These cute Santa Hat cupcakes are a quick and easy Christmas treat that everyone will love. It’s a great recipe for making with kids or just eating with them! So grab some cupcakes, ice cream cones, and marshmallows because it’s time to make these yummy Christmas cupcakes!
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for all of the Christmas recipes! Cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and more coming at you over the next few weeks!
I’m always trying to come up with super simple and cute dessert ideas that you can take to party, like these hot chocolate cupcakes I made last year.
That’s why we made these easy Santa hat cupcakes that start with a boxed red velvet cake mix and finish with a DIY Santa hat treat on top!
You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a couple of ingredients from the store to make these yummy Christmas treats! And while they’re super easy to make, at first glance people will think you spent hours in the kitchen!
These would make a great addition to any Christmas party themes because what’s Christmas without Santa? Serve them up at your next Christmas party alongside yummy Christmas appetizers like grape jelly meatballs and brie bites.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy – these can really be done in as much time as it takes you to bake a box of red velvet cupcakes! Plus, they’re super easy to make and no real cupcake decorating skills needed. If you’re a pro cupcake decorator, you should try out my Grinch cupcakes next!
- Semi-homemade – the Santa hat on top of the cupcakes is going to be your contribution to this recipe. The cupcakes themselves can totally be box mix or if you want, you can use the recipe for this red velvet cake and just make cupcakes instead.
- Kid approved – not only are these kid approved to eat, they’re a fun one to make with the kids! Let them frost, roll, and top the Santa hats!
- Red velvet cupcakes – you can use a box mix or you can use this red velvet cake recipe and turn it into cupcakes, totally up to you. Or use your favorite red velvet recipe! Just make sure that your cupcakes are cooked and totally cooled before you start decorating.
- Red melting wafers – red candy melts, red melting wafers, red almond bark (sometimes they have it at Christmas time) all work great. It just needs to be something that will melt and harden again fairly quickly.
- Butter – I like to use salted butter in my buttercream for this recipe but you could also use unsalted if you don’t have salted. If you do use unsalted, I recommend adding 1/4 tsp salt to the buttercream but again, you can leave it out if you’d prefer. Make sure your butter is super soft so it beats up nice and fluffy.
- Sanding sugar – you can use either sanding sugar, decorating sugar (basically just the large pieces of sugar), or white sprinkles. I used these white sprinkles when I did my viral TikTok video and like how they turned out looking kind of like white hair.
How to Make Santa Hat Cupcakes
You’re going to make these cupcakes in three parts – the cupcakes, the frosting, and the Santa hats.
1 – Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
As I mentioned, the first thing you need to do is either make or buy red velvet cupcakes. You want to do this first so that the cupcakes can be cooled before you start adding on your Santa hats.
I personally made a box mix to save time and made them the night before so they could cool overnight. Then I was ready to decorate as soon as I got up the next morning without any worries about the cupcakes still being too warm!
2 – Make the Santa Hats
While the cupcakes are baking, you can go ahead and make your cones because they’ll need to cool for at least a few minutes before being added to your cupcakes anyway.
Start by cutting the tips off of your sugar cones so that the marshmallows will have a flat surface to sit on.
Then melt the candy melts either in the microwave or on the stove using a double boiler.
Once the candy melts are totally melted, put the melted candy onto a piece of parchment paper.
You can also just put it into a shallow bowl, but I like the easy clean up of a piece of parchment paper.
Place an ice cream cone in the melted candy and roll it gently around to coat the cone.
Stand the cone up and place the cones upright on the parchment paper.
Allow the coating on the cones to harden while you make your buttercream.
3 – Make the Frosting
You can really use any type of frosting you want. I’ve included a buttercream with this recipe, but could also use the cheesecake frosting I used for these pumpkin cupcakes or even the cream cheese frosting I used for these lemon cupcakes.
Just make sure the frosting is white!
To make the buttercream, cream the butter for a couple of minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and milk and mix it in until it’s totally incorporated.
Slowly add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture, mixing as you add. Beat until the frosting holds its shape with stiff peaks but remain soft and able to pipe.
