Skip to Content

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

Christmas is coming up and it’s time to get festive! Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, and what better way to share it than with these festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes?

If you’re looking for a new recipe this holiday season that will make your family and friends think you’re a baking genius, look no further. These easy Christmas tree cupcakes are easy to make but look like they came straight from the bakery!

These adorable Christmas tree cupcakes are so simple to make, you’ll have the whole batch decorated in no time. They’re perfect for your family gathering or giving as gifts. And they taste great too – super moist and fluffy with a chocolate flavour that is to die for!

This Christmas tree cupcake recipe is perfect for any holiday party or family gatherings. Kids will love this tasty treat too since it’s decorated with festive sprinkles. You can even get creative by adding other colours of fun sprinkles as well as decorating the trees with star shaped sprinkles.

I love how the white frosting looks like a snowy hill with a gorgeous decorated Christmas tree with a little star on top. The fun part is definitely the sprinkles! My kids absolutely loved these cupcakes when we were testing this idea out.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on making your very own batch of mouth-watering chocolate cupcakes & vanilla frosting from scratch and assemble this easy holiday dessert!

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!
This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cupcakes

This easy chocolate cupcake recipe results in rich chocolate cupcakes with a tender crumb, but you should be aware of some cupcake baking basics.

  • Make sure NOT to over-mix the batter if you want light, fluffy cupcakes.
  • Spoon and carefully level your flour, do not pack the flour or eyeball it.
  • Use ingredients that are at room temperature.
  • Do NOT open the oven door while baking.
  • Always fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  • Allow your cupcakes to completely cool before frosting.
  • Don’t skip the boiling water, it is the real secret behind this perfect chocolate cupcake recipe.
This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

How Long do you Bake these Holiday Cupcakes?

Most cupcakes bake for 18-22 mins at 350 degrees F.

You can test if they are done by sticking a toothpick into the center of a cupcake, and if it comes out clean, they are done.

You can also test by gently pressing down on the cupcake and looking to see if it bounces back completely or not. If it does, they are done, if your finger left a dent they need more time.

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

What are Candy Melts?

Candy melts are a confectionary coating that can be melted and used to dip treats, then sets hard with a smooth and shiny finish. Candy melts requires no tempering which makes them easy to use. They also hold their shape well at room temperature. They taste like and have a texture similar to chocolate.

How to Make Candy Melts Candy Thinner

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the candy melts in 30 second increments let sit for 1 minute between each time. Stir the melted candy with a rubber spatula until smooth and creamy.

If your candy melts remain a little too thick, you can thin them by adding 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening to the still warm melted candy then stir well. Do not use liquid vegetable oil, butter, milk, water or any other liquid to thin your candy. Using shortening your candy will still set and still have a nice sheen.

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

If you have left over frosted cupcakes, or want to assemble them ahead of time, they should be stored covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Avoid refrigerating or freezing the cupcakes with the Christmas trees on them as the moisture can change the consistency of the candy.

You can freeze the unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months in an airtight freezer container or resealable plastic bag if you want to get some of your baking out of the way early. Defrost at room temperature overnight before frosting.

If you make the Christmas trees ahead of time, they should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack, pretzel sticks, holiday sprinkles, and green candy melts.

About the Ingredients for Christmas Tree Cupcakes

These homemade chocolate cupcakes only require a few simple ingredients you likely already have on hand.

For the BEST Chocolate Cupcakes

Obviously you can just use chocolate cake mix here, but these homemade cupcakes are so worth it:

Flour – Spoon and level the flour when measuring it, otherwise you’ll wind up with a dense cake.

Sugar – Just plain white granulated sugar.

Cocoa powder – Make sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder, and not hot chocolate mix. Also do not substitute with bakers chocolate, which can dry out the cake.

Baking powder & soda – Leavens the cake, make sure they are still active so your cake rises perfectly.

Salt – Helps to balance all the flavours and make em shine.

Eggs – Make sure you have room temperature eggs to start with.

Milk – Make sure your milk is room temperature before starting. You can use dairy or non dairy, I would recommend whole milk for the best flavour.

Oil – You can use any neutral flavoured oil, just don’t substitute with butter, oil makes for more moist cupcakes. You can also substitute with apple sauce.

Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour, but artificial is just fine too.

Boiling water – Hot water creates moist chocolate cupcakes with a more tender crumb. Using freshly brewed coffee does the same but enhances the chocolate flavour. Alternatively you can use a little espresso powder with the boiling water.

For the Classic Vanilla Buttercream

I really love vanilla buttercream, but you can also use my cream cheese frosting recipe if you prefer that.

Butter – I generally use salted butter when I make buttercream. If you use unsalted, you will want to add a small pinch of salt to balance out the flavours.

Powdered sugar – Also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar. You can make your own by throwing granulated sugar into a blender or food processor until powdery.

Cream – You can use any kind of milk you want – dairy or otherwise, heavy cream works best though.

Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour, but artificial is just fine too.

For the Christmas Tree Pretzels

Candy Melts – I used Dark Green candy melts here. If you can’t find dark green you can use the bright white candy melts and some food colouring to get the desired colour.

Pretzels – Normal sized pretzel sticks, don’t use the large rods.

Sprinkles – You want to use Christmas nonpareils on the trees. You could also use regular multicolour nonpareils if you can’t find the Christmas ones. I made these back in September and found these Christmas themed handmade nonpareils from a seller on Etsy.

