- After attaching the first two foundation pieces to the board, add two layers of cake that have been cut with a 4″ (10cm) round cookie cutter. Cut out small ‘V’ shapes to help them fit around the rods. You can add buttercream between the layers if you desire.
- Crumb coat with buttercream or ganache. Once coated, smooth off with a palette knife.
- Roll out 250g of red sugar paste or firm fondant icing into a long strip, checking the height before you wrap it around the cake. Join at the back and trim neatly.
- Now add the remaining structure to support the tree part of the cake.
- By holding the top and bottom of each layer of cake, you can push them one by one onto the structure without breaking them. I have used 3 x 6″ (15cm) rounds, 1 x 5″ (12.5cm) round and 1 x 4″ (10cm) round. Push each one onto the cake, adding buttercream between each layer if desired.
- Using a long serrated knife, cut at an angle all the way around to form a cone shape.
Tip: there’s no need to cut too much off, you’re actually only cutting the top three layers, and barely touching the bottom two – this way you won’t carve your tree top too small.
- Crumb coat with buttercream or ganache, and smooth off with a palette knife. If you prefer, you could just cover with green buttercream at this point.
- Roll out 500g of green sugar paste and use to cover the top cake. Don’t worry if this isn’t too neat as you will be texturing it and covering it with decorations. Trim off the sugar paste at the bottom of the platform.
- For tree texture add downward marks with the thin end of a Dresden tool (the end of a paint brush or prongs of a fork would work well too).
Tip: I have gone around the cake in bands , doing one complete row around, then added the next row of marks, slightly overlapping the one below to give a tree-like texture.
- You can now go to town on decorations – the children or grandchildren would LOVE to help. I’ve used some cookie cutters to make biscuits and covered them with sugar paste cut using the same cutters, and added silver chocolate balls, coloured chocolate beans and a nice finishing touch of the Katy Sue Designs Belt Mould around the base.