Sfinj (Moroccan Doughnuts)


These luscious doughnuts are crispy on the outside and very fluffy and airy on the inside. They're usually served dipped in sugar or honey, but Leetal and Ron Arazi love to serve them with a saffron and cardamom syrup. Slideshow: How to Make Homemade Doughnuts 

Sfinj Moroccan Doughnuts
Photo: © Christine Han
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 5 cardamom pods

  • 1 pinch of saffron threads


  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons yeast

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 cups water (to 4 )

  • Canola oil (for frying)


Make the Sugar Syrup

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the syrup is the consistency of honey. (To test, place a few small plates in the freezer and drizzle a bit of the syrup on them throughout the cooking process.) Remove from the heat and let cool.

Make the Doughnuts

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add 3 1/2 cups of water and mix thoroughly; the dough should be loose and sticky and doesn’t need to hold its shape. Adjust the consistency if needed with the rest of the water. Cover the dough with cling plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

  2. In the bowl, using your hands, fold the dough over onto itself few times. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, or until it doubles in volume. In a deep pan, heat 3 inches high of canola oil.

  3. Wet your hands and cut a piece of dough the size of 2 golf balls. With 2 fingers quickly make a hole in the center and stretch it a little to form a ring shape. Repeat to form the remaining doughnuts.

  4. Immediately and gently put the doughnuts in the oil and fry over moderate heat until golden on both sides. Drain the doughnuts on paper towels.

  5. Serve the sfinj immediately and let your guests drizzle them with the sugar syrup.

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