Christmas Tree Cake

Friday, December 23, 2011

This Christmas tree cake was declared by my kids to be the "Best Christmas Treat Ever!"  While I  thought it was pretty cool myself, I was trying to figure out what made them so excited about it and   I concluded that it's because  it was a little more free-spirited than some of the goodies we make.  They didn't have to make it look like something (like a snowman or a reindeer or a candy cane or a nativity)--it already looked like a tree and all they had to do was decorate it.  And with candy ornaments, no less.   Even a toddler could easily have fun with this fun food project!    

Can you tell my kids enjoyed themselves? 
It got me to thinking that this fun Christmas activity would make for a great yearly tradition--either for Christmas day or for the tree decorating day.  If I had a fancy tree that I wanted to decorate myself, I would bake up this cake, frost it for them, then let the kids go to town decorating this Christmas tree, while I prettied up our living room.  Alas, I am opposite than that though.  Our living room Christmas tree is kid decorated and I just couldn't resist decorating the Christmas tree cake before the kids came home from school.  I decorated it, snapped a couple pictures, then quick undecorated it before the kids got home.  They never even knew.  :)  

Here's my version: 

Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Lara.

The ingredients:

1 cake baked in a parchment paper lined 9x13-inch pan
2-3 batches of frosting, dyed green
Chocolate frosting (optional)
Red pull-apart licorice
Assortment of small round candies (jelly wreaths, halved gumballs, peppermint swirls, old-fashioned licorice bites, etc.)
Large platter or sturdy piece of cardboard (this cake ends up being about 18-inches square, so I had to use a piece of cardboard to mount it)

Directions:  Carefully pop the cooled cake out of the parchment paper lined baking pan onto a cookie sheet or cutting board.

Cut off the bottom 3-inches off the short side of the cake.  On the remaining large part of the cake, carefully cut corner to corner, leaving two right angle triangles. 
Cut the narrow piece in half (about 4-inches long) for the trunk.  Arrange the cake on the platter into a simple Christmas tree shape by placing the the two right angles of the triangle together in the center.  Place the trunk, centered below that.   Discard (or eat the remaining piece). 
Generously frost the cake with green frosting.  NOTE:  For more aesthetically pleasing results, I recommend applying a light layer of thinned icing over the cake, which will catch the crumbs of the cake, without tearing it apart.  It's called crumb coating and is not meant to look pretty yet.  Then allow that crumb coating layer of frosting to dry completely or just place the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, then frost the cake as desired.  The crumbs should all be trapped in the crumb coating and now your cake will look beautiful! 
I used green frosting for the tree and chocolate frosting for the trunk, but the trunk can be green as well. 

Now comes the fun part...decorating the cake!  Use the red pull-apart licorice as tinsel lines across the tree, then just randomly placed the candy ornaments wherever.  My kids thought that decorating this cake tree was exceedingly fun.  The three of them spent about 30 minutes adding the candy ornaments, tweaking their placement, sampling some of the ornaments, and adding some more! 
Now, stand back and admire your creation!  Best if served where lots of people can ooh and  ah over it before cutting it up. 


Recipe Inspiration:  Family Fun

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Mary December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

How cute. The kids look like they really enjoyed decorating the cake. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Deanne December 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM  

Love this idea! I think I'll make it on Christmas for something for the kids to do on Christmas afternoon.
(And I can relate to wanting to decorate it myself before the kids get a shot at it. =)

Debbie December 24, 2011 at 3:55 PM  

That is so adorable...I love it! Just made your hot chocolate cookies and they are a huge hit! Thank you and Merry Christmas to you!

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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