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Beyond Cheesecake: Dairy Desserts for Shavuot

May 5, 2021 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Make sure to add one of these recipes to your menus. Your family will thank me.

Shavuot is, of course, time for cheesecake and we definitely make a lot of those, but at our dairy meal, I sneak in another fantastic dairy dessert in addition to cheesecake just to add to the sweetness of the holiday. In truth, the best desserts are made with butter and cream and wonderful dairy specialty ingredients like Dulce de Leche, mascarpone, and white chocolate so I look forward to this time of year. Make sure to add one of these recipes to your menus. Your family will thank me.

Dulce De Leche Bundt Cake


Photo by Isabelle Boucher

Serves 10 - 12

Dulce de Leche is a scrumptious dairy treat. It is basically like a creamy caramel sauce and can be eaten out of the jar – it’s that good. I use it often in Shavuot recipes or as an extra treat for Third Meals on long Shabbos days in the summer. This Dulce de Leche cake is a great way to use it.

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups dulce de leche, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup whipped cream for topping or garnish

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Using a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Alternating with the dry ingredients, add 1 cup of the dulce de leche to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 – 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and then unmold.

Warm the second cup of dulce de leche. Drizzle it over the Bundt cake. Serve with pareve whipped cream.

Mini Cheese Crepes with Cinnamon Pecan Cream Sauce

Serves 8 - 10

My friend Goldie shared this with me years ago and I pull it out each Shavuot. If I forget, my kids remind me as it’s one of their favorites. It’s really a dessert but I’ve been guilty of serving it alongside a dreamy dairy meal.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil


  • 1 pound farmer cheese
  • ½ cup whipped cream cheese (4-ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar

Cinnamon Pecan Topping:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

For Crepes:

In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients until smooth but do not overmix. Let the batter rest for about 15 minute and up to overnight.

In a 6-inch sauté pan, heat ½ teaspoon oil. When oil is hot, add about 2 tablespoons batter and swirl around the pan. Cook until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from the pan, and continue making individual crepes, using all of the batter. Cover to keep cooked crepes warm.

For Filling: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into the crepe. Spread a bit, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll gently and set aside.

For Topping: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens lightly, about 3-4 minutes.

To serve: Lay warm, filled crepes in a decorative 9 x 13 pan. Warm sauce and pour over crepes. Top with toasted pecans.

Key Lime Meringue Pie

Serves 10 - 12

What a great spin on classic lemon meringue pie. Visually stunning and perfect for the season. The citrus is bright and sweet and the meringue is pillowy and a perfect pie topper.

If you prefer a traditional key lime pie, use the alternative lime whipped topping. Both finishes are delicious and sweet in contrast to the lime filling.


  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup slivered almonds


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup Key lime juice or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest, separated
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup sugar

Alternative topping:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Lime zest
  • Thinly sliced lime

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the crust: Combine ingredients and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon zest. Blend in the egg yolks. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. Cool and refrigerate.

For the meringue: In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and remaining teaspoon zest until the mixture is stiff. Spread the meringue over the filling; spread it to touch the edge of the crust all around. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly cooked. Sprinkle with more lime zest and serve each piece with a sliced lime.

Alternatively, whip 2 cups whipping cream. When soft peaks form, slowly add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once whipped, fold in the vanilla extract and the lime zest. Top the pie with whipped topping and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Ultimate Tiramisu from Bari Restaurant (Non-Dairy)

Photo by Tastes Better From Scratch

Serves 8 - 10

By Chef Carlos Montoya, Bari Restaurant

This was the dessert of the year in the 90’s. Euro influenced, coffee liqueur and sweet cream, luscious lady fingers or cake, all layered with cinnamon and chocolate. Many versions are made pareve but this is much better in the dairy version. I make it with mascarpone (Italian cream cheese), but Chef Montoya of Bari Restaurant shared his delicious version from Bari restaurant that was very popular in Lawrence, NY for many years.

  • 5 eggs yolks
  • 3½ ounces sugar
  • 8 ounces chocolate pudding mix
  • 8 ounces vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 12 fl. ounces hot espresso coffee
  • 1 fl ounce frangelico liquor*
  • 1 fl ounce coco dejava liquor*
  • 1 fl ounce godiva liquor*
  • 14 ounces lady finger cookies
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate, shaved
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided
  • 9 ounces cream, softly whipped cocoa powder

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale then split egg mixture in half and put into 2 bowls.

Stir 8 ounces of chocolate pudding into one bowl of the egg mixture, then 8 ounces of vanilla pudding into the other egg mixture. Make sure both are well combined.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks, split in half and fold half into chocolate batter and half into vanilla batter. You should have 2 separate bowls, one with chocolate pudding and egg and another with vanilla pudding and egg.

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Combine coffee, frangelico, coco dejava, godiva in a bowl. Dip half the lady finger into this mixture, ensuring they don’t become totally saturated, and place on the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Spread the chocolate pudding mixture and sprinkle liberally with half the shaved chocolate and cinnamon. Repeat layers with remaining lady finger, vanilla pudding mixture and shaved chocolate and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Slice in squares and serve chilled.

*Note: if you do not have all of these liquors, use a coffee liquor as a substitute and do not use all separate types

White Chocolate Pound Cake with PIneapple and Coconut

Photo by Lovefoodies

Serves 8

Think tropical flavors or hummingbird cake meets buttery pound cake and white chocolate decadence. Amazing combination of flavor!

White chocolate and butter pound cake. Pareve versions just don’t compare!

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup chips) white chocolate, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • ½ cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan.

In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla.

Stir together flour and baking powder in a small bowl or measuring cup. In another small bowl, mix the sour cream with the crushed pineapple. Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in coconut. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve at room temperature.


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