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Warm Desserts for Sukkot

October 2, 2014 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Get ready for the best part of the meal!

No matter where you are or what your climate is, these desserts will WOW your guests and make your Sukkot table extra special. I like to serve warm desserts on Yom Tov, especially on Sukkot when the nights tend to be cool and we can use our ovens. These can be made ahead of time and re-warmed for easier preparation and planning. The sugar cookie fruit pizza and triple chocolate cake with marshmallow would be my day meal choices and the warm options are best at night. But let me know what works best for you. Good Yom Tov!

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes

Red Velvet Molten Lava CakesServes 4, can be doubled

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 ounce red food coloring
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon softened margarine, for pans
  • cocoa powder for pans
  • powdered sugar for dusting cakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Over a double boiler or in a microwave or over a very low flame, in a small pot, melt chocolate and margarine, stirring until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, vinegar, food coloring, and a pinch of salt. When chocolate is melted, slowly whisk it into the egg mixture until combined. Stir in flour and mix until just blended, do not overmix.

Grease four small (7 ounce) baking ramekins or cupcake tins. Sprinkle the ramekins or tins with cocoa powder until lightly coated. Tap out extra cocoa powder so there is only a light layer covering the surface. Divide cake batter between ramekins or cupcake tins.

Bake cakes for 14 minutes or until the cakes are starting to crack

on the surface. Don’t overbake them.

Remove cakes from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cakes and carefully invert them serving plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza

Sugar Cookie Fruit PizzaServes 8 - 10

How pretty and delicious does this look? This one tastes as good as it looks and it is easily done with the kids. If you prefer, buy the cookie dough in the freezer section of the market and bake it according to the package instructions. Let the kids be creative and messy. It all still tastes great. Make sure you dry the fruit well before placing it on top of the frosting. It will keep longer if the fruit has no moisture in it.


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted margarine or butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 (8-ounce) package Tofutti cream cheese or dairy cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinch salt

Fresh Fruit Topping:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sliced kiwi
  • 1 cup sliced nectarines
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • Or any fruit of your choice in varied colors and textures

For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 to 12-inch tart pan or pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer, cream margarine and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture into the creamed margarine and mix until blended. Remove the dough from the bowl and press into the prepared pan. (You may need to dust your hands with some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to them. It is wet dough when it comes together.) Bake until the edges just start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the frosting: In a mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and a pinch of salt until smooth. Spread evenly on the cooled crust.

To assemble: Arrange the fresh fruit in the desired pattern on top of the pizza.

Warm Apple Cranberry Turnovers

Warm Apple Cranberry TurnoversMakes 8 large turnovers

This is a recipe for homemade dough turnovers. Feel free to make the filling and roll out squares of store-bought puff pastry if you prefer.

  • 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted margarine, room temperature, divided
  • 6 ounces pareve cream cheese (Tofutti), at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) flour, more for rolling
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 medium apples (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

In a mixer, cream 1 cup (2 sticks) of the margarine with Tofutti cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour and ½ teaspoon salt, and mix on low speed just until it comes together in a ball. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a square slab. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Meanwhile, put the remaining ¼ cup (1/2 stick) margarine, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium heat. When margarine is melted, add apples and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Mix in the cranberries and lemon juice and cool completely.

When you’re ready to roll the dough, position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment or nonstick liner.

Transfer one half of the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into 12 inch square about 1/8 thick. Cut the dough into four 6 inch squares and set aside. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Divide apple filling among the dough squares, leaving at least a ½ inch border around the edge. Brush the borders lightly with the beaten egg and fold each square in half to make a triangle. Use a fork to crimp the edges and ensure a good seal.

Transfer turnovers to the 2 baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Brush tops of turnovers with egg and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut 3 small slits into the top of each turnover.

Bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue to bake until golden brown and you can see the filling bubbling through the sits, about 15 minutes longer.

Let cool slightly on the baking sheets. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: these turnovers can easily be assembled and then frozen. Freeze them on the lined baking sheet; when solid, transfer to a zip-top bag and seal. They’ll keep for up to 2 months this way. When ready to bake, arrange on a baking sheet and bake as directed- they’ll just take an extra 10 minutes or so in the oven.

Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake

Hot Chocolate Pudding CakeServes 10

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy creamer or soymilk
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • Pareve whipped cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in non-dairy creamer, margerine and vanilla; and mix until smooth.

Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top; DO NOT stir.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes. Serve warm scooping pudding-like center with some of the soufflé cake, topped with whipped cream.

Apple Brown Betty

Apple Brown BettyServes 10

  • 6 cups cubed challah bread
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted margarine
  • Pareve vanilla ice cream or pareve whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread challah on a baking sheet and toast until dry, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then pulse the bread into coarse crumbs in a food processor. Spread one-third of the crumbs in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish in an even layer.

In a small bowl, combine sugar with nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest, orange zest and salt. Set aside.

Spread half of the apples over the crumbs in the baking dish and top with half of the sugar mixture. In another bowl, mix cider with the lemon and orange juices; drizzle over the apples. Cover with another third of the crumbs and the remaining apples and sugar mixture. Cover with remaining crumbs. Using a sharp knife, shave the margarine as thinly as possible; dot it all over the top.

Bake the apple Betty in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until the apples are tender and the juices are bubbling; cover the baking dish during the last 15 minutes to prevent the crumbs from getting too dark. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve with pareve vanilla ice cream or pareve whipped cream.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Icing

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow IcingServes 12 – 14

This is a great chocolate cake with a super special icing. I love it and am using it on carrot cake and on all flavors of cupcakes. It’s similar to a cooked meringue icing but has an extra creaminess from the marshmallows. You can use this chocolate cake recipe or any other one. Just make sure you make the icing!

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing cake pans
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (pareve)
  • Marshmallow icing, recipe follows

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup of the sugar, chocolate and vanilla. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans: spray bottom and sides of each pan with cooking spray; line the pans with parchment paper; then spray again with cooking spray.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer, cream margarine and the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Add sifted flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into the cake pans and bake for 35 minutes, or until done. (a tester should come out with moist crumbs).. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.

Spread the Icing between the layers and all over the top and sides of the cake. I do this cake in three layers but you can do it in 2 layers too.

Tip: Cool the cake completely or freeze it a bit for easier and cleaner frosting.

Marshmallow Icing:

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mini marshmallows (about 30) – you must use the mini, the big ones do not melt well enough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pour the egg whites and salt into a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Beat the egg whites until smooth but not stiff; they should not form stiff peaks.

GourmetKosherCooking.comIn a large saucepan, mix the sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup and vinegar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then heat the mixture until it reaches 265 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 12 minutes. When done, the syrup will spin a long thread when poured off the edge of a spoon. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the mini marshmallows. The mixture will be foamy. With the mixer running at high speed, stream the syrup into the egg whites. Beat well, and then beat in the vanilla.

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