12 Christmas Cupcake Recipes for Holiday Parties, Potlucks, Open Houses, and Other Festive Gatherings

yellow cupcakes recipe

Celebrate the season and spread a little cheer with these Christmas cupcake recipes. During the holiday season, there are usually cookies galore in every shape, flavor, and style—and that's all well and good, but do save room for these festive cupcakes. We've got delicious designs, from snowmen to Christmas trees and ornaments, as well as cupcakes that are just plain delicious and crowd-pleasing to boot.

Why make a cupcake for your holiday celebration? Because, like cookies, they are easy to make in multiples and easy to share, no slicing or plating needed—they're already portioned out. And cupcakes are extra handy because they come in wrappers, so you might even be able to skip the plate.

01 of 12

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Mike Krautter

Our most showstopping holiday cupcake, all you need to create these adorable Christmas trees is sugar cones, green buttercream, and a steady hand for piping. Each chocolate cupcake is topped with an inverted sugar cone that's piped with frosting and sprinkled with sanding sugar.

02 of 12

Snowman Cupcakes

snowman cupcakes with marshmallows
Bryan Gardner

Kids will love helping to make these vanilla cupcakes adorned with marshmallow snowmen.

03 of 12

Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes


What holiday party isn't better with a chocolate cupcake? And it's all the better for you if the cupcake in question is made with this couldn't-be-easier one-bowl recipe. Finish them with your favorite frosting— and maybe some holiday sprinkles?

04 of 12

Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes with Whipped Cream
Con Poulos

Spiced and very nice, that's these sweet easy cupcakes which are made with fresh ginger and topped with whipped cream, then sprinkled with ground ginger—that's all the decoration they need.

05 of 12

Snowball Cupcakes

snowball cupcake recipe

These snowball-shaped cupcakes are oh so sweet. Chocolate cupcakes are frosted lightly then each one is topped with an ice-cream scoop more of frosting to form the snowball, then finished with sanding sugar for a snowy sparkle.

06 of 12

Yellow Cupcakes


An all-time favorite, these vanilla cupcakes are ready for any Christmas party once they're topped with an easy frosting and holiday sprinkles.

07 of 12

Cupcake Ornaments

cupcake ornament recipe

These charming Christmas cupcakes are sure to bring joy to the world. A combination of royal icing and homemade butter glaze are used to create the look of colorful baubles.

08 of 12

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bryan Gardner

Red is festive and with their classic topping of cream cheese frosting, these red velvet cupcakes are holiday ready.

09 of 12

Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes

parsnip cupcakes recipe

Looking for something different for a holiday dessert? These rich, moist cupcakes take everything you love about carrot cake to the next level, thanks to the sweet spiciness of parsnips and warm, fragrant cardamom. We took a page from the carrot cake playbook and paired these cupcakes with a classic cream-cheese frosting.

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Molten Chocolate-Espresso Cakes

Yuki Sugiura

With their gooey centers and chocolate ganache topping, these mini desserts are a sophisticated take on the cupcake.

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Santa, Reindeer, and Polar Bear Cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes with Festive Faces
Steven Karl Metzer

These easy decorating ideas for Christmas cupcakes are fun to make—with or without little helpers—and are guaranteed to be a hit at a Christmas party, potluck, or open house. Start with your favorite cupcakes and the decorating is fast. Get our Three Christmas Cupcakes How To

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

gingerbread cupcakes recipe

It's that time of the year, the gingerbread time of the year! These lightly spiced jumbo cupcakes are light and moist. Finish them with your choice of chocolate or butter glaze, pipe meringue buttercream on top, and then get creative with snowflakes or other piped designs.

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