These Christmas tree cupcakes are super easy to make, they are made with chocolate cupcakes, vanilla buttercream or vanilla frosting, shredded coconut, pretzels, green candy melts, and sprinkles!
These cupcakes are an easy Christmas treat for both kids and adults.
These chocolate cupcakes are moist, fluffy, full of rich chocolate flavor, and come together in one bowl. These chocolate cupcakes taste amazing with our vanilla buttercream frosting.
Why this recipe works
- Made in one bowl cupcakes!
- Extra moist cupcakes that stay moist for 3 days!
- Made with simple ingredients.
- The perfect easy Christmas-themed dessert!
Before you start to make this, measure and prepare your ingredients so the baking process will go smoothly and easily.
For the chocolate cupcake
Flour– we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
Dutch cocoa powder– we like to use Dutch-process cocoa powder for our chocolate cake because we like the deep and rich chocolate taste, but the natural cocoa powder will work great as well!
Granulated sugar– we like to use granulated sugar, the most common sugar in baking. Caster sugar will work great as well.
Eggs– To give the cake a good structure. Make sure you’re using room-temperature eggs.
Hot coffee– our secret ingredient. Gives the cupcakes an amazing chocolate flavor. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the coffee at all! Make a strong hot coffee, you can use espresso or instant coffee, both will work.
Salt– We used kosher salt for this recipe. Salt doesn’t give the cake a salty taste, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.
For the vanilla buttercream frosting
Butter- make sure you are using room temperate butter. we used unsalted butter for this recipe.
Powder sugar- is known as confessional sugar. For a smoother buttercream, sift it before adding it to the butter.
Pinch of salt- to balance the sweetness.
Shredded coconut- we like to dip the frosted cupcakes in shredded coconut for a snowy look, but if you don't like coconut, skip this step!
For the Christmas trees
Green candy melts- you will need green candy melts for this recipe, we highly suggest using candy melts and not melting white chocolate and coloring it with green food coloring, because green candy melts hold their shape and white chocolate melts easily and breaks easily. (from experience)
Pretzel sticks- you will need either mini pretzel sticks or regular pretzel sticks that you will cut in half. you can use salted or unsalted.
Sprinkles- we used round Christmas sprinkles for the Christmas trees, but you can use any of your favorite Christmas or not Christmas-themed sprinkles.
Preheat an oven to 350f (180c) and prep a cupcake pan with liners.
Add the hot coffee, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well until combined and smooth.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill out the cupcake ⅔ full (do not overfill). Bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely (don’t frost warm cupcakes).
Make the vanilla buttercream frosting:
Make the chocolate frosting: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add half of the powder sugar and carefully mix until combined. Then, add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
How to make Christmas trees from chocolate melts:
Start by melting the green chocolate melts in the microwave or on the stovetop (bein marine). if you melt the candy melts in the microwave, do so by microwaving the candy melts in a heatproof bowl in 10-second bursts.
Candy melts burn very quickly so pay close attention and mix between each microwave burst.
Fill a piping bag with the candy chocolate melts and make a small cut on the tip of the bag.
Place pretzel sticks on top of parchment paper (to prevent the Christmas trees from sticking to the pan) and pipe the chocolate melts and create a Christmas tree (see in the video).
Immediately sprinkle sprinkles on top of the Christmas trees so the sprinkles will stick to the chocolate and place the baking pan in the fridge to solidify.
Frost each chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream and smooth it out with a spatula.
Dip the cupcakes in shredded coconut to create the look of snow. If you don't like coconut, skip this step.
Stick the Christmas tree cupcake toppers in the middle of the cupcakes and you're done!
- Don’t skip the coffee in the chocolate cupcake, you can’t taste the coffee, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Use room temperature ingredients. It is important that you use room-temperature ingredients like eggs and butter. This step ensures that your mixture mixes into a homogenous mixture and bakes perfectly. you don’t want to place cold batter into the oven.
- Don’t overmix the batter, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour. This step ensures you have moist cupcakes and not dense and dry cupcakes.
- Make sure that your butter is at room temperature. An hour or two before making these cupcakes, take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. The butter should be soft to the touch. If your butter is too cold, it will be harder to mix and there will be lumps of butter in the dough.
- Measure your flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with a back of a knife.
- Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
- Be patient! I know it’s extremely tempting to eat and frost these cupcakes as they are pulled out of the oven, but let these cupcakes cool for at least 30 minutes so they will be more firm and won’t crumble up.
- We suggest letting these cupcakes cool for 5 minutes and then transferring them to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 more minutes. This step ensures that the frosting won’t melt off the cupcakes. You never want to frost warm cupcakes or cakes.
No! you can’t taste the coffee. Adding the coffee simply enhances the chocolate flavor. So, don’t skip the coffee in the cupcake!
These cupcakes will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. This cupcake tastes amazing the day after.
We use all-purpose flour for this cupcake, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
These cupcakes will last up to 5 days in the fridge (dairy needs to be stored in the fridge). Cover them with plastic wrap or foil to prevent them from drying out. They stay moist for at least 3 days!
Freeze these cupcakes after they cooled completely in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months, some people find the cupcake tastes better after freezing it.
Our tip is not to freeze it decorated or covered with frosting, because it can ruin the decorating on the cupcakes, we suggest freezing the cupcake and decorating it when you defrost it.
Cocoa powder- We like to use Dutch prosses cocoa powder, because it gives the cake a deeper rich chocolate taste, and natural cocoa powder will work! It’s just a personal preference.
Frosting- You can use any kind of your favorite vanilla frosting on these cupcakes, it's really important that you will use vanilla frosting and not chocolate frosting or any other kind of frosting in this recipe to keep the cupcakes in theme.
- Mixing bowls- best glass mixing bowls.
- Whisk set- our favorite copper whisk set.
- Cupcakes tins- our favorite Wilton cupcake tins.
- Open star piping tip- our favorite Wilton piping tip for cupcake decoration.
- Christmas sprinkles- set of 4.
- Green candy melts- set of 6 bags.
More Christmas desserts:
No-bake cookies- These no-bake cookies are probably the easiest cookies to make, they are made with the best chocolate and peanut butter combo, and have the most amazing chewy and fudgy texture.
Chocolate crinkle cookies- Chocolate crinkle cookies are soft and fudgy chocolate cookies covered with crispy powder sugar outer layer.
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Christmas Tree Cupcakes
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cups Granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ⅓ cups Cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅓ cups Vegetable oil
- 1 cups Hot coffee
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 225 g Butter
- 450 g Powder sugar
- 3-4 tablespoon Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
For the cupcake toppers:
- 250 g Green candy melts
- 12 Pretzel sticks
- 2 tablespoon Christmas sprinkles
- ⅓ cups Shredded coconut (for dipping)
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat an oven to 350f (180c) and prep a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a big mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and mix with a whisk until well combined.
- Add the hot coffee, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well until combined and smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill out the cupcake ⅔ full (do not overfill) and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes and transfer them into a cooling rack to cool completely (don’t frost warm cupcake).
For the vanilla buttercream frosting:
- Into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add half of the powder sugar and carefully mix until combined.
- Add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract, salt, and milk, and mix until combined and creamy.
- Frost each chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream and smooth it out with a spatula.
- Dip the cupcakes in shredded coconut to create the look of snow. If you don’t like coconut, skip this step.
- Stick the Christmas tree on the middle of the cupcakes and you’re done!