Fun & Easy Christmas Tree Cake

The best icing for a beginner to use for cake decorating.


A great cake to make if you’re interested in a fun, light project that’s not too serious.

Classic American Buttercream

Shannon Vavich
The best icing for a beginner to use for cake decorating.
5 from 1 vote


  • Heavy Duty Stand Mixer is recommended


  • 1 pound unsalted butter softened
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar (8 cups) you can omit 1-2 cups if you want a less-sweet icing
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream add more for a smoother less-stiff icing


  • Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy
  • Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time. Scrape down the sides of the mixer with a spatula, intermittently.
  • Add the salt and the heavy whipping cream. Whip on high for a couple minutes.
  • Swap out the paddle attachment for the balloon whip attachment. Whip on high for about 3 minutes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap until it's time to use the icing.
  • Always make more buttercream than you think you'll need. It freezes excellently.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Shannon Vavich has been working in the food industry since 1999 as a cake designer, pastry chef, recipe writer, caterer and cooking teacher. Originally a musician by education - she's also a classical vocalist. She is a military spouse of 26 years and the mother of seven wonderful children. Because of her husband's military career she has lived around the world and studied culinary arts in Morocco, England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, New Orleans, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Boston and more. She currently lives in a small Medieval-era village in Baden-Württemberg, Germany with her husband and youngest five children. Shannon's two oldest children serve in the Marine Corps and the Air Force, respectively. She recently adopted a little rescue dog - a former street dog from Bursa, Turkey - and named her Nutmeg. Shannon and Nutmeg enjoy walks through the German countryside, creating seasonal dishes in her studio, and early bedtimes.