Star Sprinkles – I used Cake Mate Star Sprinkles but you can use whichever ones you can get your hands on. A candy star might work too if you can find ones small enough.

Equipment Needed for Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Piping Bag – A piping bag will help you frost the cupcakes with a professional look, and it’s a lot easier than spreading the frosting on with a butter knife or spatula.

Large round piping tip – To get the fluffy looking smooth “snowy hills” that the trees are resting on, you will want to use a 1A round decorating tip.

Sifter – If you want to use a little extra powdered sugar for a snowy look, you will want a hand sifter.

Sandwich bag – Any sandwich bag will do for piping the candy melts. You can also use a pastry bag if you like.

Stand Mixer – A stand mixer makes life so much easier when it comes to baking. You can use a large bowl and a whisk or hand mixer, but an electric mixer is life changing.

Cupcake Liners – I used these red foil cupcake liners if you want to replicate the look.

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

Looking for More Easy Christmas Cupcakes?

Check out my favourite cupcakes for the Holidays!

These sugar cookie North Pole cupcakes topped with a cute printable topper and candy cane are the perfect festive holiday treat for kids.

These Santa hat cupcakes are easy to make, cute as can be and sure to please the kids. A fun holiday treat for Christmas!

These Santa Claus Cupcakes are great for bringing to a Christmas party – such a fun idea to celebrate this winter holiday!

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Yields: 24 Cupcakes | Prep time: 30 Mins | Cook time: 22 Mins

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

2 cups All-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk of your choice
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce (or Vegetable oil)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup boiling water (or freshly brewed coffee)

For the Buttercream Frosting:

1 C Butter, softened
3 C powdered sugar
4-6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Piping bag and Large round piping tip

For the Christmas Trees:

12 oz. package of Wilton Green candy melts
green, white & red holiday sprinkles
Yellow star sprinkles
1 bag of pretzel sticks
Sandwich bag

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to two 12 serving cupcake pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

In that same bowl, add eggs, milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients for 2 minutes.

Stir in the boiling water until a smooth consistency is reached.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Use a large cookie scoop to equally portion the batter into the liners of the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from oven and place on wire cooling rack to come to room temperature.

While cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting: Add room temperature butter to the bowl of a mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or large mixing bowl if using hand-held mixer). Mix on high until a creamy consistency is reached.

Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract. Mix on low for 30 settings. Increase speed to high for 1 minute. Set aside.

To make the Christmas trees, place the candy melts in a microwavable safe glass dish. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Remove from the microwave and let cool a few minutes.

Once the chocolate is cool but still melted, scoop it into a sandwich baggie, squeeze the extra air out and make a small snip in the bottom corner of the bag.

Place a small pretzel stick on a parchment paper or wax paper lined baking sheet. Draw one line of chocolate across the pretzel about midway-3/4 of the way up. Continue to work your way up the pretzel making the white chocolate lines shorter and shorter to make a Christmas tree shape.

Sprinkle the green & red sprinkles on the tree. Place a star sprinkle on top. Allow to set at room temperature, about 5 mins.

Vanilla Buttercream

Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, starting at the outer edge of the cupcake working. Garnish each one with a dusting of powdered sugar for a snowy effect if desired. Push a Christmas tree into each frosted cupcake.

Serve & Enjoy!

Christmas Tree Cupakes
Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Christmas Tree Cupakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce (or Vegetable oil)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup boiling water (or freshly brewed coffee)

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Piping bag and Large round piping tip

For the Christmas Trees:

  • 12 oz. package of Wilton Green candy melts
  • green, white & red holiday sprinkles
  • Yellow star sprinkles
  • 1 bag of pretzel sticks
  • Sandwich bag

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to two 12 serving cupcake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In that same bowl, add eggs, milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the boiling water until a smooth consistency is reached.
  5. Use a large cookie scoop to equally portion the batter into the liners of the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Remove cupcakes from oven and place on wire cooling rack to come to room temperature.
  7. While cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting: Add room temperature butter to the bowl of a mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or large mixing bowl if using hand-held mixer). Mix on high until a creamy consistency is reached.
  8. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract. Mix on low for 30 settings. Increase speed to high for 1 minute. Set aside.
  9. To make the Christmas trees, place the candy melts in a microwavable safe glass dish. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Remove from the microwave and let cool a few
    minutes.
  10. Once the chocolate is cool but still melted, scoop it into a sandwich baggie, squeeze the extra air out and make a small snip in the bottom corner of the bag.
  11. Place a small pretzel stick on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Draw one line of chocolate across the pretzel about midway-3/4 of the way up. Continue to work your way up the pretzel making the white chocolate lines shorter and shorter to resemble a Christmas tree.
  12. Sprinkle the green & red sprinkles on the tree. Place a star sprinkle on top. Allow to set at room temperature, about 5 mins.Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, garnishing each one with a dusting of powdered sugar for a snowy effect if desired. Push a Christmas tree into
    each frosted cupcake.
  13. Serve & Enjoy!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag your creations with #FrugalMomEh on Instagram & subscribe for more!

This festive and fun Christmas tree cupcakes recipe make a great treat for the holidays, featuring moist, fluffy homemade chocolate cupcakes!

Skip to Recipe