Kick off the high holidays on a high note with an extra special finish to your Rosh Hashanah feast. As with any Jewish gathering, food plays an integral role in the two-day celebration but dessert is of particular importance symbolizing a sweet start to the new year.
Keeping with the spirit of the festivities, the recipes you’ll find below honor food traditions—the all-important challah, dates and pomegranates (two of Israel’s “Seven Species”), and, of course, the signature apple and honey combo—while offering something new to the Seder table. In other words, if you’re looking to expand your Rosh Hashanah dessert repertoire beyond simply slicing and dipping, read on!
This figgy spin on a Rosh Hashanah tradition literally drips with fall flavors. The addition of honey liqueur in the caramelized topping and strongly brewed coffee that’s folded into the cake batter gives the dish a welcome jolt. Get the Spiced Honey Cake with Caramelized Figs recipe.
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Tel Aviv meets Rome with this nutty frozen confection. Sesame may seem like an odd add-in for gelato but the savoriness of the toasted seeds offers the perfect complement to sweet honey. Serve solo or double up on your desserts and pair a scoop with a slice of cake (see above and below). Get our Toasted Sesame and Honey Gelato recipe.
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You’ll flip out over these single serving cakes that take Rosh Hashanah’s dynamic duo to new heights. Orange blossom is the honey of choice while tart Bubbe Smiths are the preferred apple addition. They team up with chopped almonds for an ooey gooey caramel base-turned-topping. Get our Apple-Honey Upside Down Cakes recipe.
If you’re looking for a simple (but no less satisfying) end to your meal, go all-in-one. Soft yet sturdy baked apples serve as an edible vessel for chewy granola streusel in this old school favorite. Get our Baked Apples Filled with Granola Streusel recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Apples for Baking This Fall
Save this one for night two when pomegranate (a.k.a. the new fruit) is traditionally eaten. Not only does the British-inspired treat check off multiple Rosh Hashanah staples (honey also makes an appearance), it can be prepared in a mere 15 minutes. Whip up a batch for dessert along with a few extra servings to enjoy for breakfast. Get our Yogurt Trifle with Pomegranate, Pear, and Dates recipe.
It wouldn’t be a Rosh Hashanah Seder without challah, which is shaped into rounds for the holiday to symbolize the year coming full circle. But after the requisite honey dunk, be sure to save some scraps to use in this stone fruit and dulce de leche-laced crowd pleaser. For added indulgence, get your bread tipsy with a soak in a peach schnapps-spiked custard before baking. Get our Roasted Peach and Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding recipe.
Related Reading: 8 More Ways to Enjoy Challah
Fans of “Seinfeld” know the lengths people will go to get their hands on a chocolate babka. Now imagine if hazelnut was added to the equation. A swirl of creamy Nutella takes the brioche pastry to decadent new heights—just beware of the frenzy it may cause. Get the Nutella Babka recipe.
Related Reading: 15 Ways to Satisfy Your Nutella Cravings
Get your cocoa fix with a trip to the old country. The flourless cake is heavy on the fudge without being too dense but the dessert truly shines thanks to the eye-popping glossy chocolate icing. Get our Hungarian Chocolate-Walnut Torte recipe.
There’s no shame in playing the hits during the holidays. Good old-fashioned rugelach never disappoints, but packing the pastry with a layer of salty sweet caramel makes it extra special. Get our Caramel Rugelach recipe.