I recently made a cupcake tree for friends of mine (Stuart and Nicole: you know who you are) who just tied the knot. The whole project came out so nicely that I thought I’d share it with you. You can alter any or all parts of this to make it look and taste anyway you like.
Check out the details at Cupcaketree.com
This makes a tree with 36 cupcakes and an 6-inch 2-layer cake. You can replace the layer cake with 6 cupcakes if you’d like. I suggest placing a small, short glass in the center and filling it with a short arrangement of flowers.
This cupcake tree came with 5 layers, one of which I didn’t use. You can fit another 2 dozen cupcakes on the bottom disk.
What you’ll need:
1 Mini Round Cupcake Tree, decorated
1 pound large flake unsweetened coconut
1 recipe Coconut Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)
2 (6-inch) cake layers
1n (8-inch) cardboard cake round
36 cupcakes in decorative liners
Flowers for decorating
Decorate cupcake tree:
You can personalize your cupcake tree anyway you like: contact or other decorative paper, or spray paint, ribbon, stickers. I spray painted mine silver, giving it a week to dry (and for the spray paint smell to dissipate), then wrapped thin ribbon around exposed edges and secured with pearl-tipped corsage pins. I used most of 1 can of spray paint , 9 yards of ribbon, and 1 50-count package corsage pins.
I decided to toast my coconut because I wanted that golden color. To toast: preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread coconut over two baking sheets and bake until lightly golden, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and slide off onto paper towels to cool.
This frosting is Do It For Less! Weddings (but of course) Vanilla Buttercream. I replaced the vanilla extract with coconut extract. This frosting will keep for months if frozen in an airtight container. Bonus.
1 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup shortening
1/2 tablespoon coconut extract
8 cups powdered sugar, or more if needed
1/4 cup whole milk, more or less as needed
Place butter and shortening in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in coconut extract. Beat in powdered sugar, a cup at a time, until frosting is very smooth and thick and somewhat stiff. Beat in milk, a tablespoon at a time until frosting is soft and fluffy but firm enough to hold its shape. Keep covered until ready to use.
I made chocolate cake but you can make any flavor you like. To save time, Trader Joe’s carries an excellent cake mix. Place one 6-inch cake layer on 8-inch cake round. Thickly frost top of cake layer and cover with remaining layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut into sides. Set aside.
My cupcakes were also chocolate but you can save time by purchasing already make cupcakes. Thickly frost the tops of cupcakes then press toasted coconut into frosting. Set aside.
To assemble tree:
Put tree together according to package directions. Place cake on top. Place cupcakes on lower layers. Decorate cake and spaces around cupcakes and under cupcake tree with flowers. I used 3 bunches of orange tulips which I gave a tropical look to by folding the petals inside out.
|Photo by Paul Chepikian|