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+ servings
cake decorated to look like a retro ceramic Christmas tree

Vintage Christmas Tree Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Frosting Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
This Vintage Christmas Tree Cake will bring you straight back to your childhood- just like the retro ceramic Christmas tree, only sweeter!
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 cake prepared
  • 1 jumbo sprinkles

Crisping Cake Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening (like Crisco)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract see notes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 pinch salt to taste



  • In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl for use with your handheld electric mixer, place shortening, butter, and extracts. BEAT until creamy (at least 1 minute).
  • ADD powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  • ADD cream 2-3 Tablespoons at a time, alternating with the powdered sugar.
  • MIX until creamy. Use more or less cream (or whole milk) to reach the desired consistency. (I like for it to be smooth enough to pipe through a piping bag, but still a bit more firm than typical store-bought frosting.)
  • ADD a 2-3 drops of gel food coloring if desired.


  • PREPARE cake as instructed. Let cool completely.
  • PREPARE buttercream frosting.
  • Using a large star tip, FROST the tree cakes starting from the sides and then from the bottom up.
  • PLACE jumbo bulb sprinkles and top with a cookie or frosting star.


  • The frosting does not dry hard; it simply forms a crust due to the shortening.
  • If opting out of using almond extract, use more vanilla extract.
  • All butter may be substituted for shortening, but it will affect the texture, and it will not "crisp" up.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Katrina Bahl
Keyword: cake, christmas, frosting, holiday, sprinkles