Shavuot Dairy Desserts Deluxe

Some of my favorite dairy delights.

Shavuot is here. We waited a long time, counting each day since Passover. And now, together, we will receive the Torah.

The custom is to eat dairy – so it’s a great opportunity to make all those amazing dairy desserts you’ve been longing to create, in honor of the Yom Tov.

Strawberries or Bananas with Sour Cream

My favorite!

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. vanille (optional)
  • 2 tbsps. molasses or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 pt. Strawberries or bananas, cut up

In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar, vanilla and 1 tbsp. molasses or maple syrup. Add strawberries or bananas, or both. Drizzle molasses or maple syrup over servings.

Makes 2 servings.

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Strawberries and Grapes with Mint and Vanilla

For the lactose intolerant . This colorful salad is accented with mint.

  • 2 12- or 16-oz. baskets strawberries, hulled, quartered
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps. finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat fruit. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 and up to 4 hrs. Spoon fruit intow bowls and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

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Chaim’s Dessert

My friend, Chaim, gave me this family favorite of his.

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 pt. of fresh ripe peaches cut up or any fruit
  • 1 box any flavor of Kosher Jello

Prepare the Jello according to the instructions on the box. Add fruit and sour cream, then chill and enjoy.

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Fake Napoleons

  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • 1 box of pudding – chocolate or vanilla
  • milk
  • cream

Roll out pastry dough to fill a 9 X 11 cake pan. Bake separately 20 minutes at 400°F until brown.

Prepare pudding according to the instructions, using both cream and milk. When dough is cool, place one sheet on the bottom of the pan. Fill with pudding and place the second sheet on top carefully. Push down and freeze. Remove from freezer 5 minutes, cut into individual servings, let thaw and serve.

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A Bowl of Fun – with pudding, cookies and bananas

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 pkgs vanilla instant pudding
  • 30 vanilla waffles
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 8-oz. whipped topping

Pour milk and cream into a large bowl. Add dry pudding, mix. Beat 2 minutes until well blended. Arrange half of the wafers on the bottom and up the sides of a 2-qt. serving bowl. Add a layer of half of each banana slices and pudding. Repeat in layers. Spread whipped topping over pudding. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Makes 14 servings.

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Strawberry Shortcake

  • 2 1/2 lbs.strawberries, trimmed and quartered (7 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsps. confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 buttermilk biscuits

Toss strawberries with granulate sugar in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently press strawberries with potato masher to help release their juices, being careful not to crush them to a pulp. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Beat together heavy cream, sour cream, confectioners sugar (to taste), and vanilla in a bowl with a mixer at medium-high speed until it holds a soft shape (not stiff).

Split biscuits horizontally with a fork and arrange 2 halves, split sides up, on each of 6 plates. Top strawberries and juices, then with whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

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Lemon Cheesecake with Strawberries and Port Glaze

To make graham cracker crumbs, add the crackers (broken into small pieces) to processor and blend until ground. Bake the cheesecake at least one or two days before serving.


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 5 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsps. fersh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend graham cracker crumbs and sugar in processor. With machine running, add butter and lemon juice; blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan and up sides of 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.


  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsps. grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Using electric mixer, beat first 3 ingredients in large bowl until fluffy and smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add sour cream, whipping cream, lemon juice and vanilla and beat, just stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just to blend in after each addition.

Pour filling into crust (filling with just fill curst). Place springform pan on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top appears set, puffed, and golden at edges but still moves slightly all over when shaken. Cook cake 5 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl.

Spoon topping over hot cake, spreading to edge of pan and covering completely. Bake 10 minutes. Place onto rack; cool 10 minutes. Run sharp knife around top 1/2-inch edge of cake to loosen. Place hot cheesecake directly in refrigerator; chill uncovered overnight.


  • 1 750-ml. Bottle tawny Port
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsps. raspberry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsps. grated lemon peel
  • 8 large strawberries, unhulled, halved through stem

Stir port, sugar, and vinegar in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Cook until liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Cool. Mix in lemon peel. (Cake can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover cake and keep refrigerated. Cover syrup and let stand at room temperature.

Starting below the stem of each berry half, make 3 lengthwise slits through tip. Fan berries and place on edge of cake. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)

Release pan sides. Slice cake and drizzle with Port syrup. Serve syrup alongside.

Makes 12 servings.

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Never-Fail Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 pints sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 tsps. vanilla, divided


  • Your choice of cherry pie filling, maraschino cherries, pineapple chunks, half an apricot, etc.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Cream the cheese (easy to do if it’s at room temperature). Add eggs, one at a time, and then beat in 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 tsps. of vanilla. Using small muffin tins filled with paper liner, fill the tips to 1/8-thick from the top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops begin to crack (if tops have not cracked after baking 30 minutes, remove them from the oven anyway, as they are adequately baked by that time).

While cakes are baking, mix sour cream with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla in a bowl.

Remove the cakes from the oven, leaving the oven on, and cool on wire cake racks in tins for 5 minutes, or until the cakes drop. Then cover the tops of the cakes with the sour cream mixture and put them back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove the cakes from their tins, use a teaspoon to help get them out, and set them on wire racks to cool. Once they have cooled, put the cakes in the refrigerator. Before serving, add toppings of your choice.

Makes 48 small cakes.

Chef Herschel prepares hundreds of meals a day at Aish HaTorah’s World Center in Jerusalem. He caters the five star meals for the Jerusalem Fund missions as well as the daily food for the Yeshiva students. Before arriving at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem, he received his B.A. in Business administration and his M.A. in education.

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