Christmas Tree Cupcakes — Vanilla cupcakes are turned into festive Christmas trees with the help of inverted ice cream cones that are decorated with green whipped cream! An no-mixer, one-bowl cupcake recipe that’s so EASY! Perfect on your holiday dessert table or served at your next Christmas party. Detailed instructions provided to help make these Christmas tree cupcakes suitable for even novice bakers.
The Cutest Cupcakes for Christmas
When you’re looking for a way to jazz up regular vanilla cupcakes and make them full of holiday spirit, these Christmas tree cupcakes are just the thing! They’re a classic vanilla cupcake with a delicate texture, and they’re perfectly sweetened but not too sweet.
The cupcake batter is a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe and perfect for novice to expert bakers alike.
Real whipped cream is tinted green and then piped onto inverted ice cream cones to really make these cupcakes turn into little Christmas trees.
Whether you want to set these out on a dessert table at a casual Christmas party or after a fancier holiday dinner, neither kids nor adults will be able to resist these super cute Christmas cupcakes!
Ingredients in Christmas Tree Cupcakes
For these festive Christmas tree cupcakes, you’ll need the following common fridge and pantry items:
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Christmas tree ice cream cones
- Heavy cream
- Confectioners’s sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Green food coloring
- Ice cream cones
- Yellow stars, optional
How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes
These cupcakes are a snap to make. You don’t even need a mixer! Just one bowl and a whisk will do it.
Simply whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
Transfer to a lined cupcake pan and bake. While the cupcakes cool, make the whipped cream.
To assemble the cupcakes:
Step 1: Make whip cream by combining the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whipping until you have stiff peaks, about 2 minutes with a stand mixer or a bit longer with a hand mixer.
Step 2: Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the top of each cupcake.
Step 3: To the remaining whipped cream, add green food coloring and stir to incorporate.
Step 4: Place an inverted ice cream cone on top of each cupcake, using the white whipped cream to secure it.
Step 5: Spread a thin layer of green whipped cream over the ice cream cone.
Step 7: Pipe star shaped dollops going up the ice cream cone.
Step 8: Optionally add a yellow star at the top of each Christmas tree.
Can I Use Baking Shortcuts for This Recipe?
Of course! I’m not kidding when I say that literally this cupcake batter is the epitome of one bowl, no mixer, and super easy. You’ll have it made and in the oven in 5 minutes.
However, if you want to semi-homemade these Sandra Lee-style, buy a package of vanilla or white bakery cupcakes from your local grocery store bakery. Look for ones that are frosted white — the less frosting, the better.
Scrape off or smoosh down whatever frosting is unnecessary and then invert an ice cream cone on top. Make the homemade whipped cream, tint it green, and pipe it on.
Easy-peasy Christmas cupcakes and a baking shortcut for anyone who wants to shave off a step because as we all know, the holidays are so overly busy for everyone.
Can I Make Different Flavored Cupcakes?
Be my guest! The festive cupcake liners and the white frosting will cover up whatever color your cupcakes are, so feel free to make any flavor you’d like.
What Type of Ice Cream Cone Should I Buy?
You’ll need to use small sugar cones for this easy Christmas tree cupcake recipe. Don’t use cake cones, as those are the entirely wrong shape.
Can I Use Cool Whip Instead of Whipped Cream?
No, you need to use real whipped cream for this Christmas tree dessert. You cannot use Cool Whip or spray-on whipped topping in a can.
Can the Whipped Cream Be Substituted?
Yes! You can make homemade buttercream frosting and use that instead of homemade whipped cream and then pipe it on.
How to Store Christmas Cupcakes
Being that these Christmas tree cupcakes use real whipped cream and not whipped topping, like Cool Whip, you will need to be careful to keep them refrigerated.
Real whipped cream does not like warmer room temperatures and will deflate.
Realistically airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days is my storage recommendation. They could last for a week but then again, the whipped cream may not hold out perfectly since there are no stabilizers in it.
