Truffula Tree Cake

A cake makes a special day even more special! Have fun baking together and then enjoy your Truffula Tree Cake when you celebrate Earth Day or other special occasions.

What you’ll need:

  • your favorite cake recipe
  • 1 9-inch round cake pan (greased and lightly floured)
  • 1 cupcake pan and 12 paper cupcake liners
  • 1 9-inch plate
  • ingredients for Truffula Fluff Frosting (see recipe below)
  • ingredients for Buttercream Bark (see recipe below)

Make your favorite cake recipe. Divide the batter to fill the 9-inch cake pan and the cupcake pan. Bake according to your recipe. Remove cupcakes from pan to cool on a rack, but let cake cool completely before removing it and placing it on a plate.

While cakes are cooling, start your Buttercream Bark.

Buttercream Bark

4 tablespoons of butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
yellow food coloring

Using an electric mixer, blend butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, milk, and vanilla and blend on low for one minute. Increase mixer speed to medium and blend until fluffy.

Remove 2/3 of the frosting and set aside. To the other 1/3, add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and blend until creamy. If frosting seems dry, add more milk.

Add yellow food coloring to the frosting you set aside and mix until color is uniform.

Cover your Buttercream Bark and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

If your cupcakes are cool, ice them smooth with the yellow frosting. Using a decorating bag and medium round tip, add zigzag chocolate bark lines to six of your cupcakes across the middle.  Set your iced cupcakes aside and get out your double boiler and start your Truffula Fluff Frosting.

Truffula Fluff Frosting

2 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
food coloring

Fill the lower pan of your double boiler with water until it nearly touches the bottom of the upper pan. (If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use an oven-safe glass or metal mixing bowl that fits snugly into a saucepan.) Place the double boiler on the stove.

In the top pan of the double boiler combine all the ingredients except vanilla with an electric mixer.

Turn the burner to medium-high and cook over rapidly boiling water, while continuing to mix on high speed. Beat until mixture stands in peaks.

Remove from heat and separate top pan from the double boiler. Add vanilla and continue beating until frosting is thick. Add food coloring of your choice and mix until color is uniform. Use immediately.

Frost your round cake with Truffula Fluff by dropping the frosting in large spoonfuls all around the cake.  Use a spoon or spatula to pull up the frosting into interesting peaks to create a Truffula Tuft.

On the table where you plan to display and serve your cake, arrange the cupcakes (tree trunk) under the cake (tree tuft).

Variation: If you make a shorter trunk for your Truffula tree, you can use the other cupcakes to make the Lorax and some of his friends.

The Lorax: Before adding yellow food coloring to your Buttercream Bark, save a spoonful of white icing in a decorating bag with a round tip. When you’ve iced enough cupcakes for your tree, set aside a large spoonful of yellow icing. Add red food coloring to the remaining yellow icing to make orange and use it to frost a cupcake. Put the yellow icing in a decorating bag with a round tip and use it to add a mustache across the middle of the cupcake. Use your chocolate icing to make a nose above the center of the mustache. Add eyes using the white icing you saved, adding pupils with the chocolate. Finish with yellow eyebrows above the eyes.

Brown Barbaloot: Use the chocolate frosting you made for bark lines to cover a cupcake. Press two mini pretzels into the cupcake for ears and frost with chocolate frosting. Add two white eyes the fill in the pupils and other facial details with more chocolate frosting.