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Sukkot Lemon “Etrog” Cupcakes

This recipe for Sukkot Lemon “Etrog” Cupcakes is a fun way to learn about the harvest holiday’s etrog and lulav. They’re designed to be made with young children, but we’re sure just about everyone will enjoy making or eating them.

Sukkot celebrates a bountiful harvest, and we celebrate by spending time with loved ones in a sukkah, a 3-walled shelter with a roof traditionally made of natural materials, like leaves, bamboo and branches. During Sukkot, we say blessings over an Etrog (citron), a lulav (palm fronds), myrtle and willow (learn all about why here). Sukkot is a fun and interactive family holiday whether or not you’re an experienced sukkah-builder or it’s your first time celebrating. You can spend time making an outdoor structure with a branch and thatched roof, decorate it with family-friendly crafts and enjoy meals as a family inside.

This year, enjoy these citrusy “etrog” cupcakes with a sprig of rosemary on top, symbolizing the lulav and lemon zest for the etrog. Take this opportunity to learn about these symbols as a family. And while everything is perfectly edible, your littles may prefer picking the pretty toppings off before digging in!

We’ve outlined sample tasks that children aged 18 months and up can help get involved with, but every child is different, so feel free to adapt it to whatever works best for your family. 

Sukkot Lemon “Etrog” Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 stick, ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Zest of 2 lemons 
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Frosting (if you and your family love icing, feel free to double this recipe!)

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, plus some for garnish
  • Fresh rosemary, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 12-cup cupcake or muffin tray. 
18 months+: Help pass you cupcake liners
3+ years: grease the pan, and put the liners in.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
18 months+: mix the ingredients.
3+: measure and mix ingredients.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar, scraping down the sides as needed.
18 months+: add butter and sugar to bowl.
3+: add butter and sugar to bowl, scrape down sides.

4. Add vanilla, mixing until combined. 
18 months+: add vanilla.

5. Add eggs one at a time, until incorporated. 
6+: crack and whisk eggs .

6. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lemon zest and juice. 
18 months+: add sour cream to the bowl.
3+: add all ingredients to bowl, whisk.
6+: squeeze lemons, zest lemons (if comfortable), measure sour cream and stir.

7. Add ½ sour cream and flour alternately until combined. 
3+: add flour and sour cream to bowl.

8. Divide batter evenly in the liners, filling ¾ full. 
3+: help portion batter into liners.

9. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out dry.

10. Cool completely.

While baking, make the frosting.

1. Add butter to the base of a stand mixer or bowl.
18 months+: add butter to bowl.

2. Add icing sugar, ½ cup at a time, mixing on high until light and fluffy.
18 months+: add icing sugar.

3. Add lemon juice, and zest until incorporated.

4. Transfer to a piping bag, or spread with a knife or spoon.
3+ years: help transfer icing to a piping bag or bowl.

5. Ice the cupcakes. Top with a sprig of rosemary and additional lemon zest to symbolize the lulav and etrog.
18 months+: help ice cupcakes, add rosemary and lemon zest.

6. Enjoy!

Lemon etrog cupcakes for Sukkot

Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a trained chef, Registered Dietitian, recipe writer, food photographer, and Jewish cook. Her love for food began in her grandmother’s kitchen, where she learned about the importance of food in celebrating holidays, bringing family together, and keeping traditions alive. She strives to modernize the foods she grew up on, adding her own unique spin on everything from matzah balls to latkes. Through her personal blog, (Nosh with Micah), she shares delicious, plant-forward recipes that are chef-created , dietitian approved, and guaranteed delicious.


Author: Micah Siva