Tips for the Best Christmas Tree Cupcakes
- Use red or green foil cupcake liners for the most festive look.
- Use heavy cream or whipping cream for the whipped cream. Do not use half-and-half or milk. While you can whip coconut cream, unless you are an experienced baker, just stick with heavy or whipping cream.
- Make sure the cream is very cold. Even better, chill your mixing bowl for 20 minutes in the fridge before you use it. The colder everything is, the better results you’ll have with nice stiff peaks.
- The recipe for the whipped cream as written makes 2 cups which is enough to decorate with. However, if you’re not experienced with a piping bag and decorating, I suggest doubling the recipe as written to ensure you will have enough whipped cream. Trying to make more later, after you’ve tinted it green will not work and the shades of green won’t match exactly so better to just double the recipe as written from the get-go.
- You can fill the ice cream cones with M&M’s (mini or regular sized) or chocolate chips (mini or regular sized) for an added element of surprise when eating the holiday cupcakes. This reminds me of my Easter Egg Treasure Cake.
- Use pointed-tip sugar cookie ice cream cones not flat-bottomed cones.
- For snowy-topped Christmas tree cupcakes, sift a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar over the top. Everyone loves a white Christmas!
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- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
Whipped Cream and Decorating* (See Notes, Important)
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream, very cold** (See Notes)
- 1/4 cup confectioners’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 pointed-tip sugar cookie ice cream cones
- Green food coloring, as desired
- Yellow stars, optional for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a standard 12-count cupcake pan with foil red or green cupcake liners; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the eggs, oil, sugar, and whisk to combine.
- Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined; don't overmix.
- Evenly divide batter into prepared pan making sure to fill each cavity about 2/3-full.
- Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are done. They're done when the center is set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Tip - For optimal results, bake on the center oven rack and rotate once midway through for the most even baking.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan while you make the whipped cream.
- To the bowl (a chilled bowl is better) of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or handheld electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and beat on high speed for about 90 to 120 seconds, or until stiff peaks form; stop to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Using a butter knife or spoon, spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the top of each cupcake.
- Add an inverted ice cream cone*** (See Notes) to the top of each cupcake, using the whipped cream to help secure it; set aside.
- To the remaining whipped cream, add green food coloring, as desired until desired shape is achieved. Tip - I recommend gel food coloring for the most intense green color results. Mix well to make sure it's evenly combined.
- Spread a thin layer of green whipped cream over the ice cream cones on the top of each cupcake.
- Add the green food coloring to a silicone piping bag fitted with a coupler (or your favorite style of piping bag) and a star tip.
- Beginning at the base of the cone (largest part), pipe star-shaped dollops and work your way up, piping star-shaped dollops as you go; repeat process with all 12 cupcakes.
- Optionally, add a yellow star at the top of each Christmas tree for a more festive look.
- Serve immediately or store airtight in the fridge before serving. Cupcakes will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*The recipe for the whipped cream as written makes 2 cups which is enough to decorate with. However, if you're not experienced with a piping bag and decorating, I suggest doubling the recipe as written to ensure you will have enough whipped cream. Trying to make more later, after you've tinted it green will not work and the shades of green won't match exactly so better to just double the recipe as written from the get-go.
**Use heavy cream or whipping cream for the whipped cream. Do not use half-and-half or milk. While you can whip coconut cream, unless you are an experienced baker, just stick with heavy or whipping cream. Make sure the cream is very cold. Even better, chill your mixing bowl for 20 minutes in the fridge before you use it. The colder everything is, the better results you’ll have with nice stiff peaks.
***You can fill the ice cream cones with M&Ms (mini or regular sized) or chocolate chips (mini or regular sized) for an added element of surprise when eating the holiday cupcakes. Fill them about halfway and then very quickly flip them onto the cupcakes so you don't lose your treasures.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 481mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 5g
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