Today, we’re having Show & Tell. 🙂
I made something kinda cool, and I want to share it with you all!
Some wonderful friends of mine recently started a local publication called Wolftree. It’s a publication “that aspires to encourage and share the stories of sincere artists, dreamers, and adventurers of the Midwest.” It’s pretty darn neat. Go check it out! Maybe even think about buying it… 🙂
Last weekend was the launch party of Wolftree’s volume 1, and I was presented with the exciting and challenging opportunity to make a cake for the party. Brooke, my friend and one of Wolftree’s creators, asked me, “Could you do an actual tree cake?! Earthy like?!” My first thought was, “Oh dear… I don’t know if I have the skills or tools to do that.”
However, I did lots of research– mostly scouring pages and pages of tree cakes on CakeCentral.com– and the dim light began to grow brighter, giving me hope that I could do this. I wrote down all the ideas I could think of and narrowed it down to the best one: Make the trunk out of rice krispies covered in chocolate, and use angel food cake for the leafy top.
What do you think? Did I do okay?
It was quite a long process, and there were many moments of doubt, but I knew that even if it didn’t turn out perfectly, I would give it my very best shot. To be honest, though, staring at that obviously-not-a-tree form in the beginning stages, it was a little disheartening. I’m no arborist, and I really didn’t know if I’d be able to make that ugly green mass look like a tree.
Fortunately, there was reassurance in knowing that at least it couldn’t look any worse. Haha. I also had some rock solid encouragement and motivation from my better half. Thanks for keeping me going, Rob. 🙂
So if you’re wondering how I made a tree out of cake, here’s a bit more detail for you.
- First, Rob so kindly engineered the structure that would hold everything up. Two wooden circles and a wooden dowel were connected with screws and gorilla glue. Though it’s not pictured, I then wrapped it all in tin foil to keep things sanitary.
- Next, I mixed green food coloring into angel food cake and baked it in varying sizes.
- While the cakes were baking and cooling, I made some rice krispie treats by simply stirring the cereal into melted marshmallows. Then, with wet hands, I formed the cereal around the dowel into a shapely trunk.
- After the cakes had cooled, I tore off any browned edges and arranged the layers to mimic a treetop. The underside of the bottom-most cake layer was cut away slightly to fit over and cover up the top wooden circle which it was resting on.
- Here comes the trickiest part. Using a combination of snipping with scissors and tearing with my fingers, I pruned the cake. It’s harder than it sounds.
- When the cake/treetop had a nice shape to it, I added accents with gel food coloring and a pastry brush. It really made a difference, don’t you think?
- The tree’s roots came next. They’re just made of more rice krispie treats.
- To make the bark, I melted chocolate chips, stirred chocolate frosting into it, and added some light grey cream cheese frosting to make the color more realistic. Using melted chocolate is actually what created the “bark” look; that didn’t even require any special technique. Since chocolate solidifies as it cools, but frosting doesn’t really, the combination of the two was perfect for the texture I wanted.
- Lastly, I used some leftover buttercream and dyed it green to make the grass with the grass tip on a piping bag.
(Photo credits for the three above go to the amazing Robert, my husband.)
Since this tree didn’t much have a whole lot to offer hungry guests at the party, I also made some cupcakes to go with it. I made Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting.
Words can’t explain how joyous I was to be, for the first time ever, baking with REAL VANILLA BEANS. My gosh. So much excitement. Seeing all those little black specks in the batter and smelling that, sweet, pure aroma… I was in vanilla bean heaven. SO GOOD. The Lord has blessed me richly. 😀
Here’s everything all put together at the party!
(It’s just a little Instagram phone picture, so sorry for the less-than-fantastic quality.)
Well, I think that’s about it. And, um, I also think this is my longest post thus far…
If you actually made it all the way through, I commend you!
If you have any questions or comments on this creation, or if you want to share something you’ve created, add to the comments below!
© Milk & Cereal. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
I think you did a Fantastic Job and its great that you didn’t give up no matter what. It looks like a tree, I really like how you created a curve with the tree stump.
Thanks! ‘ppreciate it. 🙂
Ali, this is amazing! Your cake creations are so fun! Thanks for persevering and sharing your talents!
Aw, thanks, Megs! Your words are like kisses to my ears.
That’s so amazing! im in awe of how great your tree looks 🙂 good job.
Thanks so much, Jacqueline!
Wow that is a gorgeous tree/overall set up! Launch party attendees must have been thrilled 🙂 I’m curious what recipe you used for the cookie dough frosting–sounds delicious!
For the cookie dough frosting, I always use this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery and make just slight adjustments. I sometimes add a tish more milk just to make it a more spreadable consistency. Since I was frosting mini cupcakes, I used mini chocolate chips, hoping I would be able to make it pretty with a piping bag. That did not work though! Haha. Even with mini chocolate chips and my largest tip, the chips still got jammed. So I just had a spread a dollop on top of each one. No biggie! Just didn’t look quite as pretty.
I will also add that the cookie dough frosting is delicious, but I think it does go better with chocolate cake/cupcakes than vanilla.
Oh, thanks so much!! That looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try it out (on chocolate cupcakes ;))!
This is so cool. I love how rustic and real the tree looks. Beautiful work.
