Christmas Tree Cupcakes

  • 100M Total Time

  • 70M Prep Time

  • 20 Ingredients

  • 16 Servings

Jocelyn Delk Adams


Ingredients and Directions



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake/muffin pan with holiday cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and set aside.

  3. In a separate large bowl, add flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.

  4. In batches, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  5. Lastly, mix in hot water and whisk until combined and perfectly smooth. The batter should be somewhat thin.

  6. Add batter to cupcake liners filling only halfway and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

  7. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature before adding buttercream.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup hot water
Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  1. Put an inch of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir egg whites, sugar and salt until combined.

  2. Place mixing bowl over saucepan but be careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula until the sugar dissolves and reaches a temp of 160 F, about 5 minutes. While you stir, scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure no sugar grains are lurking on the sides.

  3. Remove mixing bowl from heat and add to stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. They will be glossy. This can take up to 10 minutes. The bowl will continue to cool down in the process as well.

  4. Reduce the speed to low and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter at a time making sure to mix in thoroughly after each addition. When butter is incorporated, add vanilla extract and beat on low until incorporated then frost or refrigerate until ready to frost.

  5. Frost cupcakes in the plain white color then leave remaining buttercream for trees.


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 lb unsalted butter 6 sticks, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or another flavor of your choice
Christmas Trees


  1. Tint the remaining buttercream with green food coloring to the color you prefer.

  2. Place the cone directly on top of each cupcake.

  3. Add the remaining buttercream to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip then pipe small stars over the surface of the buttercream.

  4. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the tops and add sprinkles and serve.


  • 16 sugar cones
  • 1 green food coloring
  • 1 sprinkles
  • 1 powdered Sugar

To ensure food safety, eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and the white are firm. Consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially for those with certain medical conditions. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use either pasteurized shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, or use pasteurized egg products.

Click here for more food safety information.