top of page

Tu B'Shevat 2024

This simple sweet bread tree is fun to make and taste so good too!   Clusters of dried fruits, nuts and seeds are nestled in the coconut covered treetop.  The tree trunk, coated with cinnamon sugar adds a special touch of sweetness. Use your favorite challah recipe, the German Jewish challah recipe or purchase bread dough from the store.

Visit my Tu B'Shevat 2023 and 2022 postings for more holiday food art fun. 


What you need …

1 recipe challah bread or purchased bread dough.

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

dried fruits, nuts and/or seeds

green food coloring

1c frosting (canned or homemade)

3/4 c flaked coconut

glass jar or drinking glass with 3” diameter bottom

Let's do it …

Safety Note:  All steps that use sharp knives, electrical appliances, hot stoves and ovens should be done by adults. 

After the first rise, punch down dough and roll into a short fat log.  Divide dough log into thirds. Use one third for the tree trunk. Cover and set aside the remaining two thirds for the treetop.

Note: If using purchased bread dough, follow package instructions for rising and baking.

Tree Trunk

Roll dough into an 8" long log.

Place dough log on parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave space for the treetop. 

Shape dough into tree trunk, as shown.



On your work surface, roll or stretch out remaining dough into a circle ½" thick.

Transfer the dough circle to the baking sheet, placing it over the top 2” of the tree trunk. 

Stretch and shape to form a treetop, as shown.

Cover tree with plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm space to rise for 20 minutes.  This is the second rise.

While your tree is rising, prepare the egg yolk wash, cinnamon sugar, frosting, and coconut.

Egg yolk wash - add teaspoon of water to yolk; stir until thoroughly blended. 

Cinnamon sugar - add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to 1 teaspoon sugar; mix thoroughly.

Frosting - tint frosting with green food coloring to desired hue.

Coconut- place coconut and several drops of green food coloring into a zip seal bag.  Seal bag and massage to tint coconut.

Wells for Tu B'Shevat fruits and the tree bark    This is done after the second rise.

For the wells, lightly oil the bottom and sides of a glass jar.  Press oiled jar into treetop to form well, as shown. Oil the jar after each well.

For the tree bark, use a plastic knife to draw vertical lines from the top of the tree trunk to the bottom, as shown. 



Press nuts, seeds, and fruit pieces into the bottom of each well.

Do not fill the wells. Additional nuts, seeds and fruit are added after the bread has been baked and the treetop decorated.

Brush treetop with egg wash. 

Add cinnamon sugar to the remaining egg wash. Stir to combine.

Brush tree trunk with cinnamon sugar egg wash, as shown.

Bake tree in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.  When the underside of the tree trunk is tapped, there should be a hollow sound.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.


Spread a thin coating of frosting over the treetop.

Sprinkle coconut over frosting.  Gently tap down the coconut.

Fill wells with nuts, seeds and fruit pieces.

Happy Holiday!

Tu B'Shevat 2023

Tu B’Shevat 2023 is all about fruits and trees.  My Super Simple Fruit Tree, on the left, is perfect for young children, and a fun way to serve your TuB'Shevat foods.   If you enjoy baking, the Sugar Cookie Plate is the project for you.  Impress your family and friends with this decorative plate made from cookies.   It's a simplified version of my cookie plates which are decorated with colorful borders of 3 D fruit and leaf cookies.  Here, the decorative border of fruits and leaves is painted on a yellow royal icing background.    Visit my Tu B'Shevat 2022   posting for more holiday food art fun. 


Super Simple Fruit Tree

         Sugar Cookie Seder Plate

 Super Simple Fruit Tree


What you need …

   24 Pretzel rods  

  1 c Chocolate chips, melted according to package directions, used for the glue*

  Dried fruits, nuts and seeds.  

