Israeli Independence Day Cupcakes

David Ben Gurion declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948. In the Hebrew calendar, this is the 5th of Iyar. Yom Ha’atzmaut, the national day commemorating Israel’s declaration of independence, is celebrated on this date every year.

As the sun sets, an official ceremony is held by the Israeli government at Mt. Herzl to celebrate. Twelve torches, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel, are lit. When the ceremony concludes, fireworks illuminate the skies.

The next day, the International Bible Contest is held. High school students from around the world compete for a scholarship to Bar Ilan University.

Commanders and fellow soldiers select 120 IDF soldiers who have performed their duty to their country in an outstanding way. They receive an award from the president of Israel at his residence.

The Israel Prize, the highest honor that Israel awards, is handed out. It is given for achievements in the humanities, the sciences, culture, and lifetime achievement.

The celebrations include visits to IDF bases. Weapons are exhibited for the civilian guests.

Many people participate in a festive meal, which is usually a potluck picnic barbecue. This year, Yom Ha’atzmaut falls on May 11th. You may experience this festive tradition by hosting your own Israel themed dinner. A fun activity for your family and guests is to decorate their own Israeli Flag inspired cupcakes. You may buy or bake cupcakes. Then, decorate with frosting, sugar sprinkles and Israeli flag toothpicks.

Easy Vanilla Cupcake
Adapted from The Food Network.

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in a muffin baking tray.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Spoon batter into each cupcake liner until it is 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.

White Frosting
Adapted from MyRecipes.

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Beat all the ingredients together in a mixer.
  2. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  3. Decorate with frosting, candy, and Israeli flags.

Updating the Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

— by Margo Sugarman

I am not a huge fan of the honey cake. I have rarely tasted one that was not dry or sticking in the throat. The recipe that I had been using for honey cake all these years was “okay,” but nothing more. Now I decided it was time to update my recipe and give it a twist. Why not cupcakes? They are so in fashion that a honey cake version almost demands being made this Rosh Hashanah. So after a few less-than-successful attempts at adjusting my recipe and making it cupcake-friendly, I think I have done it. My loyal testers (my husband and kids) gave them a hearty thumbs up, and that is all I needed to proceed to the next step — sharing the recipe.

Full recipe after the jump.
This recipe is still based on the cake we used to eat at home, which my mother called “ginger cake,” and not “honey cake.” The reason was that she flavored it liberally with ginger powder, which gave the cake a really fragrant spicy taste, which I love. This recipe is still heavy on the ginger.

I made two different frostings to go with the cupcakes, another update to the traditionally dry cake. One is a honey glaze, and the other is a tofu cream cheese frosting (which is my favorite).

I have made the cupcakes parve, but you can use butter instead of margarine for a slightly creamier flavor, and you can use regular cream cheese instead of the tofu version.

Honey Cupcakes With Two Frostings


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine/butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

How to do it

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Line two muffin tins with #5 size cupcake liners.
  3. Whisk the sugar and margarine in a mixer on high speed until creamy. Add the eggs and whisk for a few minutes, until the mixture has lightened and has a fluffy consistency.
  4. Add the honey, and mix on medium speed to combine.
  5. Add all the dry ingredients, and mix on slow speed until just combined. (Resist the urge to eat all the batter…)
  6. Using a tablespoon, fill the cupcake liners no more than halfway up — the batter rises quite high in the oven, but does drop afterwards.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can come out of the center of a cupcake clean.

Makes about 22 cupcakes


Honey Glaze

  1. Mix together 8 tablespoons honey, 8 tablespoons icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Slowly add hot water, until you reach a runny consistency — the mixture will be slightly translucent.
  2. Using a tablespoon, you can glaze the cupcakes when they are still warm, and they will absorb the glaze to become slightly sticky. You can also wait until they are cool, and then glaze.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mix together 2/3 cup Tofutti cream cheese and 3 teaspoons of honey until smooth. Gradually add about 5-6 cups of icing sugar, until you reach a spreading consistency. (Note: With the Tofutti cheese, you will always have a slightly runny consistency. If you use regular cream cheese, you will achieve a consistency that is more stable, and can easily be piped out of a bag if required. If you want to pipe the frosting, you will need a larger quantity of it.)
  2. Spread frosting on completely cooled cupcakes.

Margo Sugarman is the creator of The Kosher Blogger, a website of keeping kosher and loving good food.

Cupcakes With an Israeli Twist

— by Margo Sugarman

When I first visited Israel as a child, one of the new tastes that I have experienced and loved was the iconic Nesher malt beer. As a child, the concept of drinking beer, even though it was alcohol free, was very exciting. The taste of this local malt brew was wonderfully caramelly and rich, and to this day, I love the taste, which brings me back to my first visit to Israel.

While cupcakes are definitely not an Israeli confectionery, one way of bringing a little Israel-ism into these small cakes is by baking them with malt beer. When I came across a parve cupcake recipe, that used stout beer, on Chef Chloe’s vegan cooking website, I knew I had to make a few adaptations to make it more Israeli by using malt beer instead. Malt beer is said to also have additional health benefits (although I am not sure whether they survive baking at 350 degrees). The result is a very moist chocolate cupcake, that’s parve, and uses no eggs either.

Full recipe after the jump.
You can frost these cupcakes with any frosting you wish. I use a Tofutti-based cream cheese frosting for parve. Otherwise, any butter or cream cheese frosting will work well.

Malt Beer Cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12/ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup malt beer
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

How to do it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until the mixture is homogenous.
  3. Line a muffin tin with #5 cupcake liners, and fill each to about two-thirds full with batter.
  4. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Makes 14-16 cupcakes

Parve Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, mix 90g (3 oz) Tofutti cream cheese and a few drops of vanilla extract until combined.
  2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, and mix until combined. Continue adding the powdered sugar until you get a good spreading consistency — about 300g (10 oz) powdered sugar (3 cups). (Note: When you use the Tofutti cream cheese to make frosting, you won’t reach a stiff spreading consistency as you do when using butter or cream cheese. This frosting will always be glossy and soft.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of soft butter, 100 grams of 25% fat cream cheese, and a few drops of vanilla.
  2. When it is smooth, gradually start adding powdered sugar (about 300 grams of powdered sugar in total), and mix until you get a good spreading consistency (the mixture should not fall off the spoon or should not run off the beaters).

Vanilla Butter Frosting

  1. In an electric mixer, beat 110g (4 oz)  unsalted butter, 60 ml milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 250 g (10 oz) powdered sugar, until completely smooth.
  2. Gradually add up to another 250g (10 oz) powdered sugar, and beat until the frosting has a smooth spreading consistency.

Margo Sugarman is the creator of The Kosher Blogger, a website of keeping kosher and loving good food.