15 Hanukkah Desserts That Will Light Up Your Tastebuds
A sampling of sweet treats to inspire your holiday table.
Holiday Honey Cake
Thirty-five years ago, I gave a friend of mine a platter of my assorted home-baked Christmas cookies. The next day, she brought over slices of this delicious cake, which she made for Hanukkah. Naturally, we exchanged recipes and my family and I have been enjoying this moist and flavorful honey cake ever since! I top my cake with a creamy caramel glaze. —Kristine M. Chayes, Smithtown, New York
Share some of these things you never knew about Hanukkah with family over your honey cake.
Traditional rugelach gets dressed up for the holiday with pistachios, cranberries, and snow-white icing. Rich but not too sweet! —Deborah Hinojosa, Saratoga, California
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Vanilla & Cinnamon-Kissed Apple Latkes
Latkes are crispy fried pancakes, often made with potatoes. But this sweet version with apples, orange juice, cinnamon, and vanilla falls in the dessert realm. —Candy McMenamin, Lexington, South Carolina
Learn more about latkes and these other Hanukkah traditions that make the holiday so special.
I make this traditional dish along with other Jewish specialties for an annual Hanukkah/Christmas party with our friends. —Lauren Kargen, Williamsville, New York
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Puff pastry creates a quick and easy “dough” for pretty pinwheel-type cookies featuring two types of nuts. The flaky treats are hard to resist. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
While these are baking in the oven, try one of these easy and festive Hanukah crafts with your kids.
I love this chocolate babka. It’s a rewarding recipe for taking the next step in your bread baking. Even if it’s slightly imperfect going into the oven, it turns out gorgeous. Look at those swirls! —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Sufganiyot are believed to have first come from Spain, adapted from a similar treat, the sopaipilla. Others say the sopaipilla was borrowed from the Jews. Either way, as a tradition, doughnuts are an easy one to adopt, especially with this easy sufganiyot recipe. —David Feder, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Learn more about another Jewish tradition: why we light the menorah for Hanukkah.
Mom’s Hazelnut & Chocolate Bread Pudding
Mom combined her love of hazelnut spread and bread pudding into one delicious recipe. I adapted it for my slow cooker to save time in the kitchen. It’s a great make-ahead game-day dessert. —Jo Hahn, Newport News, Virginia
Before you start cooking, don’t miss these brilliant kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot Cookies
Mandelbrot in Yiddish literally means “almond bread.” The twice-baked cookie made with oil and almonds dates back to 19th century Eastern Europe. There are many variations made of different dried fruits and nuts. My chocolate chip version is more modern-American. —Kimberly Scott, Kosciusko, Mississippi
Grandma’s Raspberry Rugelach
I remember sitting on my great-grandmother’s couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it’s a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida
Once you start eating this taste-tempting treat, you may not be able to stop! Matzo crackers are topped with buttery caramel, chocolate, and slivered almonds…and then baked to perfection. —Sharalyn Zander, Jacksonville, Alabama
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Chunky Apple-Cinnamon Cake
This a nice change from apple pie, and it’s tasty and worthy of a special get-together—plus, it’s very easy to make. Add a scoop of ice cream if you like. —Ellen Ruzinsky, Yorktown Heights, New York
Molly’s Sweet and Spicy Tzimmes Cake
My husband and I are always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate Jewish traditions into our interfaith home. Rich with apples, carrots, and sweet potato, this sweet and spicy cake is perfect for Rosh Hashanah or any fall holiday. —Molly Haendler, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Check out these Hanukkah destinations where you can celebrate the festival of lights.
What’s a game of dreidel without gelt? These waxy chocolate coins wrapped in shiny gold foil have a rich history and are a staple during Hanukkah, especially for kids. For something homemade, try this recipe from blogger Elana Amsterdam.
Next, check out these fun facts you didn’t know about the holiday season.