Winter Wonderland Cake Ideas: Woodland Cake  

Winter Wonderland Cake Ideas Finished Cake

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I don’t know about you, but as the weather gets colder and darker my desire for all things cozy grows substantially! I look for blankets to wrap up in, candles to light, movies to watch, and of course, recipes to bake. Since winter is also a time for family gatherings, there’s nothing better than stretching those creative muscles to bake something that gets jaws dropping. So, if your search for winter wonderland cake ideas has led you here, you’re in for a treat!

The Woodland Cake recipe we’ve got for you today is a real crowd-pleaser and will impress the eyes and the tastebuds. 

Winter Wonderland Cake Ideas: Woodland Cake 

Before we get started making these winter wonderland cake ideas, it’s time to gather our tools. For this recipe, you’ll need: 


Ingredients for the Base

Winter Wonderland Cake Ideas Base Ingredients

  • 2 cups general-purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup cocoa powder 
  • 2 tbsp baking powder 
  • ½ cup milk (of your choice) 
  • ½ cup sunflower oil (or another neutral vegetable oil) 
  • 1 cup sugar 

The Filling

Supplies for the Frosting

  • 2 cups cream cheese (allow to sit on the counter to soften) 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp whipping cream
  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter 

Ingredients for the Woodland Elements

  • Melted dark chocolate (for bark) 
  • Ground pistachios or cookie crumbs mixed with green food coloring (for moss) 
  • Fondant block in white, green, and red (best found in craft stores, for mushrooms and holly leaves) 
  • Fresh herbs (basil and rosemary recommended) (for foliage) 
  • Pomegranate seeds (for holly seeds) 
  • Shredded coconut (for snow) 


Now that we’ve got everything we need, we can get started on our winter wonderland cake ideas.

Preparing the Base 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Line your baking pan with parchment paper. 
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. 
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes (20 in a convection oven) until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Multi-Task While the Cake Cooks and Cools 

  1. While you wait, mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and put them in the fridge. 
  2. Prepare the frosting by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, adding a little extra whipped cream if necessary.
  3. Melt your dark chocolate and spread a piece of parchment paper on a cold cookie sheet, then pour the melted chocolate over the parchment paper, using a spatula to spread it evenly.
  4. Roll the chocolate and parchment paper loosely and store in the fridge. 
  5. Get your chocolate-covered parchment paper out of the fridge and break the chocolate up into strips so it creates a natural-looking “bark.” 
  6. Use the fondant to shape little mushrooms (using white for the body and red for the hats) and holly leaves (see the video for a step-by-step tutorial if you need help).


  1. Use your cookie cutter to cut 3 (or more) cake circles from the cake sheet (feel free to snack on the offcuts!).
  2. Put a layer of your cake onto your cake board and cover the top with the filling. Repeat with your other layers, using a couple of wooden skewers to help it hold its structure, if necessary.
  3. Cover the cake with your frosting, using a spatula to spread it evenly (don’t worry if it’s a little messy, you’re about to cover it up!).
  4. Arrange your pieces of “bark” all around the cake, allowing it to stick out so it looks natural.
  5. On the top of the cake and around the base, add the moss (the crushed pistachios), mushrooms, holly leaves, and herbs for greenery. Dust the entire cake with the shredded coconut for snow.

With that, your cake is complete! If you’re not going to be serving it within a few hours, cover the cake in a cake box, tin, or with cling film (if the latter, it’s best to remove the top decorations until later). Keep the cake in the fridge and remove it 1-2 hours before serving. 

Winter Wonderland Cake Ideas Close Up

Enjoy Your Winter Wonderland!

This delicious cake is a great way to expand your baking skills on a cold weekend or as a delicious dessert for your holiday parties. If you’re looking for more ways to stretch yourself, try our vegan pineapple upside-down cake recipe or our creative holiday appetizer ideas. For more winter wonderland cake ideas, try our gluten-free zucchini Christmas Tree cake.

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