There’s a reason why Israel is called ‘The Land of Milk & Honey.’ Israelis love their sweets! Go to the nearest corner bakery and you’ll find dozens of types of cookies mounded as high as pyramids. If you’re ever in Israel, here are some classic Israeli desserts you will want to try. Disclaimer: You may not want to read this while hungry!
#1- Ugat Bisquvitim
“Ugat Bisquvitim” – aka Tea Biscuit Cake aka Classic Israeli Cheesecake that anyone can make!
This no-bake cheesecake is a staple in every Israeli home on Shavuot. It’s simplicity and classic flavor are what make it so popular so we’ve included it in this roundup of Israeli Desserts.
The ugat bisquvitim is made up of classic tea biscuits, heavy cream, milk and vanilla pudding. This list of ingredients can be found in every home in Israel making this dish perfect for last-minute entertaining or afterschool fun with the kids.
The tea biscuits are dipped in milk to soften and layered with the whipped cream, milk and pudding mix. The top is often covered in chocolate shards.
Of course, every family has their ‘recipe’ or way of preparing this cake and almost every Israeli has fond memories of enjoying a slice with their morning/afternoon/evening coffee.
1 sleeve of tea biscuits
1 box (250ml) of heavy cream
½ cup milk (for mixing with the cream)
1 cup of milk (for dipping the biscuits)
½ a packet of vanilla instant pudding
½ bar (50g) of dark chocolate, grated
- Start by whipping together the heavy cream, ½ cup of milk and vanilla pudding mix.
- Prepare a bowl with 1 cup of milk and dip each biscuit in the milk for 2-3 seconds.
- Place the biscuits in a single layer on the bottom of a square pan.
- Spread cream on the biscuits and place another layer of dipped biscuits on top.
- Repeat until all the cream is finished, the top layer should be cream.
- Sprinkle grated chocolate on top. Refrigerate.
Recipe from the Times of Israel.
Next up, we’ve chosen to showcase a well-known, worldwide dessert (or breakfast?): the chocolate rugelach.
Chocolate rugelach are small yeast Danish filled with gooey chocolate and traditionally covered in sugar syrup. In Israel, it’s the classic bakery treat that everyone brings home on Fridays for the weekend. Shabbat morning rugelach is a truly Israeli experience.
Making rugelach at the world famous Marzipan bakery in Machane Yehudah.
Many home bakers like to make their own rugelach, even using store bought frozen dough. If you attempt it, get ready for guests to crowd your kitchen!
#3- Kadurei Shokolad
Loosely translated as Chocolate Balls, also known as chocolate truffles. This is a favorite among Israeli children. Almost every mom in Israel knows the “recipe” for this classic dessert off by heart and even young kids know how to whip these up on their own.
This no-bake classic is so versatile and can be made in several different ways. The type of chocolate can vary and the toppings can be picked according to personal taste. There are also versions of these with cornflakes instead of biscuits, which are always a big hit.
8.8 oz dark chocolate
8.8 oz (1 container) heavy cream
1 sleeve of tea biscuits
Toppings: Sprinkles, cocoa powder, icing sugar
- Heat heavy cream and salt in a small pot until hot but not boiling.
- Pour hot cream over chocolate and wait a few minutes until it starts to melt. Mix.
- Crush tea biscuits by hand in a bag.
- Add them to the chocolate ganache and mix well until all combined.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Using a spoon form small balls of chocolate and dip into toppings.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat.
#4 – Halva
Halva is probably one of the most well-known Israeli desserts in the world. It is a dense, tahini-based candy that falls apart in your mouth.
In Israel, you can find an endless amount of halva variations. It can be made with nuts, dried fruit, chocolate… you imagine it, it probably exists.
Israelis typically don’t like things that are “too sweet” – think donut covered in glaze and sprinkles… but prefer a subtle sweetness and more depth of flavor. I think this is why halva is such a popular dessert here. Halva isn’t overly sweet and the tahini flavor really comes through.
#5 – Malabi
Malabi is a traditional middle eastern cream dessert infused with subtle rose water usually topped with strawberry syrup and nuts. Most Israelis fondly think of this dessert as a holiday treat on the table of every home during the holidays.
Malabi is a milk pudding similar to pannacotta. Infused with middle-eastern flavors this dessert is now showing up on many fancy restaurants dessert menus here in Israel. Pastry chefs are modernizing it with different syrups and toppings.
#6 – Stuffed dates
For Israeli’s and specifically Yemenites, stuffed dates drizzled with chocolate is the perfect end to a beautiful meal.
Israel is known for celebrating a healthy dietary lifestyle: lots of vegetables, heavy lunch, and light dinners, so it should come as no surprise that one of our classic desserts is actually dried fruit and nuts.
A large date is stuffed with a walnut, drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with coconut. It has everything you want in a dessert; crunchy, sweet, chocolate!
These stuffed dates are often prepared without the chocolate and snacked on all day long. They are perfect to satisfy a sweet craving and at the same time keep energy levels up. What more could you ask for?
#7 – Krembo
This list would not be complete without Israel’s favorite winter treat, Krembo.
A krembo is a meringue cream sitting on a cookie dipped in chocolate. In Israel, it comes out to the stores in October and then disappears from the shelves in March. All year round Israelis love their ice cream, but in the few short winter months they have, they replace ice cream with krembos!
Originally posted at Times of Israel.