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Shavuot 2024

Shavuot Cheese Flower Crackers

Shavuot traditions of dairy foods and floral decorations come together in these cheese flower crackers.  Super simple to make and fun for every age.  Easy as 1,2,3, this is a great food art activity for the holiday or any day.

What you need ...

Assorted cheese slices – moist cheeses such as Muenster, American, Havarti, Gouda and Mozzarella

Cracker Flats or Rye Crisps

Gherkin Pickles*

Scallion Greens*

Black and Green Olives

Flower Cookie Cutters   1.5” – 2.5”

*Optional substitutes: chives, parsley, dill sprigs or basil

Let's do it...

NOTE:  All cutting with knives is done by adults. 

 Leaves, flower centers, and stems

1. Slice gherkin pickles and olives into thin slices.

2. Cut thin strips of scallion greens into 3.5” long pieces.

Flower blossoms


1.Separate cheese slices and cut flowers.

2.Stack two cut flowers as shown.   Press an olive slice into the center of each flower, as shown.

Assemble the Flower Crackers

1. Place strip of scallion green on cracker, add the gherkin slices for leaves.

2. Add your cheese flower

Wow!   That was fast!


Shavuot 2023


Shavuot Swedish Smorgastrata Sandwich Cake

The symbols of Shavuot in one sandwich?   It’s simple, with this Swedish Smorgastarta Sandwich Cake.  Molded to resemble Mt. Tabor: the cake is covered with savory cream cheese frosting; decorated with vegetable flowers; and topped off with a cheese slice tablet.  

Layers of avocado-olive, beet-apple, and garden egg salad create a beautiful array of

colors when sliced.  Best of all, this cake is perfect for those with little time or inclination for the kitchen.   Simply, buy your favorite prepared sandwich fillings; whip up the super easy savory frosting; slice the vegetables; and let the children do the rest.  They’ll have a great time creating this spectacular holiday lunch surprise.

What you need ...

30    slices rye, pumpernickel, or firm white bread

Prepared sandwich fillings of your choice, 5-6 cups total (pictured recipes)

1   stick butter or margarine at room temperature

11/2 cups   savory cream cheese frosting (recipe)

1 carrot

1 cooked beet

1 English cucumber

3 radishes

1 scallion

 3 Gherkin pickles

1 slice American cheese

8 cup mixing bowl to mold the sandwich cake

Small cookie cutters (1”- 1.5”) to cut flowers

Servings:  12-16 depending on your choice of fillings.  When using rich fillings cut smaller pieces. 


Vegetable decorations – other vegetables to consider using are cherry tomatoes, asparagus spears, parsley, chives, olives, capers, sprouts, and colorful mini-pepper rings.

Let's do it...

NOTE:  All cutting with knives and stove work is done by adults. 

Line an eight-cup bowl with plastic wrap. Leave sufficient overhang on all sides.

Remove crusts from bread slices.  Butter eight slices of bread.

Leaving no spaces between the slices, line the bowl with the bread, buttered side up, as shown.

Top and middle layers


Spoon the first filling into the center of the bread lined bowl and spread evenly, as shown.

Top with 2 layers of buttered bread slices.

Add the next filling and repeat as directed above. 

Bottom layer 

Add the bottom filling and spread evenly.

Top with one layer of buttered bread slices.

Top that layer with a layer of unbuttered bread slices. 

Trim the edges of the bread to fit the bowl, as shown.

Fold plastic wrap over the top to prevent drying. Press down gently.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, to set.

Make the decorations 

Flowers and borders

Cut six beet slices ¼” thick. 

Cut six carrot slices ¼” thick.  Par-boil the carrot slices for three minutes to soften; this will make it easier to cut the flowers.

Cut the flowers from the carrot and beet slices.

Cut a small hole in the center of each flower, as shown. I made the perfect size cutter from a 2" long piece of plastic drinking straw.  Use a toothpick to push the hole pieces out of the straw cutter.  

Fill the carrot flower hole with a circle cut from a beet flower and vice a versa.

Set the flowers aside until ready to use.

Thinly slice the radishes and cucumber.

Cut 10 cumber slices in half to use for the bottom border.

Cut several sprigs of dill​.

Gherkin fans

Cut off both ends of the pickle. The middle section is not used.

Slice each pf the pickle ends into three thin slices as shown.

Make a V cut at the bottom of the slices. Now you have a pickle fan.

Keep all the decorations covered until ready to use.


Cut a slice of bread into a tablet shape, as shown.  Butter one side of the tablet.

Place tablet buttered side down on cheese, as shown.  

Trim off excess cheese.

Wilt the scallion greens by placing them in hot water from 3-5 minutes. 

