15 Festive and Delicious Hanukkah Desserts

Try a different sweet treat (or a few of them!) on each of the eight nights.

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hanukkah desserts

On Hanukkah, it’s tradition to eat foods fried in oil. And that’s not just because these dishes are indulgent and delicious (although that, too), but because they are symbolic of the story behind the holiday: The "miracle of Hanukkah” refers to the menorah oil that was expected to last just one day, but instead lasted for eight days and filled the temple with light.

Celebrate all the holiday means by adding one these Hanukkah desserts to your menu. From traditional favorites (jelly donuts and chocolate gelt, of course) to more modern takes on the theme (like fudge dreidels and blue peanut butter kiss cookies), you can’t go wrong with these 15 easy and delicious Hanukkah dessert recipes.

hanukkah desserts
1 of 15
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)

These filled donuts are the most traditional among Hanukkah desserts. They are typically filled with jelly or custard, and are light, airy, and positively addictive. This recipe uses raspberry or strawberry jam for a classic filling, and is rolled in confectioners sugar for a tempting presentation.

Get the recipe for jelly donuts

hanukkah desserts
2 of 15
Peanut Butter Fudge Dreidels

These whimsical Hanukkah desserts take the form of dreidels — but they’re much tastier than the real thing. Cut peanut butter fudge into squares. Then push a pretzel stick into one side and a Hershey's Kiss on the other.

Get the recipe for peanut butter fudge dreidels

hanukkah desserts
3 of 15
Hanukkah Honey Balls

These balls of dough are glazed with honey for a perfectly sweet and bite-sized Hanukkah treat. Orange blossom water lends a light and bright citrusy flavor.

Get the recipe for Hanukkah honey balls

hanukkah desserts
Mike Garten and Betsy Farrell
4 of 15
Pecan Apricot Rugelach

Another highly traditional Jewish baked good, rugelach is a slam-dunk comfort food crowd pleaser. Sometimes made with chocolate, fruits, or nuts, this cinnamon version calls for pecans and apricot preserves.

Get the recipe for pecan apricot rugelach

hanukkah desserts
Oh Nuts
5 of 15
Homemade Chocolate Gelt

Sure, it’s much easier just to buy the foil-wrapped version. But these handmade chocolate coins are stunning, and require just a few ingredients. Paint on gold luster dust with a food-safe paint brush for a wow-worthy finish.

Get the recipe for chocolate gelt

hanukkah desserts
6 of 15
Chocolate Babka

This traditional Easter European sweet bread is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Layers of cinnamon and chocolate create a fancy presentation — and a mouthwatering flavor profile.

Get the recipe for chocolate babka

hanukkah desserts
Just a Taste
7 of 15
Apple Fritter Rings

Put a spin on traditional Hanukkah donuts with this fruity recipe. Dip apple slices in buttermilk, fry them golden brown, and serve them with caramel sauce for dipping.

Get the recipe for apple fritter rings

hanukkah desserts
Tori Avey
8 of 15
Cinnamon Babka

Instead of chocolate, this babka recipe uses cinnamon brown sugar for filling, and a streusel topping. Like a cross between a bread and a cake, babka is equally delicious for brunch or dessert, and pairs perfectly with your favorite warm beverage.

Get the recipe for cinnamon babka

hanukkah desserts
Kosher in the Kitch
9 of 15
Two-Ingredient Apple Pie Rugalach

This rugalach recipe couldn’t be easier: It uses pre-made dough from the freezer section and apple pie filling from a can (plus an egg, so technically that’s three!). With a little extra effort, whip up a glaze from almond milk and powdered sugar.

Get the recipes for two-ingredient apple pie rugalach

hanukkah desserts
Yin and Yolk
10 of 15
Chocolate-Orange Challah

While challah is not typically considered dessert fare, this sweet version — almost like a babka — can’t be beat at any time of day. Bittersweet chocolate and orange juice impart the flavor, and braiding the dough results in a gorgeous, swirled presentation.

Get the recipe for chocolate-orange challah

hanukkah desserts
Real Life Dinner
11 of 15
Jewish Apple Cake

Fresh grated apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar make this bundt cake super flavorful and festive for the holiday season. Dust with powdered sugar... and watch it disappear.

Get the recipe for Jewish apple cake

hanukkah desserts
12 of 15
Hanukkah Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

A classic peanut butter kiss cookie recipe gets dressed up for Hanukkah in this colorful version. Instead of rolling the dough in regular sugar, roll in a variety of sparkly blue sprinkles and sugars for an eye-catching holiday twist.

Get the recipe for Hanukkah peanut butter kiss cookies

hanukkah desserts
The Candid Appetite
13 of 15
Chocolate Donut Twists

If you love donuts and chocolate (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love this classic recipe any time of year. But chocolate donut twists also work great for Hanukkah as an alternative to more traditional sufganiyot.

Get the recipe for chocolate donut twists

hanukkah desserts
Lil Vienna
14 of 15
Krapfen (Austrian Jam-Filled Donuts)

Austria’s version of jelly donuts is known as krapfen. The light and fluffy treat is sometimes filled with vanilla custard; this one is filled with a spoonful of apricot jam. A couple of teaspoons of rum adds an extra pop of flavor.

Get the recipe for krapfen

hanukkah desserts
Baking a Moment
15 of 15
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Jewish Apple Cake

This traditional Jewish apple cake is made richer and creamier with cream cheese. Brown butter imparts a nutty flavor just right for the season. Instead of a bundt, bake this one in a springform pan for a different twist on the shape.

Get the recipe for brown butter cream cheese Jewish apple cake

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