Hanukkah Cupcake Menorah

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights; it celebrates events that took place over 2,000 years ago in the land of Judea. In 175 BCE, a Syrian king named Antiochus IV Epiphanes gained control of Judea. He outlawed the Jewish religion, and in 167 BCE went so far as to desecrate the Holy Temple by having an altar to Zeus placed there and ordering pigs to be sacrificed (very not kosher!). A rebellion was led by the Jewish priest Mattityahu and his five sons, one of whom, Judah Maccabee, took over the rebellion after his father died. The family was called the Maccabees or the Hasmoneans. In 165 BCE, the Jews managed to defeat their oppressors and to rededicate their sacred temple. According to the Talmud, after the temple was cleaned, olive oil was needed to fuel the light of the menorah (candelabrum). Though there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day, the oil lasted for eight days. On Hanukkah, Jews celebrate their religious freedom and what is considered to be a great miracle that occurred.

In modern times, we light the menorah to commemorate the miracle of the oil. For eight nights, we kindle light on a modern menorah, which is usually made with candles instead of oil. Menorahs come in every shape and size, from traditional to artsy to creative and fun. So why not make one out of cupcakes?

This post will walk you through how to make a Cupcake Menorah for Hanukkah! It includes printable Hanukkah cupcake wrappers and step-by-step photos. You can make it using any cupcake recipe and white frosting. You have two decorative holiday cupcake wrappers to choose from, one a geometric design, the other a kid-friendly graphic. They were both designed by my friend Brenda at Secret Agent Josephine:

Click here to download Printable Hanukkah Zigzag Cupcake Wrappers.

Click here to download Printable Hanukkah Kids Cupcake Wrappers.

This is a great holiday project for kids and families, and a fun way to introduce the Hanukkah story to youngsters. The best part is, when the candles burn out, you can eat the cupcakes… yum!

For my Hanukkah Holiday Guide, where you can learn more about the history behind the holiday (and the tradition of lighting the menorah), click here!

How to Make a Cupcake Menorah

You will need

  • 9 cupcakes and white frosting
  • 10 small olive cans (about 2.5 oz. each) - make sure they are stackable
  • 9 small paper doilies
  • 4 sheets blue card stock, 8.5x11
  • Blue glitter
  • White glue
  • Paint brush
  • Cookie sheet for glitter spills
  • Printable cupcake wrappers, cut to size
Servings: 1 Cupcake Menorah
Kosher Key: Dairy or Pareve depending on cupcakes
  • You will need 9 cupcakes and white frosting for this project; you can buy them pre-made or make your own. If you need a recipe suggestion, I recommend my Coconut Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting.
  • Cut the cardstock into ten 1.5x8.5 inch strips. Assemble your olive cans, card stock strips, glitter, glue and paintbrush.
  • Paint one side of each strip with an even layer of white glue.
  • Shake glitter onto the glue to coat the strip. Shake off excess glitter. Allow strips to dry.
  • Use a hot glue gun to attach the glittered strips of cardstock to the sides of the olive cans.
  • Alternatively, you could spray paint the cans with silver paint, or cover the cans with decorative patterned cardstock.
  • Cut out the printable cupcake wrappers-- you will need 9. There are two patterns to choose from in this post: Printable Hanukkah Zigzag Cupcake Wrappers or Printable Hanukkah Kids Cupcake Wrappers.
  • To attach the printable cupcake wrappers, gently wrap the paper around the base of the cupcake and secure it with a piece of clear tape.
  • Frost your cupcakes with white frosting. You can just spread the frosting on, or you can do a more decorative piping. To frost them the way I did, place a frosting tip in a piping bag (I used a size 32 Wilton star tip), then place the bag in a glass. Use a spatula to scoop the frosting into the piping bag.
  • Squeeze the bag gently to push the frosting down to the bottom of the bag. Start piping the frosting at the edge of each cupcake...
  • and work your way in a spiral motion inward towards the center of the cupcake.
  • Finish the piping by pressing a dollop of frosting into the center and pulling straight upward.
  • Sprinkle each cupcake with blue sugar, if desired.
  • Stack two of the decorative olive cans, one on top of the other, in the center of your cupcake menorah. This represents your "shamash" (the candle that lights the other candles).
  • Set up four olive cans on either side of the "shamash," spaced evenly with room for a frosted cupcake on top. You will now have stands for 9 cupcakes.
  • Place a frosted, decorated cupcake on the top of each can (including the center stand with two cans).
  • Place a candle in the center of each cupcake, and voila! A beautiful cupcake menorah. After the candles burn out, you can enjoy the cupcakes. Chag Sameach! :)

To learn more about the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, click here.

For more Hanukkah crafts, click here.

Comments (30)Post a Comment

  1. first time visit, your site is terrific! I am forwarding to my clients who I know will love and use your recipes. Thank you for such wonderful recipes and ideas.

  2. Tori, my Grandmother made the best Marble cake anyone has ever eaten. Several of us (granddaughters) talk about that cake and when we asked how she did it, she answered a bistel
    of this and a bistel of that. It was probably memorized. Last week I think you put a recipe for a German Marble Cake on fb and I didn’t copy it. None of the recipes in my cookbooks are like Grandmas! Help!

  3. Great and ambitious. Please tell me, you will never bake your latkes….I am new to your site but the title is great and I haven’t had time to read all your blog posts…considering u make a menorah from cupcakes you have been well taught. :))

  4. This shows you just how far behind on my food buzz inbox I am but I did want to catch up on everyones winter holiday posts. This cupcake menorah is beautiful and so cute! I will catch up soon – I promise!

  5. Love the creativity and kid friendliness. Think I will do a different version, making a challah roll menorah, perhaps with egg and blue sugar coating. Thanks!

  6. Is there anyway to protect the cupcakes so they are edible in the end? I did this last year and I will be doing it again, very cute and fun :)

    1. Hi Cora, glad you enjoyed the craft. Dripless candles leave behind the least wax– look for the words “dripless candles” on the packaging. Also, try placing a hard candy (like a Life Saver) around the base of each candle to catch any drips, then remove the candies before serving the cupcakes. Good luck!

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