6 Stunning Tree-Shaped Desserts That Double as Table Centerpieces
Oh Christmas Tree Cake, Oh Christmas Tree Cake!!!
There’s nothing quite like walking into a room with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree at the holidays. Whether you typically set yours up in your living room, dining room, or in the corner of your basement, Christmas trees are truly the focal point no matter where they're located. What if we told you you can take the same "wow" factor and redirect it towards your holiday dessert spread this year instead? Not only is it totally doable, it’s a lot of fun too — just take a look at the stunning array of edible Christmas trees below! Each special in their own unique way, they make the picture-perfect edible table centerpiece, plus you’ll learn some intricate hands-on techniques while putting them together too! Keep reading to choose your favorite, and whatever you do, make sure you take a picture before you dig in!
Kransekake (pictured above)
Whether you call it Kransekage, Kransekake or a wreath cake, this skyhigh treat is sure to be the talk of your holiday gathering. The impressive confection, which is often made to celebrate special occasions in Norway, Scandinavia and other Danish-speaking countries, is composed of varying-sized almond cookie circles and is held together by ample zigzags of classic royal icing. We tinted the icing a vibrant green color here and covered our cookie tree in a gorgeous dusting of confectioner’s sugar to give it that “first snowfall of the year” feeling. For additional whimsy, use any leftover dough scraps you may have to make a mini star-shaped cookie “topper” to stick on top!
Forget about dreaming of a white Christmas — this year, everyone who comes to your Christmas dinner will be dreaming about this sophisticated tree from Food Network Magazine instead! The stunning creation — which involves quite a bit of piping to put together — is made up of five layers of homemade meringue puffs, plus luscious swirls of coconut-flavored whipped cream. If you’re someone who prefers to have white lights strung across your Christmas tree every year over colored ones, something tells us you’ll really appreciate this crafty recipe. The tree’s overall color is also so elegant that you can even include this dessert at your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day celebration, without it seeming out of place.
Looking for a yummy dessert that’s perfect for kiddos but isn’t your run-of-the-mill sugar cookie? This magnificent, edible Christmas tree from Gale Gand should do the trick! Each one of the tree’s “boughs” is made up of overlapping buttercream-frosted and green-sprinkle-covered miniature cupcakes, which you can actually make a day in advance, if you’re running short on time. If you’re still on the fence, don’t let the construction of this cake intimate you — all you really need is a styrofoam cone, plus an adequate amount of toothpicks.
Want to get lost in a winter wonderland without stepping a foot outside this December? Follow this recipe and construct your own whimsical cookie forest instead! Though you’ll need a bit of patience to put your 3D trees together — chilling the dough after it’s been cut into the tree-shapes is key — this puzzle-like dessert also doubles as the perfect food-based holiday craft for you and your family to tackle together, especially if you’re all experiencing gingerbread house fatigue from years past.
These adorable, pint-sized sugar cookie cakes from Girl Meets Farm star Molly Yeh are so much better than a partridge in a pear tree! Honestly, we’d probably choose them over the five golden rings too — they’re just that good! This recipe also has the same seasonal charm of the Kransekake mentioned above, but on a smaller, more personalized scale. If you’re looking to serve these on Christmas day, follow Molly’s lead and make your dough one day in advance, chilling it in plastic wrap overnight. For an additional dose of holiday charm, place your mini cakes on top of tiny cake stands like the ones pictured above, or stack a bunch of them on a tiered tray and place it at the very center of your table for your guests to admire as you get ready for dessert.
There’s a reason why Santa Claus always travels around with a troupe of magical elves and reindeer at his side — even he knows that every now and then you just need a helping hand. Cue these shortcut Christmas Tree Cookies. Not only are they super adorable — each one looks just like a scene plucked out from the front of a holiday card — every single part of the recipe — from the cookie base to the frosting — is store-bought! Seriously, all you need to do is assemble your cookies and decorate them. We’ll let you in on another insider secret too: those mini Christmas trees on top?! They’re actually miniature peanut butter cups and Hershey’s kisses. Isn't that ho-ho-larious!?!