18 Best Hanukkah Recipes for Your Holiday Table

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with latkes, brisket, and more


The Spruce / Leah Maroney

During the celebration of Hanukkah, families enjoy a bounty of traditional foods. Those include latkes (potato pancakes), sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts), and other foods to celebrate the Festival of Lights. The holiday celebrates a miracle in which one night’s supply of lamp oil provided light for eight nights during the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. Fill your holiday table with these delightful recipes. 

  • 01 of 18

    Cottage Cheese Kugel

    Cottage cheese noodle kugel

    The Spruce

    If your bubbe made kugel, this comforting version might taste familiar. Bring it to the new world by topping it with an easy cornflake crumb topping. Captain Crunch or another flaky breakfast cereal would taste great, too. It's creamy, rich, and perfect with a cup of coffee for brunch or as a delightful side dish at your Hanukkah celebration.

  • 02 of 18

    Raisin-Studded Challah

    Raisin-Studded Challah

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    Traditional Challah bread tastes great at any time of year, but it's especially festive for Hanukkah. Don't worry about eating up the loaf at dinner—it makes perfect French toast the next day. This recipe levels up the basic version with raisins and honey. Cardamom adds a nice spice, but you can skip it if you don't like the taste. Pro tip: measure the honey in the same cup you used for the oil and it won't stick!

  • 03 of 18

    Cauliflower Latkes

    Cauliflower Latkes

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    If you've made traditional latkes or potato pancakes, try a cauliflower version this year instead. You may need to adjust the number of eggs depending on the size of your cauliflower. Instead of topping them with traditional sour cream and applesauce, take a page from Indian cuisine and try store-bought or homemade chutney and some cucumber raita.

  • 04 of 18

    Lemon Poppyseed Hamantaschen

    Lemon Poppyseed Hamantaschen

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    Would any dessert table be complete without hamantaschen? We don't think so! You've probably tried them with a sticky poppyseed filling, but this updated version changes things up with a lemon curd filling and poppyseeds in the dough instead. It's such a classic combination, and you might just never go back once you try these. 

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18


    Hanukkah doughnuts sufganiot recipe

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Sufganiyot, or jelly donuts, are served at Hanukkah because the frying oil is reminiscent of the miraculous oil that burned in the temple. And they're surprisingly easy to make at home. Plan ahead, because they do need to rise for about an hour before baking. Make sure your oil comes completely to temperature too to avoid soggy donuts. 

  • 06 of 18

    Air Fryer Sufganiyot

    A plate of air-fried sufganiyot jelly doughnuts

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    If you're watching your fat intake during Hanukkah, this air fryer sufganiyot recipe could be the answer. Thanks to the air fryer, they have all of the flavor and texture of the traditional treat with less calories and grams of fat. While these aren’t fried in oil, they are brushed with some before being cooked in the air fryer, so you can continue to honor the tradition.

  • 07 of 18

    Vegan Sweet Potato Kugel

    Sweet Potato Apple Kugel

    This sweet potato kugel is egg-free and lower in cholesterol and fat than the traditional version, and it's also vegan and vegetarian-friendly. The combination of sweet potatoes, apples, and raisins give it a beautiful harvest flavor. 

  • 08 of 18

    Whole-Grain Apple Cake

    Jewish apple cake

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Like your desserts on the healthier side? This apple cake may just your style. Made with whole grain flour and less sugar than your standard version, it's a little more virtuous than many recipes. However, it's still got a dense crumb and a lovely spiced apple flavor that tastes perfectly appropriate for the end of a meal or a leftover breakfast the next morning. 

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18

    Air Fryer Latkes


    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Although frying potato pancakes is a Hanukkah tradition, it is also a greasy operation that often needs to be done right before sitting down to dinner. Cooking the latkes in the air fryer, however, eliminates the need for standing over the stove, making for a less messy, hands-free process. Prepare the latke batter as usual, form into pancakes, and place in batches in an oiled air fryer basket. Cook until golden brown and crispy.

  • 10 of 18

    Basic Butter Cookies

    butter cookies

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

    These easy butter cookies are perfect for little hands to help with, so turn baking them into an activity everyone can enjoy. The soft dough spreads a bit in the oven, so chill thoroughly before baking. You can either roll it and slice it into rounds, or roll it out and use cookie cutters to make festive shapes. Make sure to flour your hands, the cutters, and the work surface thoroughly so it doesn't stick. 

  • 11 of 18

    Classic Potato Latkes

    Traditional Hanukkah Potato Latkes

    The Spruce

    Maybe it's your first time making latkes, or you just need a foolproof basic recipe. This one will make the cut. It uses a food processor to shred the potatoes, giving the finished product a smoother consistency than the hand-shredded version. If you like yours flakier, go ahead and use a box grater instead. 

  • 12 of 18

    Sweet and Savory Coca-Cola Brisket

    Sweet and Savory Coca-Cola Brisket

    Vico Collective / Getty Images

    Cola is the secret to the slightly sweet, slightly savory sauce in this wonderful brisket recipe. It's so simple, you may even have many of the ingredients already on hand. Make it a day ahead and reheat just before serving; the flavor gets even better after some time in the fridge.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18

    Surprise Dreidel Loaf

    Hanukkah dreidel surprise cake recipe

    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Both kids and kids at heart will love the surprise dreidel shape in the middle of this sweet bread. Make it with the little ones for a fun winter afternoon activity. The vanilla pound cake is rich enough for dessert or a decadent breakfast. Let the whole family have fun decorating the glaze with sanding sugar or sprinkles.

  • 14 of 18

    Baked Olive Oil Donuts

    Baked olive oil doughnuts

    The Spruce

    Sufganiyot get all the hype during Hanukkah, but they can be time-consuming to make. If you're just not up for the effort, these baked olive oil donuts are a great substitute and much simpler to put together. You will need a donut pan to make them, but it's a worthy investment if you're going to use it often.

  • 15 of 18

    Chocolate-Ribbon Babka

    Jewish chocolate babka recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Once you try this chocolate-laced babka, you'll wonder why you haven't made yours with chocolate every year. Sprinkle the top with chopped chocolate for an extra festive presentation, or whip up a vanilla glaze to give it an extra hit of sweetness. 

  • 16 of 18

    Gluten-Free Kugel

    gluten free kugel

    Sam Stowell / Getty Images

    For people trying to avoid gluten, Hanukkah foods can be tough. But this tasty kugel uses zucchini "zoodles" instead of noodles, making it allergy-friendly and lower in carbohydrates than the one you're used to. Once you try this version, it just may become your new go-to.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    Dairy-Free Challah Bread Pudding

    challah bread pudding

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz 

    Serve the usual challah in a totally new way in this pareve bread pudding recipe that's also great for those who are trying to avoid dairy. It's delicious with non-dairy whipped cream or ice cream or drizzled with a little maple syrup. Have the leftovers for breakfast—it's the holidays! 

  • 18 of 18

    Feta With Olive Oil and Herbs

    Feta with olive oil

    shingopix / Getty Images

    Use the symbolic oil in a new way with this marinated feta cheese recipe. It makes an excellent appetizer or side dish and goes perfectly with your Hanukkah menu. Get high-quality feta cheese and a nice olive oil, since this simple presentation really shows off the ingredients. Fresh herbs are best, but dried will work just fine.