Thank you so much, Sunny! 🙂
Pingback: A Birthday List in Bark | megan loves trees
This is the coolest tree ever. I just have to send this over to my niece to see, as she makes wire trees. Sorry for the late reply but just trying to catch up on emails after a quick holiday. I just can’t get over your tree cake. AMAZING!
Pingback: Tree Cake Centrepiece | pinfollow.me feeds
Great job! And so creative with your use of ingredients to get the textures you wanted. Very impressive.
Thank you, Kelli!!
Pingback: My Favourites For August 2013 | Cook Republic
that looks all kinds of amazing!
Hi, I have arrived here from a link shared to your post on Cook Republic.
Brilliant work done and amazing tree cake! You did moreeee than okay! 🙂
Thank you so much, Nisha!
Utterly fantastic!!! The final set up is perfection!
Thank you, Sue!! 🙂
I am also a cake decorator of 59 yrs. You could also use different size leaf tips of the mum tip for different texture. I might even add a limb. Would make a good family tree or earthday center piece. Great Idea. How ab out Halloween with ghosts and bats
Thanks for the ideas, Bev!
AMAZING. You are so creative, I would’ve been equally daunted if I was asked to create an ‘earthy tree’ cake (whaaat?!) but you pulled it off incredibly! The launch arrangement looks great too. The best kind of edible garden 😉
Haha, thank you!! The Wolftree folks had the arrangement all ready for me when I got there with the cake; it made for a pretty cool cake stand. 🙂 In spite of all the sweat and fear that it would be horribly ugly, it was sure a fun project to work on!!
Pingback: Tree Cake Centrepiece « Today's top 10 Diy Tutorials
I just saw your cake tree and I think you did an amazing job, it looks real!!!!
Thank you so much, Carly! 🙂
This is unbelievable! Absolutely amazing! Do you think it would be possible to make a fall-themed one? If you had any insight it would be very much appreciated! Great job by the way! By far one of the best cakes I’ve seen!
Wow, thanks Rebecca! I’d say you could most certainly do a fall-themed one. If I were making it, I’d try dying the cake batter some form of yellow (probably a golden yellow) and then brush it with splotches of burgundy, gold/oranges, and browns. I always search for ideas and inspiration on cakecentral.com, so you could try looking there to see what others have done for fall tree cakes! Let me know if you give it a go! I’d love to see photos. 😀
Pingback: 40 Fantastic Tree-Inspired Projects
Hi can I please have your angel food cake recipe? I’ve never made it before, so I need a tried and tested recipe…
Hi, Louise! To be honest, this cake was more for show than for taste, so I used a box mix to cut back on cost and time. Though I haven’t personally tried it, I would trust David Lebovitz’s recipe. He is a highly talented chef whose recipes rarely disappoint. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/08/angel-food-cake-recipe/
Best of luck! 🙂
This tree cake is amazing! Can you tell me about what size the finished tree turned out to be? I’m making a pixie hollow cake for my niece and I’d like to try your tree. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Shela! Thank you! If I remember correctly, it was probably about two feet tall total, and the “foliage” was maybe roughly the size of a soccer ball. It was over a year ago, and I never measured, so that’s just a guess! I used to have a photo of me standing by it that I just tried to find for a size comparison, but it’s nowhere to be found. I hope that helps! Best of luck with your endeavor!! 🙂
WOW !!! This looks AWESOME !!!! Nice work! It really looks wonderful!
Thank you, Tina!! 🙂
Thanks, Lori! 🙂
wonderful tree cake, need your permission to make the tree cake for a birthday party for my dad.
Thanks, Marty, of course you may make this cake! You are always welcome to make any recipe I share; there would be an issue only with claiming my photos or written content as your own. Happy baking and tree sculpting! 🙂
How did you eat it?
It was meant more for looks than eating, but we just pulled pieces off to eat it. 🙂
ok thanks, wouldn’t have thought of that. this is one of the cakes I’m making today for a birthday party, how would you recommend serving the rice krispie part?
Hm, your best bet might be to sort of carve it, like you would a Thanksgiving turkey, by just cutting in at angles and pulling out the slices. Or if it’s an option, having a separate pan of chocolate covered rice krispie bars to cut and serve (similar to how wedding cakes often are accompanied by sheet cakes for serving) would work out well! Good luck! 🙂
Love your cake good you listend to hubby this time lol great job xx
Thanks, Sylvia! 🙂
Pingback: 22 Enchanting Fairy Party Ideas – Party Ideas PH
You did a great job!!!
This is the the cake I’ve been looking for!! I asked my nature loving, almost 3 year old, what he wanted for a cake and he said, “a tree and grass cake”. Thank you for the instructions! This is perfect! May I ask what the diameter of your wooden circles were?
Thanks, Becky! Glad to help! I don’t recall the diameter, but I’d guess maybe 6” and 8” for the top and bottom respectively. I know the top one was a bit smaller than the round cake pan I used (since the cake sort of wrapped around the wooden circle), which was likely an 8” pan. Though you could really use any size depending on gown big or small you want the cake to be! Good luck!! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll do great!
Also, how did you transport it or did you assemble the top of the tree on sight?
The bottom wooden circle is placed on top of a rectangle cake board (which is the part that’s got covered in grass), and I set that on top of a large, sturdy wooden cutting board. Then I held it VERY CAREFULLY while my husband drove very carefully! 😉 Cake-transporting can be a nerve-racking experience, haha, but it was successful!
LINDÍSSIMA ÁRVORE ! PARABÉNS !