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Today’s post is sponsored by Walmart. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Debutante possible!
Baking disasters happen to the best of us. At least that’s what I told myself when I tried to make my own gingerbread for the first time. Long story short, everything was burnt well beyond recognition, and I was frantically scrambling to find a quick, no-bake Christmas dessert for a holiday potluck. After flipping through a zillion holiday magazines, I found a cream puff tower (aka croquembouche) that looked super fun and simple enough. I didn’t have the time or ingredients (or the skill, frankly) to make actual cream puffs, though, so I decided to use donut holes and turn the tower into a Christmas tree instead. My Walmart+ membership came in incredibly handy, too, and with unlimited free delivery on fresh, high-quality groceries, I had everything I needed same-day. Keep reading to learn how to make your own donut hole Christmas tree!
Quick note- If you haven’t heard of it before, Walmart+ offers a variety of delivery and shipping benefits, so you can get what you need– whether it’s fresh, high-quality groceries or last-minute gifts from the store– when you need it. I use my membership year-round, but it’s particularly handy around the holidays. For this super last-minute donut hole tree, I got unlimited free delivery from my store and received everything I needed (both materials and fresh ingredients) the same day. There is a $35 order minimum for free delivery from your store, but it’s never hard to hit (restrictions apply).
Also, this is somewhat unrelated, but I ordered three sets of these 10″ boxwood wreaths for the kitchen and got them delivered within two days with my Walmart+ membership! They’re the perfect size for smaller windows and look adorable hung with red ribbon. Highly recommend!
Donut Hole Christmas Tree
This donut hole tree, which was inspired by the French croquembouche, is SUCH a party pleaser! It serves around twenty-five and also doubles as a pretty darn gorgeous kitchen decoration. Keep reading for donut hole Christmas tree ingredients, plus a super quick tutorial!
Donut Hole Tree Ingredients
This pretty donut hole Christmas tree serves about twenty-five, which factors three donut holes per person.
Here’s everything else you need to make your own fun donut hole Christmas tree–
- 12″ Styrofoam cone– The foam cone I purchased was roughly 12″ tall, but any height will work. The taller the tree, though, the prettier (at least in my opinion).
- Aluminum foil– You need just enough aluminum foil to cover the outside of the foam cone.
- 75 donut holes– Walmart’s old-fashioned donut holes are THE BEST, but their already-powdered sugar donut holes are a great option, too. You won’t get the same “fresh snow” effect that you get with the dusting of powdered sugar, though.
- 75 toothpicks– They’ll be hidden (at least until the eating begins), so any toothpicks will do!
- Buttercream frosting– Try and use a frosting that’s close in color to the donut holes.
- Powdered sugar– I used powdered sugar to create a snow effect, which is totally optional.
- Sugared Cranberries– There are lots of whimsical options, but I used sugared cranberries to decorate the tree. They’re super tasty and look like little ornaments. Other fun donut hole tree accents are rosemary, sprinkles, hard candies, fresh berries, decorated cookies, etc.
- Sugared Rosemary– Did you know sugared rosemary is a thing?! I made some following the same steps in my sugared cranberries recipe, and it turned out so well! Of course, regular rosemary sprigs work well for decoration, too. It just won’t have the same icy effect!
How to Make a Donut Hole Christmas Tree
Making your own donut hole tree is SUPER easy– much easier than a gingerbread house in my humble, non-baking-or-architecturally-inclined opinion. To start, cover the large Styrofoam cone in aluminum foil and place it on a sturdy tray or cake stand. Next, coat the aluminum foil in a light layer of icing to hide its shiny silver color.
Once the tree “base” is iced and ready, insert a toothpick about half an inch from the very bottom of the cone, leaving an inch or so of the pick sticking out. Then, press a donut hole onto the protruding end of the toothpick. Working your way around the bottom of the cone, continue inserting toothpicks about an inch apart and placing donut holes onto them until you’ve created a ring around the bottom of the cone. Repeat this process with all the remaining toothpicks and donut holes until you’ve worked your way up the cone.
Now for the decorating! Use a knife or icing spatula to fill in any noticeable holes between donuts with leftover frosting. I wanted lots of fresh ledges for dusted “snow,” so I probably filled in more holes than I needed to. Next, using a small wire mesh strainer, sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the donut hole tree. Quite a bit will pool around the bottom, too, which creates a whimsical apron around the tree.
Finish off your donut hole Christmas tree by decorating it with sprigs of sugared rosemary and sugared cranberries. Other fun whimsical accents include sprinkles, hard candies, fresh herbs or berries, and decorated cookies!
