20 Jewish Desserts Everyone Needs to Try

Updated: Apr. 26, 2024

From moist apple cake to sufganiyot, here's a closer look at Jewish desserts.

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These bite-sized cookies are filled with spicy cinnamon and nuts. You can also find other rugelach varieties like raspberry, cranberry and chocolate.

Don’t forget to pick up one of these Jewish cookbooks for more amazing desserts like cinnamon babka and other traditional Jewish recipes.

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Chocolate Babka

Babka is a dense braided bread stuffed with sweet fillings like chocolate, cinnamon sugar, apples or raisins. You can thank Jewish grandmothers for its creation, as they would often twist leftover scraps of challah with seeds and nuts for a handy Sabbath snack.
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Apple Cake for Passover

This cake is perfect for seders when you want to keep Kosher for Passover. This recipe uses matzo cake meal as a base.
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Chocolate-Stuffed Dreidel Cookies

These cookies are not only decorated to suit the holidays, but they’re filled with a chocolate surprise that everyone will enjoy. To create perfect decorations, learn how to use a piping bag by practicing your design on waxed paper.
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Jewish Apple Cake

Originating from Poland, this traditional Jewish dessert is typically served during Rosh Hashanah. You can also serve this dense apple cake with a cup of coffee for breakfast.
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Passover Macaroons

These flourless coconut cookies are particularly popular during Passover, but they’re delicious enough to enjoy all year.
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Vanilla & Cinnamon-Kissed Apple Latkes

This sweetened version of the traditional potato pancakes combines cinnamon, orange juice, vanilla extract and apples. Top them off with cinnamon sugar and they’ll be a dessert you can’t stop thinking about!
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Hanukkah Cookies

These cookies are perfect for celebrating Hanukkah. Made with cream cheese, these cookies have a richness that only gets richer with its buttercream frosting. You can pipe on frosting decorations or top with holiday sprinkles. And these cookies are just the start! Be sure to check out more Hanukkah desserts.
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Chocolate-Covered Matzo

This treat will easily become one of your favorite Passover desserts. The recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and guests won’t be able to resist the chocolate-covered crackers. Make it your own by adding toppings like sprinkles or nuts.
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Passover Rainbow Cookies

Shannon Sarna, a home cook and editor at The Nosher, shares her family’s most beloved dessert: rainbow cookies. These classic New York treats are traditionally served in synagogues and at Jewish celebrations, but actually have Italian roots. To make, you’ll bake three thin cakes, spread jam between them and coat with smooth melted chocolate.
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You’ll like these Hanukkah doughnuts a “hole” lot. Filled with raspberries and topped with confectioners’ sugar, you’ll definitely want to grab seconds of this dessert. If you’re a chocolate lover, give this recipe a creative spin by using a Nutella filling.
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Chunky Apple-Cinnamon Cake

This recipe is perfect for when you have extra apples lying around or when you’re looking for something easier to make than an apple pie. Packed with flavor, this cake incorporates orange juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar and cinnamon to make it worthy of any special occasion.
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Molly’s Sweet and Spicy Tzimmes Cake

This rich cake is made with a variety of fruits and vegetables like carrots, cranberries, apples and sweet potatoes for sweetness and plenty of spices to give it a little kick. Best served after a traditional Jewish dish, this makes the perfect dessert to have for Rosh Hashanah.
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Homemade chocolate egg cream, beverage with milk, soda water and chocolate syrup
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Egg Creams

An egg cream is an iconic Jewish drink. This fizzy, frothy drink is said to have been created in the 1900s by Louis Auster, a Jewish candy store owner in Brooklyn, New York. Interestingly, the drink contains no eggs—just 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup carbonated water and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup. (Purists use the brand Fox’s U-bet!)

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Halva With Pistachios
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Halva is a traditional fudge-like confection made with tahini (sesame seed paste), sugar, spices and nuts. For the best flavor, be sure to toast the nuts first!

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Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot Cookies

Literally meaning “almond bread,” this twice-baked cookie consists of almonds, orange zest and chocolate chips for a modern version of this 19th century dessert. Serve it with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and you won’t be able to resist dunking the cookies in for a sweet treat.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This uniquely delicious cake is often seen during Purim because the Yiddish word for poppy seed, mohn, is similar to the name of the villain of the Purim story, Haman. It can be in the form of a loaf, a Bundt cake or even a towering layer cake.
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Matzo Toffee

There’s more than one way to matzo! Matzo crackers are topped with buttery caramel, chocolate and slivered almonds and then baked to perfection.
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Walnut Honey Cake

This cake is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Light and fluffy, this cake doesn’t skimp on flavor with ingredients like orange juice, ginger, cinnamon and walnuts. You can even skip the frosting and get away with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
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Homemade Gelt

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. You can easily find store-bought gelt or make homemade gelt when you prepare other recipes for Hanukkah.