These delicious homemade vanilla cupcakes are topped with homemade buttercream frosting that’s swirled with white and green, then topped with sprinkles for a festive Christmas Cupcake! Feel free to use a boxed vanilla cake mix to make this Christmas dessert recipe even easier!
These adorable Christmas cupcakes will put a little more merry into your holiday season this year! I mean, l love some holiday cookies but give me a soft cupcake piled high with frosting and I’m a happy girl.
If you’re planning your holiday baking you need to add these cupcakes to your list. Each one is topped with a frosting Christmas tree that you can decorate with holiday sprinkles. They’re the perfect treat for sharing at parties or make a batch to surprise your family. I know they’ll be a hit.
You Will Love This Recipe!
- This is a vanilla Christmas cupcakes recipe. You can make them from scratch (I’m sharing all of the details) or you can use a vanilla cake mix if you’re short on time.
- The fun part is the decorating! I’m showing you how to pipe cute holiday trees with two different colored frostings so they’ll look amazing.
- With all of my tips, even a beginning baker can make these fun cupcakes. Just follow the steps and then wow everyone with your results!
‘Tis the season, right? You are going to love this easy recipe.
- All-purpose flour – For the best results, lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and then level it off. This will ensure you don’t add too much flour so your cupcakes are light and fluffy.
- Baking powder – This helps them puff up when they bake. Don’t substitute baking soda.
- Salt – Even sweet things need a little salt! It enhances the flavor.
- Unsalted butter – Leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes so it softens.
- Vegetable oil – This adds moisture and makes tender cupcakes!
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs – Room temperature eggs are easier to mix, so leave them out with the butter before you make the batter.
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk – Like the eggs, room temperature milk mixes better!
- Unsalted butter – Let it soften at room temperature.
- Confectioner’s sugar – Also known as powdered sugar.
- Vanilla extract – Just a little adds lots of flavor!
- Heavy cream – This helps make the frosting super creamy.
- Green Gel Food Coloring – I like gel coloring because it’s more vibrant!
How To Make The Cupcakes
Line the pan with the cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
In a large bowl (or stand mixer with a paddle attachment) beat the butter, oil, and sugar at high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
This should only take a minute. Be sure to scrape the bowl to ensure everything is mixed.
Lower the mixer speed and add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then scrape the sides of the bowl, if needed.
Mixing at low speed, add half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk. Mix until just combined and then add the rest of the flour and milk.
Fill each liner 3/4 full with the batter. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool them completely before decorating.
How To Make The Frosting
Beat the butter in a large bowl at medium-high speed. When it’s smooth and creamy, adjust the speed to low and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Scrape the bowl, as needed.
Beat in the vanilla. Next, add the cream one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. It should be thick enough to pipe.
How To Pipe Two-Tone Frosting Trees
You can create any Christmas cupcakes design that you like, but these trees are so cute you should definitely give them a try!
You will need a piping bag and a large star piping tip. I use a Wilton 1B tip.
Divide the frosting between two bowls. Tint one bowl with green gel coloring. Start with one drop and mix until the color is even. If you want a darker color, you can add more one drop at a time until it’s the shade of green you want.
To create two-toned trees, you will need to put both frosting colors in one piping bag. Do this by scooping the first color and press it inside and against one side of the piping bag. It should not fully cover the tip at the bottom. A spatula makes it easy to do this.
Next, scoop the other color and press it into the bag on the other side. Don’t worry if they’re not completely straight or blend a little into each other. You will still get the right effect.
Once both frostings are inside the bag, twist the open end of the bag closed so the frosting presses down to the tip.
Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Pipe a circle to cover the width of the cupcake and then pipe in a circular motion, narrowing the icing width as you go, to create a tree. Once you reach the top, stop piping and pull the bag straight up to create the top of the tree.
Add sprinkles and other decorations!
Ingredients Tip: Using room temperature ingredients makes a big difference! Butter, eggs, and milk combine better when they aren’t cold from the fridge. So, remember to leave them out before making the batter.
Batter Tip: When you add the flour to the wet ingredients, be careful not to overmix. Mix long enough so the dry ingredients are absorbed – if you overdo it, your cupcakes won’t be as tender.
Short-Cut Tip: If you’re short on time, use your favorite vanilla cake mix to make the cupcakes and just make the frosting from scratch. No one will know the difference!
Make-Ahead Tip: You can make and bake the cupcakes a day ahead. Once they’re cooled, store them in an airtight container and you can decorate them the next day. This helps break up the work when it’s busy!
Food Coloring Tip: I highly recommend gel coloring! The colors are more vibrant and it won’t change the consistency of your frosting like water-based food coloring does. I use Wilton’s concentrated food gel color paste for this recipe.
Decorating Tip: Feel free to decorate them however you like! If it’s easier, you can tint all of the frosting green and skip the dual frosting method.
These Christmas cupcakes are guaranteed to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Give them a try and I know they’ll be the hit of the holidays!
More Christmas Treats
- Christmas Snickerdoodles are a holiday twist on a classic cookie recipe!
- Holiday Cake Mix Cookies are a quick and easy treat when you don’t have much time to bake.
- Cranberry Cake is so festive and so delicious!
- Make a batch of Eggnog Fudge to share with friends and family.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole milk at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1- 2 Tablespoon heavy cream
- Green Gel Food Coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil and sugar, on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the whole milk. Beat on low speed until each batch is just incorporated. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners – fill only ¾ full to avoid spilling.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Reduce the mixing speed to low, add the confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time, whisking till smooth and fluffy after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine
- Add the heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time and whisk to desired consistency
- Divide the frosting and color as required, adding 1 drop of gel color until desired shade is achieved
- Pipe unto the cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.