My eldest is a senior in high school this year. Her graduating class is roughly 100 students. Each month, the parents chip in and provide a themed, pot luck luncheon for the seniors and their teachers. I always sign up for desserts (which is funny, because I love to eat savory). Since I’m a Pintrest fanatic, there are always fun and whimsical holiday desserts which I’m dying to try.
This months’ theme was Christmas. I’d seen these cupcakes on Pintrest in a blog, “Just a Taste”. I thought they were cute, quick, and easy…right up my alley. I changed a few things, based upon what ingredients I had on hand, then put together a quick tutorial to show you what I did to create these cute little cupcakes.
- Cooked Cupcakes
- Angled Spatula or a knife
- Icing to cover the cupcakes (whatever icing you prefer)
- White Sanding Sugar (for the snow effect)
- Pretzel sticks
- 1 bag of green Candy Melts – Makes 24 trees (found at your local craft store or Walmart)
- Muli-colored dragees (or another preferred decoration for the branches)
- Size #6, gold dragees
- Parchment paper
- Ziplock sandwich bags
- Triangle template, Christmas Tree Outline
Place about 1/2 cup of your sanding sugar in a bowl and set aside.
Using an angled spatula or knife, ice your cupcakes with white icing.
Dip the cupcake into the bowl of sanding sugar. Set aside.
Place you triangle guideline/template on a flat surface such as a baking sheet or a table. (Here’s the link for the triangle template sheet in case you need it. Christmas Tree Outline ). Next, lay out your parchment paper on top of your your triangle template. You should be able to see your template through the parchment paper. The template will be a guideline and will help you keep your Christmas trees roughly the same size.
Put your sprinkles/dragees into small bowls for easy access. Keep them close by your project.
Once your template and parchment paper are ready, place a pretzel stick at the base of each triangle. Be sure to extend one end of the pretzel stick at least an inch into the center of the triangle (see the picture below). This way when you pour your chocolate onto the triangle, it encapsulates the pretzel stick and makes it a sturdy “trunk” for your tree.
Melt your Candy Melts according to the package directions. Pour your Candy Melts into your Ziplock plastic bag. In the picture, I have a disposable icing bag pictured. I used the disposable icing bag for one set of trees, then quickly switched over to plastic sandwich bags for the remainder of my project. I’ll explain why in the next step.
Once your Candy Melts are poured into your plastic bag, cut the tip off. I found that a tiny hole worked best. The larger holes allowed too much chocolate to flow out of the bag and onto the parchment paper. Smaller holes allowed me to manipulate the Candy Melts where I needed it most. Best of all, small holes gave the trees a more realistic look.
Squeeze the Candy Melts out of the bag in a zig-zag manner (side-to-side) onto the parchment paper, being sure to stay within the triangle guidelines. If you stay within the triangles, your trees will all be the same approximate size.
Immediately after you finish zig-sagging your trees onto the parchment paper, sprinkle each tree with your multi-colored dragees. Then, place the #6 gold dragee at the top for your star.
Allow the trees ample time to harden (10-15 min). They will easily lift off of the parchment paper. However, I suggest peeling the parchment from the tree vs. pulling the tree off of the parchment paper.
This is where I switched from my disposable decorating bag to a simple plastic sandwich bag. I used two templates under my parchment paper which allowed me to make 10 trees at a time. (I needed to make 4 dozen.) After making each set of trees, whatever chocolate was left over in my bag would harden. Since sandwich bags are cheap, I would simply wait until it hardened, cut the bag open, peel out the chocolate of the bag and drop it into my original bowl of Candy Melts. Then I would re-melt the Candy Melts when I needed it for my next batch of trees.
At this time, the trees are finished and when you are ready to serve them, simply poke one of your tree trunks (the pretzel-end of your tree) into the center of your cupcake.
There are so many changes or variations that you can do to this project to make it something special or something different.
- You could add some white royal icing or white Candy Melts to the edges to look like snow.
- You could add some disco dust to make it sparkle (I added both royal icing and disco dust for my final cupcakes).
- You could use a small star punch to cut out a fondant star for the top of the tree instead of the gold dragees
- Instead of multi-colored sprinkles/dragees, you could use small gold or silver dragees to look like sparkling lights
- Add some black or gray Candy Melts to half of your green to give your tree more color/depth of field.
Send me pics of your creations! I’d love to see what you come up with. Happy Caking!