Let's face it, sufganiyot are delicious, and our bodies evolved to find them so. Sugar, flour, oil – we genetically crave these things and their combination in one perfect fried, jam-filled doughnut is practically irresistible. Similar things can be said for the leviva, or latke – the friend potato pancake. Nu? Are we predestined and doomed to gain weight on Hanukkah?
We probably will, but it isn't inevitable. The news flash is that quite a lot of Israeli confectioners offer baked sufganiyot as well as, or on top of, traditionally fried ones.
The Piece of Cake chain is one such that sells baked sufganiyot. It has two outlets, one on 17 Yehuda Hayamit st. in Jaffa, and one at 56 King George st. in Tel Aviv. For what it's worth, Piece of Cake also has an eye to the vegan set with animal-free pastries too.
Another source is Movieing, which aside from its offering of the baked sufganiya, reportedly features a sort of not-fried cronut.
Both Piece of Cake and Movieing have quite original sufganiya fillings. Naturally, they usually offer the red jam of uncertain provenance and these days dulce de leche has become pretty ubiquitous filling too. But Piece of Cake, for instance, offers a poppy seed and vanilla stuffing; Movieing at 308 Dizengoff st. has an apple and brandy number, not to mention the pear and Cabernet.
Lehamim did not disappoint its fans and again offered its baked versions; its are more down-to-earth – This chain seems clammy about the unspoken race to create the weirdest, zaniest sufganiya filling in history. Lehamim has an outlet on 99 Hahashmonayim st., Tel Aviv, or on the right side as you go down Shuk Hacarmel (from Allenby Street).
These are not of course the only sources of baked sufganiyot; several local mom'n'pop bakeries might also offer the un-oily goods. It's worth asking. And for what it's worth, ordinary fried sufganiyot, jam and all, range from, oh say, about 300 calories to about 800.