Edible Trees

How to make edible trees

Edible Trees

Edible Trees

I was recently contacted to make a cake for a runners 35th birthday. This runner is going to be competing in the upcoming columbia gorge marathon and so we decided to do a cake theme around that event. The cake topper was made using my fondant recipe. It took me a while to find a way to make some trees for the cake that would look pretty realistic but were also pretty edible (I do realize that grape stems are not technically edible but its better than wire) I found a couple different techniques that I think worked pretty well and thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!

Liz

STEP ONE (gather your supplies)
Two bowls
Rice Krispies Cereal
Chocolate for melting
Floral wire
Grape stems
Sugar ice cream cones
Green food coloring
Spray bottle or food coloring airbrush
Wooden dowel

Step 2 (dying the rice krispies)
Rice Krispies Cereal dyed green. Make sure you use a fairly large bowl so you can shake off excess cereal when dipping without making too much of a mess.
I dyed mine with an airbrush but you can use a spray bottle with water and green dye. Just spray, mix, spray, mix until green. Don’t do too much or you’ll get soggy treats. :)
green_krispies

Step 3 (melting chocolate)
Next we need some melted chocolate. I use tree bark that I get from the food supply store but you can also use any chocolate for candy making. Put chocolate in microwave safe container and melt in 15 sec intervals starting off with 30 seconds. Make sure you stir between heating. if you try to melt too fast and too hot, you will scorch your chocolate, it will seize up and get lumpy and you pretty much have to start over.

melted_chocolate

melt chocolate at 15 second intervals

Step 4 (Making trees from grape stems)
Gather your grape stems and attach some floral wire to the ends. This will make it easy to hang our trees to dry. Wrap the floral wire around the base and dip stem into chocolate. Shake excess chocolate off the stem so the ‘branches” are easily seen.

grape_stemswrap_wire

dip_chocolate

shake off excess chocolate

shake off excess chocolate

Dip your stems into the rice krispies to add “leaves” then hang on your dowel to dry
dip_trees_krispiestree_krispieshang_trees

Step 5 (making the cone trees)
For these trees, the process is similar but instead we are going to use sugar cones to make more evergreen looking trees to give our cake a little variety. You could use something other than green rice krispies if you wanted to like green sprinkles or other candies but I just used the same rice krispies.

use sugar cones

use sugar cones

rotate cone in chocolate

rotate cone in chocolate

add "leaves" to cone

add "leaves" to cone

I just set these cones on the table over some parchment to dry.

After everything is dry, poke holes into your cake and then push your trees into the holes. I attached the cone trees with some royal icing.
For this cake I also added a path, a sugar runner I made, a river made of melted chocolate and sparkle gel and some chocolate “rocks”

runner_frontrunner

I hope this tutorial was helpful to you.

HAPPY BAKING!

Liz

  • Manish Dwivedi

    Hello,

    Amazing..!! wonderful creation of design work you shown in your cakes. Loved it completely.
    Kids birthday cakes in
    pune

    Thanks!!

  • Katia Lovisi

    Thanks for this great tutorial, I used it to make an aple tree cake for our office barbecue, and it turned out great (pics below). Only thing I changed was that I used oatmel instead of rice crispies.

    • http://www.artisancakecompany.com/ Elizabeth Marek

      smart idea!

  • Wendy Flick

    Please do a tutorial on how to make the runner….your work is incredible

  • Suzie

    Would these be suitible for cupcakes?

    • artisancakes

      Depends on how big you make them

  • Suzie

    These are amazing!!!

  • Priya Pavan

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thats a wonderful cake. My husbands Bday is next month and he loves running. I thought of doing the runner above. You mentioned that u used the sculpy clay. I was thinking of doing in fondant. Is there any particular reason u used sculpy clay or is it achievable in fondant too. and any tips for balancing on one foot. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patti.leblanc.39 Patti LeBlanc

    I love tips like this that the average person can handle. Have to try on my next nature themed cake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.hartlieb Amy Havert Hartlieb

    awesome idea!! thanks for the tutorial, you did a great job explaining the process. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Patricia Hayden

    Thanks for posting. I’m making a scene from Disney’s Brave and I this will work perfect.

