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Birch Tree Cake With Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birch tree cake, buttercream, cake, frosting
Servings: 4 People
Author: Savannah


Maple White Cake

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp maple extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 2 tsp maple extract

Decorations & Assembly

  • small twigs & sticks
  • brown & black gel food colouring


Maple White Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish (are my cake pros screaming yet?). 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add buttermilk. Add maple (or vanilla, or peppermint, or whatever kind of extract you want your cake to taste like, really!).
  • Slowly combine the flour and sugar mixture.
  • Bake for minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow cakes to cool for a several minutes, before transferring onto a wire rack.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • Mix egg whites and sugar together in a small bowl. Place bowl over a pot with 1-2" of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is hot, reads 160°F on a candy thermometer, or is no longer graint to the touch. Approximately 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and beat mixture on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled.
  • Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  • Add maple extract.

Decorating & Assembly

  • Once the cake has cooled, cut the cake into three 6" diameter circles -I used a small serving bowl as my guide. Save the rest of the cake mixture for cake pops (or enjoy it now, who am I to judge?). See how the pros do it here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-cake-pops/
  • Place the bottom layer of cake on a serving tray. Top with approximately 1/4 cup of frosting, and repeat for each of layer. Crumb coat the cake and chill for minutes.
  • Frost the sides of the cake. It doesn't need to be smooth, the texture helps create a more realistic birch tree! Also, the rougher texture helps hide blemishes, and accidental touch marks ...which is perfect for cake noobs like myself.
  • Place a small amount of gel food colouring into 3 individual, small dishes -one with black gel colouring, and two with brown. It's easy to over do it with color here, especially with black, so add a small amount at first. You can always add more later. Add a touch of hot water (½ tsp or less) into each dish, enough to thin the gel to make it easier to apply.
  • Take ½ cup of frosting and place into a piping bag (or a ziplock with the corner cut off works just fine too). Mix in one of the brown gel food colorings. On the top of the cake, pipe in circles, starting at the center and working your way outwards to mimic the rings of a tree.
  • Take a toothpick, or a unused paintbrust and paint on the patterns and lines of the birch tree with the remaining brown and black food coloring. Take a spatula to blend and smudge the lines for a more natural look.
  • Add your finishing touches! Twigs, pinecones, figurines, or a hand 'carved' heart.