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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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Charlotte Jenkins says
Hi, I was wondering what cake and buttercream recipe you used for this cake?
Hi Charlotte! For this tutorial I just used a box cake mix and my vanilla buttercream recipe: https://sugarandsparrow.com/vanilla-buttercream-recipe.
Jess Gillotte says
How many box mixes did you need to fill the sheet pan?
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.
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?
Hi Sierra! I would still use the same star tip. I actually have a tutorial for mini versions of this Christmas tree cake here: https://sugarandsparrow.com/mini-christmas-tree-cake-tutorial/ hope that helps!
Emily C says
Hi! How many people does this serve?!
Hi Emily! This cake serves 15-20 people depending on how large the slices are.
Carolina Herrera says
Podre elaborar ese arbolito 3D con crema Chantilly? O debe ser es crema de mantequilla?
Hi Carolina! Chantilly cream should work just fine with these piping techniques!