Pure Vanilla Donuts

Welcome to our first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It's traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we've got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats. 

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein's new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
2 copies of Leah Schapira's  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
2 copies of Esther Deutch's CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! 

Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling us one new treat you'd like to try baking this Chanukah!

Contest is now CLOSED! Thank you for participating!

Chanukah is one of my very favorite times of the year. It's all the fun, celebration and meaning with a quarter of the usual chaotic preparation (not to mention you can run out minutes before a party to pick up those last minute forgotten additions!). And really, any holiday where traditional foods include donuts, fried potato pancakes (latkes) and essentially oil and more oil, is always going to be at the top of my list!

I'm so happy to be a part of this blogger party and contribute a special recipe to the mix! When I received Shauna Server's, Pure Vanilla, in the mail, I was incredibly excited and curious... For one it focuses on vanilla, and this itsy bitsy balebusta basically lives off of chocolate. Out of my comfort zone much? Then there was the beautiful cover and the stunning pictures inside. You know that whole, "don't judge a book by it's cover," thing..? Well I totally judge books by their covers. I really think the entire concept of advertising was created for people like me. Add something shiny, a nice font and a few gorgeous pictures and I'm sold! And this book is so beautiful that I was ready to part with my cocoa powder, chocolate chips and ganache and jump into the world of vanilla beans!

This recipe was simple. The dough rose absolutely wonderfully, doubling in size, light and very easy to roll out and manipulate. I actually went out and purchased vanilla beans for the first time in order to follow the directions exactly and was very happy that I did. I had never used them before, but the pure flavor within the dough was unmistakable and a worthwhile addition! I found a pod of vanilla beans at my local grocery store, in the baking aisle, underneath the spices. They were definitely in a different price range than your usual vanilla extract, however there are many things to consider here... for one, how cool is it to tell your guests you made, Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts? Also, it's the holidays, if there's any time to add an extra special element to your baking, it's now! Also, one vanilla bean pod can be used in so many ways it's incredible. This recipe simply uses the caviar (what I came to learn, meant the inside of the pod) and what you're left with, if stored properly can be used again for other recipes!

Overall, the donut was fantastic! It's light, doesn't feel like the usual heavy, fried doughnuts, it all came together easily and fairly effortlessly and it definitely added a heightened flavor to my dessert table this Chanukah!

A Few Tips to Keep In Mind: As with any yeast recipe, leave yourself some time to make these donuts. They aren't too intensive in terms of hands-on work, but you'll need to set aside time for rising (twice) as well as frying in batches! As far as the vanilla caviar goes, a quick google search will bring up videos and tips on properly working with the vanilla bean. I will hopefully be posting soon on how to do so, with step by step directions and pictures, for those of you who are interested. Also, the recipe below has been adapted in order to be pareve. I found that the consistency and quality was in no way compromised! And now you can have it after any meal this Chanukah!

I hope you enjoy it and that you check out all the wonderful recipes that a group of amazing bloggers have put together for you! Have a wonderful Chanukah, full of light, warmth and happiness! Happy Chanukah!

Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts
Slightly adapted from Pure Vanilla by Shauna Server

1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup soy milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Caviar of 1/2 a vanilla bean
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup (half a stick) of margarine, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil, for frying

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, warm water, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, soy milk, vanilla extract, vanilla caviar, egg yolks, and margarine. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and begin mixing on low speed.

Add flour and salt and mix for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle often to keep the dough moving.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand, dusting with flour as needed. Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. (Alternatively, you can let it rise in the refrigerator overnight, 8 to 12 hours.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out doughnuts with a 3 inch doughnut cutter (*I improvised an used a wine glass, dipped in flour, using a smaller glass to cut out the center.*) Place on a parchment- lined baking sheet, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until doughnuts have doubled in size.

Pour 2 inches of vegetable oil into a 4 or 5 quart pot and heat it to 350 degrees F. Fry doughnuts in batches of no more than 4 until they are golden brown, 2 minutes per side, turning only once (turning too often can result in greasy doughnuts). Transfer to paper towels to drain.

For the Glaze:

1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk
Pinch salt
Caviar of 1/2 a vanilla bean

Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, soy milk, salt, and vanilla caviar until smooth. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts and serve.

Disclaimer: I was kindly provided a copy of this wonderful cookbook to review by Quirk Books. The opinions and views expressed in my review are completely my own.  

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts: 
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com


  1. These look amazing! I made sufganiyot with a strawberry champagne filling, and they exceeded my expectations by far. I'll have to try these before Chanukah is over!

    Sweet Tooth

  2. I wish my in-laws served yummy doughnuts like this for Hannukah dinner. They look delicous!

  3. So glad you joined the blog party – can’t wait to see how you used the printables to decorate your home!


    Shelley from The Kosher home!

  4. Anything with pure vanilla bean is a win in my eyes.

  5. ive never made sufganiyot-id like to try!

  6. vanilla doughnuts

    cant wait to try this recipe

  7. these look amazing!

  8. I've always wanted to try Berliner.....

  9. This looks like a simple, classic recipe that you can't go wrong with. I'm always looking for those (when it comes to baking at least). Thanks!

  10. I wish I had enough never to try making donuts! I can't get enough of them when the Aunts get together and make them! YUM.

  11. that cookbook looks so great and so do the donuts! don't know where to get vanilla bean have been searching for a while any tips on that would be so helpful! thanks for this great and pretty unique recipe! have a happy chanuka! gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

  12. These look delicious! I haven't gotten to look properly through my copy of Pure Vanilla, but so far it looks gorgeous!

    I already baked a lot this chanukah, but I am planning on baking some more donuts tomorrow. Still haven't decided on a flavor!

    Thanks for joining!

  13. Baking with real vanilla beans is still on my to-do list. Looking forward to seeing what else you do with yours!

  14. I have so many new recipes I want to try. But I end up making the same things we all love!

  15. I'm a chocolate girl myself, but these vanilla glazed donuts look great!

  16. I love vanilla--these must be amazing because of all the real vanilla right from the bean in the recipe.

  17. Thanks for sharing this recipe. This donut seems a nice treat during family time. It looks very delicious. Good post.

  18. These sound yummy. I love vanilla!

    I baked some caramel apple cookies that were a hit, but I'm going to be making red velvet whoopie pie cookies!

  19. These look amazing! If I can get my hands on a vanilla bean I'm for sure making these!

  20. the glaze looks so perfect. i love vanilla everything

  21. I would like to make mini baked donuts

  22. I love chocolate too, but there is always a place for Vanilla.


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