Isn’t she pretty?! Donut hole trees are so fun and officially my new favorite way to serve dessert. Click on any of the icons in the image below for product details!
- 12″ foam cone
- Aluminum foil
- 75 glazed donut holes
- 75 toothpicks
- 1 14oz can buttercream frosting
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Sugared cranberries (for garnish)
- Sugared rosemary (for garnish)
- Cover a large foam cone in aluminum foil and place it on a sturdy tray or cake stand. Coat the aluminum foil with a light layer of icing to hide its shiny silver color.
- Insert a toothpick about half an inch from the very bottom of the cone, leaving an inch or so of the pick sticking out. Then, press a glazed donut hole onto the protruding end of the toothpick. Working your way around the bottom of the cone, continue inserting toothpicks about an inch apart and placing donut holes onto them until you’ve created a ring around the base of the cone. Repeat this process with all the remaining toothpicks and donut holes until you’ve worked your way up the cone.
- Use a knife or icing spatula to fill in any noticeable holes between donuts with leftover frosting. Even if you don't have any visible spaces, dabbing on extra globs of icing creates tiny ledges for the powdered sugar "snow" to rest.
- Using a small wire mesh strainer, sprinkle powdered sugar on top of and around the donut hole tree. Use your fingers to sprinkle additional powdered sugar around any areas that look sparse.
- Decorate your donut hole Christmas tree with sprigs of sugared rosemary and sugared cranberries.
Other pretty donut hole Christmas tree accents are sprinkles, hard candies, nonpareils, fresh herbs or berries, and decorated cookies.
I recommend choosing a frosting that closely resembles the color of the donut holes, like off-white or yellow. Plain white frosting works well, too.
You can skip the powdered sugar altogether by using powdered sugar donut holes instead of old-fashioned glazed donut holes. You won't get the same "fresh snow" look that the dusting of powdered sugar gives, though!
I got the idea to make this donut hole Christmas tree from 2020 Christmas with Southern Living. If you're looking for similarly-easy projects, it's full of inspired ideas for holiday cooking and decorating!
Nutrition InformationYield 25Serving Size 3 donut holes
Amount Per ServingCalories 299Total Fat 11.7gSaturated Fat 2.8gCholesterol 4mgSodium 233mgCarbohydrates 45.1gFiber .4gSugar 32.9gProtein 1.7g
Nutritional information isn't always accurate and can vary based on a number of factors, including but not limited to discrepancies among brands, precision of measurements, and freshness of ingredients.
How to Sign Up for Walmart+
Whether you’re scrambling to come up with a non-burnt dessert or you need last-minute gifts from the store, I highly recommend having a Walmart+ membership. Signing up is super easy and, in my experience, has been worth every penny. Visit Walmartplus.com to start your free trial!
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to sign up, here are a few of my favorite Walmart+ benefits–
- Free Shipping– Get Walmart+ free shipping from Walmart.com with no order minimum (excludes freight and Marketplace items).
- Free Delivery– Get free delivery from your store as soon as today ($35 minimum, some restrictions apply). This benefit saves me at least 1.5 hours every week, and I love that I can get everything (fresh, high-quality groceries and more) I need in one place! (Savings based on 2 store trips per week. Excludes time spent shopping online). If you need an order right away (within two hours), you can also get it with Express Delivery. As a W+ member, the delivery fee is completely waived, and you just pay a $10 express fee.
- Member Prices on Fuel– Save 5¢ per gallon at Walmart and Murphy stations. You can also access member pricing at Sam’s Club fuel centers.
- Mobile Scan & Go– This is one of my favorite features! Mobile Scan & Go allows you to shop and check out with your phone in-store. Just scan, pay, and be on your way!
- Rx for Less*– Rx for Less is a new benefit, and it’s pretty awesome. With a Walmart+ membership, you can get select prescriptions for as little as $0 and save up to 85% on thousands more at participating Walmart pharmacies.
You get all these benefits plus the same every day you love prices you love with a Walmart+ membership! There are no hidden fees or mark-ups, and you pay the same prices as in-store. Click here to try it out!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this donut hole Christmas tree or details about my Walmart+ membership. I love hearing from y’all, and I’m more than happy to help. Thanks so much for reading!
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*Not available in all states. The program is not insurance and cannot be combined with insurance. Savings off of the overall regular nationwide retail pharmacy prices based upon 2020 national program savings data from MedImpact; average savings are 65%.