Mama Loves Food

How to Make an Easy Christmas Tree Cupcake

These Really Simple Christmas Tree Cupcakes recipe will be the best dessert at your holiday party.  Use our easy method to make Christmas tree cupcake toppers and dazzle your guests!

A few weeks ago I was creeping through Pinterest looking for holiday recipes and kept seeing Christmas tree cupcakes made with ice cream cones.  They're totally cute (totally!), but all I could think was: 1. what a pain to make! and 2. does anyone actually eat the cone?  Isn't that terribly wasteful?  So, I set out to create my own simple (ice cream cone free) Christmas tree cupcake toppers and could not be more pleased with the results!

There are three very important parts to this recipe - the first being powdered sugar.  We add a whole heaping mess of powdered sugar to our icing.  This helps stiffen the icing so our towering trees will continue to tower long after we're done piping.  

The second important thing in this recipe is to work with cooled icing.  I like to put my icing in the piping bags after mixing in the powdered sugar and food coloring.  This was it's still really soft and easy to get into the bags.  Then, I put the bags into the refrigerator for 15 - 30 minutes.  Don't leave them in much more than that though because you don't want to icing to be too hard to pipe.

Finally, don't try to just make a swirl on the top of a cupcake.  You won't be able to achieve the desired height and you'll end up with a pretty decoration, but not a Christmas tree.  Instead, what you want to do first is make a tall blob in the middle of your cupcake.  Then swirl your icing around the blob.  

I also made star toppers with some yellow candy melts, but you could totally use a yellow M&M to achieve the same basic effect with zero effort.  It's what I do when I'm not shooting for a blog post. Hah!  Also, I've been trying to learn how to make candy melt designs. I could definitely use more practice.

These Cupcakes turned out to be the perfect neighbor gift.  We brought them over for a Nightmare Before Christmas family movie night.  They loved them and even though the technique for making a Christmas tree cupcake is so simple, the outcome really is stunning!

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How to Make an Easy Christmas Tree Cupcake, Ingredients: 
  • 1 batch prepared cake batter (box mix is fine, but I love to use White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake batter)
  • 2 cans vanilla or white icing
  • green food coloring
  • 2 – 4 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
  • optional: yellow candy or candy melts for tree toppers, additional powdered sugar for snow

How to Make an Easy Christmas Tree Cupcake, Directions:

  1. Fill cupcake wrappers about halfway full (we don’t want rounded tops as it will make piping more difficult), and bake according to package directions. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl combine icing, green food coloring, and up to 4 cups of confectioners sugar with an electric mixer. Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency.
  3. Pop icing into the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to stiffen a bit, then add icing to a piping bag with a large round tip or large star tip.
  4. Pipe a tall blob of icing into the middle of each cupcake (leaving enough room around the edge for the base of your tree), then pipe a spiral swirl around each blob into a tree shape.
  5. Allow the icing to set, then top with a yellow candy and some confectioners snow.
  6. Enjoy!

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