21 Hanukkah Desserts to Nosh on for Eight Days Straight

The brisket is cooked, the menorah is lit and the Manischewitz is flowing. But there’s one box left to check on your Hanukkah to-do list: dessert. This year, instead of leaning on chocolate gelt, why not make something that blows your relatives away? We’re talking homemade rugelach, traditional honey cake, halva brownies or even matzoh s’mores. Read on for 21 Hanukkah desserts that will become a family tradition at first bite.

The Best Hanukkah Food to Make This Year, from Latkes to Brisket

1. Tie-dye Sugar Cookies

Order yourself a dreidel- or Star of David-shaped cookie cutter and you’re in business. Any two- or three-color combination will work.

2. Chocolate Banana Bread Babka

Not only is there lots of banana in the bread (hellooo, moisture), but there are also banana chunks in the brown sugar streusel. Divine.

3. Baklava Pie

Things we love: phyllo dough, crunchy nuts and gooey honey. Things we hate: sticky fingers. Luckily, you can skip the mess with this pie-ified take on baklava and use a fork.

4. Jam And Nuts Rugelach

Take your pick between walnuts and pecans for this old-school treat. It’ll pair beautifully with apricot, fig or strawberry jam.

5. Sweet Noodle Kugel

There’s enough sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla in this casserole to qualify it as a dessert. Don’t even get us started on the cinnamon-sugar cornflake topping.

6. Peanut Butter And Jelly Donuts

Sufganiyot (aka jelly donuts) are an homage to the Hanukkah miracle, since they’re fried in oil. This nutty take on them will be a hit with the kids’ table.

7. Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apple cake is commonly served during Rosh Hashanah, due to apples and honey being symbolic of hope for the Jewish New Year, but it’ll taste just as good during Hanukkah.

8. Hamantashen Pie

These triangular cookies are popular during Purim, but who says you can’t indulge in them twice a year? Use a medley of jam fillings for a more colorful final product.

9. Chocolate-covered Caramel Matzoh

The Hanukkah equivalent of peppermint bark. Finish the treat with flaky salt, chopped peanuts, sprinkles or graham cracker crumbs.

10. Cinnamon Rugelach

These buttery, flaky gems are packed with fall flavor, thanks to dark brown sugar, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon.

11. Greek Orange-honey Cake With Pistachios

It is citrus season, after all. The sticky-sweet syrup on top is nothing but fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juices, salted nuts and honey.

12. Apple Cinnamon Babka

The brown sugar crumble topping is optional, but we can’t imagine why you’d nix it. Use your favorite type of tart-sweet apples, like Fujis, Honeycrisps or Granny Smiths.

13. Halva Brownies

Halva is a Middle Eastern candy made from sesame paste and sugar. It’s tasty enough to eat solo, but it’s even more decadent when swirled into a pan of fudgy brownies.

14. Yogurt And Honey Olive Oil Cake

Using fresh figs as the crowning glory on this masterpiece will have your relatives thinking you ordered the cake from a fancy bakery. (Greek yogurt in the batter also guarantees that it will turn out super moist.)

15. Pumpkin Butter Rugelach Cookies

Hanukkah starts on November 28 this year, meaning pumpkin season will still be in full swing. Mix the menu up by serving these cuties with mulled apple cider.

16. Sweet Cheese Blintzes

The recipe calls for homemade farmer’s cheese, but feel free to substitute any mix of ricotta, cottage or cream cheeses to save time.

17. Chocolate Matzoh Crack

Choose your fighter: chocolate toffee crunch, trail mix or peanut butter swirl.

18. Pistachio Chocolate Torte

This beauty is totally flourless, so it’s safe to give to your gluten-free guests. Just be sure to use quality unsweetened chocolate since there are so few ingredients in the cake.

19. Honey Almond Cake With Raspberries, Orange And Pistachios

It’s gluten-free, Paleo, elegant and ready in just under an hour—what’s not to love? (A lemon-blueberry version of this cake would also be delicious…just sayin’.)

20. Chocolate Cookie Butter Babka

If you can’t find premade chocolate cookie butter (Trader Joe’s makes a popular one), feel free to omit the chocolate entirely, add chocolate chips to the filling or stir in some cocoa powder.

21. Chocolate-covered Caramelized Matzoh S’mores

A taste of summer s’mores in the dead of winter. If your guests have religious dietary restrictions, make sure to double-check that your marshmallows are kosher.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...