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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the muffin tin with the muffin cases. Put half the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add one egg and mix well. Add half the flour and milk, and mix with a spatula until combined. Use 2 teaspoons to distribute the cake mixture evenly among the cases and bake for 12 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat to make another batch of 24 mini cakes.
While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and food colouring, and blend again until evenly coloured. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Once the cakes have cooled, use a skewer to make a small hole in the base of each cake. To decorate the cakes, pipe blobs of green icing over the surface of each one.
Now you’re ready to start assembling your Christmas tree. Paint the foam cone all over with green paint and leave to dry – don’t worry about it being too neat. Push the cone into the pot. To build the tree, push a cocktail stick into the base of each cake and press it into the cone. Continue until the cone is covered in cakes, trying to keep them as close together as possible. You may have some left over, which you can serve alongside the tree.
Spray the chocolate star gold and put on top of the tree, then decorate the rest of the tree with sweets. The cakes will last for 3 days.