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White Chocolate Christmas Tree Cupcakes

The cutest and most festive cupcakes you can have for the holidays! Each is topped with a homemade Christmas tree topper (which you could also enjoy on its own, as a snack!).
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 1 hr 1 min
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (3/4 cups for the cupcake batter and 1/4 cup for the frosting)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract (2 tsp. for the cupcake batter & 1 tsp. for the frosting)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/8 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup dark green candy melts
  • pretzel sticks
  • assorted sprinkles
  • shredded coconut flakes

Instructions
 

  • To make the Christmas tree toppers: Melt dark green candy melts according to package directions. Let cool enough to transfer to a piping bag and pipe, but don't let cool completely. On a baking tray lined with a silicon baking mat, place pretzel sticks about 1-2 inches apart. In a side to side direction, pipe the shape of a Christmas tree on top of the pretzel sticks. Immediately top with sprinkles and a yellow candy star. Place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. When ready to use, lift each topper using an offset spatula.
  • To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, add 3/4 cups of butter and sugar and mix on medium-low speed to cream together. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix. Add milk and 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and continue to mix. Bring speed up to medium-high and continue to mix until combined well. Line cupcake tins with liners. Fill each liner 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting: Cream together 1/4 cups of butter and mascarpone. Add powdered sugar, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and continue to mix until well incorporated.
  • To assemble the cupcakes: using an offset spatula, spread frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle shredded coconut flakes on top and then insert Christmas tree toppers. Serve and enjoy!