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!
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.
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.
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.
Create your 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.
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.
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.
Those are beyond adorable! And look pretty easy to make. Awesome!
Waouw amasing ! Beuatiful !
C’est vraiment sublime, vous êtes si douée…bravo !
Cute! And this is an icing to cake ration I can get behind. Loooove icing.
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.
Lauren you are super creative ! Unbelievably good !
This is ridiculously cute. I love it!
You’re so creative! I think I may have to bake these for my mah jongg group on Tuesday :)
Okay, this is the best Xmas food thing I’ve seen ever!
Love the detailed step-by-step photos! So adorable :)
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 :)
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)
These are so adorable, not to mention that they look totally delicious!!
creative and gorgeous presentation!
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute!!! :-D
wohohoho. those are like amazingly cute :D
Well these are just about the cutest things ever! You’re so creative!
these are SO cute!
Those are absolutely adorable.
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.
These would be so fun to make with kids!
So cute, I must make some of these!
Very cute, super-fun, but I just can’t do food coloring. :( It makes me sad, and I don’t like the bitter aftertaste. Do these look as cute in white? Inquiring minds want to know… ;)
Wonderful trees and you make it look so simple!
Also wanted to say I posted on my version of your rice and beans – loved the recipes and found them flexible enough for my needs – thanks
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!
Eeek. I hate frosting. This desert looks like my worst nightmare.
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).
I’m linking to you! These are too cute!
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!
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…
Aww…these are super cute!
That’s just like my favorite cupcake recipe from VCTOTW!
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.
Cute! Really cool technique for building the trees. I love the forest floor with the snow and boulders too!
How creative! These look like a wonderful treat. Well done!
Oh My god, These are so adorable! So crafty and impeccable!
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.
Your creations are always very unique and fun! I appreciate the time you put into making vegan food enjoyable.