The Thrifted Kitchen :: Peppermint Stick Tree Cake

Well I've finally traded in the pumpkin as far as baking goes. Now it's all about peppermint! (Or at least today it is...). I'm definitely getting into the holiday baking a bit later than anticipated, but I've got some fun recipes coming up over the next couple weeks that will hopefully inspire some cheer into your end-of-year celebrations! :)

This tree cake recipe comes from an over-the-top cute children's cookbook that I picked up at that crazy packed sale (which I also went to again this past weekend). Anyway, the book is Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cookbook, published in 1970. And since it's geared toward kids, there are a lot of themed recipes and simple concoctions that I'm sure some foodies would turn their noses at (my husband included, who basically said I was making a cake that no one would eat! How dare he... :), but I find them very inspiring and whimsical! Sure, I used a box cake mix and a can of frosting on this one (mostly to save time and money), but you can easily sub in your favorite from-scratch white cake recipe and buttercream frosting.

The original directions called for tinting the frosting light green and sprinkling it with green sugar sprinkles, but I wanted to give it a more modern look, so I trimmed the cake down into a thinner, more pointed triangle and left the frosting white. Then, inspired by this pin for a holiday card, I tracked down some peppermint sticks at the local Dollar Tree and lined the top of the cake with them.

I love how it turned out! Plus, the sticks give the server some cutting guidelines which, if you're terrible at cutting cake like I am, is a wonderfully helpful addition. :)

Some other ways to do it could be to add some peppermint extract to the batter for an extra shot of minty flavor. You could also make mini tree cakes and just cut the 9 x 13 in a bunch of triangles and stack together two at a time. How cute would that be?

Whatever way you do it, I hope you have fun!

Peppermint Stick Tree Cake
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cookbook, 1970

1 box white cake mix (or your favorite homemade white cake recipe)
2 cans white fluffy frosting (or your favorite buttercream frosting recipe)
2 bags peppermint sticks (found mine at Dollar Tree)

Bake cake according to package directions in a 9x13 pan.

Once cooled, cut according to this diagram:

Take the two smaller pieces and place them together on the platter you'll be serving the cake. Frost the top and then place the big piece on top of that. (Now, here is where I decided to trim the cake to be more of a streamlined triangle. After I did that, I put it in the fridge for an hour before frosting the sides to try and reduce the odds of the frosting grabbing onto the cake crumbs.) Frost top and sides of cake.

Starting at the bottom, cut peppermint sticks to fit the width of the cake as you go. Then stick three half-sticks in the bottom to make the trunk.



  1. ahh...easy trick to keep crumbs and frosting separated...use a pastry brush (or a clean paintbrush) to brush off the crumbs, then thin a little bit of frosting with milk or water and put that on the cake before you put on the frosting. old cake decorating trick.

    1. What a great tip! Thanks so much for sharing!! Can't wait to try it and kiss my crumb woes away. :)


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