Place the majority of the frosting in a piping bar with a round tip or just with the tip cut off. Keep a little bit out to use to coat your marshmallows.
4 – Decorate Your Cupcakes
Place the decorator’s sugar or white sprinkles in a shallow dish.
Pipe one even level of frosting onto the top of each of the cupcakes. Dip the top of the cupcakes into the sugar or sprinkles.
Place a mini marshmallow on the end of a toothpick or a bamboo skewer. Dip the marshmallows into the frosting and then coat with sugar or sprinkles to give the marshmallow the look of a pom pom.
Pipe a tiny amount of frosting on the tip of the ice cream cone that you cut off earlier and gently press the coated marshmallow on top.
Finally, gently press the cones into the frosting on the cupcakes, trying your best to center them on the cupcakes as much as possible.
Repeat with the other cupcakes until you have an entire collection of Santa hat cupcakes!
These are best put together right before serving. You can make all of the pieces ahead of time and then just put them together right before serving.
Handle the ice cream cones on the bottom as much as possible while rolling and standing them upright to harden. This will help to keep the outside visible part of the cones as neat as possible.
Make sure to get nonpareils (the little balls) kind of sprinkles rather than the longer jimmies. The jimmies don’t stay on the marshmallows very well and you want the marshmallows and the top of the cupcakes to match.
Store cupcakes in an airtight container (if you can find one to fit them) for up to three days, but they are best enjoyed the day they’re put together.
These cupcakes are simplest to eat if you take the cones off the top and eat the cones separately from the cupcake.
More Easy Christmas Treats
If you like these Santa hat cupcakes, you’ll love these other cute Christmas treats!
- Cranberry orange bread – this amazing bread is full of delicious holiday flavors, super moist, and great for sharing with family and friends!
- Grinch brownies – homemade brownies with Mint Oreos and all topped with a Grinch green ganache, these went viral on Tiktok for a reason!
- Andes mint cookies – these 4-ingredient cookies are the perfect holiday treat with their chocolate mint flavor!
- Mini sugar cookies – these bite-sized sugar cookies are the cutest mini cookies and all topped with sprinkles!
- Christmas Oreo truffles – simple 3-ingredient Oreo balls that make a perfect contribution to a Christmas plate!
Santa Hat Cupcakes
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS milk
- 12 mini marshmallows
- 12 sugar cones
- 2 cups red candy melts
- decorator's sugar or white sprinkles
- 12 red velvet cupcakes
- Start by cutting the tips off of your sugar cones so that the marshmallows will have a flat surface to sit on.12 sugar cones
- Melt the candy melts either in the microwave or on the stove using a double boiler.2 cups red candy melts
- Put the melted candy onto a piece of parchment paper or in a shallow bowl. Place an ice cream cone in the melted candy and roll it gently around to coat the cone.
- Stand the cone up and place the cones upright on the parchment paper. Let the cnady coating harden while you make the buttercream.
- Cream the butter for a couple of minutes until it’s light and fluffy.1 cup salted butter
- Add the vanilla and milk and mix it in until it’s totally incorporated.1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 TBS milk
- Slowly add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture, mixing as you add. Beat until the frosting holds its shape with stiff peaks but remain soft and able to pipe.3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Place the majority of the frosting in a piping bar with a round tip or just with the tip cut off. Keep a little bit out to use to coat your marshmallows.
- Place the decorator’s sugar or white sprinkles in a shallow dish. Pipe one even level of frosting onto the top of each of the cupcakes. Dip the top of the cupcakes into the sugar or sprinkles.decorator's sugar or white sprinkles
- Place a mini marshmallow on the end of a toothpick or a bamboo skewer. Dip the marshmallows into the frosting and then coat with sugar or sprinkles. Pipe a tiny amount of frosting on the tip of the ice cream cone that you cut off earlier and gently press the coated marshmallow on top.12 mini marshmallows
- Finally, gently press the cones into the frosting on the cupcakes, trying your best to center them on the cupcakes as much as possible.12 red velvet cupcakes