Sweets to celebrate joy of ‘Thanksgivukkah’

In honor of “Thanksgivukkah,” as some are calling the joyous mingling of Thanksgiving and Chanukah this year, these dessert options present a new twist on sweet potatoes and pumpkin. The pumpkin challah bread pudding can be made pareve.


Daphna and Eyal Ron, co-owners of Tucson’s newest gluten-free bakery, CakeLab, created this recipe, a modified version of one of CakeLab’s bestsellers.

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup pecans

1 1/4 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs

2 tsp. sugar

5 Tbsp. melted butter

24 oz. cream cheese

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs

1/2 cup ricotta

1 tsp. cinnamon

Using a food processor, blend pecans, graham crackers, sugar and butter. Press into a 9″ springform pan. Brush butter on sweet potatoes and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Blend sweet potatoes with lemon juice in food processor. Mix cream cheese on high, add sugar and beat in eggs one at a time. Add blended sweet potatoes, ricotta, and cinnamon and pour over crust into 9″x13″ springform pan. Wrap springform pan with aluminum foil and place in a pan with an inch of water and bake for 50 minutes at 325 degrees.


This recipe comes from AJP advertising manager Lori Riegel, who writes the blog “Kosher Chic.” To make it dairy free, omit the cream cheese, use almond or soy milk instead of dairy milk and margarine instead of butter.

10 cups challah, cut into 1″ cubes (I used whole wheat challah with raisins)

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

3 cups milk (I use almond milk; soy milk would also work)

1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (for tips on making fresh pumpkin puree, go to

4 eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white or turbinado sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. powdered ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

pinch ground cloves

4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes (optional)

Toss challah cubes with melted butter or margarine, stirring until pieces are coated. Whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, sugars, salt, spices and maple syrup. Pour liquid mixture over challah and stir with rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Stir in cream cheese cubes if using. Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ glass Pyrex dish or disposable aluminum pan. (I had enough of the mixture left over to make two additional individual-sized portions.) Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until firm and lightly browned on top.