LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE (Pistachio Cake)
In honor of the 11th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration of Tierra Verde, I’ve made a delicious cake in the shape of a Christmas tree. It a Pistachio Cake made with Duncan Hines white cake mix stepping it up a notch with added flavor. I have included the Christmas Tree template for you to print out and use to make your own cake! It will bring smiles and oohs and awwws to your family and friends.
Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will be held Sat. Dec. 4th, 2021, downtown Tierra Verde.
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:
- 1 box white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
- 1 package (3.4 oz.) Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
INGREDIENTS FOR ICING:
- 6 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 10 drops green food coloring (or your preference of shade of green)
- 1 cup pistachio nuts, crushed by pulsing in food processor
DIRECTIONS FOR CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch pan with “Pam” for baking, or grease and flour.
Mix the cake mix, pudding, mix, orange juice, water, vegetable oil and eggs in a large bowl. Beat for two minutes with an electric mixer on medium-high. Pour batter into the pan. Bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack, 10 minutes, then invert onto a large sheet pan to completely cool. Meanwhile, make the frosting.
DIRECTIONS FOR FROSTING:
Prepare a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk butter until creamy. Reduce speed to low and add powder sugar 1 cup at a time until well blended. Increase speed to med. and beat for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and 2 tbsp. cream and continue to whip on med. for 1 minute. Add more cream as needed until desire consistency is reached (usually about 4 tbsp.). Whip until the frosting is smooth and silky. Take a little of the white frosting and separate in a bowl. Add green color to the icing and whip slightly to blend. Set aside.
DIRECTIONS TO ASSEMBLE AND DECORATE:
Use the template provided above. Place the template on cake and cut pieces with a long serrated knife according to the template. Assemble tree pieces on a large serving platter, attaching the pieces with a little green frosting and frost top part of the tree in green icing. Assemble stump, attaching pieced with a little frosting and frost stump. Cover the stump with the crushed Pistachio nuts (pat them on). NOTE: Place pieces of wax paper around the edges of the cake to catch any excess icing, then remove and discard.
Decorate the tree with assorted decorations. You can also use cherries, M & M’s, or your choice of Christmas candies.