Perfectly Pinterest: Chocolate Button Tree Cake

I’m gonna let you guys in on something: I’ve been in the States for the last few weeks. I know, shocking, right?!

Okay, not really. Shocking, I mean. I am in the States. Not shocking because I’ve been babbling about Starbucks on Facebook and Twitter for the last couple of weeks, and you may remember that there’s nary a Starbucks in sight in the Virgin Islands. I’ve been visiting with family (again), and now I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: I’m going to be spending lots of the winter in the States, too!

I’m really super excited because I love Winter and everything that it brings with it. Last year, summer for winter pretty much tried to kill me, and I was sad. I’m a cold weather, wear lots of layers, watch the snow fall then play in it, hot chocolate and a good book in front of a fire, icicles and candy canes, snow bunny kind of girl.

Obviously, the winter weather isn’t the only thing drawing me to the States. There are some brilliant opportunities to be pursued that I can’t do overseas. Not least of which is trying to see my friend Jen Yates and her hubby John during their latest Cake Wrecks book tour (I’m reallyyyy hoping to make the Chicago date, if I can be up that way by then). But, you know…there’s other stuff, too…like salted caramel mochas.

Anyway. I’ll be up there a lot, in the northy north of the midwest, enjoying the snow and ice (maybe the only person to do so), and drinking lots of hot chocolate and Starbucks. :)

Which gets me thinking about whether I might, in fact, be crazy.

Well, I mean, you know, crazier than usual.

Most people go away to warm, balmy places with sandy beaches and salty water. I’m choosing to spend my winter vacation in exactly the places others flee from.

But you know what? I’m pretty sure that cold, cold midwest in December and January doesn’t have giant cockroaches and centipedes as long as your arm…so I’m starting to sound pretty smart and sane now, huh?

Also, I think a little snow down your shirt is preferable to sand in your suit any day. Just sayin’.

Yeah, so. Anyway. I just thought I’d let you guys into the loop, cause I’d hate to see the look of disappointment on your faces when you got to the Virgin islands and couldn’t find the Starbucks.

So, you guys wanna know about that cake?

Alright, you remember how last month I decided to turn my Pinterest obsession hobby into a sweet treat inspired by something I pinned there? I wasn’t sure if it would be a regular occurance for me or not, but I have so much stuff pinned that I love, and those cookies ended up being so much fun, that I’m doing it again. And I couldn’t resist the buttons. Again. I promise that not all of my Perfectly Pinterest posts will have buttons. Really.

This gorgeous tree, done entirely from buttons, by Lisa of Lil Fish Studios was too much to pass up! I adore it, and I was immediately inspired to make it out of sugar. She made it once for one of her Button Monday posts, and I just think it’s stunning. I especially love the little “Play” that dances through the leaves. This tree is actually what pushed me to but my button mold in the first place. Thank, Lisa!

My cake is a (square) 6-inch yellow cake with four layers, and I covered it in my favorite buttercream before adorning it with all those pretty chocolate buttons (which I made using this mold from Bake It Pretty).

I made several colors of buttons, and to be honest, I went way overboard. Turns out that it doesn’t take as many buttons to make a tree as you might think. Seriously, you really only need one or two trays, max, of each button color for a cake this size. I made both milk and…

…dark chocolate buttons for the tree trunk. I wanted there to be some depth and interest to the tree, and even though I have several sizes and shapes of buttons, I thought different colors would add so much more.

For the leaves, I went with a basic kelly green, but sprinkled a few lighter buttons in there, too. I left the “play” out, but it would have been a fun, easy addition, if desired.

I didn’t stop at green “leaves,” though. I thought, since most of the world is moving into Automn, or out of Winter, why not cover all four seasons? I decided to make some blue and white buttons to represent Winter…

…ANd lots of red, orange, and yellow “leaves” for Autumn.

Then, of course, I had lighter, chartreuse green buttons for young, Spring leaves, and sweet pink ones for blossoms.

The buttons are super, duper, almost can’t go wrong, easy to make. Just melt candy melts (as directed on the packaging), place them in a small decorating, or zip top bag, snip the end off, and pipe a small amount of candy into each button mold. You don’t need to prepare the mold in any way (no nonstick spray or anything required), and you just need a small amount of candy per mold. You may over or under fill them at first, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

Once the molds are filled, tap the mold on the countertop gently to flatten the candy out and fill all of the details of the mold. This will also help release any air bubbles. Chill the buttons int he freezer for three to five minutes. Once chilled, gently bend and tap the mold until all of the buttons come lose. That’s it. And usually, it takes less than three minutes to chill them, but the more set they are, the easier they release from the mold.

