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Christmas Tree Cake & Fun!

Seems like we’ve been doing a lot of running around this week. Went to Houston to visit my son and his lovely wife. They took us out to lunch at a fabulous Italian restaurant (for my birthday) and then – what a surprise…. they’ve been taking dancing lessons, so they took us to their dance studio and put on a mini-performance for us. What a treat! After only a few months – they were great. Not one smashed toe! No really, all kidding aside – they looked very professional – and after all the different types of dance they performed -I can see where dancing is not only fun but also an excellent exercise.

After that day of fun – going shopping in Bryan yesterday seemed like work. Traffic was busy, lots of construction everywhere and tons of people. But we got it all done and put away.

 

It’s a bit early to start baking Christmas goodies, but if you’re looking for something the kids will like – how about a Christmas Tree Cake? This isn’t one of those cakes that you have to stand up like the cookie tree and gingerbread tree – it is flat and can be easily made from a box mix. Any flavor. Once it is put together, the kids would probably have fun decorating it just like a real tree. Especially if you have all the ‘cake decorations‘ handy and ready for them.

Butter-cream frosting is good for this cake and can easily be colored. Some of it can also be used to pipe a garland or if you choose, use a spatula to swirl the frosting to give the impression of a garland going across the tree. Other decorations might be sprinkles, gumdrops, small candy canes, or anything else for that matter. Just had a thought – wouldn’t little petit four ‘gifts’ look cute under the tree.

Ok – after looking at the picture – the ‘trunk’ looks more like a saguaro cactus.  Think it would need to have a more bark-like texture or maybe even make it  chocolate colored?  That is  if you want a more realistic look.

Christmas Tree Cake

These are the directions for the cake. The diagram for cutting the cake to assemble are to the left.

  1. Grease 13″ x 9″ pan. Line pan with either waxed paper or parchment paper and grease again.
  2. Prepare and bake cake of choice according to box directions.  Note: Add 1 extra egg or 1 extra egg white (for white cakes) to the batter and use butter NOT oil.
  3. Once the cake is done, cool slightly. Then carefully invert onto cooling rack (or wax paper that has been dusted with powdered sugar). Remove paper from cake. Allow cake to completely cook before continuing.
  4. Cover 15″ x 10″ piece of cardboard with foil.
  5. Turn cake right-side up and trim (if necessary) so that the edges are nice and straight. Also, level the top, if needed.
  6. To cut the cake, cut 1″ strip along the 9″ side and cut into 4 equal pieces. This will make the trunk.
  7. To cut the tree portion, from the center of the 9″ side cut diagonally to each corner.
  8. Invert the two ‘half’ pieces of the tree and place together on the covered cardboard so that they form a tree shape. (Long sided to the middle).
  9. Place 2 of the trunk pieces at the bottom, in the center so that they are touching.
  10. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the pieces.
  11. Place remaining cake pieces on top corresponding to the bottom layer.
  12. Frost with a thin layer to seal in crumbs.
  13. Apply rest of frosting and decorate.
Favorite Butter Cream Frosting:
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup softened butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla (almond flavoring can may be used instead)
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons of milk (or water)
  • Mix all ingredients until smooth. Frosting can be tinted once mixed. If you want a garland of a different color, place some of the white frosting into a separate bowl to tint another color before tinting green.

This quantity of frosting should be enough to cover the tree cake.

 

 

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