At the root of this pretty pine-shaped confection is a sweet secret you won't be able to keep to yourself. In fact, as soon as the cake is cut, it'll come spilling out...in the shape of tasty candies you use to fill the center! To create it, our crafty kitchen crew took a cue from Bonnie, who shared the treat-filled holiday dessert she annually makes for her family's festive Christmas celebration. The CT crew simply speeded up Bonnie's idea by using a store-bought cake mix as the foundation. Then they followed her instructions for cutting and stacking layers of baked cake to create a hole in the center for stashing candy. Gumdrops fill this version, but you can add whatever sweets your group likes best.
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- 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 3 to 4 cups assorted candies (gumdrops, peanut M&M's, gum balls, Lifesavers, chocolate stars)
- Foil star (2 inches)
- 12 red cake candles (2-1/2 inches), optional
- Green colored sugar and fruit-flavored decorating candies, optional
- Prepare cake according to package directions. Divide batter between one 9-in. and one 8-in. greased and floured round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, fold the confectioners' sugar into the whipped cream; set aside.
- Place 9-in. cake on a 10-in. serving plate or covered board. With a sharp knife, cut a 5-1/2-in. circle from the center of the cake. Remove 5-1/2-in. circle and set aside. Frost top of 9-in. ring and fill center with candy.
- Cut a 3-1/2-in. circle from the center of the 8-in. cake; remove 3-1/2-in. circle and set aside. Place 8-in. ring over 9-in. ring. Frost top and fill center with candy.
- Cut a 1-3/4-in. circle from the center of the reserved 5-1/2-in. circle. Remove 1-3/4-in. circle and set aside. Place 5-1/2-in. ring over 8-in. ring. Frost top and fill center with candy. Place reserved 3-1/2-in. circle over 5-1/2-in. ring; frost top. Place reserved 1-3/4-in. circle over 5-1/2-in. ring.
- Frost top, mounding slightly to make a pointed top. Frost sides of the cake, mounding frosting at base of layers and gradually connecting layers to resemble a Christmas tree. Place star on top of cake. Sprinkle with green sugar if desired. Add candles and decorating candies if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Christmas Tree Cake in Country Woman November/December 1997, p29
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