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

Updated: Jan. 13, 2024

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.

Sometimes called the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration in which you light a menorah for eight nights while giving gifts and indulging in traditional foods.

Candles are lit to commemorate the oil that burned for eight nights. But to further emphasize the miracle, a lot of fried foods and desserts are also eaten. Hanukkah falls on December 7-15 this year which is plenty of time to plan a bountiful Hanukkah menu with some of these amazing sweet treats.

1 / 16


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.
2 / 16

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!
3 / 16

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!
4 / 16

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.
5 / 16

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.
6 / 16


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.
7 / 16

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.
8 / 16

Noodle Kugel

Every Jewish family has a kugel story. Whether sweet or savory, the ingredients can vary wildly. Pair this noodle-based recipe with other traditional Jewish dishes.
9 / 16

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.
10 / 16

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.”
11 / 16

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.
12 / 16

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.
13 / 16

Matzo Toffee

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.
14 / 16

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!
15 / 16

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!
16 / 16

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. Try our favorite Jewish desserts.