Rich, moist chocolate cupcakes topped with easy to make and quite festive Christmas trees made from ice cream cones, some buttercream and a dusting of powdered sugar for snow!
What could be more festive than little Christmas tree cupcakes? I think they look pretty good but the surprising part was HOW EASY it was to make them! You basically just pipe little star-shaped dollops onto a sugar cone with a number 30 tip. Any small star tip will do a good job really and if you don’t have any of those just use a leaf tip!
Pro Tips For the BEST Christmas Tree Cupcakes
- For an added surprise try adding some candy in the cone before applying it to the cupcake. Each cupcake can have a different surprise inside, no coal though!
- I like to give a really good dusting of powdered sugar “snow” to the trees for some added realism and depth.
- If you don’t have a #30 tip then try any small to medium star or leaf tip to pipe the tree.
- The trees can also look cute with little sugar or fondant ornaments and presents, too! I actually applied white ornaments to one tree with tweezers. It looked good but they kind of got lost in the snow. SO not worth the effort, for me at least. Hope you enjoy!!
- Use an ice cream scoop to get an even amount of batter NEATLY into each cupcake paper.
- You can see that the frosting applied to the cone is just a rough coat. It helps the dollops you apply adhere to the surface and prevents you from seeing any of the ice cream cone through gaps in your buttercream dollops.
Just allow the cupcakes to cool fully before applying the frosting. And by the by, these are so rich and moist, you might be making them all year round!
I really loved how the white frosting on the bottom looks like snow. A nice dusting of powdered sugar brings it all together.
How to make Christmas Tree Cupcakes
1. Sift the Flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar and baking soda into a large bowl then whisk together. Sifting is important for chocolate recipes as the cocoa powder has a tendency to clump up.
2. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, and veggie oil into a large bowl and whisk together. Pour the hot coffee in while you whisk and set aside. The coffee doesn’t have to be hot but because the eggs have been mixed in with all the other wet ingredients you won’t end up with a bowl of scrambled eggs!
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together. Scrape the bowl down and give it a really good stir.
4. Once your batter is ready, scoop about three tablespoons into each cupcake liner. (I used an ice cream scooper). Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
5. For the frosting; cream the butter first then add the sugar and mix on high. Once that is nice and creamed up, add the milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. In a separate bowl, add about half of the frosting and the green food coloring and mix until combined.
6. Cover the cupcake in white frosting. It doesn’t have to be smooth. A bit of texture will make it look more like snow!
7. Use a knife or spatula to smooth a thin coat of buttercream to the cone. This will create a green base for the dollops and give a uniform appearance.
8. Place the cone onto the cupcake and adjust as needed. I often add candy and chocolates to the cone and then place the cupcake on top so there’s a surprise waiting inside for the guest!
9. Use a number 30 tip to pipe star-shaped dollops onto the surface of the cone beginning at the bottom and working to the top.
10. Add the desired amount of snow by sifting confectioners sugar onto the cupcake and it’s ready to serve!
If you’ve tried these cupcakes then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
For the frosting and Christmas trees
- 12 sugar cones
- 2 lbs confectioners' sugar 910g, plus more for dusting
- 1 pound unsalted butter 454g, room temperature
- 1-2 tbsp milk or cream 15-30mL
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5mL
- 20 drops green food coloring
For the cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 180g
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 60g
- 1 tsp baking soda 6g
- 1/2 tsp salt 3g
- 1/2 cup buttermilk 118mL
- 1/4 cup sour cream 60g
- 1 1/3 cups sugar 267g
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5mL
- 1/4 cup strong coffee 60mL
- 1/2 cup melter butter 115g, optional
For the Cake
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Add paper liners to cupcake tin.
- Sift the dry ingredients, including sugar, together in a bowl.
- Whisk together the milk, vanilla, eggs and sour cream in a small bowl. You can add in 1/2 cup of melted butter for extra rich cupcakes but it's not a must.
- Add the dry mixture to the milk/sour cream mixture while the mixer is running on low. Mix for a minute or less.
- Scoop about three tablespoons for each cupcake. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until the center is set.
For the Frosting
- Cream the butter. Add the sugar and mix on high. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- In a separate bowl add about half of the frosting and the green food coloring, mix until combined.
For the Assembly
- Cover the cupcake in white frosting. It doesn't have to be smooth, a bit of texture will make it look more like snow.
- Use a spatula to apply a thin layer of green buttercream to the surface of the cone. This will help the dollops you apply stick to the cone better as well as making the trees totally green (in case your dollops don't give full coverage).
- You can fill ice cream cone with candy and then place on the cupcake
- Use a number 30 tip to pipe star-shaped dollops onto the surface of the cone beginning at the bottom and working to the top.
- Sift confectioners' sugar onto the cupcake and it's ready to serve!
- I added a half teaspoon of instant espresso because it brings out the chocolate flavor, you could also add half a teaspoon of peppermint oil if you wanted to bring out a more festive note.
- For an added surprise try adding some candy in the cone before applying it to the cupcake. Each cupcake can have a different surprise inside, co coal though!
- I like to give a really good dusting of powdered sugar "snow" to the trees for some added realism and dept.
- If you don't have a #30 tip then try any small to medium star or leaf tip to pipe the tree.