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.
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.
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- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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Method inspired by MarthaStewart.com.
I bake for my child’s Xmas fayre, can’t wait to make & take them for the children & parents. They are brilliant. Thank you.
I made these last year and they were a huge hit with kids and adults alike. Just coming back now to print the recipe again for this year!
I have looked everywhere for the silver ball sprinkles and can’t find them. Can you give me a website where I can find them? Thank you!
Hi Pam! Here is a link to purchase edible silver ball sprinkles on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-710-1174-Pearls-4-8-Ounce-Silver/dp/B00IE72BZ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479737979&sr=8-1&keywords=wilton+silver+pearls
I made these one last year came out really good.there was only one problem the green icing in the can is was way too sweet.but they looked good anyways
This is such a great idea. So much better than just adding a Christmas tree made of fondant.
Thanks so much!
Love them , made them 2day 2 take 2 a Christmas party, the kids loved helping me make them .
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.
What a great and cute idea
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
love these, as a newbie im going to try these.
I love this! I think I am going to make these for Christmas with my kids. :)
These are just so cute. So Christmassy!
what a great idea! this post will be great for my Foodie Christmas link! http://www.romanianmum.com/2013/11/friday-foodie-10.html#.Up9oQJGjDFI
How clever! I just love this idea.
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?????
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!
just thinking you could also make these white to represent snow,,,,,just a thought.
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.
Adorable and creative… but… who in reality is going to eat a frosting covered sugar cone? it will end up a waste :(
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 :)
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.
These are so adorable! Love the pics:)
WHOA! At first I was thinking… how did she do that?! So clever and creative, and definitely tasty!
These are SO clever! Love the way that you made the trees :D
These are incredible! I love them. Your icing is spot on too. No bubbles or anything! Very well done. Next year!
These are brilliant!!
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!
These are so cool! What a clever idea and so much fun for the holidays! My nieces and nephews would LOVE to make these with me!
What a fantastically clever idea! I love it. So cute! Looks so fun to try.
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:)
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.
Those are super cute! love them!
So, so amazing….love these cupcakes!
These are gorgeous!!
these are so cute!
What adorable cupcakes!
these are gorgeous and such a creative and smart idea!! i never would’ve thought of using sugar cones!
This is so creative! My girls would love these cupcakes!
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!
I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems, Sydney! I know you’ll be a pro at it :)
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?
I was planning on making a gingerbread house but I am now reconsidering, these are absolutely gorgeous!
These are so awesome!
Eeeek!!! I am so in love with these!!
Ah, these are too stinking cute!!! Seriously, I would much rather have these then a gingerbread house any day of the year!
Kelly, these are amazing! Such a work of art. So inspired to be more artistic with my baking now!
At first I was like – tons of icing – that’s right up my alley! :)
These are too cute to eat!!
Nice! I saw this idea on Pinterest- you did a fabulous job with them!
These are super fancy!
Totally adorable. Totally.
My first though when opening this post was “Is that whole tree frosting?!” I wouldn’t have hated it if it was : )
These are DARLING! I What a wonderful idea and beautiful photos, too!
Thank you, Noma!
EEEEP! These are too too cute! I love them Kelly! These are so on my baking Christmas list!