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Shared by Julia Silverberg Nemeth

Fánk (Doughnuts Topped With Apricot Jam)

Yield: 30 doughnutsTime: 1 h 15 min + rising

Shared by Julia Silverberg Nemeth

Doughnut with dollop of apricot jam and powdered sugar on blue plate.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Fánk (Doughnuts Topped With Apricot Jam)

Yield: 30 doughnutsTime: 1 h 15 min + rising

Family Journey

Cluj Napoca, RomaniaTimișoara, RomaniaBudapest, Hungary
Morristown, NJLos AngelesPark Rapids, Minnesota

Every winter, Julia Silverberg Nemeth's mother Edith would fry these doughnuts for the family. “I thought it was a Christmas tradition even though my mom told me the story of the miracle of oil when she made the doughnuts,” explains Julia Silverberg Nemeth. “I just thought all biblical stories were the same, as in Christian.”

Read more about Julia's family in "Hungarian Recipes From a Secret Jewish Family in the Northwoods of Minnesota" and try her recipes for hen soup with Hungarian galuska dumplings and mákos nudli (sweet poppy seed pasta).

Plus, find more Hanukkah recipes in our holiday collection.


For the dough

  • 2 cups milk, warmed to 115 degrees, divided
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 (¼ oz) packet active dry yeast 
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

For frying and assembly

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups apricot jam
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
DessertsHanukkah DairyWestern Europe


  • Step 1

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add ¼ cup of the warm milk. Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast, stir gently and let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. 

  • Step 2

    Add the remaining milk, melted butter, and egg yolks. Mix well to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour and salt. Increase the speed to medium, and mix until the dough is smooth and starts to pull away from the bowl, about 10-12 minutes. 

  • Step 3

    Form the dough into a ball, and transfer to a large bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. 

  • Step 4

    After the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to ½ inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch circle cutter, punch out 30 circles, rerolling scraps as needed. 

  • Step 5

    Transfer the circles to 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover doughnuts with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towels and let rest for 30 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Heat about 10 cups of oil (oil should be 2” deep, so add more if needed) in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and set over medium-low heat. Using a deep-fry thermometer, heat the oil to 350F. Add 4 doughnuts at a time and cook for 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove the doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cooling rack or paper towels over a large baking sheet to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. 

  • Step 7

    Dollop 1 tablespoon of apricot jam on top of each donut, then dust with confectioners' sugar. They are best eaten warm.