How to Make Christmas Tree Cone Cupcakes

Ice cream cones turned upside-down provide an ideal structure to assemble sweet Christmas tree cupcake toppers. Whether it's traditional greens and reds or fun, unconventional pinks and blues, any festive color palette will make these the star of the dessert table.

November 16, 2021
Pink, Green and Blue Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Photo by: Heather Baird,

Heather Baird,

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons commercially prepared eggnog

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 10 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • milk or cream, if needed to thin
  • green, blue, and pink food colors

Decoration Ingredients

  • 12 sugar cones
  • 1/2 cup white sparkling sanding sugar
  • 1/3 cup multicolor sprinkles
  • 3 tablespoons silver dragees
  • 12 silver star cupcake picks

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Then, add vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with eggnog. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl to make sure all ingredients are well-incorporated.

Divide evenly between 12 liners using a trigger ice cream scoop, filling each 2/3 full (Image 1). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before frosting (Image 2).

Frosting Instructions

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together the butter and confectioners' sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase speed and add vanilla extract. Add milk or cream one tablespoon at a time to thin if needed. Whip on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Remove one cup of frosting to a bowl and cover with a damp paper towel to prevent drying. Divide the remaining frosting into three bowls and tint each bowl with a food color so there's a batch of green, blue and pink buttercream. Transfer each tinted frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small open star top (such as Wilton #32).

Photo by: Heather Baird,

Heather Baird,

Assembly Instructions

Apply a thin coat of green buttercream to four sugar cones using an offset spatula (Image 1). Repeat with the pink and blue buttercream. Let stand until set. Place the sparkling white sugar in a small cup or bowl. Next, use a small spatula to top a cupcake with some of the reserved white frosting. Immediately dip the frosted cupcake in the sanding sugar (Image 2). Repeat the process with the remaining cupcakes, and set aside.

Place a cone with the pointed end facing up on top of a frosted/sugared cupcake. Beginning at the bottom of the cone, pipe stars of buttercream in a row around the circumference (Image 1). Repeat the process traveling upward until the entire cone is covered. Immediately sprinkle with dragees and rainbow sprinkles (Image 2). Repeat the process with the remaining cones and cupcakes. Snap toothpicks off of the star cupcake picks and place upright into the frosting on top of each tree. Serve cupcakes immediately or store covered at room temperature until ready to enjoy.

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