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"Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf" Book and Vanilla Cream "Donut" Cupcake With Raspberry Frosting Recipe

I wish to inspire readers, teachers, and book clubs to bake along with their reading and promote discussion about the books we've enjoyed.

"Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf" book and vanilla cream "donut" cupcake with raspberry frosting

"Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf" book and vanilla cream "donut" cupcake with raspberry frosting

Teaching Kids About Hanukkah

Shmelf is a new elf employed by Santa to look over the list of nice kids. He notices that some nice kids are not on the list for Christmas presents! When he asks why, Shmelf is told that these children are Jewish and they celebrate Hanukkah, a holiday when their parents give them eight nights of presents in honor of a miracle that happened a long time ago. Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf teaches children a simplified version of the celebration of Hanukkah in a fun way.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was Shmelf’s job?
  2. What do Jewish children celebrate instead of Christmas?
  3. What does a menorah have on it?
  4. What were the children spinning?
  5. What were the chocolate coins wrapped in?
  6. Potato latkes were frying in what?
  7. How many nights of presents were there?
  8. What was the miracle?
  9. What colors were Shmelf’s new clothes (the colors of Hanukkah)?
  10. What was the name of his reindeer?
  11. What kinds of things does Shmelf do to keep Hanukkah special?
  12. What treats can be left out for Shmelf and his reindeer?
shmelf-the-hanukkah-elf-book-and-chocolate-peppermint-cupcake-recipe

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 stick / 2 oz / 1/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 117 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 67 grams whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 112 grams Greek yogurt or sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups / 212 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

For the custard filling:

  • 2 cups / 480 ml half-and-half
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup / 31 grams all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
  • 1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons / 60 grams unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup / 4 oz / 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 drops LorAnn raspberry flavoring oil
  • 3 cups / 435 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon purple food coloring (optional)

Raspberry flavoring oil

When cupcakes have cooled 10 minutes, I used an XL round piping tip to scoop the centers out of the cucpakes, being careful not to remove the bottom.

When cupcakes have cooled 10 minutes, I used an XL round piping tip to scoop the centers out of the cucpakes, being careful not to remove the bottom.

Instructions

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, cream together the sugar with the butter for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add sour cream, vanilla, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Drop the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the flour mix. Mix on low for 1 minute, then medium for 2 minutes. Drop back to low and add the eggs.
  2. Allow to combine for about 1 to 2 minutes until the wet and dry ingredients seem fully incorporated. Stop the mixer to scrape down the insides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if anything is sticking to the bowl. Scoop into paper-lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full each. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. When cupcakes have cooled 10 minutes, I used an XL round piping tip to scoop the centers out of the cucpakes, being careful not to remove the bottom. Leave about 1/2 inch of cake at the bottom.
  4. Fill a zip top or piping bag with the pastry cream or vanilla cream and piping just to the top of the cupcakes.
  5. For the frosting: In a stand mixer on medium speed, whip the butter with the raspberry flavoring oil on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add half the powdered sugar, plus the food coloring (optional). Start the mixer off slowly on the lowest speed, then as the powdered sugar disappears, add the milk, then increase the speed to medium-low. Slowly and carefully add the remaining powdered sugar a little at a time. Stop the mixer to scrape down the insides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix until all are combined and pipe onto cooled, filled cupcakes.
shmelf-the-hanukkah-elf-book-and-chocolate-peppermint-cupcake-recipe

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More Kids' Books About Hanukkah

  • Hanukkah Bear
  • The Story of Hanukkah
  • Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
  • Latke the Lucky Dog
  • Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah
  • Goodnight Bubbula
  • Meet the Latkes
  • Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah
  • Elmo’s Little Dreidel
  • Happy Hanukah Curious George

... and of course many more.

shmelf-the-hanukkah-elf-book-and-chocolate-peppermint-cupcake-recipe

© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo

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