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17 Traditional Hanukkah Desserts That’ll Make You Shout L’Chaim!

Light the menorah, spin the dreidel and fry up the latkes! Then, enjoy these traditional Hanukkah desserts. From rugelach to honey cake, every generation will love these sweet treats.

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Chocolate-Stuffed Dreidel Cookies

Chocolate-Stuffed Dreidel Cookies

One of our favorite Hanukkah desserts is fun for the whole family. Kids will love breaking up the candy bars used in this recipe. Have them make the Hebrew letters with icing and give a batch to their Hebrew school teacher. Extra credit!
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Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot is the traditional Hanukkah dessert in Israel. Deep-fried jelly donuts connect to the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights. Plus, powdered sugar faces look great on every age.
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Homemade Gelt

Homemade Gelt

This three-ingredient homemade version of traditional Hanukkah gelt (money) is perfect for kids to make together. This twist adds chopped nuts. Grab some mesh bags and ribbon and show me the gelt!

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Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah Cookies

Butter and cream cheese go into this batter. Turn this into a family project by using a gingerbread man cookie cutter and decorating the cookie people to look like loved ones.
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Holiday Honey Cake

This traditional cake was probably on your Grandma’s table at every Jewish holiday. This cake even has a cup of coffee right in the recipe. Make this and make Bubbe proud.

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Pistachio-Cranberry Rugelach

It’s tricky to pronounce but not that tricky to make. Feel free to change up the rugelach filling and let little hands help with rolling up this traditional Hanukkah dessert.

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Vanilla & Cinnamon-Kissed Apple Latkes

Savory potatoes and onions are switched out for sweet apples and cinnamon in this twist on the traditional latke recipe. Make these for breakfast, too. Vanilla ice cream optional.

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Noodle Kugel

Every Jewish family has a kugel story. Whether sweet or savory, the ingredients can vary wildly. This noodle-based recipe makes one of the most popular traditional Hanukkah desserts.
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Honey-Nut Swirls

Puff pastry is a time saver and let’s be honest—it’s just plain fun. Pour yourself a big cup of coffee and stuff a few in your face. It’s Hanukkah.

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Chocolate Babka

A Seinfeld episode called “The Dinner Party” elevated the chocolate babka to an almost mythical status. This traditional Hanukkah dessert originated in Poland and loosely translates to “little grandma.”

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Mom’s Hazelnut & Chocolate Bread Pudding

This bread pudding uses cubes of challah along with Nutella. You can use fat-free milk and cream to make it diet-friendly, or so you can eat twice as much.
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Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot Cookies

Mandelbrot, aka Jewish biscotti, takes time. Chill and roll the dough. Bake as a loaf and bake again after it’s sliced. Chocolate chips replace the traditional almonds for kid appeal.

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Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

Grandmas have been rolling and twisting this traditional Hanukkah dessert since the 18th century. Rugelach translates to “little twists” and has roots in Austria and Poland. Plan ahead and chill the dough overnight for better rolling.

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Almond Crunch

Similar to the saltine based Christmas dessert, this version is Jewish right down to the matzo. That’s right, I said matzo. It’s not just for Passover anymore.
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Chunky Apple-Cinnamon Cake

Three pounds of apples in this traditional Hanukkah dessert will most definitely keep the doctor away. Plus, it’s very easy to make. Win-win!
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Molly's Sweet and Spicy Tzimmes Cake

You either love tzimmes or hate tzimmes. There is no in-between. Sweet root vegetables and dried fruits make up this Ashkenazi stew. This twist turns it into a cake!

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Make-Ahead Tiramisu

Kids can layer the ladyfingers while you take an extra sip of the coffee liqueur that makes this classic Italian dessert, which means lift me up, perfect for Hanukkah.

Erica Landis
Meet Erica Landis: She started her writing career in Mrs. Kelly's second-grade class with a tear-jerking essay about a No. 2 pencil. In eighth grade, she went on to write herself and her friends into a 1980's General Hospital storyline. The notebook pages were passed around like wildfire. • NPR National Public Radio / Huffington Post / Scary Mommy / Wide Open Eats / Kveller / Ravishly / Café Mom / Today Show Parenting Team / Good Housekeeping Honoree