3D Buttercream Christmas Tree Cake tutorial & Chocolate Cake Recipe

3d buttercream christmas tree cake video tutorial chocolate cake recipe | ffeabysawsen

My final cake offering to you all just before Christmas is this peppermint & chocolate 3D Christmas tree cake tutorial, complete with piped buttercream leaves, baubles, decorations & star topper, & recipes.  I also show how to paint frozen buttercream with lustre dust and edible food paints for a metallic shine.  Wishing you all a merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017!

You can see the video below here:

Buttercream recipe:

If you’re a home baker or hobbyist, you can use my super easy & delicious Simple Buttercream recipe below. Serious foodies or pro’s should use my original SEBC buttercream recipe, beneath the simple version.

In order to make the mint buttercream, I made half a batch of my buttercream with 30g of fresh mint leaves and 1 tsp of spirulina powder added to the liquid and blended until smooth before starting.  I also replaced the vanilla extract with peppermint oil for a real minty boost – the result was delicious!  The rest of the method is exactly as normal.  This will work for either of my recipes below.

Sawsen’s Simple Buttercream recipe – smooth, easy, delicious & less sweet!

Sawsen’s Egg Free Swiss buttercream (SEBC) recipe – vanilla, chocolate, caffe latte, maple syrup, strawberry milk, cream cheese flavours & more!

Piping tips:



Watch my DIY food colours video for more details.

  • Leaves: naturally green mint buttercream, recipe given above
  • Brown stars: melted chocolate
  • Tinsel & star: turmeric
  • Baubles: red gel colour

Take a look at my all new “recommended tools & products” list if you’d like to see which natural and gel colours I used.  I know my previous Amazon store was horrendous to use – I couldn’t even figure it out myself so I’ve listed everything on my own site for your convenience 🙂  Please do check it out.

Products I Recommend


Sawsen’s Chocolate Cake Recipe:

Makes a great chocolate cake for 3D, novelty and caked cakes due to its dense crumb and great carving properties.  For the Christmas tree cake I used half of the below quantities and baked in three 4″ pans.  The recipe below makes one 6″ cake, or a single 8″ layer.


Makes one 6″ cake or a single 8″ layer (use half of these quantities for the Christmas tree cake, or bake extra and save for later)

  • 190g butter (3/4 US cup, 1.5 sticks), at room temperature
  • 375g sugar (about 2 cups)
  • 165g egg whites (or 3 whole eggs)
  • 75g cocoa powder (3/4 cup)
  • 375g boiling water (1.5 cups)
  • 225g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 1.5 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).  Line two 6″ baking pans with baking paper, or use pans of choice.
  2. Mix the hot water and cocoa until dissolved.  Allow to cool.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and fold in until just combined.
  5. Add in 1/2 of the cocoa mixture and fold in.  Alternate the wet and dry ingredients, starting and finishing with the dry.
  6. Pour into prepared pans no more than half way up (prepare more pans if you have extra batter.  Tap against the counter to dislodge air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  You may need to bake less for smaller cakes, and longer for larger ones.
  8. Allow to cool completely before levelling and using in the tutorial.

NOTE: this cake, being dense, benefits from the use of simple syrup to help keep it from drying out during decorating.  Heat together equal parts of sugar and water until a clear syrup forms, then cool before use.


Decorating Instructions:

  1. Bake or cut out 4″ rounds from chocolate cake, which come to 4- 5″ high when stacked vertically.  You can use store bought cake if you wish.
  2. Prepare half a batch of my green mint flavoured buttercream, recipe & links above.
  3. Divide the buttercream into piping bags fitted with the appropriate couplers or tips.
  4. Layer the cakes with mint buttercream on a 6″ board or plate.  Push a bubble straw or cake dowel through the centre to add support.
  5. Carve the cake into a tree shape, and prepare cake dough with cut offs (the link for my cake dough tutorial is here)
  6. Mould a tip for the tree from cake dough and attach.  Crumb coat with buttercream and chill until solid.
  7. Pipe green pine needles as shown, all around the tree.
  8. Pipe baubles, tinsel and the star topper as shown.  Chill the cake again (20 minutes in the fridge or freeze for 10 minutes) until set.
  9. Use metallic paint or lustre dust mixed with vanilla extract to paint the stars, tinsel and baubles.


That should be all you need to know to make your own super cute and festive 3D Christmas tree cake 🙂  Thank you for watching, have a great Christmas day & stay tuned for more tutorials to come!


*please note I get a little ad revenue if you click on any of the pictures of amazon products above, so if you’re going to buy anything I’d really appreciate you supporting my channel at the same time by using these links.  It doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only link to products I’ve used or close equivalents, and would recommend.  Thank you.

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