  • Scout mom

    Thank you so much for sharing!! Fantastic addition to my son’s Save the Planet themed cake he made for cub scouts.

  • ArtsyCraftsy Me

    Why didn’t I think of this before! Thanks for the idea!

  • http://www.purplmurple.co.uk Debi

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m making a Robin Hood & Maid Marian wedding cake and couldn’t work out how to do the trees! Brilliant idea!

  • Dorothy

    THANK YOU!! These are such creative and great ideas. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure this out. Great job!!

  • http://www.wickedgoodies.net Wicked Goodies

    Very clever use of grape stems and rice treats! I also think the overall cake design and runners are quite well done. Way to think outside of the box.

  • Becky

    OMG!!! This posting saved my life, i’ve been running around town all week trying to find little plastic trees to put on my son’s birthday cake and no one in town has any. I’m definitely doing the grape stem idea, I just love the way they look!!!

  • http://n/a cathy sandell

    thank you a million times. i am pulling my hair out to figure out where i could get plastic trees for my grandson’s lego/farm themed cake. you have saved my day and the cake will now be even more awesome!!!

  • Elvira

    Thank you for your wonderful idea!!.. My son’s “creative” 4th grade mission project is suppose to 100% edible and we wanted trees around the mission. We’re going to try this:)

  • GINA

    I RECENTLY ASKED A LITTLE SIX YEAR OLD GIRL WHAT SHE WANTED ON HER CAKE FOR HER BIRTHDAY, HER REPLY WAS “I WANT A HELLO KITTY WALKING DOWN A PATH IN A PARK WITH A LAKE WITH A LOG IN THE LAKE WITH A FROG ON THE LOG AND A TREE WITH A SQUIRREL RUNNING DOWN IT.” I WAS STUMPED AS TO HOW TO MAKE A CUTE TREE. YOU ARE GREAT, THIS TREE IS PERFECT AND WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT A GRAPE STEM AND RICE KRISPIES. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR IDEA WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT CAN’T THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. YOU ARE GONNA MAKE ONE LITTLE 6 / 7 YEAR OLD VERY HAPPY.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amy.hartlieb Amy Havert Hartlieb

      Don’t you just love how kids go on and on about their birthday cakes. lol Sounds like it will be really cute!

  • http://coolio demdjknfvjbv

    cool cake

  • Catie

    Awesome awesome awesome!! I have been stumped for days trying to make leaves from candy and nothing would hold its shape ~ super easy and brilliant!

  • Sandra

    what a fantastic tutorial .. thank you. I am making a ‘snow resort’ themed cake and I was stumped about how I was going to make the snow gum trees (australia). I bought some grapes and dipped the stems into royal icing and rolled in shredded coconut. They look amazing!! BUT I was wondering how long they will survive??? What will happen when the stalks dry out??? I don’t need them until the end of May and the grape season will be over soon. I’ve left the ‘test’ batch in a cupboard and will check their progress over the next week or so. If they don’t survive I think I’ll buy lots of grapes now and put the stalks in the freezer ’til I need them. If anyone has any other suggestions I’m all ears. Thanks once again Artisan Cake Company for sharing this.

    • http://artisancakecompany.com Elizabeth Marek

      You should let them dry and then dip them a week before you need them. That way the royal will not crack and fall off. Good luck! I’d love to see photos!

  • Wanda Scherr

    Hello..what a beautiful cake!! I plan to make something like this for my boyfriend, as he runs almost every day. I am wondering if you know of a recipe to make edible rocks? I’d rather make my own than buy them. Please let me know if there is a website that offers a free recipe? Thank you

  • Don Kurzejeski

    Love this Idea better then what I’ve been doing in the past. I used a dry twig branch and dipped it in the choclote a few times then in the refrig. for a cool down. left it bare as it was for a halloween gingerbread house.

  • Casey

    This is great! Thanks for the help. I’ll be using this to make a cake for my cross country dinner next week. :-) How did you make the fondant?

  • shannon

    YOU ROCK MYWORLD MA’AM!!!

  • Ally

    absolutely genius… im making a cake for some workers that worked on a huge project and im replicating it and these trees would be amazing.. this is pure genius!

