Cupcake Wreath

Christmas cupcake wreath recipe

The Spruce / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 63 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes (24 servings)

This cupcake wreath is a Christmas showstopper! It's easy to make, and entirely edible, from the frosting leaves to the candy berries to the super-cute pinecones on top! The best part is, this dessert can double as a centerpiece, and it also feeds a crowd. To simplify things, you can use store-bought cupcakes, but if you have time, make your own.

Note: this recipe calls for a lot of buttercream! To cover the cracks between the cupcakes and pipe all the leaves, you'll need about 8 cups of buttercream. If you want to use less, you can skip the step where you cover the cupcakes with a thin layer of buttercream before piping—just be aware that some bits of cupcake might show through the leaves on the wreath.

Ingredients

  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tube green gel food coloring
  • For the Wreath:
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled)
  • 24 vanilla cupcakes
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup almonds (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup large red candies (or gumballs or maraschino cherries)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cupcake wreath is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cupcakes
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Place the powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

    Butter and flour
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Mix on low speed until the sugar is moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat again on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

    Mix on low speed
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of the frosting to a small bowl and stir in the melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate.

    Remove frosting
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. To the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl, add as much green food coloring as desired to get a nice, leafy green color.

    Add green food coloring
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Make the Pinecones

  1. Remove the paper wrappers from 4 of the cupcakes.

    Take wrappers off cupcakes
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

    

  2. Crumble the cupcakes in a medium bowl, working them between your fingers until they are nothing but crumbs.

    Crumble cupcakes
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Add a few spoonfuls of chocolate frosting and stir, until the crumbs and frosting are well-mixed and they have a Play-Doh like consistency. If needed, add more frosting to get the crumbs to stick together and to get the right consistency.

    Add chocolate frosting
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Divide the cake mixture into thirds and form each piece into a teardrop shape about 2 1/2 to 3-inches long. Place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper.

    Melt chocolate chips
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave.

    Melt chocolate
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  6. Dip the end of a slivered almond in the melted chocolate and press it against the back of one of the cake pinecones. Dip a second sliced almond, then place it next to the first one, overlapping it slightly.

    Dip chocolate
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Continue to add sliced almonds in an overlapping pattern, working back to front, until your pine cone is covered with almonds. For the most realistic look, use only whole pieces of almond, and try to tilt them forward (instead of having them stick straight up and down). Once all of the pine cones are decorated, refrigerate the tray to set them briefly, for about 15 minutes.

    Add sliced almonds
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Assemble the Wreath

  1. Arrange 13 cupcakes in a circle on a large serving plate, and add a ring of 7 cupcakes inside.

    Cupcakes in wreath shape
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel 
  2. Spread a thin layer of green buttercream over the tops of the cupcakes. You’re not really trying to frost them, you’re just helping them stick together in the wreath shape and covering up the tops of the cupcakes so the color won’t show through in the final wreath.

    Spread green frosting on
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Fit a piping bag with a large leaf tip (such as the Wilton #366), and fill the bag with green buttercream. Pipe thick leaves on top of the wreath, starting in the center and working your way to the outer edge. Fill up the piping bag as necessary, and continue piping until the whole top is covered with leaves.

    Pipe frosting
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Carefully transfer the 3 pine cones to the top of the wreath using a spatula.

    Add pinecones
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Dot the top with red candies, gumballs, or maraschino cherries.

    Dot red candies
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel 
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve and enjoy
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel