This Christmas Tree Cake delicious, spectacular and totally no bake!
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! I’m sure you’ve seen the Pandoro Christmas Tree before but with a filling (similar to my cannoli cake) of ricotta and mascarpone there is no cooking involved with this recipe and you can make it a day or two before. In fact, the flavour even improves after a couple of days!
How to make this Christmas Tree Cake.
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.
What you will need to make the filling.
For the filling you will need
- good fresh ricotta
- ground cinnamon
- candied orange peel or the finely grated zest of one orange
How to make this no bake Christmas dessert.
To make this no bake Christmas dessert
- Combine ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, dark chocolate, orange peel and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well mixed.
- Cut the Pandoro horizontally into 6 even slices. (photo 2) Keep the slices in order.
- Take the bottom (largest slice), place on serving plate and brush with Amaretto.
- Spread filling on the slice and go right to the edges. (photo 3)
- Sprinkle with nuts. (photo 4)
- 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.
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!
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No Bake Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake with Chocolate and Amaretto
- 1 Pandoro see notes
- 1½ cups (375 grams) smooth ricotta
- 1 cup (250 grams) mascarpone
- ⅔ cup (100 grams) bittersweet (dark) chocolate finely chopped
- ¾ 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 ½ to ¾ 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 35.20z 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