Delicious Jewish desserts that are easy to make can be made at home and are perfect for bringing people together over a Jewish favorite.
Whilst you don’t need lots of professional equipment, using good-quality kitchen essentials will help keep your bakes and bread consistent!
Here are some of our favorite recipes for beginners right through to well-seasoned bakers.
Popular Jewish desserts
1. Cinnamon Babka
Family Friends Food has an excellent review of Shannon Sarna’s Modern Jewish Baker book.
Featuring the Cinnamon Babka recipe that will instantly make you hungry! Shannon’s book features other Jewish Favorites such as Challah, Babka, bagels, and more.
This recipe also provides excellent baking guidance on texture and baking.
2. Chocolate Babka
Want more Babka variations? This Babka is chocolate-filled, sweet yeasted bread.
A cross between bread, croissants, and cakes and using simple ingredients: flour, eggs, butter, milk, and yeast. And can be filled with a flavor of your choice.
Food blog Yellow Thyme uses chocolate in their recipe.
3. Pistachio Baklava with orange blossom.
Doesn’t this sound incredible? Samantha at Little Ferraro Kitchen has a floral and exotic flavor element to the traditional pistachio baklava bake.
Featuring orange blossom water, lemon peels, and warm cinnamon, this baklava is a mouth-tingling moment.
Looking for something sweet and flaky?
These Rugelachs will do the trick. Yiddish for “Little twists” or “Rolled things” look like croissants but are more like cookies and can be filled with a filling of your choice.
Torr Avey has used chocolate (You can’t go wrong with chocolate), which she advises eating hot, straight from the oven.
Want more filling options?
Rugelach Recipe For an alternative Rugelach mix, The Kitchn blog uses egg yolk for added richness and golden hue biscuit. They also provide helpful instructions for nut, jam, and peanut fillings.
5. Halvah Israeli
After a tahini-based Jewish sweet? Then look no further than Halva.
Found in Jewish delis and the umbrella term for butter and nut-based sweets, Halva is a delicious, sweet treat.
With a simple combination of honey, tahini, and sliced almonds, My Jewish Lesson’s step-by-step recipe helps you recreate this Jewish staple in your own home.
Fora crunch and a crumble, Hamentashen uses an oil-based dough, making the dough easier to handle and shape.
Supposedly shaped like ears (But triangles will do too!) filled with jams or spreads of your choice, such as poppy seed or peanut butter.
7. Easy Challah Bread
Are you looking for a simple and easy recipe for Jewish Challah bread? With a shiny crust yet soft, fluffy inner that is slightly sweet.
Designed to be served on the Sabbath, challah bread represents love and unity.
Challah is Kosher. Savor the Flavour uses a simple recipe combining bread flour, olive oil ( which provides more protein than standard butter), eggs, honey, salt, water, and yeast.
For an additional texture, add a teaspoon of poppy seeds to the Challah dough.
The key to the perfect Sabbath bread is to get the dough firm but not hard; if the dough is too soft, it will lose its definition.
Challah bread can also last long beyond the day you make it and can be frozen for up to a month after making it.
8. Celebration Honey Cake.
Honey cake is a tradition for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
This recipe uses eggs and oil, providing an alternative to a more traditional honey cake, including cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon in the mixture to life.
The strength of pairing between cinnamon and cardamon should never be saved for just special occasions.
This recipe provides the option of using the more traditional spice trio or omitting it for a more serene flavor.
(We suggest adding the spices for a more authentic flavor!)
9. Traditional Honey Cake.
Honey is a well-exercised ingredient for many Jewish desserts, bread, and pastries.
The Traditional Jewish Honey Cake by Baking Bar is a beautifully simple bundt cake using a combination of black coffee, brown sugar, lemons, and cinnamon, creating a zesty flavor for a plain cake.
10. Sweet Noodle Kugel
Served on the Shavuot, the Jewish holiday where Jews eat dairy foods—paying homage to the springtime, where female dairy animals produce fresh milk.
Somewhere between a casserole or a pudding. This dish is over 800 years old!
Kugels can be plain or topped and can be put together quickly, with just a few ingredients: cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and cinnamon.
11. Luchen Kugel
Nothing beats a home recipe passed through the generations.
