Growing up, Hanukkah celebrations were always preceded by a debate about frying. My siblings and I desperately wanted to eat all the classic fried Hanukkah treats, while my mom desperately wanted to avoid making our entire house smell like frying oil. She felt so strongly about not frying in the house that she would often fry latkes outside on the grill, standing ankle-deep in gray Cleveland snow. While my mom would make the sacrifice for latkes, we never won the battle on freshly fried jelly doughnuts.

Ironically enough, I followed in my mom’s footsteps and now also hate deep frying inside. However, deep frying aversion or no, we all deserve doughnuts for Hanukkah. These baked olive oil doughnuts are a great compromise! Plus, they can be decorated in fun, festive ways.

Olive Oil Donuts
(Photo: Elana Berusch)

Baked Olive Oil Mini Doughnuts

Makes approximately 34 mini doughnuts


  • 100 grams olive oil
  • 120 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 280 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 240 grams buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a mini doughnut pan with either pan spray or by brushing on a thin layer of oil.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the olive oil, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add the egg and whisk well to combine.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl. Mix to combine. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment from this point on. The mixture will be thick and crumbly.
  6. Add the buttermilk to the batter and mix until the batter is smooth and thick.
  7. Transfer a portion of the batter to a piping bag. Snip about a half inch off the end of the bag to form a hole about the size of a blueberry.
  8. Pipe the batter into the greased doughnut pan, moving the piping bag in a ring so that each cavity is half full. You’ll have enough batter for about three rounds of baking in the doughnut pan, so don’t be surprised when you have lots of batter left over after piping the first 12 doughnuts.
  9. Bake the doughnuts for 7-8 minutes, until risen and matte but still soft and pale.
  10. Let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then turn the pan out onto a cooling rack. Flip the doughnuts over so that the prettier side (the side that faced down in the pan) faces up!
  11. Wipe any residue out of the doughnut pan and grease it again. Don’t be tempted to skip the re-greasing or your doughnuts will stick.
  12. Repeat steps 8-11 until all batter has been baked.
  13. While doughnuts cool, make the glaze (see recipe below).



  • 120 grams powdered sugar
  • 20 grams cream
  • 20 grams soft butter
  • 18 grams hot water
  • Blue gel food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. Combine the powdered sugar and cream in a medium-sized bowl and mix until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Add the soft butter and mix until it’s fully combined into the paste.
  3. Add hot water to thin out the paste, until it runs slowly off the spoon in thick ribbons.
  4. You have a few décor options: For blue doughnuts, add blue food coloring to the glaze, one drop at a time, until the desired color is reached. For white doughnuts, leave the glaze as is. For marbled blue-and-white doughnuts, add a drop of blue gel food coloring to the bowl of glaze and use a toothpick to swirl it in slightly, creating a swirl of blue on top of the white glaze.
  5. Dip each doughnut into the glaze.
  6. If making marbled doughnuts, dip the doughnut right on top of the blue swirl. You can get 1-2 doughnuts out of each blue swirl, and then you’ll need to add another drop of blue food coloring and swirl it in again.
  7. Immediately after dipping, top with sprinkle, if using. The doughnuts dry fast, so sprinkles won’t stick if you wait too long.
  8. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
  9. Doughnuts will keep in a well-covered container at room temperature for up to three days.