Christmas Tree Cupcakes – The cutest Christmas cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes topped with ice cream cones that are covered with piped green vanilla buttercream frosting to look like Christmas trees.
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
It doesn’t get any cuter than these Christmas tree cupcakes! After making a variety of other holiday cupcakes this year, I wanted to finish the season off with a cupcake that looks just like a Christmas tree! They may look complicated but really, they are approachable as you just make a simple buttercream frosting, you cover an ice cream cone with the frosting, and then you pipe leaves on with a small star piping tip.
Common Questions About Making Christmas Tree Cupcakes
What are christmas tree cupcakes?
Christmas tree cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes that are topped with ice cream cones that have green vanilla buttercream frosting piped onto make it look like a Christmas tree.
What kind of cones should I use?
You will need pointed small sugar cones. This buttercream is enough to pipe 2.5″ tall trees. If you are using full size cones (typically 4.5″) you will need to double the frosting recipe.
What piping tip should I use?
I suggest using any small star tip!
How many servings does this recipe make?
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
How long do these cupcakes last?
These cupcakes last up to 3 days when stored in a refrigerated airtight container.
How can I make the perfect cupcakes?
- Follow the recipe – While I totally understand dietary restrictions, if you plan on making changes to the ingredients, I cannot guarantee the recipe will work. If you are facing this problem, I will gently suggest that you may want to consider finding a cupcake recipe on a site that specifically develops for the diet you are on such as a keto baking website or vegan baking website. Too many times have I seen recipes for wrong for people because they started to adjust the recipe too much.
- Don’t over-mix the cupcakes – If you want to keep cupcakes light and airy, avoiding over-mixing is key. Mix until just barely combined.
- Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting – This is a classic mistake that people constantly make (including me). Your cupcakes are done baking, you are ready to sit down and eat one so you touch the cupcake and say “this is most definitely cool” even though it’s only been out of the oven for like, 5 minutes. Wrong. Your frosting will just slide off the cupcake and it’ll be really sad. To be safe, I’d say give them 1-2 hours before frosting.
- Don’t over fill the cupcake liners – If you overfill the cupcake liners, you will definitely have some overflow which isn’t pretty and elegant. Stick to filling each liner about 3/4 full.
- Spin the cupcake tin halfway through cooking – An oven’s heat is generally not terribly even so a simple way to make sure all of the cupcakes cook all the way through is to spin the pan about 1/2 way through baking 180 degrees.
Ingredient Notes –
- Milk keeps the cupcakes from drying out – I’m using whole milk in this recipe but use what you have on hand.
- Vegetable oil adds richness and additional moisture to the cupcakes so they aren’t too dry.
- Eggs bind the cake batter together so they don’t become too crumbly once baked.
- Vanilla enhances the chocolate flavor and sweetness in the cupcakes.
- Sugar sweetens the cupcakes.
- Flour gives the cupcakes structure – make sure to measure using the spoon and level method.
- Cocoa gives the cupcakes their chocolate flavor. Make sure to use unsweetened baking cocoa.
- Baking powder helps the cupcakes rise.
- Cinnamon adds a bit of warmth and spice, pairing perfectly with cocoa.
- Butter is the base of our frosting – make sure it’s fully softened or you’ll end up with lumps in your buttercream.
- Powdered sugar gives the frosting structure and sweetness. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like to get your desired consistency.
- I’m using sugar cones because the ridges in waffle cones tend to make piping more difficult.
Looking for more holiday cupcake recipes? Check these out!
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Vanilla Buttercream
- 12 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Green food coloring
- 12 pointed sugar cones
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a standard 12-muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Next, add the granulated sugar and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and cinnamon. Whisk just until no large lumps remain.
- Divide the batter between the muffin pan, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
For the Vanilla Buttercream
- Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat until the frosting becomes light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Add green food coloring to the remaining buttercream and mix until you achieve your desired color. I used 3/4 teaspoon of Wilton green gel food color.
- Transfer 3/4 of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Spread a very thin layer of the reserved green buttercream over one of the ice cream cones and place it pointed side up on the cupcake.
- Pipe small dollops of green frosting around the cupcake using the star tip to create a tree effect.
- Dust with powdered sugar and add sprinkles, if desired. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
- Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
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