Cupcake Christmas tree

Cupcake Christmas tree

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 40 mins Cook: 24 mins

More effort

Makes 48 mini cakes and 1 tree

Bake to impress with this stunning edible centrepiece - perfect for a Christmas party buffet, or as an alternative to Christmas pudding

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per cupcake

  • kcal157
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.2g
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    For the cupcakes

    • 200g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 200g golden caster sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 200g self-raising flour
    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    For the icing

    • 300g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 525g icing sugar
    • 3 tsp vanilla extract
    • green food colouring
    • sweets, to decorate (we used Haribo Droppys and Waitrose jelly diamonds)
    • large white chocolate star, to decorate
      White chocolate squares, stacked

      White chocolate

      why-t chok-lit

      To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

    • edible gold spray

    You will need

    • 24-hole mini muffin tin
    • 48 green mini-muffin or petit four cases
    • small plant pot or mini bucket (roughly 13cm across the top)
    • 12cm foam cone (measured across base)
    • cocktail sticks
    • green paint


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the muffin tin with the muffin cases. Put half the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add one egg and mix well. Add half the flour and milk, and mix with a spatula until combined. Use 2 teaspoons to distribute the cake mixture evenly among the cases and bake for 12 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat to make another batch of 24 mini cakes.

    2. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and food colouring, and blend again until evenly coloured. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Once the cakes have cooled, use a skewer to make a small hole in the base of each cake. To decorate the cakes, pipe blobs of green icing over the surface of each one.

    3. Now you’re ready to start assembling your Christmas tree. Paint the foam cone all over with green paint and leave to dry – don’t worry about it being too neat. Push the cone into the pot. To build the tree, push a cocktail stick into the base of each cake and press it into the cone. Continue until the cone is covered in cakes, trying to keep them as close together as possible. You may have some left over, which you can serve alongside the tree.

    4. Spray the chocolate star gold and put on top of the tree, then decorate the rest of the tree with sweets. The cakes will last for 3 days.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    6th Jan, 2015
    I made this with the kids for a boxing day buffet. It looked fantastic and was very easy to do. I found we needed at least 56 cakes, not the 48 stated in the recipe as we packed them in tightly. I will second the comment made by another reviewer that unless you use coulouring paste or powder you are never going to get the shade of green for the icing shown in the photo. Also stick the cocktail sticks in the cone first and not the cake, otherwise they come through the cakes when you are trying to stick them in the cone. We decorated ours with silver balls rather than jelly sweets and sprinkled edible gold glitter on each one. I would do this again for any buffet and just alter the colour so it looked less like a Xmas tree for other times of the year. I'm thinking pastels with sugar flowers. We got the cone and bucket from Hobbycraft. I think you could probably do it with one of those foam spheres on a stick and make it look like topiary!
    13th Dec, 2014
    My daughter and I had great fun with this recipe! I made the cupcakes and froze them then we decorated and assembled the tree once she was home from uni. We did seem to have loads of icing left over though - don't know if we were mean with our decoration? Also, don't know what shade of food colouring the recipe used - we used Dr Oetker green gel - two tubes and it still wasn't very dense so used some sugar paste colouring we had in the cupboard. We started at the bottom of the tree and worked up - seemed to work well and when we needed to re-position, that was OK too. Recommend putting cocktail sticks in the cone then putting cakes on - less messy! Recipe didn't say to spray gold shimmer on the tree as a whole but pic in magazine looked as if they had so we did too - perfect finishing touch.
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