There is no shame in devouring an entire loaf of challah in one day. While most wouldn’t recommend doing so eight days in a row, the beauty of bread is that it freezes well, and it’s ideal to share. We scoured the vegan interwebs to find the best sweet and savory challah recipes to delight your family table every night of Hanukkah. On the rare occasion there are leftovers, make challah bread pudding! 

What is challah?

Challah is an enriched, slightly sweet yeasted bread made for Jewish holidays and the weekly Friday Sabbath meal. The dough is braided using three, four, or six-strands and often formed into a long loaf, with the exception of Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year—when the braids are shaped into a round. While there are many intricacies surrounding the symbolism and tradition of challah, the idea is that it represents the two pieces of manna, an edible substance that miraculously fell from Heaven during the 40-year period after the Exodus. .

In regards to taste and texture, challah is traditionally sweetened with honey and enriched with eggs and vegetable oil. The result is an addictively fluffy-yet-dense loaf with a soft golden exterior, similar to a brioche. 

Is challah vegan?

In the traditional sense, challah is not inherently vegan, but that does not mean there are not equally delicious plant-based variations out there. Like all things, vegan challah exists, and it’s easy to make if you have a solid recipe. Through trial and error, we’ve found the best vegan challahs are made with vegan-as-is recipes in lieu of attempting to put a vegan spin on a non-vegan recipe. Yeasted bread is rather unforgiving, so it’s best to follow recipes exactly for best results. 

Plant-based bakers have made scientific substitutions for challah’s traditional animal ingredients in the following ways: granulated sugar replaces honey, a baking soda and coconut oil mixture often replaces the eggs, and coconut oil can also be used to substitute the finishing egg wash. 

8 vegan challah recipes

It’s time to make your own vegan challah! We recommend reading the recipe in its entirety before proceeding, as well as watching a few braiding techniques on YouTube to master the art of the braid. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a piping-hot, wonderfully rich loaf of challah on your table in four hours or less (don’t worry, much of that is inactive rising time).

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1 The Original by Challah Hub

This boutique challah company isn’t exclusively vegan, but they know how to make exceptional plant-based challah. This recipe was the first challah recipe we ever tried, and now we’re hooked. This recipe is number one for a reason—it’s relatively fool-proof, and you likely have all the ingredients you need in your pantry (with perhaps the exception of yeast). Pro tip: do not skip the proofing times!
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VegNews.MeatChallah Cropped86 Eats

2 Beyond Meatball Stuffed Challah by 86 Eats

Imagine a vegan meatball sub … stuffed inside a warm, fluffy loaf of challah. It’s savory, gooey, melty, meaty, garlicky, and utterly the perfect handhold. No worries about a meatball sliding off the backend as you take a bite—the challah keeps all the ingredients contained. Serve hot with a side of extra marinara for dipping.
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VegNews.MapleChallah CroppedThe Spruce Eats

3 Maple-Glazed Challah by The Spruce Eats

A simple maple glaze takes the basic challah recipe from simply satisfying to eat-the-entire-loaf-in-one-sitting-good. You have been warned. 
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VegNews.ChocChallah CroppedLazy Cat Kitchen

4 Chocolate and Walnut Challah by Lazy Cat Kitchen

In regards to sweet and savory, challah can go both ways. This gooey chocolate version is definitely dessert. Enjoy with a cup of tea, or let the loaf cool, wrap it up, and gift it to friends and family. 
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VegNews.CinnamonChallah CroppedMiriam Szokovski

5 Cinnamon Sugar Challah by Miriam Szokovski

This is essentially a giant challah cinnamon roll. Whip up some icing by whisking together two cups of powdered sugar with a quarter cup of plant milk (optional to add a few drops of vanilla or rum extract for additional flavor). Drizzle it over the warm challah then let the table have at it—ripping the loaf apart with your hands is so satisfying. 
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6 Everything Bagel Challah by Goldenrod Pastries

When two of the most beloved breads collide, you have everything challah. This recipe combines the basic yet flawless base of a loaf of challah with the seasonings of our favorite bagel variety. Eat it for breakfast, serve as a side with dinner, or slice it into the best sandwich bread you’ve ever tasted. 
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7 Pumpkin Spice Challah by Challah Hub

Don’t dismiss pumpkin spice just because it’s almost winter—these warming flavors pair perfectly with the subtle sweetness of challah bread. Serve this warm with a bit of maple syrup, a dab of vegan butter, a schmear of pumpkin butter, or dunked directly into a steaming pumpkin spice latte. 
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VegNews.BlackChallah CroppedThe Hungry Bites

8 Spiced Olive Oil Challah by The Hungry Bites

Beyond the cardamon, olive oil, and other warming spices, this challah recipe has an unorthodox ingredient—activated charcoal. You don’t taste it, but the trendy superfood adds a conversation-sparking dark hue to the otherwise golden challah loaf. Even if you’re not able to get your hands on activated charcoal, this sweet-meets-savory recipe is still worth a try. 
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For more vegan Hanukkah recipes, read:
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