Thanksgivukkah 2013: once in a lifetime

My two favorite holidays coincide this year – Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

When I first realized this fabulous occurrence, I had no idea there was a name for it. I just knew it was going to be a very special day.

But then my sister forwarded an article on Buzzfeed, and I heard the term “Thanksgivukkah” for the first time. It has never happened in our lifetimes, and apparently won’t happen for another 70,000 years, so certainly it’s an occasion worth celebrating!

I really wanted to come up with a special fried-turkey-potato kind of treat for our blog. I spent a weekend in September – roasted a turkey and made all the fixings (cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, you get the idea…)

The next day I took the leftovers, and tried to create special Thanksgivukkah latkes – a turkey and mashed potato-based batter, fried like latkes, and topped with apple-cranberry sauce.

The result? Something that tasted like a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, but not as good; something that tasted like a latke, but not as good. Wise PJ always says to try a recipe three times before giving up, but I gave up after the first try…

But back to Thanksgivukkah. There are entire shops with unique and fun gifts for the occasion. From custom chocolate gelt (I have 1500 pieces hidden in my closet!), to T-shirts, to menurkeys (yes, that’s a turkey menorah, and the Web site also features a special song). But to me, both of these holidays are all about the food – as is this blog – so let’s discuss some favorites to add to your list for the occasion.

Baked potatoes? Not this year; I’m eating my turkey with latkes. There are countless versions out there; here are a few that we offer:


For a baked (not fried) latke, give these a try. The pre-cooked potatoes really add a nice touch:  Oven latkes with homemade applesauce


For a shortcut, try our potato pancake mix. Is it as tasty as making them fresh? Of course not, but still delicious, and will save you a TON of work peeling and shredding.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without dinner rolls:


My #1 go-to dinner roll recipe – always a hit: golden pull-apart butter buns


A special twist just for Thanksgiving, our stuffing buns.


For a deli-style side, why not make this fabulous soft rye bread into rolls?

And arguably the most important part of the meal: dessert. Instead of pie (or in addition!), a few suggestions:


Golden rugelach.  The cinnamon pecan filling would be a great match for Thanksgivukkah. As a shortcut, I use mini cinnamon chips and mini chocolate chips in place of the fillings suggested. A family favorite – these don’t last long in my house!

Cheesecake Chanukah

How about adding cheesecake to the mix? Hands-down my favorite recipe (and I’ve tried a LOT of cheesecake recipes): Brooklyn-style cheesecake. I’ve also done this with a graham cracker crust – delicious!


Or, stick with the traditional pecan pie. This corn-syrup free version is incredible – one of those recipes that had the King Arthur Flour employees running to the test kitchen for a bite (or two, or three, or four…)

Find more inspiration in our collection of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah recipes.  And of course we’d love to hear your suggestions as well – what are you planning for your feast?

Happy baking, and happy Thanksgivukkah!


  1. Laurie

    I have been cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving, and we decorated the house today for Chanukah, which starts tonight. My family wants no deviation from either menu so we are postponing latkes until Saturday. (They vetoed sweet potato latkes.) No matter when Chanukah starts, it’s always wonderful.

    1. PJ Hamel

      Enjoy those classic latkes, Laurie – and the holiday. But first, the turkey… Happy Thanksgivvukah! PJH

  2. martibeth

    Great ideas. Didn’t realize the merging of the two holidays was such an unusual occurrence. I wonder if sweet potato-pecan latkes would work. Thanks for reminding me of rugelach. And recently I tried nearly every roll recipe of yours, including the golden pull-apart, the honey wheat, Parker House, the refrigerator rolls, and the soft white dinner rolls. Still the favorite hands down: The soft white dinner rolls. Not only do they taste great, but the dough is so wonderful to work with. I also made Parker House rolls using your method of rolling out the dough into two rectangles, and it turned out great.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mmmmm, that is sounding more like dessert! Try it but maybe not for the BIG day tomorrow? We would love to hear how it went. Elisabeth@KAF

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