Sculpted Tree Cake Tutorial

If you are a Cake Central Magazine subscriber, then you’ve already had a chance to see the cakes that fill our latest issue. Inspired by Brothers Grimm fairy tales and the iconic illustrations by Arthur Rackham, V4, I10 of Cake Central Magazine certainly put us in the mood for fantasy, fun and just a little bit of fright! This tree reminds us of some of the fairy tale-inspired cakes we found as we ventured into the woods of the Brothers Grimm…

Perfect for creating a spooky Halloween cake, an outdoor themed cake or creating a fantastical forest sugar scene, this sculpted tree cake tutorial created by Ali Burke of Milk and Cereal shows how to create this dynamic tree. This tree features a base of rice krispies covered in chocolate and angel food cake for the leafy top.

wolftree-cake2

Materials

Angel food cake
Chocolate chips
Chocolate frosting
Food coloring, green
Gel food coloring
Gorilla glue
Piping bag
Pastry brush
Piping tips
Rice krispy treats
Scissors
Screws
2 Wooden circles
Wooden dowel
structure

1. This is the structure that holds 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.

2. Next, I mixed green food coloring into angel food cake and baked it in varying sizes.

tree-process

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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?

7. The tree’s roots came next. They’re just made of more rice krispy treats.

8. 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.

9. Lastly, I used some leftover buttercream and dyed it green to make the grass with the grass tip on a piping bag.

wolftree-cake

instagram-tree

6 Responses to “Sculpted Tree Cake Tutorial”

  1. 5. 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.
    *YES, I’d imagine it is but you did a fabulous job of it. I’m afraid I’d find myself with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree if I tried this. ;)

    6. 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?
    *I DO think! I would have assumed (from the more distant display picture) the top had been constructed of RKTs, too, or cake that had been piped with frosting or coated in candy. When I saw the mention of angel food cake rather than a denser option, I was perplexed. But seeing how you finished off the cake portion, I get it. The airiness/fluff of the angel food cake makes perfect sense.

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I can picture several designs for its application.

  2. You “baked angel food cakes in varying sizes”…that tells me you did not use a tube pan. What did you use? Layer pans? Please help as I need to make trees to finish out various worlds for a Skylanders cake for my grandson.

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