Easy Christmas Tree Brownies are a fun, festive, and easy dessert to make with family on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! Homemade brownie recipe.
Turn your favorite fudgy Chocolate Brownie recipe into sweet, festive Christmas tree treats! This adorable Dessert is made with homemade Brownies and an easy American Buttercream Frosting. The perfect treat for your holiday party this year!
Sabrina’s Christmas Tree Brownies Recipe
These adorable brownie trees are a fun and festive dessert that will bring lots of holiday cheer to your parties, potlucks and other events. They are made from scratch with a homemade brownie mix and creamy buttercream frosting. The little bit of extra prep work makes these holiday brownie trees even more delicious.
Christmas Tree Brownies also make a fun holiday project for kids. Bake the brownies the day before and cut them up. The day of your party, bring them to room temperature and let the kiddos do all the decorating! Make sure you lay out plenty of “decorations” like mini chips, crushed candy canes, and shredded coconut.
- Brownie Batter: Skip the box of brownie mix and make our favorite brownie recipe using simple ingredients. We like to use melted butter and unsweetened cocoa powder for a dark chocolate fudge flavor.
- Chocolate Chips: The semi-sweet chocolate chips give bursts of melty chocolaty goodness throughout these brownie trees. You could also do a mix of dark chocolate or white chocolate chips with the regular chocolate. You could also use mini chocolate chips.
- Frosting: The bright green frosting is what turns these brownie triangles into festive tree treats. It’s an easy powdered sugar, cream and butter frosting that is light, fluffy and perfectly sweet.
- Pretzel Sticks: For the tree trunk, we used mini pretzel sticks. The brown color of course looks more like a real tree trunk and the salty crunchy pretzel tastes delicious with the fudgy dark chocolate.
- Sprinkles: Festive sprinkles look like the lights and baubles on the tree and every tree needs a topper with star sprinkles! You can use fun holiday sprinkles, rainbow chip sprinkles, or a specific color of sprinkles – totally up to you!
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Baking Dish: You’ll use a 9 × 13 inch baking pan so the brownies are thinner so they bake up more chewy and firm instead of crumbly and moist.
- Parchment Paper: To keep the parchment sling from sticking, grease the pan with cooking spray first then press the parchment paper into the pan.
- Piping Bag: A disposable piping bag lets you attach piping tips for a more decorative look. The star piping tip gives the frosting ridges and depth. However, you can always just us a ziploc bag and snip a small bit of the corner.
How to Make
Time needed: 1 hour.
- Prep for Baking
Preheat your oven. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Line the dish with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch lip over the edge.
- Make the Brownie Batter
Whisk the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk until no dry streaks. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake the Brownies
Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread the top to even it out. Bake for 25-30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
- Cut the Brownies
Using the edges of the paper, lift the brownie slab out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cut the slab into 3 long rectangles then cut each rectangle into triangles.
- Make the Frosting
Cream the butter in a stand mixer on low speed then add the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time until it’s combined. Beat on medium high for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and heavy cream then beat until light and fluffy. Start with 6 drops of food coloring, mix in the coloring until it’s the color you like.
- Decorate the Trees
Put the frosting in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe the frosting from top of the tree down in a zig-zag pattern. Add the rainbow sprinkles then place a star sprinkle at the top of each tree. Stick a pretzel into the bottom of each tree and serve.
Can Christmas Tree Brownies be made ahead?
You can absolutely make the brownies in advance, which is great for a kid’s holiday party because they will be ready to decorate. They are best made a day ahead of time before decorating and serving. You could also freeze them for one month then thaw them to decorate. The frosting can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated.
Christmas Tree Brownies Tips & Tricks
Clean Cut Brownies
For clean lines, chill the brownies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Chilling them makes them less likely to stick to the knife and easier to cut.
Use Gel Food Coloring
To get the most vibrant color for your frosting, use gel food coloring. You don’t need to use as much of it and the color is super bright.
How to Serve
Holiday Party: Make a holiday cookie and brownie decorating party with these brownies, Sugar Cookies, and Gingerbread Cookies. Add a variety of decorating candies and sprinkles, frosting flavors, and even some decorative royal icing (either homemade or in tubes) so everyone can get creative as they want!
How to Store
Store: Keep your brownies in a sealed container either at room temperature or in the fridge. If you have to stack them, place a piece of wax paper between the layers so the frosting doesn’t get all over.
Freeze: These Christmas Tree Brownies are best to store before you frost them then decorate them later. But you can also freeze them in a single layer for an hour on a baking tray to harden the frosting. Transfer them to container, using wax paper between layers and freeze for up to 2 months.
Alternative Decorating Techniques
Cookie Cutters: You could use cookie cutters but you’ll want to freeze the slab first. Cookie cutters will let you make all kinds of shapes like snowman, reindeer, or ornament brownies.
Candy Canes: Another festive way to make the trunks is to use a candy cane stick. Break off the curved part then insert them as usual. You could also use candy cane pieces instead of sprinkles.
Chocolate: Instead of the frosting, use melted white chocolate that you dye green. Dip the brownies entirely in the chocolate or drizzle it over top. You could also drizzle white chocolate without coloring it over the frosting.
Since the batter is dark and the brownies are fudgy, it can be hard to tell when they are done baking. The brownie edges should be set and slightly pulling from the sides of the pan. The center shouldn’t jiggle if you shake the pan.
If you don’t have the proper butter and sugar ratio, your frosting will have a hard time setting. Pop the brownies in the freezer to help harden the frosting.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar , about 2 pounds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 6-12 drops green food coloring
- 1 cup pretzel sticks
- 1/4 cup rainbow confetti sprinkles
- 2 tablespoons yellow star sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray an 9×13 inch baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper with extra hanging out over the edge (to help lift the brownies out later).
- Whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly into greased baking pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Lift out the brownies and place on cutting board.
- Cut the brownie sheet into 3 long rectangles.
- Turn the brownie strip lengthwise in front of you and cut the brownies into Christmas tree triangle shapes.
- To your stand mixer on low speed cream the butter then start adding in the powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until fully combined then raise the speed to medium-high for 2 additional minutes.
- Add in the vanilla and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy for an additional minute.
- Add in the green food coloring starting with 6 drops until you get to your desired Christmas tree green.
- Add to a piping bag with a star tip.
- Ice in a back and forth zig zag pattern with the green icing.
- Top with rainbow confetti sprinkles
- Place a pretzel into the bottom of the tree in the middle to make the trunk.
- Top with yellow start sprinkle.
Mix-Ins: Switch the flavor of the brownies up with all kinds of mix-ins like chopped nuts, peanut butter chips, coconut shreds or white chocolate chips. Keep in mind crunchier or larger mix-ins could make it harder to cut clean lines.
Frosting: Instead of the buttercream, try Mint Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting that are colored a bright green. You can also use store bought frosting in a can and turn it green or whatever color you prefer.
Decorations: Try adding mini candy pieces, shredded coconut, mini marshmallows, drizzled chocolate or frosting, cookie pieces or edible decorations to your trees.