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Gluten Free Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Takes 45 mins. Makes 10.

Tis the season! Here's a super easy but impressive looking cupcake that those in your Christmas bubble will love. It's a chocolate cupcake 'trunk', a strawberry inside, green buttercream and edible decorations. The idea for this came from wanting to make a Christmas tree cupcake, but not being the biggest fan of icing. Don't get me wrong, I love icing, but I feel like the amount you'd need to build up to the shape of a Christmas tree would be a bit ridiculous. Hence the idea for a strawberry - already the right shape, the icing only needs to go around it. And because there is a strawberry in there, it must mean it's healthy, right?

Room Temperature Ingredients

When baking cakes, muffins, or cupcakes, I always try to make sure all my ingredients are room temperature. Is this really important? Well.... I've definitely gotten away with not doing this in the past, but I do see an improvement to my bakes when I do follow this law. So why is this? Well, dairy and eggs at room temperature form and emulsion which traps air - so while you bake, the heat expands the air and produces a fluffy texture! Eggs are also easy to bond with other ingredients at room temperature - Baking is Science y'all! So what do you do if you forgot to take your eggs or butter out of the fridge? Well butter is and easy fix, with 10 second increments in the microwave, you can easily bring it up to room temperature. For eggs I have a great tip, pop them into a glass over warm water for 3-5 minutes and they will be the perfect temperature. Make sure the water isn't too hot though, otherwise you might end up with scramble.

Alternate Decorating

Firstly, please what out for sprinkles that contain gluten - quite a lot do! Some use wheat as a binder so make sure you are double checking those ingredients lists. I am using the Christmas Sprinkle Festive Mix from Sainsburys which had the red balls, snowflakes, and stars all included. I also used edible pink sparkles, if you can find white sparkles I would definitely recommend - because then you could make it look like snow! You call also use a smaller piping nozzle to make a tinsel effect with different colours butter cream. Please get creative with your cupcakes - just like you would your tree at home.


For the cupcake

  • 1/2 cup of white sugar

  • 125grams of butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup of gluten free self raising flour

  • 2 Tbsp of Cocoa Powder

For the icing

  • 2 cups of icing sugar

  • 75 grams butter softened

  • Green Food Colouring

  • 10 Strawberries

  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° celsius bake. Grease a standard muffin tray (with 12 muffin moulds) with butter.

  2. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Beat in egg and whisk until smooth.

  3. Sift in the self raising flour and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

  4. Spoon the mixture into 10 of the muffin trays, filling up to about 3/4 high.

  5. Bake in over for 20 minutes or until golden on top. To check if the are cooked through, stick a kebab stick into the middle of a cupcake - if it comes out clean then they are ready! Leave to cool while preparing icing.

  6. To make the buttercream icing: Beat the softened butter and icing sugar together until combined.

  7. Slowly beat in the green food colouring until you get the colour you desire and keep beating until you get the right buttercream consistency (it should be stiff enough to hold its shape, but still have a slight bend at the tip).

  8. Transfer buttercream to an icing bag with a star nozzle and prepare the cupcakes for icing.

  9. Assemble: If the tops of the cupcakes are rounded, gently slice of the lid until its nice and flat.

  10. Cut the stems off the strawberries and sit them on the cooled cupcakes.

  11. Pipe the green buttercream around the strawberry - you should get a cone-like shape (like a Christmas tree!).

  12. Decorate your Christmas tree cupcakes with different sprinkles. The ones I used for this recipe were "Christmas Sprinkle Festive Mix" from Sainsburys. Make sure you are checking your sprinkles for gluten!

Serve on the day, or keep in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.

Keep an eye out on my instagram @howtocoeliac for more festive recipes coming soon..


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