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Festive Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe with Buttercream

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These Christmas tree cupcakes are so adorable!!! These Christmas cupcakes use the cake mix – but we doctor it up to make it even BETTER! The addition of sour cream makes these cupcakes thick, moist, and super rich. Once you try this method, you’ll be hooked. We’re also adding a few spices to the Christmas tree cupcake mix to impart some festive flavor. Then it’s the fun part – decorating! Watch the video to see exactly how to pipe out the buttercream in a tree shape and then add sprinkles. They’ll be a hit at your Christmas parties.

And be sure to make my chewy gingerbread cookies, Crumbl copycat sugar cookies, or mini cupcakes next time you and your kids need a sweet holiday treat!

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Christmas tree cupcake on a cake stand.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What You’ll Love About Christmas Tree Cupcakes

  • Delicious, light and fluffy spiced cake
  • Adorable holiday dessert
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Stands out on a dessert table
  • Easy to make
  • Made with 8 basic ingredients plus a few spices and decorations
Christmas tree cupcake with bite out of it.


This Christmas cupcake is made with 8 basic ingredients plus a few spices and decorations:

  • Cake mix – Use your favorite brand of cake mix. You’ll want either white or yellow cake.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice
  • Sour cream – Use full fat for best flavor. The sour cream helps keep the cupcakes super moist.
  • Eggs – Use high quality eggs for best flavor.
  • Milk – I recommend using whole or 2% milk for the cupcakes and frosting for richest flavor.
  • Vanilla extract– Use high quality vanilla for best flavor.
  • Butter – Use high quality butter for best buttercream flavor.
  • Powdered sugar – The powdered sugar creates a light and fluffy frosting for the Christmas tree light cupcakes.
  • Decorations – Green food coloring, star sprinkles, Christmas sprinkles mix
Ingredients to make Christmas tree cupcake recipe.

How to Make Christmas Cupcakes

Let’s make these easy Christmas cupcakes! Here’s how to make them:

  • Prep ingredients. Gather Christmas cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix spiced cake mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice.
Bowl with cake mix and spices.
  • Beat wet ingredients. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together sour cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Wet ingredients for holiday cupcakes.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir in flour mixture and beat.
Christmas cupcake batter in bowl.
  • Divide batter. Divide the batter between 18 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
Cupcake batter divided into cupcake pan.
  • Bake cupcakes. Bake tree cupcakes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Spiced cupcakes cooling on cooling rack.
  • Make frosting. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add in food coloring until it reaches your desired shade and add to piping bag.
Green buttercream in bowl.
  • Decorate cupcakes. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes in a spiral motion, starting wide near the edge of the cupcake, and working your way to the middle and to the peak. Top with star and sprinkles.

TIP: This frosting crusts pretty quickly, so you may want to add sprinkles to each cupcake as you go, rather than waiting until all cupcakes are iced. Otherwise your sprinkles may bounce off the icing.

Platter of Christmas cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcake Decorations

There are so many Christmas cupcakes designs out there (have you seen Pinterest?!) We kept this Christmas cupcake pretty simple and focused on making a tree shape out of the frosting and then decorating it to look like a Christmas tree.

Use whatever holiday sprinkles, candy, chocolates, or decorations you prefer.

Storage Instructions

Store Christmas cupcakes in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Christmas cupcake on a plate with a fork.

More Sweet Treat Recipes

If you like Christmas cupcakes recipes like this one, you might also like some of these other dessert recipes:

More Holiday Recipes

If you like Christmas cupcake ideas like this one, be sure to try some of these other holiday recipes:

Christmas tree with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

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Helpful Tools to Make Christmas Tree Cupcake Recipe


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Christmas Tree Cupcakes-21

Festive Christmas Tree Cupcakes Recipe with Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe


The most ADORABLE Christmas tree cupcakes! These Christmas cupcakes use cake mix – but we doctor it up to make it even BETTER! Easy to decorate.


Units Scale

For cupcakes:

  • 1 box of white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

For Icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Green food coloring

For decorating:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


  • TIP: This buttercream icing crusts pretty quickly, so you may want to add sprinkles to each cupcake as you go, rather than waiting until all cupcakes are iced. Otherwise your sprinkles may bounce off the icing.
  • Nutrition information is an estimate.

Keywords: Christmas tree cupcakes, Christmas tree cupcake, Christmas cupcakes,

This post may contain affiliate links. They do not add any charge to you, but I will make a very small commission from them. I only link to products I use and recommend. Thank you for your support!

Recipe and Photo Credit: Recipe, photos, and video were take by Elise New from Frugal Farm Wife

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