Place the wilted greens on a paper towel and pat dry.

Spread a coating of savory frosting around the sides of the tablet.

Wrap the wilted greens around the tablet, gently pressing the greens into the savory frosting.

For the tablet’s inscription, use bits of dill. 

Placing a drop of water on the tablet first, will help to keep the dill in place. 

Set tablet aside.

Decorating the Sandwich  Cake

Unmold sandwich cake onto serving plate.  Remove plastic wrap.

Frost the sandwich cake with the savory frosting.


Add a border of radish slices around the top of the sandwich cake.

Inside the radish border, add a ring of thinly sliced cucumbers. The cucumber slices should overlap the radish slices just a bit, as shown.

Center the tablet inside the cucumber ring, as shown. 

Add the dill sprigs around the sandwich cake.

Add the cumber halves along the bottom edge, as shown.


Fill the space between the cucumber halves with a gherkin fan, as shown.

Add the flower blossoms.

Enjoy your Shavuot masterpiece!


Shavuot 2022

Celebrate Shavuot with a vegetable collage cracker bread, a focaccia bread like top with a crispy cracker bottom.  Vegetables, herbs and mozzarella cheese create the visual elements of this colorful holiday bread.  The mozzarella tablets sit atop a Mt. Sinai mountain of  sautéed mushrooms surrounded by flowers created with scallions, peppers, olives, and cauliflower.   

For a timesaver, substitute store bought pizza dough for the homemade cracker bread. 

Mount Sinai Shavuot Cracker Bread Collage

What you need...

1 recipe  cracker bread  or  store-bought pizza dough

1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

1 Tablespoon butter

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 sprig fresh rosemary   (substitute 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)

6    Grape tomatoes

6   Stuffed green olives

4  Black olives


Cauliflower  florets

Red, yellow or orange pepper (mini peppers work well)

Mozzarella slice

14 x 10 jelly roll pan

Let's do it...

NOTE:  All cutting with knives, stove and oven work is done by adults.  School safety scissors work well for cutting the tomato tulip and the pepper flower petals.


  1.  Prepare cracker bread dough or your favorite focaccia recipe and set aside to rise.                If you are using store bought pizza dough follow package directions.

  2. Prepare vegetables for flowers, instructions below.  Set the cut vegetables on paper towel to soak up any juices.   The flowers can be made a day ahead of baking, and kept in the refrigerator.


  1.  Slice black olives into thin strips.  Set aside on paper towel.

  2. Slice green olives into thin circles as shown.  Set aside on paper towel.

Tomato Tulips

  1. Slice off stem end.

  2. Cut tomato in half, top to bottom and remove seeds.

  3. For tulip petals, cut triangles along the top edge of tomato half. 

  4. Set tulip aside on paper  towel.

Pepper Chrysanthemums

  1. Slice peppers in half and remove seeds and ribs.

  2. Cut pepper halves into small pieces about 1" h x 1.5" w

  3. For petals, make several cuts from the top edge of the pepper piece to the mid-section of the pepper as shown. 

  4. Fan out the petal strips.  Insert a slice of black olive between each petal as shown. 

  5. Set flower on paper towel.

Cauliflower florets 

  1. Break cauliflower into small florets.  

  2. Bring a small pot of water to boiling.   Boil florets for 3 minutes.  Remove florets and place on paper towel.

Scallion Border for Tablets

  1. Place 2 scallions, green part only, in boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until pliable.

  2. Remove from water and place on paper towel.

Mount Sinai Mushrooms 

  1. Place butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary and sliced mushrooms in skillet.  

  2. Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.


  1. Cut the Tablets from a thick slice of mozzarella cheese. 

  2. Sprinkle on finely chopped rosemary to represent text, as shown.

Assembling the Collage

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Lightly oil 10”x 14” jelly roll sheet pan.  If you are using your own focaccia recipe or store bought pizza dough, follow the recipe or package directions for proper pan size.

  3. After dough has risen place in pan.  Use your hands to stretch the dough to fit pan.

  4. Lightly oil the stretched dough.  Using your fingertips press dimples into the dough as shown.

5. Arrange the mushrooms across the bottom of the pan to form Mount Sinai.

6. For flower stems, press scallions into dough as shown. Leave space in the middle for the         Tablets, which will be added during the last 5 minutes of baking.


7. Add tomato tulips, cauliflower florets, pepper chrysanthemums, and olive slices as shown.        Add small sprigs of rosemary if desired.


8. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for            25 minutes.

9. After 25 minutes remove pan from oven.  Add mozzarella Tablets.  Trim Tablets with wilted scallions.   

10. Return pan to oven and bake for additional 5 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. 

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