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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cupcake Advent Wreath

I read a post last week over at Bakers Banter, the King Arthur Flour blog in which the writer made a Cupcake Menorah.  I found it to be a neat idea, but not being Jewish, it didn’t really apply to me. 

Or did it?

Then I thought, I could totally do that as an Advent Wreath.  I mean, what a great way to make the Advent Candle lighting a little exciting for the kids.  Our church lights Advent candles every Sunday in December, but without much explanation of why.  I wonder if half the people even know the symbolism of the candles.  So, I decided that this was a good way for us to practice this tradition in our own home putting our own little twist on it while being able to teach our children the principles behind the symbolism of each of the candles.

But just as the Cupcake Menorah presents challenges on a practical level (the need to completely burn the candles and ending up with a horrible waxy mess on top of your cupcakes as a result), so did the Advent Wreath.  For instance, usually when an Advent Wreath and candles are lit at a church, it is done over a period of 4 weeks (i.e. one each Sunday of Advent totaling 4 weeks) which would make for some awfully stale and possibly moldy cupcakes at the end of it all.

And what is the use of cupcakes if you are not able to eat them because of wax, staleness or mold


If a cupcake is meant for anything, it should be to be eaten.

So I decided to alter our Advent candle lighting schedule.  We will be doing our wreath and candle lighting beginning on December 21st and we will do a reading and candle lighting at home each remaining night (daily for 4 days instead of weekly) until the 4th candle is lit on December 24th, Christmas Eve.

This is the Advent reading guide that we will be using:

Advent Candle Readings -

Normally the 5th candle in the center of the wreath, the Christ candle, would be lit on Christmas Day, but since we have our Happy Birthday Jesus cake tradition, I figure we’ll just stick with that instead.

And then there are the aesthetics of the whole thing.  Traditionally, the candles themselves are either purple, rose or white in color.  Well, to be honest, those colors just don’t go with my red and green Christmas decor and I don’t feel the need to be all that traditional about colors when I’m making the thing out of cupcakes. 

And, to help address the dripping wax issue, I used tea-lights instead of tapers.

Now, I am certainly no expert cupcake decorator, so I am sure that other people could make this look a LOT cuter.  But, here’s what I did:

I made Red Velvet cupcakes in red foil cupcake liners.  I substituted butter for the Crisco called for in this recipe and may have over-filled my cupcake liners so all my cupcakes came out looking like flattened mushrooms.  But they had a nice light texture and tasted delicious.


I topped them with piped cream cheese icing.


I garnished them with green sprinkles and some extra red sprinkles on the ones that would hold the candles.


And lastly I placed the candles in the appropriate cupcakes, filled in a little bead of piped icing right around the edge of the candle and finished off with a few more red sprinkles.

100_7006 100_7007

We totally plan to eat as we go through the advent readings so this is the only pretty picture there will be of our wreath.




I look forward to this being a new tradition in our family as we celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to the earth.



Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I think it's cute (and yummy)! How did it go? Hope you had a lovely and blessed Christmas!!