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A completed Christmas tree cake with a star on top and presents underneath it, all made out of cupcakes, frosting and sprinkles

Christmas Tree Cake

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This isn’t your typical Christmas Tree Cake – it’s made up of individual cupcakes! You can turn any batch of cupcakes into an adorably festive holiday treat with this creamy whipped frosting and Christmas tree decorating guide.



Make the Cupcakes & Frosting

  1. Prepare a batch of at least 24 cupcakes and cool completely.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter is very fluffy.
  3. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into the butter then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  4. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the last 1 cup powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream. Beat on low until the ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.

Color the Frosting

  1. Separate out ¼ cup of the finished frosting. Mix in 2-3 teaspoons cocoa powder until well combined, You may need to add up to 1 teaspoons milk or water to help incorporate the cocoa powder. Use immediately for the tree trunks, and then use a fork or toothpick to give them a rough look
  2. Separate out another ¼-½ cup of frosting if you’d like to have another color of frosting for your cake, such as the white for the star on top, the extra present cupcakes or if you’d like a two toned frosting (note you may want to set aside more than 1/2 a cup for this depending on your design intent)
  3. Dye the rest of your remaining frosting green, fill two large piping bags 2/3 full.
  4. Prepare a couple of piping bags: at least 1 or 2 small piping bags fitted with couplers and one small bag without a coupler for the larger piping tips so that you can easily switch them out.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Set up your cupcakes in the shape of a tree. For all the cupcakes you’ll be frosting with green frosting, place a small dollop of frosting (appx 1 teaspoon) on each cupcake and spread evenly with an angled spatula.
  2. First, use a 1M piping tip to make the large roses. You may want to come back in halfway through and add some smaller ones
  3. Then use a large French star tip (size 866) to make large dollops of frosting and large swirls.
  4. Finally, use the smaller piping tips, size 21 and and size 199 to fill in the gaps making rosettes.
  5. For the star on top, use your white frosting to frost the cupcake and dip in gold sprinkles.
  6. Decorate the tree with sprinkles.
  7. Any leftover cupcakes can be decorated to look like presents. 


For more tips and helpful instructions be sure to review the blog post. 

Substitute a cake mix: If you prefer not to bake from scratch, you can use a cake mix for the cupcakes, but make sure you have 24 cupcakes at least. 

Storing leftovers: I store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. If you live in a warm or humid climate, then I suggest refrigerating. If you have to refrigerate your cupcakes, leave them out at room temperature for a bit before enjoying them to let the frosting soften up.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 400
  • Sugar: 46.9g
  • Sodium: 118.6mg
  • Fat: 17.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.3g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 3.1g