Blog Archive
View larger image
Well, they weren't Christmas tree cakes...but they sure were delicious!

How NOT to Make a Christmas Tree Cake

Whitney M.

I can’t do anything the easy way.

Maybe I take shortcuts when I know it’s “just” a cake from a box. Maybe it’s circular; I’m short on time, so I use a mix cake and canned frosting, and then I don’t do a good job decorating it because I’m short on time. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that when I cut corners, the results are not stellar.

Bakers, have you been there?

So for Christmas this year, I thought it would be nice to make some single-sized decorative cakes to give as gifts. Cute, right? I was going with the Christmas tree cake idea...not a proper knockoff, just a nod to the Little Debbie snack, made simpler with box cake, canned icing, and a couple of fun-shaped cookie cutters. For extra fun, I invited my three-year-old to help out.

We made a sheet cake and sliced it into two layers (success), put a thick layer of frosting between the layers (success) and started using the cookie cutters (FAIL).

Star power. Not really.

Soft, tender, pudding-in-the-mix cakes do not stand up well to being cut with a cookie cutter. The star cake became a broken star cake. So, we decided to cut these cakes into simple cubes.

Since the stars didn't work out, we aimed for cubes instead.

Next step was the glaze (which, through a series of mishaps, wound up being chocolate instead of vanilla) and the decoration. I topped it with toffee bits because, let’s face it, toffee bits make any dessert more delicious.

The Results

Well, they weren’t Christmas tree cakes...but they sure were delicious! They were kind of like giant, slightly misshapen petits fours. If I’ve got to choose between prettiness and yummy-ness, I’ll be firmly in the yummy-ness camp every time...and these fudgy cube cakes, paired with butter pecan ice cream, were the best sugar high I’d had in at least a week.

Lessons learned

If you’re going to use a box cake, don’t plan to do any shaping.


always keep toffee bits in the pantry.

You all have a happy new year! In January I’ll be making an embroidered cake...dressy and delicious.

Cake Theater is the best place to find original cake design and decorating ideas. Sign up and start showcasing your cakes now. It's free!
Follow along:

Leave a comment:

Since you aren't logged in, your comment will be posted as "guest".
5 years ago