As I’ve said before, I’m an excellent baker but not very good at cake decorating! I love to make my kids birthday cakes but am constantly looking for what I know I can pull off with my limited skill set. When planning a Trolls themed birthday party, I saw lots of beautiful Trolls cakes, but they all required more piping skills than I have, or a lot more fondant work than I was comfortable with. I found a set of Trolls Figurines that could be used a cake toppers, but didn’t like the idea of just throwing them on top of a sloppy iced cake.
I had admired a Troll Tree cake that was way outside my decorating ability (the cake was carved and there were lots of complicated icing details), but it got me thinking about the Troll Tree as a backdrop for all the figurines. I decided I could arrange cupcakes in the shape of a tree and decorate with the figurines and some candy!
To make this super simple design I first baked a batch of cupcakes. I love the Vanilla cupcakes from Preppy kitchen!
Once the cupcake were baked and cooled, I made a batch of buttercream frosting. For my buttercream frosting I added 1 cup of softened salted butter to my stand mixer and mixed with 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla until completely smooth. I slowly added 1 pound (4 cups) of sifted powder sugar. Once all the sugar was combined I slowly added a tablespoon of whole milk at a time until the icing was the consistency I wanted, I used about 2 tablespoons. The last step was to add green food coloring to make the icing the shade I wanted for the top of the tree. I prefer Gel food coloring because it only requires a little bit for vibrant results and the icing consistency isn’t changed from adding too much liquid. Dying the buttercream brown would have worked, but I decided a chocolate buttercream would be a great color and flavor, so I made a small batch of chocolate buttercream for the tree trunk. To make the chocolate buttercream I added half a cup of salted butter to my stand mixer and mixed until it was smooth. Once smooth I added 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and 1 tsp pure vanilla. I mixed on low speed until combined and then for 2 minutes on medium high speed.
After prepping my cupcakes and buttercream frostings I took a large rectangle cake board and drew the outline of a tree in pencil on the cake board and then arranged the cupcakes just slightly overlapping that line (I found a tiny dot of frosting under each cupcake liner helped hold them in place). I filled 2 pastry bags with the green frosting and chocolate frosting and using a #36 tip piped the green icing on the top of the tree and the brown chocolate buttercream on the tree trunk. I just scattered the troll figurines through out the tree and made some flower shapes with pastel wedding almonds.
When it was time to cut the cake, we just pulled the cupcakes apart to serve!
**I have included affiliate links to the products I used and can receive a small commission if a purchase is made after you click on a link in this tutorial.
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