  1/2" foam core board 12" x 12"

  Parchment paper or aluminum foil                                                                                                                                 *Substitute 1/2 cup marshmallow creme or thick peanut butter for melted chocolate chips

Let’s do it …

  1. Cover the foam core board square with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Wrap the paper/foil tightly around the board and on the underside secure with tape.   Optional:  Glue or tape a smaller piece of foam core board to the bottom of the covered board to create a foot; the foot makes it easier to lift.

Picture Frame and Tree

2. The frame is made of two layers of pretzels.   On the bottom layer, use melted chocolate to glue two pretzels side-by-side along all four edges of the board.  Give the picture frame some height by gluing single pretzels over the seam where the two bottom pretzels meet, as shown.  

 If you have to break the pretzels to fit, do this before melting

  the chocolate chips. ​   

3. ​ Arrange pretzel pieces to form tree, as shown, and glue to board with melted chocolate. 

     Create the effect of tree bark by spreading the remaining chocolate over tree trunk and branches.

add fruits2edLWRES_edited.jpg

4.  Arrange the dried fruits on the branches, as shown.  Add dates and raisins for the ground.  


5. Fill in the remaining spaces with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.

  Sugar Cookie Seder Plate 

This is a multi-day project.  On day one prepare the dough, roll, cut, bake and ice the cookies.    On day two paint the plate pieces, assemble and enjoy your artistry.

What you need …

     1 recipe Extra Thick Sugar Cookie

     1 recipe royal icing 

      Yellow food color gel or paste

      Edible food pens*

      Dried fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.

      Parchment paper

      Wax paper

      Clean manila file folder or stiff paper for making the templates.


*Diluted gel or paste food colors and food safe paint brushes can be substituted for edible food pens

Let's do it ... 

Special Note on Double Baking: This project requires a very strong cookie, so the cookie pieces are rolled to ¼” thickness and are double baked.   To double bake the cookies, remove the cookies when the edges are golden brown. Turn the oven off.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before carefully sliding the cookies off the parchment paper and onto a wire cooling rack.  Return the cookies on the wire rack to the oven.  Close the oven door.    When the oven has cooled to room temperature the cookies are ready to ice.​

Safety Note:  All steps that use sharp knives, electrical appliances, hot stoves and ovens should be done by adults. 

Rolling, Cutting and Baking the Cookie Pieces

  1. Cut templates as shown below.  Use these templates to cut your cookie pieces.


2. After the dough has chilled in the refrigerator, place between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper.

    Roll dough into a sheet 1/4" thick. 

    For tips on rolling dough watch How to Evenly Roll Out Cookie Dough

3. Cut the largest piece first. Place the plate bottom template on the rolled dough. Do not press the     

    template into the dough.  Cut around the template with a sharp knife or pastry wheel.  Remove the 

    template and the extra dough surrounding the cookie.

4. This is a very large cookie.  To transfer it to the baking sheet without distorting its shape use the

    template.  Lightly flour the template and carefully slip it underneath the cookie. Transfer the cookie and

    template to the parchment lined baking sheet. Carefully slide the cookie off the template onto the

    baking sheet.

5. Cut the remaining pieces and transfer to the baking sheet. On the baking sheet, leave at least 1/4"

     between cookies.

6.  Bake cookie pieces in pre-heated 375-degree oven 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden


7.  Remove from oven and follow directions above for double baking.

Icing and Painting the Cookies

 8. Prepare the royal icing.   It should be thin enough to easily spread over the cookies.

Step Saver:  Tint the icing yellow before icing the cookie pieces. When the icing is dry skip to step 11

 9. After the cookies have cooled, frost top of each cookie piece with the royal icing.  If the icing drips

     over the sides, smooth the dripped icing with a spatula or plastic knife.  Set on wire rack to dry.  

     Drying time will vary, in humid areas it will take overnight. The icing must be hard before painting.


10. Ready to paint. Dilute 2 drops of yellow food coloring in a tablespoon of water. 

       Twist a small square of paper towel, as shown, to make a paint brush.  Dip one end in the tinted

        water and gently dab or brush color over the dried icing of the cookies.  

