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

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

October 27, 2022

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Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Recipes You’ll Bake Every Year

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 cookies, 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!

Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Cupcakes

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!

Get the Recipe: Aluminum Foil-Shaped Holiday Cupcakes

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.

Get the Recipe: Snowman Cupcakes

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.

Get the Recipe: Pull-Apart Gingerbread Man

Pull-Apart Cupcake Christmas Tree

The holidays are always busy and it never hurts to have a shortcut or two in your back pocket. That’s why we love this party-perfect idea; use store-bought cupcakes, frosting and candies to make an impressive Christmas tree. In just one hour you'll have a centerpiece for your dessert table and a sweet treat to serve your guests.

Get the Recipe: Pull-Apart Cupcake Christmas Tree

Gigantic Standing Snowman

This impressive centerpiece is perfect for feeding a crowd at your holiday party. Coated with a meringue frosting, these bite-size cupcakes are as light as snow. The assembly takes a bit of work but the cupcakes are a breeze to make, thanks to box cake mix.

Get the Recipe: Gigantic Standing Snowman

Spice Cupcakes with Sugared Cranberries

If you’re a fan of sugar and spice (and everything nice!) then you’ll love this recipe. The cakes are made with molasses, allspice and cloves for a flavor that will remind you of a holiday spice cookie. A few sugared cranberries on top add a festive touch, making these cupcakes as pretty as they are delicious.

Get the Recipe: Spice Cupcakes with Sugared Cranberries

White Chocolate-Coconut Cupcakes

These snowball-inspired treats come together quickly — and with just a handful of basic ingredients, making them the perfect addition to any Christmas dessert spread.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate-Coconut Cupcakes

Chocolate-Orange Pinecone Cupcakes

These adorable treats are perfect for any winter woodland-themed dessert spread. To make the pinecones look like they’re covered in snow, simply dust the finished cupcakes with a little powdered sugar!

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Orange Pinecone Cupcakes

Cupcake Christmas Tree

Transform basic chocolate cupcakes into a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas dessert spread by generously coating the frosted tops with green sprinkles or jimmies and fastening them onto a Styrofoam cone using toothpicks.

Get the Recipe: Cupcake Christmas Tree

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Icing

The secret ingredient in Ina’s gingerbread-inspired cupcakes? Crystalized ginger. It gives each cake a spicy-sweet flavor, even after being topped with frosting.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Icing

Pull-Apart Cupcake Snowman

This fun, festive dessert display really doesn’t take much time or decorating know-how. You can use store-bought cupcakes and frosting to make the snowman — then simply decorate with candies and fondant. Best of all, no one will believe how easy it was to make!

Get the Recipe: Pull-Apart Cupcake Snowman

Moist Chocolate Cake Christmas Trees

Cone-shaped paper cups are key to pulling off these chocolate Christmas trees. Once they've cooled, cover the cakes with melted chocolate and decorate with festive red, green and silver candies.

Get the Recipe: Moist Chocolate Cake Xmas Trees

Holiday Cupcakes

For a sweet and celebratory Christmas treat, top moist peppermint-cranberry cupcakes with white icing and colorful candies. You can create cupcakes inspired snowmen, cups of cocoa, Santa's reindeer and more!

Get the Recipe: Holiday Cupcakes