Cupcake Christmas Tree
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup Alta Dena Milk
1 cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips, reserve ¼ cup
1 ½ cups butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons Alta Dena Milk
Yellow or gold decorator sugar or candies
Green food coloring
Holiday decorator sprinkles
¼ cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup reserved vanilla buttercream
- To make cupcakes, heat oven to 350° Line 24 muffin pan cups with paper baking cups; set aside.
- In medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In large mixer bowl combine sugar and butter; beat on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add one-third flour mixture and ½ cup milk; continue beating until combined. Repeat 2 more times. Stir in mini chocolate chips, setting aside reserved ¼ cup.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups, filling each almost full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to rack. Cool completely.
- To make vanilla buttercream, in large mixer bowl combine butter and vanilla. Beat at high speed, scraping bowl often, until fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until fluffy. Remove ½ cup vanilla buttercream to use to make chocolate buttercream; set aside.
- To make star tree topper, frost one cupcake; sprinkle with yellow or gold decorator sugar or candies; set aside.
- Continue beating remaining buttercream adding green food coloring, small amounts at a time, until reaches desired color.
- On large (21×18-inch) aluminum foil covered piece of sturdy cardboard or tray place cupcakes to form a tree starting with yellow or gold frosted cupcake at top. Follow with row of two cupcakes, then three cupcakes, four cupcakes, five cupcakes and six cupcakes.
- Fill pastry bag with green frosting. Using various decorator tips frost green cupcakes as desired. Decorate with various holiday decorator sprinkles.
- To make chocolate buttercream, in small microwaveable bowl melt reserved ¼ cup mini chocolate chips on high for 30 seconds; stir. Repeat until melted and smooth; cool slightly. Stir into ½ cup reserved vanilla buttercream. Place two cupcakes to form trunk of tree; frost with chocolate buttercream.
Tip: Recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Twenty-three cupcakes are needed to form tree. Frost and decorate one remaining cupcake and enjoy!
Tip: For quicker, easier frosting of cupcake tree; arrange cupcakes into tree as directed above. Use spatula or table knife to frost cupcakes creating swirls.