How To Make A Christmas Tree Cake

christmas tree cake by sugar and sparrow

I did a thing, people. I made a 3D Christmas tree cake! Never before have I strayed from making a regular shaped cake, and I’m so glad I tried it because it was a jolly good time. Although it seems like there would be cake carving involved, there isn’t – all you need for this design is a handful of circular cake layers in increasingly smaller sizes, some green buttercream, your favorite piping tip, and of course, plenty of pretty holiday sprinkles for decorating!

This sprinkle mix by SprinklePop is called Fahoo Fores and the name alone sold me. I’m a huge fan of all things Whoville, and when I saw the actual colors and shapes involved I almost squealed! It features all the Grinchy colors like neon pinks and greens, aquas and reds, plus some teeny tiny (shiny!) gelatin Christmas trees. Perfect for adorning festive holiday cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and whoopies! Ok, I’ll stop with the rhyming because I’m no Dr. Seuss but it was tempting to write this entire post that way. Nerd alert!

Fahoo Fores sprinkle mix by SprinklePop

Christmas tree cake

It all starts with a 12 x 18 inch sheet cake in whatever flavor you’d like. If you’ve got circular cake cutters to use, all the power to you! I don’t, so I printed out some circular templates on paper and cut out the layers out by hand. Every size you need is specified below. Then, stack those layers, frost them to create a cone-like shape, pipe on the leafy details, and sprinkle away! It’s really that simple. 

You Will Need:

  • A baked 12 x 18 inch sheet cake
  • Circular cake cutters or printed templates for 7”, 6”, 5”, 4”, 3.5”, 3”, and 2” circles
  • 8 inch cardboard cake circle
  • 2.5 batches vanilla buttercream (or other light colored buttercream) tinted green
  • Angled icing spatula
  • Wilton tip 4B
  • Piping bags
  • 8oz bottle of Fahoo Fores sprinkles (or other favorite Holiday mix)
  • ½ inch star made out of gumpaste or fondant

Step 1: Cut Out The Cake Layers

Use circular cake cutters to cut out cake circles that are 7”, 6”, 5”, 4”, 3.5”, 3”, and 2”. If you’re like me and you don’t have all those cake cutters, you can print out circles that are sized to the above dimensions, then use a paring knife to carefully cut those circles out of your sheet cake.

vanilla cake layers

Step 2: Stack The Cake Layers

Put a swipe of buttercream onto your cardboard cake circle and place your largest cake layer on top of it. Frost a thin layer of buttercream filling on top before adding the next largest cake layer.

how to make a christmas tree shaped cake

Repeat stacking the increasingly smaller cake layers until you’ve placed the smallest layer on top.

Step 3: Crumb Coat The Cake

Place the green buttercream into a piping bag and snip off a ½ inch opening. Pipe over the outside of the cake to cover all the gaps.

forest green buttercream

Next, use your angled icing spatula to smooth over the buttercream and shape it into a cone. When you’re finished shaping the cake, place it into the refrigerator for 20 minutes to let it firm up before moving on to the next step.

crumb coating christmas tree cake

Step 4: Pipe The Cake

While the Christmas tree cake is chilling, prepare a piping bag by fitting it with Wilton Tip 4B (or other favorite piping tip for the finish) and pipe to cover the entire cake.

decorating christmas tree cake wilton 4b

Step 5: Decorate With Sprinkles

This part is the most fun, because just like decorating a real Christmas tree, you can place these Fahoo Fores sprinkles to look like ornaments!

christmas cake with sprinkles

Place all of the larger spherical sprinkles around the tree by hand, then sprinkle the jimmies and gelatin Christmas trees all over it. Top it with a fondant or gumpaste star and marvel at your super easy (yet complicated looking) 3D Christmas tree!

christmas cake by sugar and sparrow

I hope you’re having the happiest Holiday season and baking all the things! If you’re ready to venture out into oddly shaped cakes, this is the perfect project for you. Let me know if you make it by tagging me on Instagram – I love to see what you’re working on!

Disclaimer: this post does contain some affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you click them and purchase items I’ve recommended. Using these links won’t cost you any extra money, but they do help to keep Sugar & Sparrow up and running. Thank you for your support!


  1. Charlotte Jenkins

    Hi, I was wondering what cake and buttercream recipe you used for this cake?

    • I believe I used two boxes, made them according to the instructions and baked in a 12 x 18 x 1.5 sheet pan at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.

  2. Hello!

    If I wanted to size this down, maybe by half – would you still use that star tip or is there a smaller size you’d recommend?

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