Christmas Lights Cupcakes

These Christmas Lights Cupcakes are an adorable, delicious addition to any holiday table. Rich devil’s food cake is topped with creamy frosting and decorated to look like it’s covered in Christmas lights!

Three Christmas lights cupcakes with more cupcakes in background

Sweets are one of our favorite things to make during the holiday season. They’re one of the cornerstones of this time of year. We love to make all kinds of sweets from cookies to cakes, and these cupcakes are one of the stars of our Christmas time show. They’re easy to make, easy to eat, and so darn cute. They’re the perfect treat for the season.

Christmas Lights Cupcakes

You really can’t go wrong with these cupcakes no matter what holiday get-together you’re attending. To begin, we have a devil’s food cupcake. It’s rich, decadent, and oh, so chocolatey. Then, we top it with a simply sweet white frosting to make the perfect base for the festive finishers – “Christmas lights”! Black icing and M&Ms candies create a string of lights that are as tasty as they are cute!

Bring these cupcakes to any Christmas party or simply make a batch for a festive snack in your home any time you want something sweet!


Everything about this recipe is easy with a capital EASE, and it all starts with the ingredients. Almost all of the ingredients on this list are kitchen staples. You’ll only need to buy icing, frosting, and the cake mix. You’ll almost certainly have everything else in your kitchen already!

  • Devil’s food cake mix
  • Large eggs at room temperature
  • Softened unsalted sweet cream butter
  • Whole milk
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • White frosting
  • Small tube of black icing
  • M&Ms

**See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.


Making these delicious Christmas lights cupcakes is as easy as gathering up the ingredients. Because it uses cake mix, you don’t have the extra work of making the cupcakes from scratch. The same is true for the frosting that you’ll also be buying rather than preparing. It takes less than a handful of steps to make them!

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Step 2: Make the Cupcakes

In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Then, fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake. Once baked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Step 3: Frost and Decorate the Cupcakes

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost and decorate them. Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large, round tip. Pipe the frosting in a swirl on the cupcakes.

Frosted chocolate cupcakes with bowl of M&Ms in background

Then, use the black icing to draw a thin line around the swirled frosting to make the lights string. Finally, press M&Ms into the black line to created Christmas lights.

Frosted chocolate cupcakes with gel food coloring swirl

Christmas Lights Cupcakes Variations

These cupcakes are so adorable and so tasty. They’re also so versatile. Because this recipe uses a box cake mix and ready-made frosting, it’s super easy to tweak them. Small changes can create an entirely new recipe!

Different Cake Mix

You can easily change up this recipe simply by using different cake mixes. Because the recipe uses a box mix, you can choose any flavor you want. Get as creative as you like. We have loved strawberry, butter and French vanilla also.

Different Frosting

Using different frosting is just as easy as using a different cake mix. Simply peruse the baking aisle and find a frosting flavor that strikes your fancy. Then, give it a try.

Different Lights

Another cute variation is to use Mini M&Ms for the lights. You can put more of the candies onto the cupcakes to create a more colorful “string of lights”. You can use a mix of mini M&M’s and large too.

Christmas lights cupcakes next to bowl of M&Ms


You can store these cupcakes in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of days. They’ll also keep well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 4 to 5 days.


This is one of the easiest cupcake recipes you’ll ever make, but as with everything, there’s always something a little extra to know to make things even better. These are easy tips, but they make a big difference, so don’t skip them.

Fully Softened Butter – Be sure your butter is fully softened. Fully softened butter whips up easily and creates the perfect baking texture. If your butter isn’t fully softened you can end up with chunks of raw butter in your mix.

Room Temperature Eggs – Alway have your eggs at room temperature for baking. There’s some science behind it that we don’t understand, but it comes down to this. Room temperature eggs make your baked goods rise better and give them a better texture.


More Cupcake Recipes

If you love cupcakes as much as we do, you’re in luck. We have some great cupcake recipes that we think you’ll really enjoy.

Mini Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Closeup shot of Chrismtas lights cupcake


If you have questions about these Christmas lights cupcakes, we have answers. Take a look at this FAQ to get the answers to all the most commonly asked questions about cupcakes.

Are cupcakes just cakes?
Essentially, yes. Cupcakes and regular cakes use the same ingredients. Cupcakes are just smaller.

How long are cupcakes good?
You can store cupcakes at room temperature for a couple of days if the frosting isn’t buttercream or creamcheese. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Can you freeze frosted cupcakes?
You can. Open freeze the cupcakes first, then wrap them tightly in a double layer of cling wrap and place them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to a month.

How do you defrost cupcakes?
To defrost cupcakes, simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight.

Why is my frosting sliding off the cupcakes?
If your cupcakes aren’t completely cool, the frosting won’t stick. Any warmth at all will cause the frosting to melt and simply slide off of the cupcakes.

Closeup shot of Christmas lights cupcake with more Christmas lights cupcakes in background

Christmas Lights Cupcakes

These Christmas lights cupcakes are so easy to make and so festive-looking they make the perfect holiday treat. Make up a batch for your Christmas get-together or simply keep them on hand as afternoon snacks, desserts, or treats to offer guests who might drop by. Once you make them, we’re sure you’ll put them into your holiday rotation from now on.


Traditional Yule Log

Microwave Peppermint Fudge Recipe

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Lights Cupcakes

These Christmas Lights Cupcakes are an adorable, delicious addition to any holiday table. Rich devil's food cake is topped with creamy frosting and decorated to look like it's covered in Christmas lights!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 18 Servings
Author: Rob


  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • White frosting
  • Small tube of black icing
  • M&M’s


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Line cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, add the cake mix, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla extract, stir until combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake in the oven for about 21 minutes.
  • Pull out the cupcakes and allow to cool before frosting.

To decorate:

  • Add the white frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on the cupcakes.
  • Use the black icing to draw a thin line around the swirled frosting, working from the top to the bottom.
  • Press M&M’s into the black lined area of the frosting. Repeat this process with all remaining cupcakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment