Doughnuts meet hamantaschen as Brooklyn’s Sesame bakery reimagines a Purim treat


(New York Jewish Week) – In the search for innovation, Jewish bakers have lately branched out into rectangular latkes, soft mandel bread and black and white cookies that are anything but

The latest Franken-nosh? Ahead of Purim, Sesame, a popular Brooklyn bakery, sells a frosting-filled doughnut in the triangular shape of hamantaschen, the signature cookie of the holiday that marks the Jewish victory over the evil Haman. (Purim begins on the evening of March 6.) 

The triangular treat is a twist on the uber-popular Hanukkah sufganiyot that Sesame is known for: fluffy yeast doughnuts chock-full of filling and laden with elaborate toppings. The hamantaschen doughnuts are available in a range of flavors from strawberry and blueberry jelly to pistachio and lemon custard.

The triangular doughnuts are available during Purim at Sesame, a popular Brooklyn bakery known for its sufganiyot during Hanukkah. (Julia Gergely)

The doughnuts taste like, well, doughnuts, not like their stiffer, crumbly, less sweet cousins hamantaschen, which are made from shortbread dough. Still, they were delicious by any standard. The bite was pillowy and the frosting wasn’t overpowering, letting the ample amount of filling steal the show. If you don’t like frosting, maybe eat around it.   

The recipe is the same as the standard doughnuts that the bakery sells, a worker at the register said.  

On a Thursday afternoon, the bakery was bustling, and neither workers nor customers had time to stop and talk. Chaim Zorger opened the Flatbush location in 2016 and a second location in Boro Park in 2019. The Sesame name was “ubiquitous in the fervent discussion around deluxe sufganiyot,” the Jewish Link reported in December 2022, saying the bakery was “known for outstanding, but not outrageous baked goods.”

Trays of donuts and hamenstaschen at Sesame’s Flatbush location, Feb. 23, 2023. (Julia Gergely)

In Hanukkahs past, Sesame has opened two-week pop-ups in the Five Towns in Long Island and Lakewood, New Jersey, suppled by staff who would be baking for 24 hours a day throughout the two weeks

The triangular Purim doughnuts are priced between $2.75 and $4.75 depending on the flavor. (Sesame also sells regular hamantaschen.) At Dough, another kosher doughnut bakery with several locations around New York, a single donut will run you between $5.45 to $5.95. 

It cost me $12.80 for the two doughnuts plus three hamantaschen, which, by the way, was totally an underestimate of how much I thought I would want. 

The bakery also sells traditional hamentaschen for Purim, along with other pastries. (Julia Gergely)

Some online traditionalists disapproved. “It would be a sin to call these hamantaschen,” wrote one user on Twitter. (For what it is worth, the cashier at Sesame just called them doughnuts.)

Another user, who a few months earlier had tweeted “I have long maintained that we should simply abandon hamantaschen all together and eat sufganiyot by both Chanukah and Purim,” was apparently delighted by the Purim donuts. “Finally, a store that agrees with me!” he wrote. 

In the Facebook group “Great Kosher Restaurant Foodies,” one user tried to come up with names for the creation, asking, “Is this a hamanganiyot, or a suftaschen?”