As fun to make as it is to eat, O Christmas Appetizer Tree!
I have a oh so festive appetizer for your holiday entertaining, an O Christmas Appetizer Tree! Sure to impress your family and friends as a centerpiece of your party or buffet, you can customize one to your tastes, using meat, cheese, olives, cherry tomatoes, or any antipasto item that you can skewer with a toothpick! My tree is a combination of olives, cheese and cherry tomatoes that provide a festive pop of red as ornaments on this edible tree.
Start with a floral styrofoam cone, I found mine at Michaels. The styrofoam cones come in assorted sizes so you can scale this appetizer tree up or down to suit your crowd. Mine was 4 7/8 inches x 17 7/8 inches. The cones are also available in green, but the green was out of stock when I went to buy my cone.
Wrap your styrofoam cone in plastic wrap so the styrofoam doesn’t come in contact with your food.
To camouflage the cone, I wrapped it in collard leaves, so the white of the styrofoam didn’t show once the tree was assembled. Feel free to use any kind of leaf lettuce to wrap your cone. Kale would give your tree a pretty texture if you leave some of the areas exposed in between your edible decorations.
Collard greens are around $2.00 a bunch and are large and flat, so you can wrap your cone easily and quickly with just a few leaves. I removed the large stems from the collards before wrapping them around the cone, overlapping and attaching them with floral pins. You can find floral pins (also referred to as ‘greening pins’) on the floral aisle at the craft store or online.
I started with the cherry tomatoes as red ornaments, and placed them on the tree with toothpicks spacing them evenly on the tree.
Use a tube of denture adhesive cream (like Fixodent) and squeeze some on the bottom of the cone to adhere it to the cake plate to prevent it from toppling or shifting. I keep a tube on hand for candle holders to keep tapers upright.
Add your other ‘edibles’ with a toothpick. You can place them in rows if you like or in a more random fashion. I tucked sprigs of rosemary in between some of the spaces for some fragrant Christmas greenery.
Here’s an approximation of what I used for my 5 x 18 inch tree:
5 – 6 collard leaves
box of toothpicks
21 oz. jar Spanish olives
1 container of Kalamata/black pitted olives (from the olive bar at the grocery store)
Cheddar Cheese cubes, about 1 lb.
Colby Jack Cheese cubes, about 1 lb.
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
Star cocktail pick for a tree topper
I made this tree appetizer a day in advance, wrapped it plastic wrap and placed it on the screened porch where it stayed nice and cool until ready to serve. It did take a while to assemble but I put the Christmas music on while I was building it and I might have eaten an olive and a cube of cheese or two to keep up my strength. ;)
You might even find yourself singing along as you’re making your tree:
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
How tasty are thy branches!
If you’re looking for some other holiday entertaining ideas you might also like:
Quick and easy to assemble using cheese and grapes
Rosemary Wreath with Olives and Cheese
Or a 10 Minute Appetizer, Spinach Tortellini Christmas Wreath!
O Christmas Appetizer Tree
- Styrofoam cone
- floral pins
- Styrofoam cone wrapped in plastic wrap
- 5 – 6 collard leaves
- floral pins
- box of toothpicks
- 21 oz. jar Spanish olives
- 1 container of Kalamata/black pitted olives from the olive bar at the grocery store
- Cheddar Cheese cubes about 1 lb.
- Colby Jack Cheese cubes about 1 lb.
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- Rosemary sprigs
- Star cocktail pick for a tree topper
- Start with a floral styrofoam cone, The styrofoam cones come in assorted sizes so you can scale this appetizer tree up or down to suit your crowd. Mine was 4 7/8 inches x 17 7/8 inches. The cones are also available in green, but the green was out of stock when I went to buy my cone.
- Wrap your styrofoam cone in plastic wrap so the styrofoam doesn’t come in contact with your food.
- To camouflage the cone, wrap it in collard leaves, so the white of the styrofoam didn’t show once the tree is assembled.
- Remove the large stems from the collards before wrapping them around the cone, overlapping and attaching them with floral pins.
- Once wrapped, start with the cherry tomatoes as red ornaments, and place them on the tree with toothpicks spacing them evenly on the tree.
- Add your other ‘edibles’ with a toothpick. You can place them in rows if you like or in a more random fashion. I tucked sprigs of rosemary in between some of the spaces for some fragrant Christmas greenery.
- Use a tube of denture adhesive cream (like Fixodent) and squeeze some on the bottom of the cone to adhere it to the cake plate to prevent it from toppling or shifting.
- Use any kind of leaf lettuce to wrap your cone. Kale would give your tree a pretty texture if you leave some of the areas exposed in between your edible decorations.
