There are plenty of Jewish foods around, and there is a good chance that you may have already tried at least one. The beauty of Jewish cuisine is that it is a real blend of cultures, tastes, and styles. Jewish desserts are super tasty, and today we are going to share our ideas. Here’s a list of 25 easy Jewish desserts to make at home. See if you’ve tried any before. We bet you have!
Simple Jewish Desserts
This isn’t too dissimilar from the bread you’ll find in artisanal bakeries across Europe. Jewish blueberry babka is chewy, filling, and really delicious. We love to serve this in thick slices in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. It is well worth getting up out of bed for! There are a few secrets to this recipe. First, keep the dough in the fridge overnight. It will firm up, making it easier to roll. Second, use good quality chocolate; otherwise, it will spilt and crystalise in the oven’s high heat.
2. Lekach (Honey Cake)
There are a few things that we love about this cake. First, it is super dense, sweet, and filling. It doesn’t take much to leave us feeling really full. Second, we love the spices held within this tasty Jewish dessert recipe. It includes honey, cinnamon, and cloves. Think of it as a sort of Jewish gingerbread.
3. Passover Rainbow Cookies
Passover is one of the year’s most important Jewish festivals and is something to celebrate. What better way than with some bright and colorful rainbow cookies? They aren’t actually cookies; instead, this is a multi-layered cake held together with an outer chocolate shell. Don’t forget the jam in the middle, either!
4. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Macaroons are a Jewish dessert? Yes indeed. The best thing about this recipe is that it is pretty cheap and easy to make. In fact, it only uses five ingredients. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool out of the oven! We start by whipping egg whites to peaks. We add a little honey, some coconut and vanilla, and just a little pinch of salt. From there, we drop them onto a baking sheet and roast them until they turn all golden and toasty.
5. Apricot Hamantaschen
Struggling with the pronunciation? Don’t worry, you say it like this “Ha-man-tash-en”, if you like things that are a bit of a mouthful, then these are going to be right up your street. An easier way would be to call them Jewish apricot shortbreads, but where’s the fun in that? These little shortbreads are packed with energy. They are made almost exclusively from butter and sugar. Keep the mixture crumbly if you want light biscuits. We cheat a little and use store-bought apricot jam.
6. Mandel Bread
This is one of those Jewish desserts that we bet you have had before. If you’ve ever been to Israel or had a coffee in the jewish quarter of your city, you’ll have had these. These little cookies are very similar to Italian biscotti. We love these primarily because they contain oodles of chocolate chips. Be sure to be careful when dunking. The ends tend to fall into coffee if left unattended.
Happy Hanukkah! It most certainly will be if you make a batch of these. You don’t have to be limited to Jewish religious festivals. These are delicious all year round. You’ll need a piping bag to get them filled properly. A bit of patience and practice is all it takes. We sometimes mix ours up by filling them with different things. Nutella and whipped cream are real treats!
8. Easy Halva Recipe
This is a true Israeli recipe. Make no mistake. These chewy little candies are a little like fudge. The difference is that they are made with tahini, a sort of sesame seed paste, combined with sugar. The recipe requires expert timing and organization, get it wrong, and the ‘dough’ will set before you’ve had time to shape it!
9. Molly’s Sweet and Spicy Tzimmes Cake
We love a good Bundt cake at the best of times. Because of the hole in the middle, it is really easy to get a nice even bake, ensuring a fluffy and moist cake. This is packed full of good things, including; ginger, sweet potato, carrots, and even apples! Because it contains so much fruit, it is positively luxurious and pretty difficult to get wrong! Think of it as a Jewish carrot cake. It is up to you whether you add frosting.
Imagine a cross between a cookie and croissant. Congratulations, you’ve just thought of rugelach. These cookies look harder to make than they actually are. Just cut your dough into triangles and roll it up into a crescent shape. It’s the filling that makes this dish. We mix cinnamon, raisins, crunchy nuts and add a pinch of cinnamon. This creates a sort of toffee center when exposed to the heat in the oven.
11. Hanukkah Gelt
Gelt actually translates as ‘gold’, which is funny as this chocolate is really rich. Rich! Did you see what we did there? This traditional Jewish dessert is normally given around Hanukkah, but you can make them any time. They are made using a mold, giving them a distinctive ‘star of David emblem, but don’t worry if you can’t find one. Any circular mold will do. What’s on them won’t make a difference when you are guzzling them by the handful.
12. Candy Dreidels
There are lots to love about these tasty little desserts. They only use four ingredients, and all of the ingredients can be found easily. Dreidels are little pretzel spears stuck into marshmallows before being dipped into thick and chocolatey Nutella. Our favorite thing about this Jewish desert? You can even eat the stick! If you can’t find straight pretzels, don’t worry, they are just as tasty when served on toothpicks (but in this case, don’t eat the stick!)
