Dress Up Your Favorite Appetizers with this Festive Holiday Hack

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christmas tree pan cheese platter

Need a simple holiday appetizer idea for Christmas parties with no cooking involved?!

Consider re-purposing a tree-shaped cake pan as a festive appetizer tray using meat & cheese, sliced veggies, or chopped fruit! This is a handy tip that I’ve been using for a few years now, and I love the result every time.

If you’d like to compile something special without spending a ton of time in the kitchen, try this trick!

christmas tree fruit platter

Easy peasy!

The only real “work” for these festive trays is cutting up veggies, fruit, or meat & cheese pieces. Then you can arrange food in rows like a decorated Christmas tree for a beautiful display that looks fancy but is actually super easy to accomplish!

christmas tree pans

Tips for making a Christmas tree appetizer platter: 

  • I own these Wilton brand Christmas tree cake pans and store them with my holiday decor bins so I can get them out each year. I love that they pull double duty as a cake pan and Christmas tray. It’s available now for just $5.99 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond! You could likely find something similar at a local thrift store, Dollar Tree, or craft store, too!
  • This same idea can be applied to make lots of different holiday appetizers, such as a fruit tray with cut up pieces of fruit, veggies trays, and also to serve smaller-sized Christmas cookies and candies.
  • To save on time, compile your tray the day before and store it covered in the fridge for a convenient make-ahead idea.
  • Use rosemary or other fresh green herbs for festive Christmas tree dividers as I did on my meat and cheese appetizer! Our rosemary bush in my yard comes in handy for this.
  • If you have extra herbs and olives, arrange them on a side plate in a circle, and it will look like a pretty wreath!

rosemary appetizer christmas platter

No-fuss holiday ideas are the best!

This little cake pan hack is so easy, yet it looks like a lot of time and effort was put into your snack. I brought the fruit trays one year to a family party and also included a yummy 3-ingredient fruit dip using marshmallow fluff served on the side. It was such a big hit and was pretty simple and quick to compile beforehand. Enjoy!

Fruit in tree-shaped tray

Need more holiday appetizer ideas? 

pinecone cheese ball on a cutting board

If you’re looking for more great ideas for holiday appetizers, we’ve got ya covered!

Check out our festive pinecone cheese ball, peppermint bark cheesecake dip, or jazz up a fantastic charcuterie board for the holidays!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 48

  1. April

    I LOVE this idea! Thank you.

  2. Deb

    Lina, you are the best! I love all of your ideas (and the recipes you post, too)!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Deb for the nice comment!

  3. Sara

    I love this!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Sara!

  4. Liz K.

    Last Christmas, friends brought over a cookie sheet tray with the same idea. Everything was arranged in a tree shape on the pan surrounded by crackers to fill in the outside edges and background.

  5. Lisa

    I just saw at the .99 cent store Xmas tree foil pans and pumpkin ones for these awesome ideas.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh great idea!

  6. Lucy

    Gracias!! I really like this idea. I’m going to use it.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I’m so glad! Thanks for stopping by 😀

  7. tipaye

    So cute & simple…thank you! 🙂

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      You’re welcome! Thanks

  8. Misty

    Thank you for the great idea! I am going to use it for our office snack week.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh yay! Sounds perfect for that. 😀

  9. Mary

    Smart and cute idea!! Thank you.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Mary!

  10. agh925

    I now own one of these. Haha! Great idea, Lina!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Haha thanks!! Enjoy <3

  11. Stacy McCafferty

    I love this idea so much! I think I might grab the disposable set of 12 on Amazon for $8.95!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh fun! Thanks so much Stacy!

  12. Alice

    Lina, you are an inspiration! Such an ingenious idea, only wish I thought of it earlier myself. Thanks for all you do in providing creative and simple solutions to everyday challenges.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s so nice Alice! Thanks for the sweet comment, and I do love easy ideas like this <3

  13. Julie M

    Lina, you are both creative and thoughtful. The time and effort you put into your creations and your posts are both very much appreciated and admired. Thank you for gifting us with so many ideas and inspiring us to not only think outside the box but have fun while crafting, cooking, and creating.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ahhh Wow! I’m am always so blown away by everyone’s kind comments. Thank you so much Julie. I’m honored to be apart of our Hip community, especially during the holidays! <3

  14. tipaye


  15. Raquel

    Great idea Lina! I went to Walmart on my lunch break and found a green Christmas tree shaped plastic tray (reusable) for 88 cents that will do the trick. Not super deep but about a foot long. It was in the holiday baking section near candy stocking stuffers and gingerbread houses.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s perfect – thanks for sharing Raquel!

  16. Jw206

    Um, hello? GENIUS!!! Love this idea and totally stealing it😁

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome! I hope you do, and thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  17. Teresa W

    Great idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Teresa!

  18. Lisha

    Again….YOU rock! Thanks for the recipes, ideas, inspiration, hacks while keeping it fun.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay – thanks for reading and stopping by with a sweet comment Lisha!

  19. Ap927

    You really shouldn’t be promoting Christmas “parties”. Maybe word as “for your family”. Do better, H2S.

    • AmyH

      Eye roll

    • Lily

      Look at the date of the first Comments!! 2016!!

  20. Lori

    The fruit platter looks so yummy. Love your ideas Lina!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Lori!

  21. Elaine Kasten

    I used a wood platter I got from a Harry and David gift last year for this and sent it to the NCU where my daughter works.

  22. jane

    Love this idea! Just clicked the link for the pan and they’re on sale for $5.99 at BB&B! I got two! Thanks, Lina =)

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh awesome 👏 Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Hipgrandma

    Got a tree tray at a thrift store last year and made this. It was a hot but not as pretty as your picture. The rosemary divider didn’t look as good.

  24. Ticia

    Great idea and luckily, I already have this pan! Thanks!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay!! Thanks Ticia!

  25. Lynne

    And so I made the trip to Bed, bath and beyond today to get these pans! 🙂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s so fun!

  26. Nath80

    Linaaa…i love your ideas!!! Will buy the tray from BBB for sure and keep it for Christmas gathering in the future. Thank you so much 😘

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awww yay thanks so much! ❤️🎄

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