  • Lisa

    I’m pretty new to all this…..how did you do the water on this cake??? I’ve found many websites that say to use the glitter gel, but the only thing I find is Dark blue glitter gel and that doesnt’ look right. Do you just put light blue frosting down and then put a clear glitter gel on top???
    Thanks!

    • http://artisancakecompany.com Elizabeth Marek

      I took white fondant and light blue fondant and mixed it together but not all the way so I had a marbled look. I rolled it out, cut it into a strip and attached it to the cake. I then mixed clear decorators gel with a bit of edible glitter and smeared that over the top. Then I sprinkled white flake sprinkles to look like foam. Good luck!

  • Elaine

    Love the Krispies idea. Was just trying to think of something that looked like leaves and came up with – porridge oats! Mix with liquid green food colouring bit at a time so they are coloured but still dry. Doesn’t matter if some white still shows through. It’s like light on the leaves. Have tried it and it looks great! Not quite as tasty as Krispies of course! Am going to dip just the top part of some twigs for my ‘garden’ cake.

  • Michelle

    What did you cover the cake with, fondant?

    • http://artisancakecompany.com Elizabeth Marek

      Yes the cake is covered with homemade marshmallow fondant

  • Stephany

    I’m making a 3D model of the battle of Ia Drang out of cake and I was having such a hard time with the trees. I went out looking to buy several toy trees to stick on it because I was desperate and this I must admit just gave me the greatest relief. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas.

    • http://artisancakecompany.com Elizabeth Marek

      Glad I could help!

  • Tiffany

    What did u do for the pebbles on the ground around the creek? They look like real rocks!

  • brianna

    hey thanks!! i needed to know how to make the trees for a school project!! thanks to your example i got an A+!!

  • Danielle

    Absolute genius!! I never would’ve thought of using grape stems….thanks so much for the amazing idea! :)

  • Jules

    I recently tried the rice crispies and had a difficult time keeping them dry (not soggy) I do not have an airbrush. I used coconut that was dyed green. Love the crispies, this serves as a good alternative though ;)

    • http://artisancakecompany.com Elizabeth Marek

      Thank you for the suggestion! This is a great idea for an alternative

    • Rebecca

      I used a spray bottle with water and green dye. The rice crispies got soggy, but I let them dry overnight, and then made the trees, which worked just fine. I actually sprayed them several times to get a darker green.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-steak-cake/146078118762998 Roxann

    thanks so much for posting, i used your idea wiht the choc gipped branches however i didnt do the rice crispies. I ended up drying the stalks and then piping green royal icing with a grass tip in the braches and then topped with edible glitter flakes. I did this for one main reason, our gum trees look mostly bare around the trunks, and doing it this way really made them look like an aussie bush land.
    many thanks ;-)

  • elaine

    OMG! Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic idea. This is my first attempt at cake decorating so i really needed a simple way of making the trees, they have turned out really well! Thank you.x

  • stella

    absolutly genious! I make the majority of my cakes out of scratch and trees…well their complicated not to mention boring! but what youve done with the grape stems….genious! keep up the good work! :D

  • Katrina

    Finally! A decent tree! I’m a 5th grade student and have been trying to find a way to make trees for my jamestown settlement diarama and have been looking forever. i’m making it out of cake and other food. thx so much!

  • Debbie Pas

    How did you make the runner? I’m going to attempt this cake for my daughter’s cross country dinner!

    • http://artisancakecompany.com lizzo

      The runner is made of sculpy clay on a lollipop stick. You can buy sculpy at any craft supply store. It bakes hard in the oven. Good luck! Send me a pic of your final product! I’d love to see it!

  • http://www.aretheyalseepyet.blogspot.com Michelle Byerly

    God Bless you!! I have tried to make trees dozens of times out of gum paste and icing, and everything. even when the branches worked (ie the grape vines), the leaves were awful. I never thought of rice crispy treats!!

  • http://www.lepetitecouturepdx.com Devan

    How in the world did you get her to stand in that action pose! Amazing!!!

Published on: 27 October 2009
Posted by:
Last modified: September 24, 2014
Entry Title: How to make edible trees