Doughnuts in Cardamom Syrup

Dipping these doughnuts in cardamom-rose water syrup and sliced almonds gives them an extra layer of flavor and a nutty, crunchy texture.

Doughnuts in Cardamom Syrup
Photo: © Keller & Keller
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs
40 doughnuts

The recipe for these doughnuts came from from Esther Sabach, Rachel Klein's boyfriend's mother. They are a nod to Sephardic Jewish cooking traditions and ideal for serving during Hanukkah, or anytime you want to celebrate with a sweet, spiced, crunchy dessert. You can make the dough a day before frying the doughnuts, and keep it in the refrigerator (let it come to room temperature before shaping the doughnuts). The toasted almonds and cardamom-rose water syrup can also be made a day in advance, and kept, covered, at room temperature.


  • 1 3/4 cups warm water, plus 1 cup water

  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup sliced almonds

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon rose water

  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the warm water with yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and salt. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough lightly until it is silky. Oil a medium bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, then let it rise again for another 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water with lemon juice and cardamom and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half; strain. Let cool slightly, then stir in rose water.

  3. In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil to 325°F. Meanwhile, divide dough into quarters. Cut each quarter into 10 pieces. Using wet hands, shape into balls and poke a hole in the center of each. Carefully add doughnuts to hot oil in batches and fry until browned, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels.

  4. Dip 1 side of each doughnut in the syrup and sprinkle with almonds; serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be made through Step 1; then the doughnut dough can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

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