Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with festive vanilla buttercream. Great for children to help decorate too! 

This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes and is so tasty I haven’t felt the need to look for an alternative. I’ve slightly adapted Mary Berry’s recipe to make these festive beauties. 

Mary Berry’s original recipe is a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream that is spread on with a palate knife. I decided to swap the buttercream to vanilla because sometimes a chocolate cupcake and frosting can be a bit too much for people, and also I wanted to make the frosting look like a Christmas Tree which would be easier to colour with a vanilla frosting.

It isn’t very difficult to create these Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes. I’ve taken slightly tweaked Mary Berry’s chocolate cupcake recipe. For example I have altered the cooking temperature as I prefer a lower oven temperature when cooking cupcakes to help create a flat topped cupcake. 

On top of the simple, but very delicious cupcake, you add the Christmas Tree buttercream. This is actually really easy, especially once you have practised your piping skills. The green colour comes from gel food colouring which I would definitely recommend you use instead of liquid food colourings. The gel colours are thick and a small amount goes a long way whereas you need to much of the liquid colours and even then the final colour isn’t very vibrant.

Once you have achieved your perfect Christmas Tree green, you can then pipe the buttercream. This is easier than you may think! Just go slow and remember if you really make a mess you can always carefully scrape off the buttercream and start again!

When your trees have been piped, you can then decorate then however you would like. Think of them as your own Christmas tree at home and add your own personality! Or better yet, get your children to help you and you will probably end up with brightly coloured trees with far too many sprinkles! 


If you want the icing to be a bit more luxurious, you could use whole milk or even cream. I use semi-skimmed or sometimes 1% fat milk as this is what I always have in the house and the icing is still really delicious. 

Apart from looking festive and cute, Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes are really tasty. They are really light and fluffy with a lovely creamy buttercream. Plus they are also really simple to make! Give them a go this Christmas. 


4.72 from 7 votes

Mary Berry's Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with festive vanilla buttercream. Great for children to help decorate too! 

Keyword Cupcakes, Chocolate, Mary Berry, Christmas Tree
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 389 kcal
Author Curly


For the cupcakes

  • 4 tbsp water boiled
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g margarine
  • 165 g caster sugar
  • 115 g self raising four
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 140 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 280 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • green food colouring


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted, 180ºC non fan) and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners and set aside

  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and add the boiling water. Mix until it forms a thick paste and then add the remaining cake ingredients. Mix until combined

  3. Divide the mix between the cupcake liners. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  4. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack 

  5. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the buttercream. Beat the softened butter for a minute or so before adding the icing sugar 

  6. Add half of the milk and beat until the buttercream is smooth. Add small amounts of food colouring until you have managed to create a tree-like green. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a touch more milk 

  7. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a star shaped tip. Starting at the edge of the cupcake, pipe round in a circle and then upwards to create the Christmas Tree look

  8. Add any decorations you like to make it look like a Christmas Tree 

Recipe Notes

When making the buttercream, add less milk to start with as if you're like me it will take a while to get the green colour you're looking for. Due to this, the buttercream will probably get mixed quite a lot making it looser. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Mary Berry's Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 156mg7%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 875IU18%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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14 thoughts on “Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

    1. Curly Post author

      Thanks Julia. They are definitely an improvement on the previous photos! I’m just not sure the parents would as they would end up with sprinkles everywhere!

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