For the Spring leaves, which are a lighter shade of green, I melted 2 parts yellow with one part green candy, then stirred them together. The shade was perfect, and probably my favorite color on the cake.

To create your designs ont he side of the cake, simply place a tiny amount of frosting (I used what was left after icing my cake), or royal icing on the back of the button, then gently stick the button in place on the cake.

My summer tree, the original, inspired my Lisa. This was much easier than it looks, and so much fun. I really enjoyed trying to decide exactly where I wanted the next button to go, what shape, and which color it would be.

Autumn is one of my favorite season. Well…each season is one of my favorites (seriously, I love them all in equal parts), but they colors of the changing leaves, not to mention their crunch underfoot, are so gorgeous and wonderful. They’re just as lovely in button form. :) I decided to have the branches of my trees grow up over the top of my cake and swirl around together. I think they look sweet and whimsical, but you could certainly skip this step if you have writing or a topper for your cake.

I wasn’t sure, at first, what I would do with the Winter version of the tree, but I decided in the end to leave it as similar to the other trees as possible, and just add wintry colors. I think it would also be cute with several different colored round buttons, acting as Christmas ornaments.

Finally, my Spring tree is probably my second favorite (after the original Summer tree). I’ve always loved this shade of green when the real trees start to bud and bloom, and I loved bringing it to my candy tree. Plus, the little pink blossoms are seriously cute, guys.

I ended up leaving the base of the cake simple and plain (well, except where I accidentally stuck my fingers into it…twice). I think the buttons and the tree designs are so fun and pretty on their own that anything else would have detracted. I do recommend keeping your fingers out of the frosting, though. You know, unless it’s int he bowl and you’re eating it. Cause then it’s okay.

I hope you guys liked my latest edition of Perfectly Pinterest! Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow I just saw this on Pinterest. This looks amazing! I actually wish it wasn’t chocolate so I could have it year round for decoration. But it is way more impressive that it is edible!

  2. says

    Isn’t Pinterest amazing? Once I start playing on it, I get totally sucked in and before I know it, I’ve wasted an hour of my time! lol This cake looks amazing!!! Oh, and how great that you get to spend more time in the States so you can always have your Starbucks!

  3. Meryl says

    Hey Darla,

    I’ve made/replicated most of your creations and this is my first time commenting. Where did you get those molds? This looks like an easy and fun project to do and I can’t wait to try it!

    All the best,

    Meryl

  4. says

    yay! i love that button tree on pinterest! and great idea to do a fav pinterest in sugar! can’t wait to see more….by the way I am working the next couple of weeks in southern nj and there are no Starbucks…it’s wawa land here…going into withdrawals!

  5. says

    Wow! It’s so amazing! I love all the different trees! It must have taken forever, I don’t know if I’d have the patience for it! My favourite tree is probably the Autumn one althoigh the Spring one is definitely a close second! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Alexandra says

    I love seeing how you pull inspiration from other mediums and magic them into beautiful sweets. And i’m totally on board with preferring the cold to melting hot weather.

    It’s so cool that you’re friends with Jen and John! I regularly follow both your and Jen’s personal blog epbot. In her most recent post she’s gearing up for her CW tour. I see carrot jockeys in your future!

  7. Ashley says

    Oh my gosh. I LOVE that you did different seasons! They are just gorgeous. I don’t know how you find the time to do stuff like this.

  8. Janne says

    Gah, I really want to make some of those buttons myself! This looks absolutely perfect. So simple, yet so cute and completely edible (the best part! *wink*). Unfortunately, I can’t seem to access the Bake It Pretty page. The link turns up as Not Found. Any suggestions? :)

    • says

      Hi Janne, Unfortunately, that’s because Bake It Pretty is sold out of it. :( They usually restock pretty quickly, but you can also find the mold on amazon. The only thing is that it’s over $6 (plus shipping) on amazon, while Bake It Pretty sells it for only a little over $2. If you want to try to find it elsewhere, I searched for “chocolate button mold” on google and found it for sale in a few other places. I hope this is helpful.

  9. Anamika says

    Hi, Its simply amazing…you are so inspiring & so creative. I hate fondant but can’t dare to get a buttercream frosting to look so even and smooth. Do you any tutorial/ tips for that? Thanks

  10. Arlene Henriques says

    You know they have Starbucks throughout England and Japan…Japan has the best Mango Passion Fruit Iced Frapachino Drink on the planet.

  11. says

    I just made a button tree cake but its different- you are awesome and i am totally hunting down that mold! thanks for sharing your awesomeness!

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