DIY: Christmas Tree Cake
I had three 6-inch cake rounds leftover from a cake order, so I decided to whip up this Christmas tree cake. Yup, using just three cake rounds (and a big batch of buttercream) you too can whip up your own Christmas tree cake. There are so many ways to decorate this cake – truly, endless possibilities. This would be such a fun family or friends activity – a perfect project for this weekend. Plus it is MUCH easier than assembling a gingerbread house (and you’ll actually be excited to eat it!).
- 3 x 6-inch cake rounds, baked and cooled
- 2 batches of buttercream frosting
- Serrated knife
- Food coloring: green
- Piping tips: Leaf tip, small star tip
- Plastic piping bags
- Chocolate covered sunflower seeds
- Chocolate candy balls (or any round candies)
- Fondant or candy (for the star)
Step #1: Before you begin, level your cakes, carving off any uneven parts from the top of each cake. Place all cake scraps into a bowl and set aside. Next, assemble your three cake layers, just as you would if you were going to make a layered round cake with a layer of buttercream in between each cake layer.
Step #2: Use a serrated knife to carve your cake into the bottom half of a cone (tree) shape. You aren’t carving it into a cone at this point (that’d be a tiny cake!), you’re just making the bottom half of the tree shape. Place the scraps that you just carved off into your bowl.
Step #3: Use your hands to break down the bowl of scraps into small crumbs. Add a small dollop of frosting into the mixture and work it into the cake crumbs, just as you would if you were making a cake pop mixture. Make sure not to add too much frosting, as that can decrease the stability of the cake. Mold your mixture into the top half cone shape, then position it atop the bottom half of the already assembled cake. Apply a crumb coat of frosting to the entire cake and place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the cake pop mixture to stabilize and the frosting to set.
You can see what the interior of the cake looks like in the below photo.
Step #4: While your cake is setting, prep your frosting. First insert a small star tip into a piping bag and fill halfway with the un-colored (white) frosting. Use a rubber band to close the bag. For the remainder of your frosting, dye green with food coloring (I ALWAYS use THIS brand of gel coloring). Once the color is consistent, insert a leaf tip into a piping bag and fill with the green frosting. Secure bag closed with a rubber band.
You should have leftover frosting in your mixing bowl still. Cover and set remaining frosting aside, as you’ll most likely need to refill your bag while you’re working.
Step #5: Once your cake is set, begin piping on the needles. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Also, if you want to use less frosting, just messily frost with the tree-shaped cake with the green frosting. You can use a range of tips here for the piping. Just have fun with this part!
Step #5: Once your cake is frosted, add on the decor. This part is totally up to you too, but here’s what I did for mine. I piped on the garlands with the white frosting bag, and added small round candies at the peaks. Then I added on some lights – chocolate covered sunflower seeds work perfectly as light bulbs! Lastly I made a star out of fondant (you could also use taffy or AirHeads). I secured a small skewer to the back of my star with a dab of frosting for added stability. And voila – a Christmas Tree Cake!
And one last thing – how cute is Riley?! Look at that little face! He’s clearly urging you to give this cake a try too!