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Challah Birds with Apple Nests

Challah Birds with Apple Honey Nests

  • Author: Sharon Matten - Kosher Everyday
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Challah Bird Bake Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 birds 1x
  • Category: Holiday
  • Method: Spiralize
  • Cuisine: Gluten Free
  • Diet: Kosher


Imagine you’re family or guests sitting down to the first Rosh Hashanah meal.  There’s so much tradition and symbolism wrapped up in it.  At your place are the traditional apples and honey already set up for you, with a little beautiful challah bird to dip into the honey after the Hamotzi blessing is said.

These Challah Birds with Apple Honey Nests look complicated to make, but once you know how they’re fairly simple to put together.  You can make multiples of this recipe to have enough for more guests if you choose.



For the Challah Birds

For the Nests

  • 2 very large Fuji Apples, cored
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

The Grand Finale

  • Honey for drizzling


For the Challah Birds

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.  Set aside.

Divide the challah dough into 6.  

To make the birds, dust a little flour on the pastry board.  Form a long rope around 14-inches long.

Make a knot in the dough.  Form one end into a birds head by pinching the tip to become a beak. 


Gluten Free Challah Bird Pre-Baking

Pre-baking and egg wash.

Form the other end into a tail by flattening the end, then cutting straight across to make it flat and even.  Make 4 small slits in the tail to simulate feathers.

Place two cloves, round side out, into each of the birds heads for eyes.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and water.  Brush the birds with the egg wash.

Gluten Free Challah birds pre-baking

Egg washed and ready to go into the oven.

Bake for around 15 minutes until browned and cooked through.

For the Apple Nests

Trim the top and bottom of each apple, reserving the trimmed pieces.

Trimmed Apples

Cored, with the top and bottom sliced off. Reserve the sliced pieces to dice.

Using a large spiralizer, spiralize two Fuji apples using the smallest “noodle” setting.  Transfer into a large bowl.  Reserve any remaining pieces that were not spiraled into noodles.

Add the lemon juice, cinnamon, oil and sugar.  Toss to combine, being careful not to break the noodles.

Dice the remaining apple pieces.  Set Aside.

Divide the noodles into six piles on the prepared baking sheet.  Using a finger, make an indent into the center of the pile and form the apple pile into a small circle.

Divide the diced apples into six portions and place one portion into each apple “nest”.

Apple Nests Pre Baking

Apple nests pre-baking.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the apples are soft, golden brown, and slightly caramelized.

Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

The Grand Finale

Place an apple nest on a plate.  Drizzle with honey, then place an apple bird on top.

Challah bird on an apple honey nest.

Repeat with the remaining nests and birds and prepare to enjoy.




  1. You can use gluten free or traditional challah for the challah birds.
  2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  3. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can cut the apples into thin strips and form them into a nest.   You should still dice a portion of the apple to place into the center of the nest.
  4. You can use the rest of the challah recipe to make larger round challahs for Rosh Hashanah, or you can make more smaller rolls and birds.

Keywords: Challah, Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashana, Challah Bird, Apple and Honey, Challah and Honey, Sweet recipe

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