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Christmas Cut-Out Cupcakes

Christmas Cut-Out Cupcakes

Total Time To Complete: 65 Minutes
Makes: 20 cupcakes

Suitable for ages 3 - 12


  • Chocolate and/or vanilla boxed cake mix and other ingredients needed to follow package directions
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 1 container chocolate frosting (optional)
  • Assorted food coloring
  • WONKA® Frosty NERDS®
  • WONKA® GOBSTOPPER® Snowballs (optional)
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Assorted small Christmas themed cookie cutters with basic shapes


These Christmas cut-out cupcakes will be a hit with the adults and grown-ups alike. They are a particular favorite of mine for taking to school parties and outings with kids. With the frosting hidden inside, your kids' faces stay cleaner, and you don't have to worry so much about cupcakes bumping each other and messing up the decoration in transport.

You can also (mostly) avoid the dreaded licked-top-syndrome…you know…where the kids lick the frosting off the top and leave the cupcake.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 1

The main trick to making these is knowing how to bake a rounded-top cupcake…and it's easy. To keep things simple, I used cake mix from a box. Individually, I think the cut-outs are most striking with chocolate cupcakes because of the contrast of the bright colors against the dark cupcake. However, as a group, I like a mixture of dark and light cupcakes, so I used both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.

Most box mixes will tell you to fill the cupcake paper 2/3 full and to bake at 350 degrees. We're going to change that slightly, by filling them MORE and cooking at a LOWER temperature for a few minutes LONGER. You want to fill your cupcake paper 3/4 full and bake at 325 degree. Then you'll want to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes. You'll want to check your cupcakes with a toothpick to make sure they're done. Because we're filling the cupcake papers more than the box directions, this will reduce your yield slightly. I find I usually get about 20 cupcake from a mix that says it will make 24.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 2

But the slightly reduced yield is worth it to give you nicely rounded cupcakes without them overflowing your cupcake wrappers.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 3

While your cupcakes are cooking and cooling, you can get your frosting ready and set out your candies. I divided my vanilla frosting into several different bowls to mix up different colors. If you want to keep it simple and go with fewer colors, white and green were my favorite colors to use. (Red often ends up looking more pink, and the other colors are fun, but less Christmasy.) I prefer the concentrated food coloring gel, but regular food coloring will work as well. Be sure to leave some frosting white because it contrasts so nicely with the red and green Nerds®. Wonka® Frosty Nerds® are the perfect size for decorating these. I find traditional sprinkles too small to control well where they go and other candies are too big for the small cut-outs. I also loved using Wonka® Gobstopper® Snowballs for the center of the snowflakes, although they were too large to use with my other shapes. You'll also need to gather some assorted small cookie cutters. I found that small basic shapes work the best…a star, candy cane, Christmas tree, gingerbread man, etc. I found other shapes like wreaths and sleighs that are not as well defined don't work as well.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 4

Once you've let your cupcakes cool, use a serrated knife to cut the mounded top off your cupcake, level with the top of your cupcake paper.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 5

But your cupcake top on a firm surface (like a cutting board), and gently press your cutout into it. 

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 6

Frost the top of your main cupcake with your chosen color of frosting.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 7

Pop your cupcake top back on.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 8

And embellish as desired using Wonka® Frosty Nerds®. I tried to keep my embellishments as simple as possible…

Random ornaments for the Christmas trees.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 9

Just a few stripes for the candy canes…

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 10

Buttons, but not eyes for the gingerbread men…and I used chocolate frosting for those too.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 11

Some evenly spaced ones plus a Wonka® Gobstopper® Snowballs for the snowflake.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 12

And my 6-year-old even had the brilliant inspiration to just fill the whole cut-out up with Wonka® Frosty Nerds®…which is the easiest option yet…and I think the red, white and green really gives a nice look.

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 13

In general, the kids were most interested in the brighter colored frosting (no plain white vanilla or brown chocolate for them!)

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 14

They also love the little pieces left over from the cut-out. They make fun garnish for the cupcakes…or when spread with a little frosting provided a little bite-sized treat…perfect size for kiddos anxious to eat the cupcakes in front of them.

The possibilities are really endless!

R3 Christmas Cut Out Cupcake 15

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size:1/20 of recipe

Servings Per Recipe: 20

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 260
  • Calories from Fat: 110
  • Total Fat: 12g (19% of DV)
  • Saturated Fat: 2g (11% of DV)
  • Cholesterol: 30mg (11% of DV)
  • Sodium: 270mg (11% of DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 36g (12% of DV)
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5g (3% of DV)
  • Sugars: 26g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Vitamin A: 0% of DV
  • Vitamin C: 0% of DV
  • Calcium: 4% of DV
  • Iron: 8% of DV

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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Polly Carlson

Polly Carlson

The Christmas Cut Out Cupcakes were created by blogger, Polly Carlson. To learn more about Polly, visit her blog at Pieces by Polly.

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