Ekmek Kadayif (Cream-Filled Doughnuts with Pistachios)

These Turkish doughnuts have become a staple on our Hanukkah table. The fried doughnuts, which are denser than traditional American doughnuts, are soaked in a sugar syrup for 6 hours, then sliced and filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and sprinkled with pistachios.
Check out more recipes and pictures from our 2014 Hanukkah party





2 cups sugar

2 cups water

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup cherry liquor (or any other liquor you prefer)


1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

1/8 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Canola oil, for frying

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for filling

Chopped pistachios, for serving

  1. MAKE THE SYRUP In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the syrup reaches the consistency of maple syrup. (To test, place a few small plates in the freezer and drizzle a bit of the syrup on them throughout the cooking process.) Stir in the lemon juice, remove from the heat and let cool completely. When cool, add the liquor.

  2. MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and sugar. Mix in the water, yogurt and milk. Add the flour and baking soda and mix well until a thick batter forms.

  3. In a deep skillet, heat 3 inches high of oil. Using an oiled tablespoon, scoop out batter and carefully add it to the hot oil. Fry on moderately low heat until the small doughnuts are golden. Take one out and cut it open to make sure it’s fully cooked. Add the hot doughnuts to the cooled syrup and let soak for at least 6 hours.

  4. To serve, slit the doughnuts halfway through. Fill with whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.