Where to find great Hanukkah desserts in St. Louis


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

While there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways Jewish St. Louisans celebrate Hanukkah, I’m betting we all have one thing in common: We love to eat well during the eight nights of celebration. But after our briskets and potato latkes, it’s time for dessert, which for many is the highlight of the holiday. There are so many delicious dessert options, from the classics to the unique.

Hanukkah ice cream

You have a couple of options here and you will not go wrong with either one. Beckie Jacobs’ Serendipity: Homemade Ice Cream is serving a sufganiyot (pronounced sof-goon-ee-yot) flavor, similar tasting to a jelly doughnut, along with a Hanukkah Cookie Happiness, which is a butter cookie flavor. In addition to ice cream, Serendipity is serving Hanukkah bonbons for gifts in 12 packs with three each of vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. $20 a pack.

You may recall that Jewish St. Louis native Andy Cohen has his own ice cream flavor, “Peppermint Andy” on sale at Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery. But in addition, they are also serving their own Hanukkah flavors.

Challah Bread Pudding is on their “naughty menu,” which means it is made with booze. Available in both scoops and pints, this ice cream features rich challah bread soaked in sweet egg custard, filled with brandied fruits, and baked until golden brown in their Irish cream base.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

On the “nice” side, look for “Halva Chocolate Cherry.” Also available in scoops and pints, this ice cream features honey cooked with Israeli tahini, pistachio, dark chocolate and dark cherries.

Click here for all Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery locations.

Hanukkah jelly doughnuts

Daylight Donuts, a Jewish-owned shop in Chesterfield, is featuring jelly doughnuts as well as a multitude of other sweet treats. Andrew Selman, a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona, and Drs. Daniel and Julie Ring of United Hebrew Congregation, own the shop.

“We can customize any jelly doughnut by adding some raspberry amaretto to make it a bit boozy, said Julie Ring. “We also have also dreidel-shaped and decorated doughnuts, as well as Star of David-shaped and decorated donuts.”

Hanukkah-themed French macarons

Laura Branson has been baking French macarons for years from her at-home bakery business Macs by Belle. But for the first time, she is offering a Hanukkah Flavor Box featuring 12 macarons, which are meringue-based sandwich cookies. The Hanukkah box will feature three macarons of four flavors, apple, sufganiyot, vanilla bean and dark chocolate ganache. Each cookie will include a special Hanukkah decoration.

The Hanukkah Flavor Box costs $30 and can be ordered by calling Laura directly at  314-795-3348 or by email at [email protected]

Hanukkah black and white cookies

While much has been written about the Jewish history of the black and white cookie, no one quite knows why they’ve become so iconic among Jews.

“I think part of the cookie’s appeal was its ubiquity in Jewish bakeries,” writes Leah Koenig, the author of “The Little Book of Jewish Sweets.”

That ubiquity meant generations of Jewish children got black and whites with their parents and grandparents, situating the cookies as a nostalgic treat in the collective memory. Ultimately, sheer proximity to Jewish culture, rather than any inherent Jewishness, put the black and white on Tablet Magazine’s list of the 100 most Jewish foods.

But outside of New York City, finding black and white cookies can be challenging. Trader Joe’s has carried them for years, and you can always check your local supermarket this time of year, but if want your cookies homemade, we’ve found one local baker you can turn to.

Toby Elefant has been baking for more than 30 years. For Hanukkah this year, the University City resident who runs her business, Toby’s Challa House & Bake Shop out of her home, is offering the iconic black and white. She is also making jelly doughnuts, custard and regular doughnuts along with Hanukkah cookies. To order or for more information, call 314-281-6781 or email [email protected].

Hanukkah sufganiyot

While sufganiyot, which is basically a cross between a beignet and jelly doughnut, has long been very popular in Israel, they’re fast becoming a Hanukkah dessert staple in the United States as well. They are deep-fried in oil, filled with jam or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar.

Winslow’s Table in University is planning a sufganiyot special for the first night of Hanukkah, Sunday, Dec. 18th. They will be topped with cinnamon sugar and filled with raspberry jelly. Available for dine-in only, these sweet treats will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Also, if you’re looking for a chocolate babka, Winslow’s Table is also accepting pre-orders for its chocolate babka for pick up on Dec. 17th.