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21 Christmas Cupcakes to Earn You a Spot on Santa’s Nice List

Updated on November 27, 2023

These homemade treats are just as festive as cookies—and full of all your favorite holiday flavors.

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Our Best Ideas for Christmas Cupcakes

The holidays are all about spreading Yuletide cheer. There’s no better way to do that than with a sweet, homemade treat. As much as we love all kinds of festive cookies and holiday desserts, there's no denying that unwrapping a freshly baked cupcake is every bit as satisfying as tearing the paper off a present! Whether you’re boxing up a dozen for family and friends or baking a batch to set out with Santa’s cookie plate, Christmas cupcakes are bound to become a tradition in your home. Not sure where to start? These tree-topped treats look like they came from the local bakery—but they’re easy enough for anyone to make. After you whip up the cupcakes and frosting, simply pipe candy melts over a pretzel stick in a zigzag pattern and decorate with sprinkles for an easy cupcake topper!

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Photo: Teri Lyn Fisher

Aluminum Foil-Shaped Holiday Cupcakes

For these adorable cupcakes in holiday shapes, you don’t need to buy fancy molds or cutters. Simply roll foil into balls and tuck them into standard muffin cups. Using a box mix batter makes them even easier. This recipe makes a pair of the following six iconic holiday shapes: reindeer, gingerbread men, mittens, snowmen, angels and snowflakes. After baking, go to town decorating the cupcakes with frosting, candies and sprinkles. The results are very achievable and oh-so impressive!

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Photo: Matt Armendariz ©

Snowman Cupcakes

Box cake mix becomes an extra-special wintry treat (perfect for any Christmas dessert spread!0 with the help of some marshmallows, chocolate and peppermint candy.

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Pull-Apart Gingerbread Man

You can make this merry masterpiece with any type of cupcake you like (chocolate, vanilla or gingerbread all work well) but we highly recommend finishing them with our homemade ginger-molasses frosting. It adds just the right amount of gingerbread cookie flavor.

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