Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

There is nothing better than family coming in from out of town to celebrate the holidays together. With the global pandemic this last year, it has been harder than ever for us to get together and share in our annual traditions like we usually do. If you do get the chance this year to be with loved ones, make every moment count! 

Baking has become a huge tradition in our household where the kitchen is filled with Christmas tunes and every counter space has flour on it and variations of icing and glitter. If you do a baking day as we do, then these Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes are a great addition. Level up from the sugar cookies and take your decorating skills to the next level. 

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

What better treat to enjoy while decorating your Christmas tree than a Christmas light-inspired moist cupcake topped with the cutest candies. 

The chocolate cupcakes are infused with freshly brewed coffee that offsets the sweetness from the frosting and candies. Topped with Cream Cheese Buttercream which also adds some tangy flavor and softens the intensity a bit.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

To make the “lights” is very easy and a great activity for kids. All you need is a black icing gel or chocolate syrup. And some mini M&M’s. Let the kids’ imagination go wild! Just be careful with the black icing (trust me it will end up in places you couldn’t even imagine, like white cabinets!). 

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Let’s walk through how to bake these Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes. Scroll to the end if you don’t need these step-by-step pictures. 

Grab your ingredients to start. These are one-bowl chocolate cupcakes, my favorite. 

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

and whisk the wet ingredients into a second bowl.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Then pour in the water or coffee. Mix until well combined. 

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way with batter.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Bake until your toothpick comes out clean.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Allow your cupcakes to cool and start making the Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Whip together ingredients until the consistency is light and fluffy.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Add buttercream to a piping bag and top your cupcakes.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Use the black gel icing in small strips around the frosting to resemble the string for your holiday lights.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Add the mini M&M’s so they touch the black gel and space them out to look like a festive strand of Christmas Tree Lights.

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Some tips I have to ensure you have the best results possible: 

  • Use high-quality cocoa powder. The quality of the cocoa powder will break or make the most delicious chocolate cupcakes.
  • Do not overmix or overbake your cupcakes. This will result in a dry and tough crumb. Take the cupcakes out of the oven when your toothpick comes out almost clean. The cupcakes will continue to bake as they cool.
  • Make sure you are using a round piping tip. I used Wilton 2A.

Whether you are baking with family or close friends; make the holidays memorable with all the festive foods you can bake! 

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

If you are really getting festive this year, then you should also look at Easy Christmas Decorated Cookies or Peppermint Mocha Brownies. 

What do you think of these festive treats? Let me know in the comment section below. In the world of social media we live in today, sharing our food photos are a daily occurrence. If you bake these Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes and share them, tag #aclassictwist so I can see all your beautiful creations!

Have a great week!

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 15 cupcakes

Christmas Lights Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

For Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup warm water or strong brewed coffee (check recipe notes)

For the cream cheese buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Toppings:

  • Chocolate syrup or black decorating gel
  • Mini M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add in the hot water or coffee.
  5. Use a large ice cream scoop or a ⅓ measuring cup to divide the batter between the liners, filling each about ⅔.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  7. Meanwhile, make the frosting; with a hand mixer or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix on high speed the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Cream on high until mixture has lightened and is fluffy for about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and frost the cupcake.
  9. Trace a black line around the frosting with the decorating gel or the chocolate syrup.
  10. Stick M&Ms around the line imitating Christmas lights. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Use high-quality cocoa powder. The quality of the cocoa powder will break or make the most delicious chocolate cupcakes.
  2. Do not overmix or overbake your cupcakes. This will result in a dry and tough crumb. Take the cupcakes out of the oven when your toothpick comes out almost clean. The cupcakes will continue to bake as they cool.
  3. Use the recommended mini M&Ms but discard the brown ones.
  4. Make sure you are using a round piping tip. I used Wilton 2A.
  5. Instead of M&Ms, you can use different coloring decorating gels and pipe dots across the black line.

Making this Recipe?

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