Ree Drummond’s Easiest Last-Minute Christmas Dessert: The Pioneer Woman Makes an Ugly Sweater Cake Using Simple Shortcuts

Ree Drummond has the easiest last-minute Christmas dessert idea that can be made entirely with store-bought ingredients. The Pioneer Woman star’s ugly sweater cake is a fun treat that young and old alike will enjoy decorating (and eating!).

Ree Drummond smiles while wearing a brightly colored top on the set of the 'Today' show in 2019
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ree Drummond’s easiest Christmas dessert is an ugly sweater cake

Drummond demonstrated how to make her easy Christmas dessert on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. While her recipe has the ingredients and instructions for making a chocolate cake from scratch, a box of store-bought cake mix does the trick too. Bonus if you have a cake mix in your pantry!

On her show, Drummond had a sheet cake already baked, cooled, and removed from the pan, placed bottom-side up on a platter. “I already made the cake and I’m also going to make it easy because I’m using ready-made icing,” she explained.

The decorating can be easily customized to be as cute, funny, and ugly as you’d like. Drummond used three containers of vanilla frosting, putting one container in a piping bag with an X-shaped tip. She put the other two containers of frosting in a bowl and stirred in green gel food coloring.

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star’s cake allows for plenty of creativity

Drummond spread the frosting over the top of the cake and along the sides. After she finished frosting the cake, it was time to decorate it. She took the piping bag and made a swirly Y shape that resembled “the fluffy trim” of a V-neck sweater. “And then it’s just about decorating,” she explained.

Drummond started by placing dark candies on the sweater to make “buttons.” She used a smaller tip on the piping bag to resemble a string of light, placing wrapped bell-shaped candies in various spots along the light string.

On the other side of the sweater, she placed gummy holiday-themed candies — Santa, a snowman, and a Christmas tree. Drummond filled in some of the open space with peppermint candies and, of course, plenty of festive sprinkles.

“I’m going to look for a sweater that looks exactly like this,” she said while holding up her finished masterpiece.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.


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Drummond has an easy Christmas tart recipe too

The ugly sweater cake isn’t the only last-minute Christmas dessert idea in The Pioneer Woman star’s repertoire. Drummond also has an easy holiday-inspired tree tart recipe that uses store-bought shortcut ingredients.

She demonstrated how to make the easy treat on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. “This time of year I am always thinking of easy, make-ahead desserts,” Drummond said. “I am making some awesome and easy little tarts that are perfect for the holidays.”

With a couple of quick shortcuts, the tarts come together quickly. “They are so cute but they’re also very easy to make, partly because I’m using store-bought pie crust,” Drummond explained.

She unrolled the crust and used round cutters to punch out the dough for the base. She used a smaller cutter on some of the round pieces to make a ring, and with the remaining dough circle left from the ring, Drummond used a tree cookie cutter.

To assemble the tarts, she put a base circle down, spooned on cherry pie filling, brushed the outer edge with egg wash, and topped it with the dough ring. Then she placed the tree cutout on top, connecting the base of the tree with the ring.

After baking the tarts, she put them on a platter and dusted them with confectioners’ sugar to look like snow. “So cute,” she said, adding, “It fills me with holiday cheer.”

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.