Let me first say this isn’t the most proportionate tree cupcake cake I’ve made because of the size of the container I was trying to fit it in, but I thought I would show you a few photos of the process anyway just to give you an idea how it can easily be done.
You can use a cake mix or use your favourite recipe for chocolate cupcakes and frosting — you’ll need chocolate frosting for the trunk and vanilla, coloured frosting for the leaves and flowers.
Once you have baked your cupcakes and made your frosting, follow these steps:
1. Start by laying out your cupcakes in a tree shape. You don’t want your trunk to be too thick compared to the width of your tree — in these pictures, my trunk is a little thicker than I’d like.
2. Using your brown frosting and an open star tip (like you would use for a rosette), Pipe lines up and down your trunk. Try to add a little variety so that it looks authentic — like knots in a tree. You can also draw a few branches in.
3. Using another open star tip (this is a 1M — I use a larger one for the green), draw rosettes on your tree canopy. On each cupcake, start in the middle and slowly swirl around clockwise until you fill the cupcake.
4. Using another open star tip (I used a smaller one but I 1M would work perfectly), form drop flowers along your branches. Make sure that you stop squeezing the pastry bag before you lift the tip up. I recommend varying your colours slightly but keeping them clustered.
*You could also form mini-rosettes or roses like the ones I’ve showed you here in the Two-Tone Buttercream Rose Tutorial.
5. For the leaves you will need a #352 tip (there are other leaf tips as well — this is the only one I have experience with). I formed my leaves on wax paper, froze them, and then transferred them onto the cake. This works well but you have to be careful because they thaw very quickly.
You will put the tip down so that one of the pointy ends is touching the wax paper (or whatever you’re piping it onto). Squeeze gently, letting a little base build up before slowly pulling it away. Make sure that you quit squeezing the bag before pulling away.
6. You can add whatever kind of decorations or message that you’d like to finish of your cake.