A close up of a chocolate cupcake decorated to look like a Christmas tree

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes


Easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes made with a fluffy chocolate cupcake and vanilla buttercream.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (355 ml) brewed coffee

For the Frosting:

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, cold.
  • 7 cups (911 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  •  2-3 tablespoons (30ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Gel colors for dying frosting
  • 1 bag Walkers Shortbread Mini Festive Stars
  • Sprinkles
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then add half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining coffee and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  6. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the Frosting

  1. Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color.
  2. Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, then whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar. Repeat until all ingredients are added.
  3. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Add a couple of drops of gel colors and beat into the frosting

To Decorate

  1. Fit a large piping bag with a piping tip size 846 open star tip, and fill the bag 2/3 full of frosting. 
  2. Pipe a small dollop of frosting in the middle of the cupcake, and then starting in the back, tart piping from the outside edge, working your way up to the center at the top.
  3. Top with a Walkers Shortbread Mini Festive Star and garnish with sprinkles. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Nutrition Information:
1 Cupcake
47 g
141.1 mg
21.8 g
57.5 g
0.8 g
2.6 g
67 mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American