Christmas Tree Cupcakes

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Christmas Tree Cupcakes look impressive, but are quite easy and so much fun to make! Making these gorgeous and delicious Christmas cupcakes is a perfect way to celebrate the season.

For more delicious and decorative Christmas treats, check out these Melted Snowman Cookies and Easy Christmas Light Cookies.

The finished Christmas Tree Cupcakes ready to serve

One of the best things about the holiday season is the beautiful decor, and this Christmas cupcakes recipe pays tribute to just that. Piled high with green frosting and decorated to the nines, Christmas Tree cupcakes are a treat for the eye as well as the palate!

Everyone is going to looooove these cupcakes, especially the kiddos. They have so much fun loves to decorate their own tree with an assortment of sprinkles and colored candies. And once they’re complete, they carefully display their edible masterpieces to impress our holiday dinner guests.

These Christmas cupcakes are perfect for making to enjoy at home. But you can also double the recipe to make for a larger holiday party, potluck, or other events. They are bright, festive, and utterly delicious!

close up view of the finished Christmas tree cupcakes being sprinkled with powdered

Why You’ll Love These

  • Decorative and Delicious – Not only are these holiday treats tasty, but they can also double as a centerpiece for your dessert table.
  • Perfect for Sharing – Cupcakes are perfect for parties because they are easy to share with a crowd and you don’t even need a fork.
  • Fun for Kids – Let your kids join in on the fun. Give them an assortment of sprinkles so they can trim the tree.

Tools Needed

How To Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes From Scratch

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes from scratch or use a box mix.
  2. Add butter, sugar, and vanilla, and heavy cream to a bowl and mix to make buttercream frosting.
  3. Use 80 drops of green food coloring, 12 drops of blue, and 2-3 drops of black food coloring to turn the frosting the perfect shade of Christmas tree green.
  4. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip.
  5. Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
image collage showing the steps for making christmas tree cupcakes

How To Make Cupcakes in a Hurry (Shortcut)

This is the perfect shortcut for making this super cute holiday treat in less time;

  1. Purchase pre-made unfrosted cupcakes and green frosting.
  2. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip.
  3. Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Holiday Cupcake Tips

  • Don’t over-mix the cupcake batter.
  • Use a small scoop to fill the liners so each cupcake is the same size.
  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting them.
the finished cupcakes decorated like christmas trees

Recipe Variations

  • Change the cupcake flavor – Chocolate cupcakes are great because the color mimics a tree trunk but you can achieve the same effect with a brown cupcake liner and your favorite cupcake flavor.
  • Use other colors – Green Christmas trees are certainly traditional but use other colors to make a tree that fits your holiday decor.
  • Use flavored extract – Add cinnamon or peppermint extract to the frosting for a fun holiday flavor.

Meal Prep and Prep Ahead

Prep Ahead – Bake the cupcakes in advance and freeze them until ready to use. Wrap each cupcake separately in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to three months. When ready to use, remove the plastic wrap and let them come to room temperature before frosting.

You can also make your buttercream in advance. Store in an airtight container inside the freezer for up to three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and re-whip the frosting before piping onto the cupcakes.

I do not recommend freezing already-frosted cupcakes for this recipe.

Store – Store frosted cupcakes in an airtight container that’s big enough to accommodate the frosting. They can be stored on the counter and eaten within 3-4 days. You can also keep them in the fridge, but that can cause them to dry out quicker.

onew cupcake sliced in half


How Do I Frost These Cupcakes?

Put the buttercream frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip. Begin piping at the outer edge of the cupcake, and using one continuous motion, building into a spiral to create a tree shape.

And if you make a mistake, simply scrape the frosting back into the piping bag and start over.

How Do I Decorate Christmas Cupcakes?

Trimming the tree is one of the most fun parts of making these cupcakes. You can decorate them all alike, or let each one be unique. I like to place a candy star on top and have an assortment of sprinkles available.

Once decorated, you can dust them with powdered sugar to ‘flock’ your trees.

one christmas cupcake being dusted with powdered sugar

More Christmas Recipes

Thank you for reading my Christmas Cupcakes recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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The finished Christmas Tree Cupcakes ready to serve
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

These holiday cupcakes look impressive but are quite easy to make!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 24
Calories: 519kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • ½ cup (118mL) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (184g) sour cream
  • ¾ cup (180mL) heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup (25g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups (453g) butter cold and cut into chunks
  • 10 cups (1250g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (147mL) of heavy cream
  • Pinch salt
  • Green, blue and black food coloring


Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325F / 162C and line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
  • In a large bowl, combine oil, vanilla, sour cream, heavy cream, and eggs. Then mix in the boxed cake mix, cocoa powder, and espresso powder, if using.
  • Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Make sure the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • In a stand mixer, whip butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • While mixer is running, add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Next, add vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt, mixing until well combined.
  • Then add the food coloring. To get the Christmas tree color, I used 80 drops of green, 12 drops of blue and a little bit of black.

Decorate the cupcakes:

  • Add frosting to a pastry bag and fit with a 1M piping tip. Build the frosting up in a continuous circular motion to create the tree shape.
  • Place an edible star at the top of each, decorate with colored sprinkles, and then dust with powdered sugar to ‘flock’ your trees.
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  • Don’t over-mix the cupcake batter.
  • Use a small scoop to fill the liners so each cupcake is the same size.
  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting them.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 739IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

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