Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe from

Gingerbread houses, meet your match. These festive Christmas Tree Cupcakes serve a similar function as part dessert, part decoration for your holiday table. Moist chocolate cupcakes become the base of spruced up sugar cones adorned with bright green frosting and edible silver sprinkle ornaments and, the piece de resistance, a light dusting of powdered sugar snow.

Sound challenging? Tune in to my video below to see the full technique in action.

Just imagine an entire forest of these edible trees lining your holiday table or surrounding a gingerbread house, adding a pop of color and flavor alongside each cookie wall.

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe from

I will leave you with that wistful visual, my friends, as I return to my unsolicited caroling of N*SYNC’s entire Christmas album while counting down the minutes – 20,143 to be exact – until my family members from San Diego, Chicago, Dubai and beyond congregate in Colorado to celebrate the season and taste our way into 2013.

How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Green Icing

How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes

How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe from

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Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Yield: 6 cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 min


6 chocolate or vanilla cupcakes
3 cups homemade or store-bought vanilla frosting (See Kelly's Notes)
2 Tablespoons green food coloring
6 ice cream sugar cones
Edible silver ball sprinkles
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Special equipment: pastry bag or gallon-sized sealable plastic bag; small star-shaped pastry tip (such as Wilton #18)


If necessary, slice the tops off of the cupcakes to create a flat surface. Slather a small portion of the frosting on the cupcakes to create a base atop which to position the sugar cone tree.

Stir the food coloring into the remaining frosting, adding more food coloring as necessary to achieve your desired green color. Apply a thin layer of frosting on the exteriors of the sugar cones. Transfer the remaining frosting to a pastry bag fitted with the star-shaped pastry tip.

Place the sugar cones atop the cupcakes then pipe leaves onto the trees. Garnish with the edible silver ball sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar.

Kelly's Notes:

Three cups of frosting is equivalent to two 16-ounce cans of store-bought frosting.

Depending on the consistency of your frosting, you can refrigerate the frosting prior to piping to ensure it retains its shape once piped onto the cones.

The sugar cones can be decorated and stored (not on top of the cupcakes) for 1 day in an airtight container in the fridge. Frost the cupcakes and top them with trees right before serving.

Method inspired by


  1. 13

    Buckley says

    These look amazing! Could you use a different decoration other than the silver ornaments? Perhaps a red cinnamon candy, candy cane chips or even mini M&Ms?

  2. 14


    Are you freaking kidding me?! These look insanely awesome. Bravo! I would never have committed to something like this…piping bags are my sworn enemy, but maybe I’ll have to make an exception because you make this look completely doable. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 13th, 2012 @ 8:18 am

      I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems, Sydney! I know you’ll be a pro at it :)

  3. 22


    Wow! These are so perfect. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but probably won’t see one for a couple more years. This is the perfect way to get one at home.

  4. 23


    These are THE cutest Christmas treats I’ve ever seen. And I’m so glad they are NOT gingerbread! Will be giving these a try with my three little nephews:)

  5. 26


    ADORABLE! At first I was worried when I saw all that green frosting. But then I saw that instead of a solid mass of green, the frosting was just coating an ice cream cone. Brilliant!

  6. 32


    If anybody is uncomfortable using the plastic bags to decorate, use what is called a decorating syringe. I never could use the bags, kept making mistakes, so I used the syringe. Might have to add icing more often, but at least I had a steadier hand. Could also use Wilton tip #233 instead of the star to make different lengths of grass and use the star on top. Use something that would look like beaded ropes going around the tree.

  7. 33

    sandy says

    Adorable and creative… but… who in reality is going to eat a frosting covered sugar cone? it will end up a waste :(

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 25th, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

      Thanks for your note, Sandy! These Christmas Tree Cupcakes are meant to be part dessert, part decoration. So even if the cone isn’t eaten, it still serves as the centerpiece on the table :)

  8. 34

    Lynn Coulter says

    I am making a gingerbread house and I will be making about 8 of these gorgeous trees to go around the house, I am also making a meringue Christmas tree which is a lot bigger than these, i bought the box from coles and you assemble the tree so no making the meringue,,,, the gingerbread house is also from coles no baking everything is in the box you just have to assemble it, can’t wait to see what it all looks like, its the centre piece for our Christmas table,,,, hope it works and i do a good job.

    thanks for a great idea Kelly.

  9. 36

    Lynn Coulter says

    I bought a packet of waffle cones as I can’t find sugar cones, but noticed the waffle cones are not straight around the top where you put the ice cream, i found normal cones but i think they would go soggy, the only thing i thought i could do was to push the cone into the cake so that it sits straight……any other ideas or where do you buy sugar cones?????

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 2nd, 2013 @ 11:13 am

      Hi Lynn – Most grocery stores carry the packaged sugar cones. You can check by the ice cream or in the baking aisle. Hope that helps! Otherwise your workaround sounds great!

  10. 43

    Kerry says

    These are fabulous! Switched it up a bit and filled the cones with very frozen ice cream before finishing them quickly. Stored in the fridge one by one as they were done. Served in an ice cream sundae boat surrounded with cherries and blueberries. Kids went crazy for them

  11. 45

    Rosemary Heylings says

    Look fab. Daughter is launching Christmas Tree Festival at Wymondham Abbey Saturday 6th December 2014. Just made cupcakes now can decorate as you have described.


  1. […] Nothing says the holidays more than a festive sugary sweet treat.  Each year, I try to find something new and exciting to add to our Christmas dessert table, whether it’s homemade peppermint candy cane bark or my ever-famous Santa’s Whiskers cookies.  This year I wanted to do something a little bit different, and while browsing on Pinterest, (my second favorite photo site/app), I found the perfect idea for a festive holiday treat decorated with holiday tradition…Christmas Tree Cupcakes. […]

  2. […] In our house, it isn’t Christmas till the tree is up and decorated. These cupcakes look intimidating, but the blog does have a video and tutorial on how to decorate these beauties. I love the fact she uses store bought cupcakes and frosting. So you can still make these, even if you don’t have time to bake or aren’t a baker. I think they would look real cute if the kids decorated some of the trees themselves. It’s not always about perfection as much as it is time together. Check out how to create these Christmas Tree Cupcakes […]

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