Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes topped with candy melt trees are full of holiday cheer!! Everyone will love these tasty treats.

Christmas Cupcakes are festive desserts that are easy to make. Yule Log Cake, Rice Krispie Wreath, and Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Minis are also party perfect Christmas desserts!

Close up of Christmas cupcakes on a white cake platter.

christmas tree cupcakes

Christmas is all about friends, family and spending time together. We love to have delicious treats at these gatherings, and these Christmas Cupcakes are always a big hit!!

The kids love to help make the candy melt trees. They look so fancy but are actually quite easy to whip up! For more Christmas Cupcake ideas – add candy Christmas light sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or even pipe stars at the top!

The kids love the red and green pops of color in the cupcakes, but the trees are by far the favorite. They are a pretty tasty treat all on their own, but make the cupcakes extra cute.

Make some sweet treats like these Christmas Cupcakes or Christmas Cookies for your next big gathering this holiday season, or just for fun!!

easy christmas cupcake recipe

CHRISTMAS TREES. Make Christmas trees by first lining a pan with parchment paper and add pretzel sticks.

Melt candy melts as directed and drizzle in a tree figure over pretzel sticks. Sprinkle with nonpareils before the melt sets. Set aside.

CUPCAKES. Make cupcakes as directed on package, but before baking add ¼ cup Jimmy sprinkles to the batter. Scooping into cupcake liners. Bake cupcakes and let cool.

FROSTING. While cupcakes are baking, make frosting. To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and about a ¼ cup half and half.

Add additional half and half as needed to make a smooth frosting. Increase the speed to high and beat 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and top with Christmas trees.

Christmas cupcake batter in lingers in muffin tin.

Variations

  • Add some sugar sprinkles to make the “snowy” frosting glitter.
  • Use Marshmallow Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Use any flavor of cake mix that you wish. Chocolate cupcakes would look like a dirt base with snow on top. Turn it into a hot chocolate cupcake by topping with mini marshmallows and sticking a candy cane into each cupcake.
  • Make snowman cupcakes by threading Jumbo marshmallows on the pretzel rod. Use cake decorating gel to add a carrot nose, eyes and buttons. You can make a few snowmen along with a few Christmas Trees.
  • Make Santa hat cupcakes by piping red candy melts on the pretzel rods and adding a mini marshmallow to the top.
  • Use Keebler Fudge Stripes or Coconut Cream cookies to make a cupcake wreath. Drizzle green frosting on the cookies and add nonpareil sprinkles.
Freshly baked christmas cupcakes in a muffin tin.

Cupcake Tips

Electric Mixer. Use an electric mixer, but be sure you don’t overmix the batter. Using a large whisk and mixing by hand also works. 

Room temperature ingredients. Room temperature eggs and milk, if you’re using it. They incorporate so much better into the batter.

Liners. Use high quality cupcake liners so that none of the cake tears off when the liner is removed.

Cupcakes. Fill the tins ⅔ of the way with batter. For the best bake, only cook one batch at a time. Be sure they are in the center of the oven. 

Bake time. Since most ovens aren’t always 100% accurate, begin checking the cupcakes 1-2 minute before the suggested bake time. Use a toothpick to insert into the center of a cupcake to check for doneness. 

Transport. Need to transport the cupcakes? I suggest leaving the Christmas tree toppers off until you get to your destination.

Making Boxed Cake Mix Better

I used a box of Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix, but you can use any brand and flavor.

My example box is 16.25 oz and can make 24 cupcakes. The ingredients that it calls for on the back of the box include: 1 cup of water, ½ cup vegetable oil and 3 egg whites OR 3 whole eggs.

To make the box cake mix taste more homemade:

  • Replace the water with an equal amount of milk.
  • Replace the vegetable oil with an equal amount of melted butter.
  • Keep the egg instructions the same or add 1 more egg for a richer, thicker, more moist texture.
  • Mix and bake according to the package directions.
Close up of freshly assembled Christmas cupcakes.

storing info

Make cupcakes ahead of time. Keep them, unfrosted, to be used later. Before storing the cupcakes, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

  • They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze them. Place each cupcake in a fold top sandwich bag. You should be able to fit about 12 cupcakes in a single layer in a gallon freezer Ziploc bag. Freeze for 3 months. 

STORE. To store without the tree topping, keep in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days.

FREEZE. They can also be frozen, but you’ll need to partially freeze each cupcake before placing them in a fold top sandwich bag. This will make the frosting more solid and it won’t smash or smear. Freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from all wrappings to thaw. 

STORE frosted cupcakes. Cupcakes that have been frosted and topped with the tree will last, without being in any container, at room temperature 1 day. If the frosting completely covers the entire cupcake, then they will last for 2 days.  

STORE Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw, if applicable. Whip it up a bit before piping it on the cupcakes.

Close up of Christmas cupcakes on a white cake platter.

for more Cupcakes, try:

Christmas Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Christmas Cupcakes topped with candy melt trees are full of holiday cheer!! Everyone will love these tasty treats.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 338 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Trees

  • 24 pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 bag dark green candy melts melted according to package directions
  • nonpareils for sprinkling

Cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix made according to package directions for cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup red, white and green Jimmy sprinkles

Frosting + Decor

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup half and half

Instructions
 

  • Make Christmas trees by first lining a pan with parchment paper and add pretzel sticks. Melt candy melts as directed and drizzle in a tree figure over pretzel sticks. Sprinkle with nonpareils before the melt sets. Set aside.
  • Make cupcakes as directed on package, but before baking add ¼ cup Jimmy sprinkles to the batter. Scooping into cupcake liners.
  • Bake cupcakes and let cool.
  • While cupcakes are baking make frosting. To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and about a ¼ cup half and half. Add additional half and half as needed to make a smooth frosting. Increase the speed to high and beat 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and top with Christmas trees.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I love the candy melt 3-D Christmas Trees on these cupcakes! Can’t wait to try these for my son’s class Christmas party!

  2. 5 stars
    These Christmas cupcakes are SO festive and fun. The decoration is so cute, but actually not hard to make! The kids love them!