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Christmas Tree Cake

This Christmas Tree Cake delicious, spectacular and totally no bake!

You can make this impressive Christmas dessert in less than 30 minutes and it’s so easy – you don’t need any prior baking experience!

christmas tree cake with layers of cream filling, decorated with cherries and chocolate

Why you’ll love this recipe

Do you need a great dessert for Christmas? This no bake Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake is perfect. This makes an impressive centrepiece, feeds at heaps of people and tastes delicious! 

This cake uses a store bought Pandoro cake and a filling (similar to my cannoli cake) of ricotta and mascarpone and there is no cooking involved. You can make it a day or two in advance. In fact, the flavour even improves after a couple of days!

If you love ricotta and traditional Italian recipes as much as I do, why not try my sfogliatelle. This recipe is a bit more of a challenge but certainly worth it!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.


The first thing you must do, if you haven’t already, is go out and buy yourself a Pandoro Classic (photo 1). That’s the Italian Christmas cake with no filling or fruit just a beautiful, golden cake in the shape of a star. The name translate to Golden Bread and when you cut it you will see the beautiful colour.

For the filling you will need

  • good fresh ricotta
  • mascarpone
  • chocolate
  • ground cinnamon
  • almonds
  • Amaretto
  • candied orange peel or the finely grated zest of one orange


To make this no bake Christmas dessert

four images - 1. Italian pandoro cake, 2. cross section of pandoro cake, 3. cross section of pandoro cake with cream filling spread on, 4. cross section of pandoro cake with cream filling spread on and nuts
  1. Combine ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, dark chocolate, orange peel and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well mixed.
  2. Cut the Pandoro horizontally into 6 even slices. (photo 2) Keep the slices in order.
  3. Take the bottom (largest slice), place on serving plate and brush with Amaretto.
  4. Spread filling on the slice and go right to the edges. (photo 3)
  5. Sprinkle with nuts. (photo 4)
  6. Repeat with remaining cake, filling and nuts.

How to decorate the Christmas tree cake.

Decorating the Christmas Tree Cake is your choice. You might like to simple dust with powdered sugar for a snowy look. Or decorate with colourful fruits, sparkle or chocolate chips.

Can this no bake Christmas dessert be made in advance?

Yes! The best thing about this  Christmas Tree Cake (apart from the fact that it’s no bake!) is that it is best made in advance because the flavours meld and develop.

Can this Christmas Tree cake be made with no alcohol?

While it does contain alcohol you can make a non-alcoholic version by brushing with some fruit juice instead. Orange juice would complement the flavours beautifully.

close up of cake layers show cream, blueberries and candied cherries.

So, maybe this  Christmas Tree Cake will just become a tradition in your family for Christmas. Post a photo of your creation in the comments below. I’d love to see!

More recipes you’ll love

Chocolate Panettone

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Christmas Tree Cake made with store bought Italian star

No Bake Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake with Chocolate and Amaretto

A delicious No Bake dessert for Christmas that is spectacular to look at and delicious to eat. Using the Italian Christmas cake Pandoro and Ricotta and Mascarpone this cake is sure to please everyone!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings:12 large servings
Author: Marcellina


  • 1 Pandoro see notes
  • cups (375 grams) smooth ricotta
  • 1 cup (250 grams) mascarpone
  • cup (100 grams) bittersweet (dark) chocolate finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup powdered (icing) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon candied orange peel finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons amaretto liqueur approx
  • ½ cup (60 grams) roasted almonds finely chopped
  • candied cherries blueberries and silver balls to decorate
  • powdered (icing) sugar to dust


  • To prepare the filling, combine ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, dark chocolate, orange peel and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well mixed.
  • Pour amaretto into a small bowl.
  • Remove Pandoro from packaging and slice horizontally into 6 even slices being careful to keep the slices in order.
  • On a serving platter begin assembling by place the bottom and largest slice. Drizzle or brush some of the Amaretto over the cut surface of the Pandoro.
  • Spread on some of the prepared filling. Sprinkle with finely chopped almonds.
  • Place the next largest slice over the filling and nuts so that the points of the stars are staggered to create the effect of the Christmas tree.
  • Continue with the Amaretto, filling and nuts and repeat alternating the slices until the Christmas tree is complete. Be sure to leave about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filling to decorate.
  • Using the leftover filling, either pipe or spoon blobs on the end of each tree “branch”. 
  • Decorate the “branches” with candied cherries, blueberries and silver balls.
  • Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


  • Pandoro is a packaged Italian Christmas cake similar to brioche, available in supermarkets and good food stores. For this recipe use a large cake which is usually 32.2 ounces or 1kg in size. Substitute Panettone if you can’t find Pandoro. It won’t be a Christmas tree but it will still taste delicious and be easy to prepare! 
  • if you have no candied orange peel use the finely grated zest of one orange
  • substitute orange juice (or any fruit juice) for alcohol for a non-alcoholic version
  • can be made 2 days in advance, wrapped well with plastic wrap and refrigerated 
  • leftover cake will keep for a couple of days if wrapped well in plastic and refrigerated 
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 399IU | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating


  1. A veritable culinary work of art! And it actually sounds pretty easy to make.

    Sadly, candied oranges are difficult to find around here. I’ve looked for them when I’ve wanted to make pastiera for Easter and have never managed….

    1. Thank you Frank! Yes, it is very easy and delicious!. I too, have trouble finding candied oranges. I used some that I had bought while on holidays. That’s always my holiday momentos – food that I can’t find at home. Buon Natale!