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Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe

So… I don’t really do cutesy food.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Photo

Just not my thing. I’ll always say yes when some group is having a party and needs volunteers to bring food. I love to bake, but I’m not the one bringing adorable little treats. 

I bring cookies

Tasty, yes. But cute? Not so much.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Picture

I make an exception to this when it comes to my kids’ birthdays though. Because cake decorating is kinda fun, so I always make my kids a fun birthday cake. I figure cute food 3 times a year for a celebration is something I can handle.

Last summer my youngest turned 7. We were having his birthday party outside at a park. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, suggesting soccer, or hockey, or superheroes, or anything that most 7-year-old boys would ask for… and he said forest.

Because his party was going to be at a park and there are trees there.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Image

Do you know what you find when you search on Pinterest for "forest cupcake" ideas? Black forest cake, that’s what. There’s no such thing as forest birthday cakes.

So I decided I would make cupcakes with green "grass" for icing, and some quick and easy "trees" out of pretzels and candy melts. Turns out his idea was actually quite cute. 

As Christmas tree cupcakes? Even cuter.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Pic

These Christmas tree cupcakes are so easy to make and are a super fun treat if you want to make some cutesy food this Christmas! 

Tasty chocolate cupcakes, vanilla buttercream frosting, coconut "snow", and Christmas tree toppers made from pretzels and green candy melts.

So easy and the kids loved them!

How to make perfect Christmas Tree Cupcakes:

  • This cupcake recipe can be easily doubled or halved if you need a different number of cupcakes. As written it makes 24.
  • You can also easily adjust the number of Christmas trees you make if you don’t want to make enough for 3 on each cupcake. If you are making 72 trees though, you will want to work in batches, and only melt 1/4 to 1/3 of the candy melts at once, as it will start to set up a bit as you’re working if it cools off too much, and you’ll have to re-melt it.
  • If you can’t find green candy melts, you can also do this with white candy melts and green candy colouring (make sure it’s candy colouring, not dye for frosting, they’re different). This way you can also make your trees different shades of green, which is what I did on the birthday "forest" cupcakes.
  • Sweetened or unsweetened coconut will be just fine for the "snow", so use your preference.
  • This recipe makes chocolate cupcakes — obviously you can make whatever kind of cupcake you like and add the cute little Christmas trees to them!
File 1 - Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Here are some more great Christmas treats for you: Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie DunkersCranberry Pumpkin Seed Salted Caramel BarkWhipped Shortbread, Lacey Cookies, and Easy Caramel Corn.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Photo

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe

Stacey Mebs
These cute little Christmas tree cupcakes are the perfect special treat for the holidays! They’re very easy to make, but still look adorable, and the kids go crazy for them!
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cuisine Frosting
Servings 24 1 cupcake
Calories 440.06 kcal


  • 1 Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Dutch process
  • 1 All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cake Flour
  • 2 Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Baking Soda
  • 1 Baking Powder
  • 0.25 Salt
  • 2 Egg
  • 1 Buttermilk
  • 1 Warm Water
  • 0.5 Canola Oil
  • 1 Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Unsalted Butter softened
  • 4 Powdered Sugar
  • 4 Heavy Cream
  • 72 Small Pretzel Stick
  • 2 Green Candy Melts
  • 1 Shredded Coconut
  • Sprinkles for “ornaments”


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla and mix with an electric mixer, or stand mixer, until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Place the candy melts in a bowl and melt them in the microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted.
  • Place a ziplock bag or a piping bag in a cup to hold it and fill the bag with the melted candy.
  • Seal the ziplock and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
  • On a sheet of wax paper, pipe lines of candy, about 2/3 the length of a pretzel stick and press the pretzel into the candy. Then pipe lines back and forth across the pretzel to make a tree shape.
  • Top with sprinkles for ornaments.
  • Repeat for the remaining trees and then let the candy set completely before carefully removing the trees from the wax paper and placing them on the cupcakes. It takes 1-2 hours for the candy to set completely.
  • With an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat for a full 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add a little more sugar if it’s too runny or a little more cream if it’s too thick.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, decorate them by spreading a layer of frosting on top with a knife.
  • Sprinkle the frosting with shredded coconut, or dip the cupcake into the coconut to cover it, and carefully place three Christmas trees on top of each cupcake.


Calories: 440.06kcalCarbohydrates: 53.67gProtein: 2.38gFat: 20.25gSaturated Fat: 5.83gSodium: 243.55mgFiber: 1.46gSugar: 43.54g
Keyword Baked, Baking, Christmas, Cupcakes, Desserts, Easy Desserts, Family Meals and Snacks, Frosting, Holidays, Party Food
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