       Allow to dry before drawing the decorative borders.


11. Use the edible food pens to draw the decorative borders. First draw the vines, then draw the

    outlines for the fruits, leaves and almonds.  Draw the veins onto the leaves, and then color in all the


Assembling the plate

 12.  Glue the borders to the bottom plate with royal icing.

       Allow to set 10 minutes or longer before adding dried fruits and nuts.

You're done! 

You've created a beautiful edible TuB'Shevat art. 

I'd love to see your creation.

If you'd like, please send your photo to

Tu B'Shevat 2022

Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of Trees, is celebrated by planting trees and enjoying the fruits of the seven species.  That’s just what we’ll do with our three very simple, no-bake holiday projects.  My work always centered on creating sugar-based holiday art, but several years ago, Bella, my co-worker told me about her mom’s pretzel and peanut and peanut butter sandwich menorahs, that inspired me to begin creating non -sugar-based art.   Take a look; you’ll see some of it here.



Super Simple
Marshmallow Tree

Tu B’Shevat Snack Trees

Tu B’Shevat Seder Plate

Nutella and Peanut Butter Snack Trees


What you need …

2 Crackers for each tree round, heart shaped, and oval

Dipping stick pretzels 1 each or thin stick pretzels 2 for each tree

Pumpkin seeds


Peanut Butter 1 teaspoon for each tree

Pound Cake or other firm cake cut into circles 2” wide x 1” high or similar size cupcakes

Piping bag   see Icings 


Let’s do it …

  1. Place Nutella in piping bag and snip a small opening.  Set aside.

  2. For treetop back, place ½ teaspoon of peanut butter in center of cracker.  Gently press pretzel stick into peanut butter.  Top with remaining peanut butter.

  3. For treetop front, pipe branches onto second cracker with Nutella. Start with the center branch, then add branches to the left and right.

  4.  Gently press treetop front onto tree back.   Repeat for remaining trees. 

  5. Poke a small hole into the center of the cake circle.  Frost cake circle with Nutella.

  6. Stand tree in hole.  Repeat for remaining trees.

  Super Simple Marshmallow Tree


What you need …

1          Jumbo Marshmallow

2          Pretzel dipping sticks

             Green sugar  

             Green sprinkles

1          Mini chocolate donut

Marshmallow Tree3editedLWR.jpg

Let’s do it …

  1. Place sugar and sprinkles in shallow dish or large cupcake liner.

  2. Cut marshmallow in half.  This can be done with a sturdy plastic picnic knife.                                Stretch and shape one marshmallow half into a treetop.

  3. Press treetop marshmallow, sticky side down, into sugar – sprinkle mixture.  Roll in mixture to cover.

  4. Push pretzel dipping stick into treetop.  Stand tree in center hole of mini donut.

 Tu B'Shevat Seder Plate


What you need …

 4          Large rectangular seeded crackers

   ¼ c   Cream cheese softened

  2         Small round crackers

  4         Pretzel sticks

  3        Green olives chopped

             Parsley finely chopped

            Small pieces of pimento or red pepper for the apples

            Almonds, olives, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate kernels, and a fig

  1       Piece foam core board or stiff cardboard 10.5” X 4”

  5       Mini cupcake liners

  1. Double wrap foam core board with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

  2. Set aside 3 teaspoons of cream cheese for treetops.  Spread remaining cream cheese over covered board.

  3. Gently press seeded wafers onto cream cheese covered board.

  4. Add a dab of cream cheese to each end cracker, as shown below.  Gently press pretzel sticks into cream cheese.

  5.  Spread cream cheese over a round cracker and dip in finely chopped olives.  Place treetop over pretzels.

  6.  For apple tree, press pimento pieces into cream cheese covered cracker, before dipping in finely chopped parsley.

  7.  Fill cupcake liners with Seder fruits and add to Seder plate.

bottom of page