13. Jewish Apple Cake
You don’t have to use Jewish apples. Any will do. Joking aside, this is sort of like banana bread, but in place of bananas, we use apples instead. As the apples bake within the dough, they caramelize and turn soft and juicy. This really helps to keep the cakes nice and moist. This recipe is a little different. We shy away from butter and instead use oil to keep the cake super spongey.
14. Dreidel Surprise Cookies
There’s nothing nicer than biting into a cookie and finding a little surprise inside. Our favorite filling for these crunchy little cookies is MnMs, but you can fill them with whatever you like. Other great options include candied nuts, Nutella, cream, or even a lump of gooey marshmallow! Our advice is to pick something fairly firm; otherwise, you’ll find your guests end up spilling it down their fronts! The cookies themselves are really easy to make. It is just a traditional shortbread recipe that can be made in a matter of minutes!
15. Honey and Lime Teiglach
There are a few ingredients need to knock up a batch of these, and you’ll need to take your time when making them, but the end result is scrumptious. These little cookies are firm, a little crispy, and super sweet. The flavors are divine. We use honey, sugar, and lime, along with a little ginger. Our mouth is watering at the thought of them!
16. Egg Kitchel (Jewish Bow Tie Cookies)
These cookies are super light and fluffy. The reason for this is they are not far away from being meringues. We use plenty of eggs in the recipe. The key is to beat the eggs until they are a stiff paste (almost too stiff). This is combined with sugar before baking into crisp and fluffy perfection. If you like to do hard work for yourself, you can beat them by hand, but even the professional Jewish bakers use a stand mixer, so we’d advise you to do the same!
The final twist is to make them into bow ties. This is easily done, but be careful not to handle the dough too much, or you’ll knock the air out.
17. Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack
Sometimes you can really bring out the flavor of sweet things by making something slightly salty. This is exactly what these little crackers are about. They contain sugar, honeycomb, chocolate, and salty toffee. This one looks complicated but is surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for the toffee to cool so you can dig in!
It might seem a bit weird, but this Jewish dessert uses pasta as the main part of the recipe. This is mixed with cream cheese, raisins, and cottage cheese before being baked. The cream cheese gets soaked up by the pasta and turns wonderfully creamy. The inclusion of sugar makes this super sweet. One thing is for sure, once you serve this, no one is going to go home hungry. It is about as filling as they come!
19. Parve (Adaptable Shabbat Torte)
We’ll be honest. We cheat a little in this recipe and use store-bought puff pastry. We make these little light cups and then bake them before adding a fruit compote and giving them another quick blast. Give them a quick dust with powder sugar, and they are good to go. These are best served warm and eaten on the day as they don’t keep especially well.
20. Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen
You’ve already seen this dish once… Remember how to pronounce it. We like to add a touch of variation here. Instead of using apricots, we use chocolate. When the chocolate bakes, it turns all gooey. It reminds us a little of the top of a chocolate brownie! IF you don’t have cooking chocolate, why not try some Nutella. A nice twist is to add a dollop of peanut butter too!
21. Hanukkah Dreidel Surprise Loaf Cake
This one can take a little time to make, but the end result is impressive. This Jewish dessert is actually two cakes in one! You bake the center, then combine it with the outer vanilla cake before skillfully combining them together! Nobody will be able to tell until you cut into it. Prepare to be the hero of the hour while everyone tries to figure out how you managed it!
22. Chocolate Challah Bread
Challah bread is a real treat in our house, and we never miss an opportunity to buy some when we pass the deli! We were so thrilled when we found out how to make it at home. The key here is to bread the bread carefully. We add chocolate to the mix to make this into a great Jewish dessert. You can serve it toasted with even more chocolate, but it is truly amazing with peanut butter spread over the top!
23. Tahini Cookies
Tahini features heavily in middle eastern cooking, so no reason why it wouldn’t appear as a Jewish recipe. It isn’t overpowering and adds a sort of toasted savory taste to sweet foods. The tahini is tasty but still lets you taste the rich and buttery cookies beneath!
24. Chocolate-Matzo Layer Cake
This one is super luxurious, but it takes a little time. We assemble layers of coffee-soaked sponge around a creamy chocolate sauce. Think part lasagna, part tiramisu, and you are about there! This Jewish dessert is really rich and filling. We love to finish this off with a simple dash of heavy cream, but it also works really well with kosher ice cream!
25. Marak Perot
This is a cross between a fruit salad and a jam. We get the ‘fruit soup’ effect by slowly simmering a mix of peaches, strawberries, and orange segments in loose sugar syrup until the fruit softens and turns all pulpy.
Jewish desserts are easy to make and well worth the effort. They take their influence from all over the globe. They are filling, tasty, and some can even be made all year round. Have we missed any off our list, or are there any more you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see about adding them!