Christmas Tree Cakes

Christmas tree cakes and one bowl cake recipe: Cooking with kids

These little Christmas tree cakes are perfect for older children to make by themselves and for younger children to help bake and then decorate.  They make a great take-along dish for class breakups and Christmas get-togethers as they are easy to prepare and look super cute. In fact, they also make a fun holiday activity (for more cooking ideas for the holidays check out our Fun Food for Christmas post).

Now of course, just because my girls are twins it doesn’t mean Bear and Bee like the same things.  Bear prefers vanilla cake while Bee is all about chocolate.  I use this great one bowl cake mix recipe for both a vanilla and chocolate version. Of course, the tree cakes ideas will work with your own favourite plain cake recipe too.  And just use whatever decorations you have available.  I bought some star shaped sprinkles from the supermarket and then used icing flowers and silver and gold balls I had in the pantry.  Bear also found a container of rainbow nerds that hadn’t been eaten so they were added to the decoration mix too.

Christmas Tree Cakes

Makes 16

You will need:

For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the icing

  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar or icing mixture
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Green food colouring
  • Various sprinkles and cake decorations – coloured sugar, coloured cake sprinkles, mini M&Ms, icing pens or chocolate bits

To make:

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Grease two 18cm round baking tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
3. Place all the ingredients for the cake into a large mixing bowl.
4. Beat with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on low speed until ingredients are combined.
5. Gradually increase the speed to the highest setting and beat for 1 minute.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins.

One bowl cake recipe

7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Use a skewer or toothpick to test if the cake is cooked.  Insert the skewer into the middle of the cake.  If it comes out clean (or with only crumbs attached) the cake is cooked.
8. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack.
9. Place the cakes onto a cutting board and cut into even sized wedges.

Christmas tree cakes and one bowl cake recipe: Cooking with kids
10. With the point of the triangle wedge at the top and the curved side closest to you, insert a paddlepop stick or lolly stick into the cake to form the tree trunk.

11. For the icing, mix the icing sugar, butter, ½ of the water and food colouring in a small bowl until smooth.  The icing needs to be thick so it doesn’t run off the cakes.  If it seems too thick add a little more water.
12. Scoop the icing into a small zip lock bag.

Christmas tree cakes and one bowl cake recipe: Cooking with kids
13. Smooth the icing into the corner of the bag, twist the top around and snip a little off the bottom corner.  Now you have a ready-made piping bag.
14. Pipe a zig zag design on each cake wedge to make the tree.

Christmas tree cakes and one bowl cake recipe: Cooking with kids
15. Add some sprinkles and decorations for tinsel and baubles.  Don’t forget a star on top!

Christmas tree cakes and one bowl cake recipe: Cooking with kids

Hints & Tips:

If you don’t have the 18cm round cake tins you can use a larger tin.  Just don’t fill it any more than about ½ full as you don’t want the cake too thick when it is cut into wedges (which is a mistake I first made!)

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