Christmas Tree Cake

Today I bring you a cool, kitschy and easy cake to make for the holidays. This is a Jell-O recipe but uses their pudding products instead. It is another recipe from the kids’ cookbook, Amazing Magical Jell-O Desserts. I also used this cookbook for the Halloween triple treat parfait.

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This cake comes together with a simple box cake mix with the addition of pistachio pudding. It ends up being super moist. The frosting is rather unique because it uses a product called Dream Whip combined with a box of instant vanilla pudding mix and milk. Dream Whip is a powdered mix that when cold milk is added and then whipped with a hand or stand mixer it is transformed into a whipped cream like topping. I usually just substitute homemade whipped cream when it is used in a recipe but I decided to try out this frosting recipe. The end result is a thick fluffy pudding mixture the surrounds the cake that is actually quite good. Lastly, all you need is some tinted green coconut and gumdrops.

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Don’t worry about it being prefect. Mine clearly is not. I was being stubborn and was ignoring the obvious signs of getting sick while I was decorating this cake. The cake is not perfectly frosted. My tree is definitely a little off centered but I think that adds to the charm of this cake. The wonkier it is, the more amazing it looks! Remember those famous words by Linus in Charlie Brown’s Christmas,  “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

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Some quick notes about this recipe:

  • You can use whatever pudding flavor you want. They really just use the pistachio for the green color. It you want it to be green but use a different flavor, just add a few drops of green food dye into the batter.
  • You do not have to use the Dream Whip frosting. Any frosting will work here. Make your own or use a store bought container. All will work.
  • The recipe called for gumdrops but you can use any candy for the ornaments. Check out the candy aisle and have fun with it!

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Christmas Tree Cake

  • Servings: 20-24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy cake with an easy Christmas tree decoration.

source: Amazing Magical Jell-O Desserts (1977)

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (4 oz) pistachio instant pudding ( or any flavor you would like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup oil

For the Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip whipped topping mix
  • 1 package (4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix

For the Decorations:

  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • Green food dye
  • Gumdrops in assorted colors

Directions

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 cake pan.
  2. Mix together the cake mix, pistachio pudding mix( or whatever pudding flavor you decide to use), eggs, water and oil. Stir until it is all combined.
  3. Pour into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake starts pulling away from the sides.
  4. Cool for 15 minutes then turn out the cake onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  5. To make the frosting: Into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add the cold milk, dream whip mix and vanilla instant pudding. With a hand mixer or your stand mixer, beat slowly on low until well blended. Then gradually increase the speed to high and whip for about four to six minutes or until the mixture has formed soft peaks.
  6. Put cake on whatever platter you are going to serve it on and then frost to cake. I highly recommend sticking some wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil under the edges before frosting so when you are done frosting you just pull those away leaving a clean platter.
  7. To decorate: In a small mixing bowl, add a few drops of green food coloring to the coconut and then stir. Keep adding a few drops until you get the color saturation that you want. I used a mixture of dark green and neon green to achieve my color.
  8. Then mark the shape of the Christmas tree and slowly fill in with the tinted coconut. Then add a gumdrop to the top for the star and add more as the ornaments. Place a few black gumdrops for the tree trunk. I squished down my gumdrops to make more round circles but you can keep them whole it that suits you better.
  9. Now serve up your kitschy Christmas tree cake!

 

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