Hanukkah Donut Bar

Just behind latkes, donuts are a favorite Hanukkah food. Here’s an idea to make this treat not only delicious, but also fun to decorate. This can also be used as an activity at a Hanukkah Party.

To begin, you can either make your own donuts using a Mini Doughnut Maker, or purchase unglazed donuts from your local donut shop (you may have to preorder them). Spread out a variety of icings and toppings (see list below for ideas) and let the fun begin!

I prefer to put icing and toppings  in small bowls and refill as needed,even if you are having a large crowd. This helps contain a potential mess, and also helps to ensure that the children don’t “overdo it”!

Recipe for Donuts (using a donut machine)

Yields: Approximately 24 mini donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk or juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Place ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Mix until combined.
  3. Preheat donut machine for about 5 minutes.
  4. Spray the cavities lightly with baking spray.
  5. Pour batter into each cavity-do not overfill.
  6. Close the machine and bake for about 3 minutes. Donuts should be golden color when ready.
  7. Repeat until batter is used up.

Donut Decorating Ideas:

  • Icing (add food coloring or cocoa to make different colors)
  • Confectioners sugar

Cookie dip and melted chocolate can be used as well however,you will need to keep remelting them as they  harden up.


  • Colorful sprinkles
  • Confetti sprinkles
  • Colored sparkling sugar
  • Chocolate,caramel or nougat chips
  • Candy pearls
  • Chopped nuts
  • Toasted shredded coconut


This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a very small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting EstherO in this way.

Hanukkah Cannoli Menorah

I love working with Presidor Cannolis. They’re simple, yet elegant and their delicious taste appeals to all ages.You will have fun while using them to create this edible menorah.You can create this menorah by putting the candles on a tray, directly on the table or for a more sophisticated look,you can have a glass cut to size to use as the base.


  • 10 Presidor Cannolis
  • Small cupcake holders
  • Baking chocolate
  • 1- 8 oz dessert whip (such as Richs Whip)
  •  2 Tbs instant vanilla pudding
  • Leaf chocolate mold to be used as flame
  • Orange royal icing ( you can purchase Wilton ready made icing)
  • Sanding sugar
  •   2″X15” piece of glass (about five dollars) – optional
  • Small square glass vase – optional
  • Glue dots – optional

Assembling the Base:

  1. Turn square vase upside down.
  2. Place a glue dot in each corner.
  3. Lay cut glass on top.
  4. Place 9 cupcake holders on the glass.

Assembling the Candles:

  1. Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave.
  2.  To create the” shamash”, dip the rim of one cannoli in melted chocolate and attach it to the bottom of another cannoli, thereby creating a larger candle.
  3.   Dip one side of each cannoli (shamash included)in melted chocolate.
  4.  Make the flames using the chocolate mold.
  5. When chocolate is hard and ready to use, you may decorate the flames using orange royal icing and sanding sugar.

6.Allow to dry over night.

7.Place dessert whip in the bowl of your mixer and whip until firm and. Add in the  vanilla pudding.

8.Fill a pastry bag (or Freezer Ziploc) with star tip and pipe whip into candles.

9. Place flames on top of the candles.

10.Place cannolis into cupcake holders on the base.

Melt In Your Mouth Cupcakes

Photography by Dan Engongora

This melt-in-your-mouth kids (and adults too!) delight, is bound to become an all time favorite. Just take your favorite chocolate cake recipe, and follow these simple steps to create this lip smacking treat.


  • 18 Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1-2” Cookie Cutter (optional)
  • 1 Recipe Cream Filling
  • Candy Pearls (available in candy and baking stores)

Recipe for Cream Filling

  • 1 - 8 oz Whip Topping
  • 4 T Confectioners  Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Food Coloring-Optional


  1. Place whip topping into the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Beat until stiff.
  3. Add in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract . Beat 30 seconds until combined.
  4. Add in 1-2 drops of food coloring (optional).


Directions for Assemling Cupcakes:

  1. Slice off the top of the cupcake (position knife on an angle to remove extra cake to allow  room for lots of  cream. However, if you are doing the flower cut out version ,you will need to  cut it straight across)

(For best results, cut when frozen.)
For flower version: Using a cookie cutter,cut out center of the cupcake “cover” .
Set  “covers” aside.

2. Cut off the tip of one corner of  a Freezer Ziploc bag. Place a star shaped piping  tip in the hole (optional) .Put the cream into the bag. Pipe the cream into the center of the cupcake .

3. Place cupcake “cover “ on top of the cream.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar (optional).

For flower cupcakes-place candy pearl in the center of the cupcake.

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

Fall Leaf Cookies

With the hurricane and early snow storm here in the Northeast, there is not much of fall that remains. So here is a colorful idea to create some fall foliage of your own.


  • Sugar cookie dough
  • Food coloring
  • Leaf cookie cutter


Divide cookie dough into as many colors as you would like to use.

Add a generous amount of food coloring to each part to get a deep color.

Break off small pieces from each color dough, place them next to each other and then flatten the dough with a rolling pin.

Using leaf cookie cutter, cut out your cookies.

*Tip Do not over bake as this will cause the colors to fade.

Watermelon Cake

Photography by Dan Engongora

 This fruit “cake,” like the ones my mother always made for special occasions, will allow you to have your cake and eat it too!


  • 1 whole watermelon,oval shaped
  • 2-3 kiwis
  • 1 mango
  • blueberries
  • cantaloupe
  • green grapes, halved
  • toothpicks
  • flower-shaped cookie cutter (optional)


When choosing your watermelon, try to pick one that is oval-shaped.

  1. Cut off both ends of the watermelon, leaving a six-inch wide slice to form the base of your “cake”.
  2. Lay flat and remove the rind with a sharp knife while trying to keep the watermelon as round as possible.For best results when removing rind, leave a thin layer of white flesh, and then remove the white layer while rounding out a perfect circle.
  3. Place on large platter.
  4. Peel and slice kiwi and arrange slices on the top of the watermelon at the outer edge, slightly overlapping.
  5. Cut one side off of a mango and thinly slice lengthwise.
  6. Peel and arrange in center of cake in a pinwheel fashion.
  7. For a finished look, place a few blueberries in the middle to cover mango tips.
  8. Break toothpicks into halves and use to attach blueberries along the top and bottom edges of the cake.
  9. To decorate the sides of the cake, use flower-shaped cookie cutters to cut flowers out of cantaloupe slices.For best results, stand cantaloupe upright and cut thin slices from its side.  Attach flowers and green grape halves with toothpicks.

To serve, slice as your would any round cake.

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.