Buttercream Frosting: There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. She highly recommends it for decorating your cakes. Frosting is also available in grocery stores, but if you have the time you may wish to try making your own.

l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites


1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)

Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.

What an interesting treat for this Christmas. There are a few extra tips and tricks in this video but you can do it with the basic decorating tools. Use basic butter cream frosting, a piping bag, #67 and #3 tips, and an offset spatula.

You’ll need to create a cone shape of frosting on top of the cupcake; this is the foundation for the tree and is what gives it its height. To do this, apply pressure, squeeze and pull bag up.

Using your piping bag with green colored frosting and your leaf tip (#67), start at the bottom of the cone and create one leaf at a time by using the bag to squeeze, release and pull. Turn the cupcake as you go around and make your leaves. Work your way up in layers.

Using your piping bag with red colored frosting and your round tip (#3), pipe on “garland” by applying a little pressure to the bag and go around the tree.

Garnish your tree with silver and gold dragees.

Tip: Before traveling with your tree cupcakes, chill them in the refrigerator to ensure they are kept in place. Cupcakes can be made in advanced and kept in refrigerator.

Christmas Tree Cupcake
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