These Christmas Wreath Cupcakes are a festive sweet treat that everyone will love. They’re fun and easy to make and are not only a lovely dessert for your holiday meals and parties but also a great homemade, edible gift for friends and family.
I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations (and for everyday treats!) for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
This post is part of the Create Christmas series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog – a celebration of everything Christmas and Winter. Now in its 8th year, the 2019 series is bigger and better, running from November through December 31st!
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Christmas Wreath Cupcakes
If you need a simple, yet festive cupcake to make for the holidays, then this is the recipe for you!
The chocolate cupcake recipe is included, but you can use your own recipe if you like, or use a box mix, or even buy ready-made cupcakes and decorate them.
They are topped with buttercream frosting and the wreath decorations are piped on with royal icing. I love how pretty they look!
Ingredients used in this recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe.
I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
- Usual cupcake and frosting ingredients: flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, powdered sugar, etc.
- For the wreath icing:
Equipment used in this recipe
You are likely to have many of these cooking tools in your kitchen already, but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need to purchase anything for this recipe.
- Measuring Cups, Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowls, Mixing Spoon
- Cupcake Pan, Cupcake Liners
- Piping Bags
- Large & Small Star Piping Tips
- Small Round Piping Tip
- Electric Mixer
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Recipe Tips for Christmas Wreath Cupcakes
Making the cupcakes
- Use green or red cupcake liners to make the cupcakes even more festive looking!
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, etc.) to add air and lightness to your cakes.
- These cupcakes are made by the creaming method which is a classic way of making cakes.
- Butter and sugar are beaten till light and fluffy, then the eggs are beaten in one at a time before alternating dry and wet ingredients.
- Use an ice cream scoop to help divide the cupcake batter evenly between the liners – fill them three-quarters full.
- To check that the cupcakes are cooked through, insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it should come out clean.
- Leave cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Making & Using Frosting
- Butter and powdered sugar are beaten together until light and creamy.
- The recipe uses up to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream (double cream in the UK) to adjust the consistency.
- The frosting needs to hold a stiff peak for piping onto cupcakes.
- Test this by taking a spoonful of frosting and turning the spoon upside down. If the frosting stays on the spoon it is ready.
- Add more powdered sugar – a little at a time, beating in well.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and frost the cupcakes from the outside edge to the center.
- Flatten off the top of the frosting when piping, rather than creating the usual peak.
Making & Using Royal Icing
- The wreaths on top of the cupcake frosting are piped on with royal icing.
- This is a hard icing that is made with egg whites (or egg white powder) and powdered (icing) sugar.
- Some recipes call for glycerine (this keeps the icing softer), or cream of tartar (this stabilizes the egg whites), or lemon juice.
- In the UK you can by Royal Icing Sugar which you can just mix with water. If you can buy this it makes things a whole lot easier! You can buy it ready-made in tubs too, which you are more than welcome to do!
- Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the icing. You want to form stiff peaks.
- When the icing is made, take out one-quarter of it to color with red food coloring gel, and the rest is colored green.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a small star tip with green icing.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with red icing.
- Hold the green icing bag straight down and pipe stars (the leaves) around the top of the cupcake to form a wreath. Allow icing to dry for 5 minutes.
- Pipe small red dots (the berries) on top of the wreath, and also pipe a bow too – use the pictures as a guide.
- Food coloring is available in various forms. You’re most likely to find liquid coloring in your grocery store, and other types of coloring like gels, pastes, and powders in more specialised cake decorating shops.
- The cheapest option is liquids, but they can alter the consistency of your frosting and cake batter, so I prefer to use pastes or gels which doesn’t.
- A little goes a long way with food coloring gels and you can usually get a much deeper shade than you would with liquids.
- Remember that you can always add more color, but not take it away – gradually build-up to the shade that you need.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses? Here are some recipes to take a look at to make a complete meal!
- Appetizer: Winter Vegetable Soup
- Main Dish: Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
- Side Dish: Roasted Apple Cauliflower Mash with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- Beverage: Apple Cider Margarita
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
More Recipes Using Chocolate
The Christmas wreath cupcakes are chocolate, so I thought I’d point you to some more chocolate recipes here on The Purple Pumpkin Blog.
- Chocolate Bonet with Amaretti
- Nigella’s Chestnut Chocolate Pots
- Cranberry & Chocolate Cheesecake Shots
More Christmas Dessert Recipes
Here are some more Christmas dessert recipes that you might like to make:
For the Cupcakes
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
For the Icing
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- Green & red gel food coloring
- To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the vanilla.
- Alternate by adding the flour mixture with the milk; beating after each addition.
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally measure the cupcake mix into the liners - fill about ¾ full.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, cream the butter and powdered sugar until it is light and creamy. If it doesn't cream, add some of the heavy whipping cream until it creams.
- Test to see if the frosting can form and hold a stiff peak by taking a spoonful of frosting and turning the spoon upside down. If the frosting stays on the spoon it is ready if not then add more powdered sugar half a cup at a time, mixing well.
- Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and frost the cupcakes starting on the outside edge and working to the center of the cupcake.
- To make the icing, combine the egg whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until stiff peaks form. Add more powdered sugar if required.
- Remove one-quarter of the icing into a separate bowl and color with red gel food coloring.
- Add green gel food coloring to the remaining icing.
- Place the green icing into a piping bag fitted with a small star tip.
- Place the red icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
- Using the photos as a guide, pipe the green icing in a circle around the top of the frosting to form the shape of a wreath. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
- Add red dots on top of the green wreath and then pipe a bow to finish off.
- Allow the icing to dry completely before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 1gSugar: 54gProtein: 5g
This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
The Create Christmas series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Christmas and Winter! You can check out Create Christmas from 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 and 2012 for tons of awesome Holiday ideas and inspiration!