- I made this tree appetizer a day in advance, wrapped it plastic wrap and placed it on the screened porch where it stayed nice and cool until ready to serve.
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Thank you for your visit, sharing with:
WOW!!!! Thank you for awesome inspiration of ways to serve food … Thank you for sharing all you do with us
Love this idea, even the collards wrapped cone. (I hate collards as my mother made me eat them) this is so simple and when the tomatoes, olives and cheese are all gone the the cone will still look nice. Merry Christmas🎄🎄🎄
What a festive touch! I will pin. May have to replace the Greek olives with grapes as I am not a big fan of those, but it sure looks fun and tasty. Thanks Mary!
OMG!! I love that tree!! Will try for sure!! ❤️🎄❤️🎄❤️
I love this. The tree is so pretty and festive….and tasty! I’m going to make this on Christmas day.
Thanks for sharing so many beautiful and inspiring ideas.
Your tree is sooo pretty, Mary! Somehow, having music in the background makes everything much more pleasant, doesn’t it? Last year, I made your rosemary wreath and a flat version of the tree, which made for a pretty presentation. Thanks for your inspiration. Happy weekend to you! xx
I have done the rosemary wreath and the tortellini for a couple of years and now my family is asking me to make them again. Thanks for the EASY inspiration! It looks great and doesn’t take long to put them together. I love your blog and I look forward to your inspirations in the new year.
Over the TOP! (of the tree). What an original and amazing idea. Thank you for preparing and sharing.
Oh my goodness! I will take one of each! I have always wanted to do the tree shaped cheese board, but this cone knocks it out of the park! What a stunning presentation! You just made my mouth water in so many ways!
This is such a great idea! I love it! Thanks for the step by step. I am planning a party for nEXT year and this will be on my list. I also pinned it. Have a beautiful weekend!!!!
How fun is this.. i remember making this in the 1950’s I think my mom had me make this to keep me busy Christmas Eve so I wouldn’t be too hyper…LOL 😂😂🎄🎄😂 Thank you so very much for sharing all of your talents.. MERRY CHRISTMAS..
That’s what I was thinking! Fun food from the past! LOVE IT!
Mary, I always wanted to make an edible Christmas Tree for our Christmas parties. Your post gave me the motivation to make one. I just love your blog. It is one of my favorites!! Every time I open one of you posts it’s like unwrapping a gift, You know whatever is inside is going to be good. You are one very talented lady with a good eye for detail. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Thanks much for your sweet comment Gail! Merry Christmas 🎄
What Gail said! :) Betty
It’s almost too pretty to eat Mary! I got a styrofoam cone earlier this week with the thought of making a fruit tree with strawberries and grapes for the children, and what a great idea to cover the cone with collard leaves first, Thank You!! I love your pretty wreaths too~ everything I’m serving for our holiday party is going to be as effortless as possible, and an appetizer tree certainly adds a very special touch!
Mary, an edible centerpiece is so much fun! This is a great idea…thank you for sharing the tutorial. The flat collard leaves are a great way to wrap the cone.
Mary, This cheese tree looks so festive and yummy and your photo with the twinkling bokeh lights makes it all so magical. The spinach wreath will appear at my house again this year as everyone loved it last time and I might try this tree too, and try not to cringe when someone plucks off an “ornament.” Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!! Linda
Absolutely an idea to use this season! Does it need something under the tree to secure it to a plate or cake stand? Love reading your blog!
Hi Mary Alice, I didn’t use anything but it might be a good idea. Pick up a tube of denture adhesive cream (like Fixodent) and squeeze some on the bottom of the cone to adhere it to the cake plate. I use it for candleholders to keep tapers upright. Thanks for your visits, Merry Christmas!
I love the way you prepare all of these appetizers and plan on making several for next year when I serve Italian food. Wanted to make the rosemary wreath but can’t seem to find any large pieces of rosemary. Everything is somewhat chopped. May have to grow my own!
Also I love the touch of “snow” falling on your blog! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
You ARE the QUEEN ! Fabulous ! Going to make one !!
Mary, I simply want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and let you know how much I appreciate your artistry and willingness to share it with all of us. You are a gift to us hostesses, and I bet we will be thinking of you on Christmas Day. Thank you so very much! Enjoy your holidays in every way!!!
Thank you Jane! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!🎄🎄🎄
I can’t wait to make my Xmas appetizer tree!!
Does the styrofoam get on the toothpicks? Is it harmful?
No it doesn’t.
All great ideas Mary, and so fun! :) Thanks for another fabulous entertaining idea – I can’t wait to try the appetizer tree!