An elaborately designed and decorated Christmas tree cake recipe that will be the crowning glory of your dinner table and a grand finale to an elegant Christmas meal.
Time: 10 min plus 25 baking
Decorate: Depends on skill
– Bake the cake 1 day before decorating. Decorate cake up to 3 days before serving. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
– To stabilize the cake, insert wooden skewers in the cake horizontally and vertically. Mark the ends with green M&M’s so you can remove the skewers before serving the cake.
– For star at top of tree, from a large gumdrop, cut a ¼ -in.-thick round slice from base of gumdrop. Using a very small star-shaped cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut star from slice. Dip cut surfaces in sugar.
2 boxes (16 oz each) pound cake mix, prepared as directed on pkg
3 cans (16 oz each) vanilla frosting
16 each starlight mint and red gummy-bear candies, or other candies of your choice
Green and red paste food color
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 bag (12 oz) M&M’s mini baking bits
1 bag (12 oz) regular-size M&M’s
12 red-and-white-striped birthday candles
1 yellow star-shaped gumdrop or 1 large yellow gumdrop (see Note)
2 miniature candy canes
Tiny red and green candy stars
1. Cakes: Position racks to divide oven in thirds. Heat to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-in. baking pan and a 9-in. square cake pan. Line bottoms of both with waxed paper.
2. Spread 4 cups batter in the square pan and remaining batter in the larger pan. Bake 1 pan on each oven rack, switching position of pans halfway through baking, 20 to 25 minutes until a pick inserted near centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert onto racks, remove pans and peel off waxed paper. Let cool completely. Turn cakes right side up, cover loosely and let stand in a cool, dry place about 24 hours to firm up.
3. Frost and decorate: Slice rounded tops (humps) off cakes with a long knife until flat. Transfer square cake to a serving platter. Frost sides and top with 1 cup vanilla frosting. Press mints and gummy bears into frosting around sides.
4. Using a ruler and sharp knife, cut the 13 x 9-in. cake along dotted lines as shown in diagram. The large triangle is the tree’s center, the smaller ones are the sides and the narrow pieces at top become gifts to place at base of the tree.
5. Trim bottom edge of large triangle flat. Brush crumbs from cut edges of triangles. Stir green food color into 2¼ cups frosting until desired shade. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to stiffen frosting. Tint ¼ cup frosting red; spoon into a quart-size ziptop bag, seal and set aside.
6. To assemble: Place large triangle upright in the middle of the frosted square cake. Using green frosting as glue, attach smaller triangles on each side. Use remaining green frosting to frost tree from bottom up, flaring frosting outward in 7 places on each edge to make branches.
7. Before frosting sets, press in diagonal lines of yellow mini baking bits for strings of lights and blue and red regular M&M’s for balls. Insert birthday candles. Top with star-shaped gumdrop. Insert candy canes into square cake.
8. Gifts: Cut 1-in. strips of cake into 6 cubes. Frost 5 sides with vanilla frosting; press in tiny stars. Snip tip off corner of bag with red frosting and pipe ribbon on gifts. Place around base of tree. Let all dry 2 to 3 hours, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and store up to 3 days in a cool, dry place.
Courtesy of Woman’s Day