Over on This Old Gal, Jill shared her Grandma Rose’s Jewish Noodle Kugel.
Jill also has a great list of swaps for making Kugel low carb etc. Her step-by-step guidance and videos will be sure to make you feel at ease with some fun, family baking!
After something savory? This Kalamata Olive Falafel recipe over on Jamie Geller.com is for those days where you want to try something new.
Using new techniques, this slow food making is borderline meditative and results in falafels that can be served as part of a wider meze with dips or enjoyed on their own.
The Best Vegan Jewish desserts
As veganism grows worldwide, there are many food bloggers, food writers, and chefs amending and experimenting with traditional Jewish recipes and flavors to recreate your Jewish favorites using vegan alternatives.
13. Vegan Chocolate Babka
Babka goes vegan. Made eggless and dairy-free, yet with the same look and feel as the non-vegan version.
As Babka is a twisted bread, it means you get both bread and chocolate in each and every bite.
Short Girl Tall Order has a wonderful step-by-step recipe for creating a vegan babka dough using vegan butter, sugar, and vanilla.
The only difference between making vegan Babka compared to the traditional recipe is omitting the dairy and substituting non-dairy products.
14. Vegan Challah.
Short Girl Tall Order has also got a great vegan recipe for a vegan take on Challah.
Creating a moist mixture full of Flavour that retains the traditional look, feel, and taste of Challah.
Using the unusual ingredient of pumpkin pure instead of eggs, this recipe must be seen (and eaten) to be appreciated. Get baking!
15. Vegan Halva Bars
Another gluten-free, dairy-free recipe, reinventing a favorite Jewish dessert as Halva.
Vegan Halva is very addictive. A mix of pistachios, honey or sugar, and tahini.
These look as good as they taste and balance sweetness and acidity and create the most indulgent gift!
16. Vegan Sweet Noodle Kugel (Gluten-Free too!)
Traditionally served during Hanukkah, Vegan Chickpea has created a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan version for you to enjoy for a festive treat!
Who said veganism was boring?
Traditional Jewish Desserts for Hanukkah.
17. Chocolate Rugelach for Hanukkah.
Did someone say chocolate ganache and Nutella!? Amy Schulman’s Chocolate Rugelach recipe is the dessert of your Hanukkah dreams.
While you can have rugelach all year round, many people associate it with Jewish holiday celebrations.
18. Sufganiyot Sufganiyot
Are you looking for traditional Hanukkah desserts?
How about a Hanukkah jelly (or jam) filled donut? An Israeli treat celebrating menorah oil, this donut has evolved from its original recipe of two slices of bread with jam in the middle!
19. Easy Sufganiyot Easy
Jewish Mom has an easy, beginner recipe for this Hanukkah treat.
Using store-bought dough to reduce making time.
With four ingredients: store-bought dough, sugar, jelly, and oil, these Jewish Sufganiyots will be ready in no time!
20. Hanukkah Fritters with Warm Chocolate Sauce
With our fried, donut-like traditional desserts for Hanukkah, Hanukkah fritters with warm chocolate sauce are the ultimate festive food for all the family.
This recipe is a cross between bimuelo and beignet and paired with a delicate sauce that’s perfectly indulgent, giving that sense of occasion.
20 Jewish Desserts Everyone Needs To Try
- 1. Cinnamon Babka
- 2. Chocolate Babka
- 3. Pistachio Baklava with orange blossom.
- 4. Rugelach
- 5. Halvah Israeli
- 6. Hamentashen
- 7. Easy Challah Bread
- 8. Celebration Honey Cake.
- 9. Traditional Honey Cake.
- 10. Sweet Noodle Kugel
- 11. Luchen Kugel
- 12. Falafel
- 13. Vegan Chocolate Babka
- 14. Vegan Challah.
- 15. Vegan Halva Bars
- 16. Vegan Sweet Noodle Kugel (Gluten-Free too!)
- 17. Chocolate Rugelach for Hanukkah.
- 18. Sufganiyot Sufganiyot
- 19. Easy Sufganiyot Easy
- 20. Hanukkah Fritters with Warm Chocolate Sauce
- Choose your favorite dish!
- Prepare ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready in 30 minutes or less!