Chocolate Pine Trees: How to Decorate a Holiday Cake

There are so many ways to decorate a holiday cake!

I seriously struggle, because I want to make an elaborate looking cake but then the holidays show up at my door and I’m like “ya, that’s just gonna take waaaay too long…I got stuff to do!!!

So, today, I’m showing you an easy way to top a cake for the holidays! But, first, let me take you around the web and show you what some amazing people are doing to create pretty cakes!

This one by the talented John over at Preppy Kitchen is fantastic (if you watch his video, it looks as if he’s painting on a canvas!!). It’s a fairly simple cake but the addition of the tree makes it so special!

Look at how pretty this lemon and elderflower cake is (and it’s vegan if you’re interested) over at Cupful of Kale.  She places cute cookies (which look homemade but you could totally use store bought) on top of the cake and then uses upside down sprigs of rosemary as Christmas trees…brilliant!!

This gorgeous red velvet cake (which could literally be any cake…even a boxed mix if you’re not a baker) from Saving Room for Dessert is adorned with a pretty “wreath” made out of sugared cranberries and rosemary!

And how cute is this Santa cake?? From the folks over at Country Living, this cake (simply baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan) is decorated with red coloured frosting and some fondant (which you don’t have to make…it’s available at bakery supply shops and some bulk candy stores).

And, yet another one from Country Living, this candy cane forest cake makes for a whimsical addition to any table!!

And look at the simplicity of this beauty!! My friend Olivia from Liv for Cake is such a talent (look through her site for all things cake!). This is a chocolate gingerbread cake but it’s the topping that is intriguing.  She tells a story of how she intended on using rosemary but it just didn’t look right.  I’m telling you this because I want you all to know that this is how we all need to adapt in the kitchen.  She decided to use thyme and pomegranate seeds and it ended up looking fantastic!! So, the lesson is, play around in the kitchen until you are happy with your results!!

Would ya look at this? Another example of cute holiday decor on top of a cake from the guys over at Country Living (they’re smart people!!).  This sheet cake is pretty darn simple and with a few cuts and some colored frosting, you can have this cute cake on the table that all the kids will love!

And, lastly, from the people over at Oh Nuts, you’ll get a tutorial on making these cute pine cone toppers (they are quite easy but make such a great impact!!).

So, now it’s my turn!!

You guys all know that I will not try and give you something that isn’t easy to do.  There are a lot of ways to decorate a cake, but I will not tell you to find fairy dust from virgin mermaids to sprinkle on top of a cake! You get me, right?

So, these “chocolate trees” are simple to make and can be added to almost anything!

Need a cake topper? Well, here is an entire forest for you!

Need embellishment for cupcakes? These are perfect!

Wanna serve a scoop of ice cream for dessert but feel lame because it just doesn’t seem festive? Well, topped with a tree, it’ll make you look like a star!

Heck, want the kids to think you’re amazing? Place some of these on their Sunday morning pancakes!

You’re welcome!

The process is easy…you are simply going to melt some green chocolate melts (you can find these at your local bulk store or the baking section of some grocery stores).

how to decorate a christmas cake

Once they’re melted, place them in a piping bag (heck, I used a Ziploc bag and snipped the corner to make for easier piping!) and drizzle across small pretzel rods…

Aren’t they pretty?

how to decorate a christmas cake

These ones are quite small so you’ll need a handful of them to make a forest.  But it’s seriously easy peasy!

how to decorate a christmas cake

And, look at how pretty!! It’s a super fun way to say “I’m ready for the holidays…are you?”

how to decorate a christmas cake

You can do ittttttt!!!!!!

how to decorate a christmas cake

Chocolate Pretzel Christmas Trees

Use these chocolate trees on cakes, cupcakes, ice cream...heck, you can even put them on your pancakes!! Merry Christmas y'all!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • 2 cups small pretzel rods
  • 1 cup green chocolate melts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • sprinkles for decoration


  1. Place pretzel rods on a piece of parchment, spread 2-inches apart.

  2. Place chocolate melts and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds until chocolate is smooth (all microwaves vary, so your time may be different).

  3. Place a piping bag with a thin tip (or you can use a plastic Ziploc bag) in a glass and fold over the edge (this is how you can fill your piping bag with one hand!); pour melted chocolate in the bag and then gather edges and close the top (if you are using a Ziploc bag, you can snip the bottom corner now).

  4. Very carefully, pipe the chocolate back and forth across the pretzel sticks, one at a time, starting wide at the bottom and getting thinner as you reach the top (so it resembles a Christmas tree).

  5. Scatter Christmas sprinkles on tree and wait to harden.

  6. Use to decorate the top of a cake by pressing the pretzel bottoms into the top of a frosted cake! 

  • Olivia
    December 5, 2019

    I love this post so much! 1. Because holidays and 2. Because cake 😍 So many fun, unique, and easy ways to make a stunning holiday dessert. I’m obsessed with the cuteness of your pretzel trees. I need to try those ASAP! 🎄

    • Suzie Durigon
      December 6, 2019

      Ohhh Olivia!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my post! I’ve always admired the work you do…I thought it was about time I tell everyone else!!!!

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