These Christmas tree cupcakes not only make pretty Christmas treats, they are also great for gifting too!
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
I love how these Christmas tree toppers turned out. In fact, they don't require any special skills to make and yet, make really pretty cupcakes for Christmas.
The cupcakes I baked for this tutorial are plain vanilla cupcakes, but if you like, you can bake just about any cupcakes. And I chose to bake mine in muffin cups because I wanted my cupcakes to have totally flat tops. It's hard to level cupcakes baked in cupcake liners but with muffin cups, it's so much easier to slice off the domed tops with a knife (without the cupcakes getting squashed from the firm grip when leveling them), hence the choice of muffin casings for my cupcakes.
The cupcakes are given a thin coat of buttercream before the fondant toppers are placed on. Other than that amount of buttercream, the Christmas tree cupcake toppers are made entirely with fondant and accented with lovely sprinkles in matching Christmas colors.
All in all, I truly enjoyed decorating these cupcakes and the tutorial below will teach you how to make these on your own, step by step.
How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Main supplies for the cupcakes:
- Cupcakes - I used my vanilla cupcakes recipe to bake the cupcakes. For a single batch of the recipe, I managed to get 20 cupcakes baked in medium-sized muffin casings.
- Buttercream - I used buttercream to coat the top of each cupcake before placing the toppers on.
- Fondant - The cupcakes were almost fully decorated with fondant save for the sprinkles. I used Satin Ice fondant in white , green and dark chocolate .
- Fondant extruder tool - This was the main decorating tool for this project. If you don't have this tool, you can always roll your fondant into strips with hand, but it will take you a longer time to complete.
- Sprinkles - The sprinkles I used for these toppers are from Fancy Sprinkles in a lovely combination of Christmas colors - red, green, silver, and gold.
- Christmas tree template - This was a hand-drawn template and you can even use a cookie cutter (if you have one in the right size to fit the top of the cupcakes).
- Round scalloped cutter - I used this cutter to cut out the white background fondant. If you do not have the scalloped cutter, you can always use a plain round cutter .
- Sugar craft knife & scriber needle tool - The sugarcraft knife is a general cutting tool I used in this project. The needle tool was to trace the Christmas tree pattern on the fondant. You can always use a wooden skewer or even a toothpick in place of the needle tool.
- Wooden skewers - these were for shaping the Christmas tree trunks.
- Shortening & fondant glue - these were the glues for this project. I used shortening mostly and a slight touch of the fondant glue for the sprinkles.
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Assembling the Christmas cupcakes:
- Start by baking your cupcakes. Once they have cooled down, level them (if they are domed) and keep aside.
Baked and leveled cupcake before decorating
The Christmas tree template
- Next, prepare your Christmas tree cupcake template. You can draw this free hand or copy the image online. Make sure the template is resized to fit the top of your cupcake (I have a tutorial here on how to resize templates for cake decorating, you can read my tips there). Cut the template out.
Christmas tree template I used for my Christmas tree cupcakes
Making the Christmas tree cupcakes decoration on fondant
- Knead and roll white fondant to about ⅛ inches thick. Cut out medium-sized white round cutouts using a scalloped round cutter. Make sure the size of the circles matches the diameter of your cupcake tops so that the fondant covers your cupcakes adequately. This will be the white background for your cupcakes.
Tracing the tree
- Next, use the cut-out Christmas tree template and trace the outline onto the white fondant backgrounds. Make sure the template is well fitted within the white background. In tracing the Christmas tree, suffice if you trace just the tree and not its trunk.
- You will see in the steps that follow, why it is not necessary to trace the tree trunk. To trace the tree, you can use a needle tool, a skewer or even a toothpick.
The tree trunk
- Next, form the tree trunk. Roll some chocolate fondant into thin strips and coil them up as shown. Use 2 skewers to press the sides and turn them into rectangle coils.
- Attach shortening to the bottom of the tree outline and attach the trunk to it.
The tree outline
- Next, knead some green fondant, roll it into a sausage and put it into the extruder tool that is fitted with the smallest round-holed disc. Piped out long strips of the green fondant, and guide the strips to form outlines on the traced Christmas trees.
Filling up the trees
- With the outlines done, it's time to 'fill' the trees up. Again, using the fondant extruder tool, pipe out strips of fondant, but this time, in much shorter lengths (need not be the same length). Roll the ends to make them slightly pointy and coil them up in various sizes.
- Fill the Christmas trees up with these fondant coils (make sure you apply a coat of shortening first so that the coils stick to the white fondant).
- Even if you place the coils as close to one another as possible, there might still be white gaps visible. Fill these up with tiny green fondant balls (shaped by hand).
Decorating the trees
- Finally, add the sprinkles to the Christmas tree cupcake toppers. I used Christmas sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles in round shapes (these come is lovely red, green, gold and silver combination) and randomly added the red, gold and silver sprinkle balls on the trees.
- To make sure the sprinkles stay in place on the fondant Christmas trees, use a very light brush of fondant glue. Too much glue can smear the color on the sprinkles so use as a little as possible. A little goes a long way!
Attaching the toppers to the Christmas tree cupcakes
- Once all the toppers are done, apply a thin coat of buttercream to your cupcake tops. Attach the Christmas tree toppers on. The buttercream helps to hold them in place on the cupcakes.
A thin layer on cupcakes before attaching the toppers
And with that, the Christmas tree cupcakes are complete. Easy right?
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
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