Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

This is a super cute dessert idea for winter-themed parties, and it isn’t much harder than making and frosting cupcakes. If you have a sharp knife, some toothpicks, a piping bag and a star tip, you’re good to go. It’s even more fun to make than it is to look at, or eat!

All I did was bake some cupcakes, cut them into cone shapes, stack them (secured with toothpicks) and then frosted them in such a way so that they looked like pine trees. Powdered sugar adds a little snow. At first I was bummed that my powdered sugar had so many HUGE lumps in it, until I realized they looked like little snow boulders. Score! You could get really creative and make little marzipan pine cones, or birds, or squirrels… you get the idea. Why not make a sweet little forest for your friends and family to devour?

Oh man, I just realized I could have built an igloo out of sugar cubes. Next time, I guess!

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

I used gel food coloring, both green and blue mixed together to get the shade right. Using only green was too light and minty for what I was going for – so make sure you have some blue on hand to darken it up. But there’s no reason your trees need to be green. White trees would be stunning on a darker plate, or other non-standard colors like pink or brown to play up their cutesy, cartoony look.

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Basic Sponge Cake
Makes 15 cupcakes (a few extra for practicing)

1 1/3 Cups Soymilk mixed with 1 tsp Apple Cider vinegar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbs Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Mix soymilk and vinegar. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt and mix well. Add oil and extracts to soymilk mixture and whisk. Add wet to dry and fold until just combined. Fill each lined, sprayed cupcake mold with 1/4 cup batter. Bake cupcakes at 375º F for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely.

Enough for 5-7 trees

1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 Cup Non-hydrogenated Shortening
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
About 3 Cups Powered Sugar, sifted, more if needed
Food Coloring (green and blue for standard trees)

In a stand mixer, whip margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Whip in extract. Slowly whip in powdered sugar until icing is fairly stiff. Add coloring bit-by-bit until desired color is reached. Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted it a small/standard sized star tip

Creating the Trees

Bake the cupcakes!


Unwrap the cupcakes and turn them upside-down. With a knife, carve the cupcake into a cone. If needed, flatten the base so the cupcake cone sits without wobbling.

Carving Cake

Stack the cupcakes to make basic tree shapes. Three high for tall trees, two high for short trees. Secure with toothpicks. You may want t make the base of your trees squatty so that they help the tree stand.

Basic Tree Shape

Create your forest!

Cupcake Forest

Begin icing your trees. If you don’t have a revolving cake platter to ice on, use a small cutting board that you can easily turn as you work. Start from the bottom and ice around and around up towards the top. Use long-ish strokes that end in an upward sweep to create branches. You can go back and fill in holes or weird spots later.

Icing Pine Tree Cakes

Finish off with shorter, horizontal or upward pointing branches, and then one directly on top pointing straight up. Take a look at your tree and add branches where needed.

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Use a spatula to gently and carefully transfer the trees to your serving plate. Add lumps of powdered sugar if you have them, and anything else to finish up the forest scene. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to add snow to the trees.

Happy winter!

Winter Pine Tree Cakes


  1. bex

    those are super cute. I’m definitely going to try and add these to my house building project. At least for the final touch before I eat them.

  2. Navita

    Hey First time her…love ur pine trees….they are so adorable. u are very creative.
    do stop by my lil place too,(once in a while) i would like it :)

  3. Ella

    they are soo cute.

    i just have one question!!! i´m from austria and have no idea what non-hydrogenated shortening is? could you please explain it to me??

    thanks a lot (especially for your adorable recipes)

  4. zuzu


    My grandma used to do something similar with ice cream cones turned upside down. I think she used silver dragees to decorate them as well.

  5. jd


    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by how amazing your food looks anymore, but I just can’t help myself…

    Those trees are A-MAZING!

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  7. Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    Vegan Yum Yum, you are the coolest! I love this idea, especially because it means eating a lot of frosting. Yum! I wish I could make a batch to bring to my grandma’s for Xmas, but I doubt I’d be able to transport them without an unfortunate deforestation incident (aka spilling them everywhere).

  8. pupa

    well it certainly looks nice and a sponge cake is allways yummy, but so much frosting? honestly, i do not understand, how americans may eat tons of frosting, made basically just out of fat and loads of sugar! on cakes, cupcakes … don’t take me wrong, I have a sweet tooth too, but this kind of frosting in such amounts just make me overdose with sugar…
    For cakes etc., I make frosting of fat, sugar (much less though) and basic (vanilla, strawberry…) pudding.
    But anyway love the site as allways :) looking forward for your cookbook!

  9. Sara

    This looks totally amazing, but I don’t think I could handle all that frosting! I would still like to try it, but I think if I did I would just get big green blobs of frosting with bits of cake in it. I know my limits…

  10. Rebecca

    Sweet tennenbaum! A vegan icing that doesn’t melt all over the place! These are so so lovely. This is my first time at your site and I’m really excited to read through your old entries.

  11. Pingback: Veg Blog Round-Up: News From Around The Web // Archives // :: the latest in green gossip
  12. Libby

    I made these for my friends for christmas – huge success :) Even though most were doubtful of vegan baking they all admitted they tasted fabulous and look cute to boot…

    I love this recipe with all of my vegany heart.

    Thanks you>!<

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