If you read my vision for Thanksgivukkah, you know that I’m planning to focus on foods and colors that represent both harvest and flames: golds, oranges, and reds.
For the treats part of the meal, we’ll plan to serve jelly doughnuts, because they’re traditional – and delicious.
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But I don’t make doughnuts. Too complicated. So I need something easier. We’ll create edible dreidels again this year, because they’re quick and fun – and you can “nosh” on them while you’re making them.
For the more ta-da moment, though, I’m hoping to invite family and friends to a cupcake baking and decorating fiesta – because that’s a party in itself.
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And, in the Thanksgivvukah spirit, it is easy to bring the gold/orange/red color scheme to those cupcakes. A few extra supplies will set you up, such as red hots, candy corn, licorice, colored frosting, gold-covered gelt, pirouette cookies, and harvest-colored sprinkles.
What’s So Great About Cupcakes?
There’s a reason for the cupcake craze in this country. First, who doesn’t love cupcakes? Second, you can limit the quantity for yourself and the kids (maybe). Third, you can invite the kids to help. And fourth, there’s no limit to the imagination of what a cupcake can be.
Full size or mini. Sweet or savory. Basic or super fancy.
Want to experiment with some new cupcakes this year? Try these:
Hanukkah oil cupcakes
Yes! Now we can combine savory with sweet to create a marvelous goody. Consider these Lemon Cupcakes with Olive Oil, Sage, and Sea Salt. They sound scrumptious.
While recipes for pumpkin-filled doughnuts are all the rage for Thanksgivvukah, I’m looking for the easier recipes. So this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes really appealed to me.
You can also find lots of recipes for jelly-filled cupcakes using different techniques. This Martha Stewart cupcake recipe has us bake the cupcakes, then cut out a chunk, add the jelly, and replace the top before icing. It features chocolate frosting. (So this one is a winner for my family!)
This recipe for Hanukkah cupcakes uses a pastry bag to squeeze jam into the cupcakes.
Decorating cupcakes – the fun part
You can easily tailor the decorations to be age-appropriate for your crew.
Your littlest ones (2 and up) can:
- Add sprinkles
- Press little pieces of candy on top
- Spread smooth frosting (if they’re good with a small butter knife)
- Embed a gold-covered piece of gelt in the cupcake frosting
Tweens and teens can:
- Create more intricate designs using cake decorating tips and frosting bags
- Design and make cupcake toppers using seasonal symbols (e.g., a mix of dreidel shapes, Jewish stars, maple leaves, acorns, turkeys)
NOTE: you can use some of the artwork in the Happy Hanukkah Art & Activity Pak to create your toppers, like the candle art, flame art, Jewish stars, and Hebrew letters.
The finishing touch: creating a cupcake menorah
Finally, for the big wow moment (good any night of Hanukkah), take nine of your cupcakes, put Hanukkah candles in the center of each one, and place them in a row to create a cupcake menorah! To make the “shamash” cupcake, just turn over a small glass and place a cupcake on top – so it’s higher than the others.
Want that cupcake menorah to be entirely edible? Use pirouette cookies instead of candles and voila!
What special treats are you planning to make for Thanksgivvukah?