Vegan Funfetti Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Thursday 8 December 2016

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A few years ago I created these super cute chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes, this year I've gone for something much simpler, but equally as tasty, Funfetti Christmas Tree Cupcakes. It's a very simple vanilla sponge filled with my homemade sprinkles. All my recipes this month will include one of the sets of sprinkles. For this recipe, it's the turn of the Christmas Tree sprinkles. The funfetti is made up of the tree baubles, as well as decorating the tree post-piping, along with the star on top.

vegan funfetti christmas tree cupcakes

I try and keep my recipes as simple as possible to welcome any newbie bakers. You simply sift all the dry ingredients, add the wet, throw in the sprinkles and you're ready to bake. As this is a vegan recipe there is, of course, no eggs, which is used as a leavening agent to help the cupcake rise and gives it that soft texture we all know and love. To recreate this in vegan baking, you can make a buttermilk, which is simply mixing the dairy-free milk with cider vinegar.

Yup, there is vinegar in this recipe.

Don't worry though, you can't taste it.

When the cider vinegar and dairy-free milk mix together, they start to curdle. After 10 minutes, you'll have a slightly thickened 'buttermilk', perfect for these fluffy cupcakes. Cider vinegar, (also can be called apple cider vinegar), can be found in most supermarkets. While those are curdling, sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix them together with a spoon, or your hands. I always get so messy when I'm baking so I try to limit myself to as little hand and ingredient contact as possible. Now, this is where you have to work a little faster. As soon as you add the wet ingredients to the dry, the raising agents will start working, but you want to keep that for the oven.

vegan funfetti cupcakes

Pour all the wet ingredients in with the dry and mix quickly with a spoon. Once combined add in the sprinkles. It's best to leave this to the very end as the colours of the sprinkles will transfer to the mixture. Pour them evenly into the paper cases. I used a 1/3 cup to help with the quantity. Put them into the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should leave a knife clean when tested, but also feel springy to touch. Leave them to cool on a cooling rack and prepare the frosting!

Learning how to make Vegan Funfetti Christmas Tree Cupcakes with @helloaycan #blogmas

The frosting is a simple mix of vegetable shortening (I use Trex), icing sugar, vanilla extracts and dairy-free milk. I kept to vanilla extracts because I love the taste, but you can use any flavour you like. I added some dairy-free milk as my mix was a little dry, but this is optional. I'm not sure whether it's just me, but whenever I use a hand-whisk and icing sugar, I am left with a white layer over everything in the kitchen, and me.

Let's just say, my black dungarees where no longer black.

It leaves a nice snowy effect though...

It's best to use a gel food colouring, they give the best vibrant colour, and also it doesn't add any extra liquid to the frosting mix. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag, and using a large flower nozzle, pipe around the cupcake, gradually moving in closer to the centre of the cupcake to create the Christmas tree. Practise a little on greaseproof paper if you're not feeling confident. To decorate, add the bauble sprinkles around your tree, and a star on top.

How adorable do they look! Almost too good to eat...

... I said almost. I'm definitely still going to eat these.

These are so soft, moist and fluffy, and the fondant sprinkles have melted inside, leaving a burst of colour. The perfect Christmas treat.

vegan funfetti christmas tree cupcakes


This recipe makes 12 edible Christmas Trees.


  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flavourless oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extracts
  • 1/2 cup Christmas sprinkles and a little more for decoration
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extracts (or any flavoured extract you like)
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free milk (optional)
  • Green gel food colouring


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 160 degrees C (fan) / 350F / gas mark 4. Line the cupcake tin with the festive cupcake cases.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar. Leave for 10 minutes to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, caster sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and baking powder. Mix together with a spoon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar mix, flavourless oil, and vanilla extract. This has to be done quickly before the raising agents start working.
  5. Mix in the sprinkles, but not too much or the colours will start to leak.
  6. Evenly pour them into the cupcake cases, and into the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. They should leave a knife clean when tested, but also feel springy to touch. Leave them to cool on a cooling rack.
  7. To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the vegetable shorting with a hand-whisk until creamy.
  8. Add in the vanilla extract, and gradually pour in the icing sugar. Use a slow setting on the hand-whisk to combine, it should start looking crumbly. Speed up to form the icing. If it looks dry, add the dairy-free milk.
  9. Add in your green gel food colouring and mix again so the colour is evenly placed.
  10. Using a flower nozzle, pipe from the edge of the cupcake, gradually moving in closer to the centre of the cupcake to create the Christmas tree. Decorate with baubles and star sprinkles.
This cupcake recipe was adapted from baking_a_difference
vegan funfetti christmas tree cupcakes

These cupcakes are so quick and easy to make, plus they're super tasty. They will be great for a Christmas party, post-Christmas shopping treat, or on a Thursday afternoon just because, well it's Christmas. Let me know in the comments below what would be your dream Christmas cupcake.