Christmas Tree Cake {Tutorial}

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Remember this little thing? (Christmas Tree Ornament Surprise Inside Cake)

Well, I finally did that tutorial for you!

Although I must extend my apologies immediately, because my dear little Christmas tree cake morphed into a 2nd Birthday Cake for my little girl.

I do hope you can still get the general idea of how it all comes about!


Lets get started!

First, start off by baking your cake.  I like a sturdy white cake, and this recipe has done me well.

Since we were actually planning on eating this cake, I wanted to make it an appropriate size for our family, so I used a 6in. pan.

This left me plenty of batter to make some pink and purple cupcakes, my little girls favorite colors.


1. Place your cake on your stand.

2. Find something that will give you a circle imprint on your cake.

3. Trace around it so you know where you are carving.  Do this on both sides of your cake.


Carve out a half circle.  This will be one half of the ornament we are putting inside.


I chose pink and purple for my ornament colors.  I just put four cupcake in a bowl for the pink and two for the purple, then added some on my white frosting to create a sturdy consistency.  (the same application you would use in making cake balls)


Cut out a tiny dot for the tippy top of the ornament.  I went ahead and cut through all the way to the cake stand.

This will actually help me to remember which layer goes on top!


Start adding your cake ball mixture, and be mindful of the edges.  We are going for straight lines in our ornament, so I also used a glass to help me get a uniformly straight line.


Alternate your colors (you can use as many or as few colors as you want!) until both layers of cake are level.

Flip your ‘top’ layer on to your bottom layer and do a quick crumb coat.

Since this is going to be a ruffle cake, your crumb coat does not have to be perfect in the slightest!

And now for a SPECIAL treat… a ruffle tutorial! Hope you dont mind, but this technique is so fun and easy I couldnt resist sharing!

Martha recommends using a #103 tip.  I think you can easily use a #102 or a #104 as well, and I did end up using a #102 for this cake.

This tip has a small opening and a larger one on the opposite end.


Make sure the SMALL end of the tip is facing out and the larger end of the tip is touching the cake (slightly) as you pipe.

The technique itself is simple, just choose how wide you want your ruffle, then pipe back and forth… going left to right all the way up the side of the cake.

I would take a step back from the cake every three or four rows, just to make sure your rows are straight!


You can also make straight lines up the side of the crumb coat to help you keep upright all the way around your cake.

Wanna see the cake??


This ornament is definitely one of my favorites.  It lends itself beautifully to any color or design… I cant wait to see what fun I will have with it next year!


I hope you will try the Ruffle/Ornament cake.  And if you do, be sure to let me know!




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  1. says

    Amanda, Amanda, Amanda! You stand alone in the field of decorating cakes with surprises inside. Your talent is undeniable and even with this wonderful tutorial I doubt that I would attempt this. You continue to inspire and awe me with your skills. Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your *growing* family in 2011.

  2. Amy says

    Thank you for sharing, this is a wonderful cake! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with…..

  3. says

    Love it, my friend! Sorely tempted…I have two more cakes this season…Jesus’ birthday cake (I’ve decided to NOT do the star inside…lol) and Genesis’ My Little Pony cake. I’ll let you know if I attempt the ruffles on either one. I’m thinking Jesus’ birthday cake, mostly because the MLP cake will have Pony figures on it. I’ll tag ya! :-)

  4. shari says

    I make baskets filled with cookies and brownies, every year for people at Christmas. Been doing it every year for 16 years. This cake is so beautiful, next year I might do one for everyone, as a change. Bet you by the time I do my 10th cake, I will be an expert! I sae the ruffles on Martha Stewart, and you took it one step further.
    I follow you with a passion!