Get crafty in the kitchen with this homemade recipe for Christmas Tree Cake. It’s the perfect dessert to serve after enjoying holiday dinner with the people who mean the most to you.
Ditch the store-bought cakes this holiday season and prepare the incredibly moist and delicious Christmas Tree Cake at home with ingredients like flour, buttermilk, and homemade buttercream. Create a moist and creamy dessert that everyone can enjoy after celebrating Christmas together!
Christmas Tree Cake
Do you often think about what type of dessert to serve after enjoying holiday dinner with your loved ones? You may want to prepare something that everyone will look forward to eating together. In that case, this Christmas Tree Cake is a great choice. Rather than buying a boxed cake mix, you can prepare this delicious dessert from scratch. The texture of this cake is soft, light, and smooth, and the buttercream truly adds something extra to it, making it a must-have dessert. No matter how experienced you are or aren’t when it comes to baking, you can make this Christmas Tree Cake and enjoy it!
Tree Cake Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour – Use flour as the base for your cake batter.
- Baking Powder – The addition of baking powder gives this cake its excellent texture as it bakes in the oven.
- Sugar – Enhance the flavor of your cake with granulated white sugar.
- Butter – Use salted butter and allow it to sit out at room temperature beforehand.
- Shortening – Your shortening will need to sit out with the butter and reach room temperature before you use it.
You will need a few other ingredients for the cake, such as salt, eggs, an egg yolk, buttermilk, vanilla, peppermint extract, and baking soda. For the homemade buttercream, you need powdered sugar to combine with additional butter, vanilla, salt, and green food coloring. It’s also important to have sugar cones for the trees on this cake.
Decorated Christmas Cake Variations
- If you prefer a chocolate version of the Christmas Tree Cake, you can add unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture of flour, baking soda, baking powder, etc.
- You can toss some Christmas-themed sprinkles into the cake batter, allowing them to cook in with the cake so that each slice is more colorful and decorative for those who will enjoy this delicious cake.
- If you don’t like peppermint extract, feel free to leave it out and replace it with any other extract of your choice.
Tree Cake Notes
- Don’t overmix your dry ingredients with your wet ingredients. If you mix too much, the gluten will overdevelop, and that causes the cake to become crumbly.
- If you want your cake to rise evenly, I recommend using cake strips. You can find these strips on Amazon!
- You need to make sure you’re whipping the frosting long enough. If not, it won’t have the ideal texture, and it will be harder to pipe on the cake when you’re ready to do so.
Christmas Tree Cake FAQs
What can I do if I don’t have shortening?
If you don’t have shortening, you can always use melted butter as a substitute for it. Melted butter will work just as well, contributing to the flavor of this delicious dessert.
What should I do if I don’t have buttermilk to add to the cake batter?
You can make buttermilk at home quite easily! Combine two tablespoons of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar, either one will work.
What type of texture does this cake have?
The cake is soft, light, and smooth. The moist layers of cake will melt in your mouth and pair perfectly well with the sweet taste of the homemade buttercream frosting that you’ll add to it.
Do I have to use green food coloring when preparing the buttercream?
The green food coloring adds a special touch to this cake and gives it more of a Christmas aesthetic. If you prefer to use red, feel free to do so.
MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE!
Apple Cider Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream
Eggnog Sheet Cake with Eggnog Buttercream
Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake
Christmas Tree Cake
- 3 2/3 c all purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/3 c sugar
- 3/4 c salted butter room temperature
- 1/4 c shortening room temperature
- 3 eggs + 1 yolk
- 2 c buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp peppermint or other extract of your choice
- 8 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 4 c salted butter room temperature
- 3 Tbs salted butter melted
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Green food coloring
- 10 sugar cones
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of 3-9” cake pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine sugar, butter and shortening. Beat together on medium speed for 1 minute, until smooth and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix for 30 seconds. Add in the milk, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix to combine. Add in the flour mixture and mix on a low speed until incorporated.
- Evenly divide the batter into the prepared cake pans, then place them into the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack to let cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine powdered sugar, butter, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Mix together on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 4 minutes. Once well mixed, remove 2 1⁄2 cups of buttercream and place it into a separate bowl. Add drops of food coloring into the remaining frosting until the desired color is reached.
- Use an icing spatula to cover each sugar cone with a thin layer of green frosting. Spoon some of the green frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small star piping tip. Starting at the bottom of the sugar cone, pipe with medium pressure until the frosting starts to build underneath the piping tip. Slowly pull the piping tip up towards the tip of the cone, then with a quick motion slightly push the piping pipe down, then up and away from the cone, releasing pressure. Repeat in a row around the base of the cone, then start at the top of the row you just piped to begin the next row. Continue piping rows until you have reached the top of the cone. Repeat with the remaining cones.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully remove them from the cake pans. Place the 1st cake onto a cake stand or plate. Add about 1 cup of green frosting on top of the cake and evenly spread out using an icing spatula. Place the 2d cake on top and repeat the frosting process, ending with the 3rd cake on top.
- Once all of the cakes have been layered, frost the top and sides of the cake with the white frosting. Place the frosted trees on top of the cake. Any extra trees can be placed on the side next to the cake. Dust the trees with powdered sugar before serving.
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