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"Dream Snow" Book Discussion and Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

"Dream Snow" with snowy coconut cupcakes

"Dream Snow" with snowy coconut cupcakes

Dream Snow, by Eric Carle

In Dream Snow, by Eric Carle, a farmer dreams of snowflakes falling in a white blanket on his five farm animals and barn. Beautifully and colorfully illustrated in the same manner as his famous The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this is a great book for celebrating December, winter, and Christmas. It teaches young children about counting to five and animal names using bright, fun colors.

Perfect for ages: 2-5

Discussion Questions for Kids

  1. How many animals did the farmer have?
  2. Can you name some of them?
  3. Was the snow real?
  4. What did the farmer decorate?

Coconut Cupcakes With Coconut Frosting


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 stick / 1/4 cup / 4 ounces salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 115 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 1/4 cups / 284 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup / 4 ounces / 1 stick salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded coconut or coconut flakes (optional)


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar with the butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Add the coconut extract, sour cream, and milk. Mix 1 more minute on medium-high. In a separate bowl, stir or sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Drop the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the flour mix. When it disappears, mix on high for 2 minutes. Then add the eggs and mix just until they disappear. Stop the mixer after a few seconds to scrape down the inside of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Scoop into paper-lined cupcake tins a little over halfway full, or about 2/3 full each. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean of any raw batter or crumbs (the centers should be gooey from the melted chocolate). Makes 14-16 cupcakes.
  5. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the softened butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Drop the speed to low and add 1 cup of powdered sugar, followed by the cream and the vanilla and coconut extracts. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar still on low speed. When there is no loose powder left, increase the speed to medium-high for 1 minute, until frosting looks thick and whipped. Frost onto cooled, filled cupcakes. I used an XL star tip for piping. Top with toasted shredded coconut if you wish. (I baked mine in a 350°F oven for 2 minutes.)

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Optional Craft: Paper Peek-a-Boo Barn


  • 1 sheet of brown construction paper
  • 1 sheet of white paper
  • Scissors
  • Toy farm animals


  1. Cut five upside-down L shapes out of the bottom of brown and white paper, laying the white over the brown so they overlap. These will be the barn doors that can open and close for the farm animals to look out at the farmer.
  2. Place the animals behind the brown paper.
  3. Have the child pretend to sleep and dream, then wake up to the white paper "snow" covering the barn and animals. "Wake up, it snowed!"

More Books by Eric Carle

Other books by Eric Carle include: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Do You Want to Be My Friend?, Pancakes Pancakes, From Head to Toe, The Secret Birthday Message, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?, Animals Animals, Mr. Seahorse, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket, Today Is Monday, and more.

© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo