These Christmas tree cupcakes may look difficult to make, but they are actually very simple. Fudgy chocolate chip cupcakes piled high with deep green buttercream frosting, multi coloured sprinkles and a pretty gold star to resemble Christmas trees! No-one will be able to resist these festive sweet treats!
Hello! I can’t quite believe we’re in December already, but here we are. It took me a while to warm up, but I’m now in full on Christmas baking mode. I have lots of brand new festive bakes to share with you over the next two weeks – I can’t WAIT to show you.
These beautiful Christmas tree cupcakes might just be the prettiest cupcakes ever – I am in LOVE! Just looking at them makes me feel cosy and festive. They are definitely up there in my all time favourite Christmas bakes – along with my sticky gingerbread cupcakes with orange cinnamon buttercream.
I first made Christmas tree cupcakes many years ago when my boys were very young for a Christmas bake sale. I didn’t blog the recipe at the time, but I remember sharing a photo of them on my website.
I felt they really deserved to be made again and shared! They just have that real “wow” factor and honestly, they aren’t hard to make. If you can ice a cupcake, you can totally make these!
For the chocolate cupcaKEs
I used a chocolate chip cupcake recipe – it’s quite a dense, deeply chocolatey sponge. It contains brown sugar, oil and buttermilk so it’s very moist (apologies!) and stays fresh for longer than a butter based sponge.
It’s also quite a liquid batter, so don’t panic – it’s supposed to be like that! I use a jug to pour the batter into the paper liners.
I also add cold coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour. You don’t really taste the coffee, but you can replace it with water if you prefer.
If you would rather use a more traditional style of cupcake, then you could try the recipe I use for my chocolate candy cane cupcakes.
Substitute for buttermilk
Buttermilk isn’t that easy to find in the UK, so here’s a handy substitute. Simply stir together 1/3 cup (80ml) of plain yoghurt and 2/3 cup (160ml) of semi skimmed milk. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to two days.
where can i buy the coloured spRINKLES and gold stars?
I used these multi coloured choco balls from Sprinkly for the Christmas ”baubles” and I was absolutely delighted with how cute they looked!
The gold stars are the crowning glory on these cupcakes! You can also find similar star decorations on Amazon.
what food colouring should I use?
I wanted to find a nice deep green colour for the buttercream. I used Sugarflair concentrated food colour paste “spruce green“.
When you’re piping the buttercream, start in the middle of the cupcake and pipe a little bit higher than you usually would for that tall tree effect!
can christmas tree cupcakes be made in advance?
Yes! While cupcakes are always at their best made freshly as possible, you could make them a day or two in advance if you’re really busy. Store the cakes in a airtight container in a cool, dark place.
I hope you have as much fun making (and eating) these Christmas cupcakes as I did! I would love to see pictures of your creations – tag me on Instagram and Facebook!
more christmas baking
- Iced gingerbread cookies
- chocolate fudge crinkle cookies
- chocolate peppermint cookies
- Christmas spiced granola
- Amaretto Christmas cake
did you make this recipe?
I hope you loved it! Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment and a star rating below – and if you need any help with the recipe, don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll do my best to help.
- 150g plain (all purpose) flour
- 75g soft light brown sugar
- 110g caster sugar
- 35g cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 25g milk or dark chocolate chips
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 125ml cold coffee
- 125ml buttermilk
- 100ml vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 350g icing sugar, sifted
- 175g soft unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- TO DECORATE
- Multi coloured sprinkles or mini chocolate beans/sweets
- edible gold stars
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and chocolate chips.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cold coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract, whisking together until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix well until you have a smooth (apart from the chocolate chips) batter. It's quite a runny batter - I find it easier to use a jug to pour it into the paper cases.
- Pour the batter into the cases 2/3 thirds full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until they are risen and spring back when lightly pressed. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the green buttercream, beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer on high speed until very light and fluffy, stopping the mixer once or twice during the process to scrape down the sides of a bowl with a plastic spatula. When you have a very light and fluffy buttercream, add a small amount of food colouring and beat on a low-medium speed, gradually adding more until you are happy with the colour. I needed to add just under one teaspoon to achive a nice deep "Christmas tree" green.
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a 2D large piping tip. A 1M will also work fine. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupakes, going a little bit higher than you normally would to achieve that tall Christmas tree effect. Decorate with your coloured sprinkles and finish off with the crowning glory, a gold star. Now sit back and gaze at your beautiful handiwork before tucking in!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 50gProtein: 4g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.