needs to be flipped after a minute. You can try one and see if it is ready.
  2. When working with the dough, don’t be alarmed by its stickiness; that is the secret to success.
  3. You can let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight. Let it rise once at room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator, and take it out two hours before cooking. After an hour at room temperature, knead it for a minute, and let it rise for another hour on the countertop.


sfinge moroccan donuts recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

Where did sfinge come from?

Sfinge, the Moroccan donuts, trace their origins to North African Jewish culinary traditions. Rooted in Morocco, sfinge is believed to have originated from the Jewish community, particularly during celebrations like Hanukkah. These delectable treats showcase a fusion of local flavors and Jewish culinary influences. The name “sfinge” or “sfinj” likely derives from the Arabic word for sponge, reflecting their spongy texture. Over time, sfinge has become a beloved street food and a symbol of festive gatherings.

Can you make Moroccan donuts ahead of time?

Certainly! After the initial dough preparation and rise, cover it tightly and refrigerate overnight. Before frying, bring the dough to room temperature for about 30 minutes, allowing it to become more pliable. Shape the dough into donuts and proceed with the frying steps as usual. This method not only provides flexibility in planning but also enhances the flavor and texture of the donuts. By incorporating a slow fermentation process, the refrigeration step contributes to a more complex and enjoyable taste.

What is the traditional way of serving Moroccan donuts?

A classic choice is mint tea, a beloved Jewish Moroccan beverage known for its refreshing taste. Alternatively, a side of honey or date syrup can add a delightful sweetness. Sfinge also pairs well with fresh fruit, providing a contrast to the richness of the donuts. For a more indulgent experience, serve them alongside vanilla or cinnamon-flavored yogurt.

How are Moroccan donuts different from traditional donuts?

Moroccan donuts, exemplified by sfinge, deviate from traditional donuts in their unique texture and preparation. Sfinge are renowned for their airy, sponge-like consistency, distinct from the denser structure of typical donuts. The dough incorporates brandy, imparting a subtle flavor note, while the absence of dairy aligns with kosher dietary practices. Additionally, sfinge often boast a simple coating of sugar or powdered sugar, eschewing elaborate glazes.

sfinge moroccan donuts recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil
sfinge moroccan donuts recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

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