Santa Hat Cupcakes are so fun and festive for the holiday season. The recipe starts with a cake mix but homemade icing transforms them into something magical.

Santa Hat Cupcake on a cake stand
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These Santa Hat Cupcakes are the perfect Christmas dessert without much effort at all. My kids look forward to making these cupcakes year after year. They are so cute and really delicious for your next holiday party.

Santa themed desserts are always popular with the kids and we also make Santa Hat Brownies and Strawberry Santa Hats.

Why this recipe works:

These step-by-step instructions will leave you with the perfect dessert to bring to your holiday dinner.

We used a chocolate cake mix, but you can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer. Top the cupcakes with an easy homemade icing to give it the perfect Santa Hat.

This festive recipe is one of the easiest cupcakes to make. They will look like you spent so much time when it actually took you less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients needed - chocolate cake mix, cupcake liners, shortening, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, milk, red food coloring

For the Cupcakes:

  • Chocolate Cake Mix 
  • Red Cupcake Liners

For the Icing:

  • Butter
  • Clear Vanilla Extract
  • Confectioners’ Sugar sifted
  • Red Gel Food Coloring

Find the complete ingredient list and recipe at the bottom of the post.

Variations

  • Mini Marshmallows. Decorate with mini marshmallows on top of the icing.
  • Sprinkles. Add festive sprinkles to the topping.
  • Cake flavor. You can use your favorite type of cupcakes.
  • Frosting. Sometimes, I like to use cream cheese frosting.

How to Make Santa Hat Cupcakes: 

Chocolate cupcakes cooling on a wire rack.

Step 1. Make the cupcake batter and bake based on the box instructions. Make sure to use the red cupcake liners. Once out of the oven, allow the cupcakes to cool completely at room temperature.

Mixing bowl with butter and shortening being creamed.

Step 2. Get out a large bowl. Cream together the shortening and butter until combined and smooth. I used a stand mixer but you can use any electric mixer.

Bowl with powdered sugar added to the butter mixture and combined.

Step 3. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency. I normally do 1 cup at a time on low speed until well combined and the frosting is soft press. Then add the vanilla and mix together.

Red food coloring adding to the frosting and combined.

Step 4. Separate the icing into 2 mixing bowls.  You will need about 70% of the icing in 1 bowl and 30% in another.  Then add a few drops of the red food coloring until the bowl with the larger amount of icing in it.  Stir until the frosting is a vibrant red coloring. 

Red frosting piped on the cupcakes.

Step 5. Use a piping bag for the red frosting and use a large round pastry tip or preferred large piping tip.  Then pipe a red frosting swirl on top of each of the cooled cupcakes.

White frosting piped on each cupcake to complete the decoration.

Step 6. Place the white frosting in a piping bag with a star tip.  Use this pastry bag to pipe small star shapes around the base on the red frosting.  Then top each of the cupcakes with a small star or small dot on top of the red frosting to resemble the top puff on the Santa hat. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Frost Santa Hat Cupcakes?

When you are ready to start frosting the chocolate cupcakes, we recommend starting with the red frosting. We used a 2d Wilton tip, preferred a large piping tip. This allows you to get a large swirl on top.

Then with a piping bag fitted with a star tip, add stars on the side of the cupcakes and a star on top of the red swirl. This gives it the Santa hat look perfectly.

How to store Cupcakes without ruining Frosting?

Cupcakes need to be stored in an air tight container. This keeps them light and fluffy.

Choose a container that is deep enough to store the cupcakes so the airtight lid does not touch the top of the frosting.

How Long will Cupcakes stay Fresh?

Store the leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

Santa Hat Cupcake on a cake stand

More Christmas Cupcake Treats:

Once you try this treat, Santa Hat Cupcakes Recipe will become an annual tradition. Don’t forget to leave a star recipe rating once you make them.

Santa Hat Cupcakes

5 from 2 votes
Santa Hat Cupcakes are so fun and festive for the holiday season. The recipe starts with a cake mix but homemade icing transforms them into something magical.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 411

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix
  • *Plus the ingredients to prepare the cake mix based on the package instructions
  • Red Cupcake Liners

FOR THE ICING:

  • 1 cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 cup Butter softened at room temperature
  • 2 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 8 cups Confectioners’ Sugar sifted
  • 4 Tbsp Milk
  • Red Gel Food Coloring
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Instructions

  • Prepare the chocolate cake mix based on the cupcake instructions using the red cupcake liners and all the cupcakes to cool completely at room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and butter until combined and smooth.
  • Then slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar (1 cup at a time) on low speed until well combined.
  • Then stir in the vanilla extract and milk until combined.
  • Split the icing into 2 mixing bowls.  Place approximately 70% of the icing in 1 bowl and 30% in another.  Then add a few drops of the red food coloring until the bowl with the larger amount of icing in it.  Stir until the frosting is a vibrant red coloring.
  • Place the red frosting in a piping bag with a large round pastry tip.  Then pipe a red frosting swirl on top of each cupcake.
  • Place the white frosting in a piping bag with a star tip.  Use this pastry bag to pipe small star shapes around the base on the red frosting.  Then top each of the cupcakes with a small star on top of the red frosting to resemble the top puff on the santa hat.
  • Then the cupcakes are ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store the leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 411kcal, Carbohydrates 53g, Protein 2g, Fat 23g, Saturated Fat 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 34mg, Sodium 217mg, Potassium 72mg, Fiber 0.4g, Sugar 46g, Vitamin A 261IU, Calcium 35mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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