Christmas Tree Brownies

Whether you need a treat for your cookie platter or goodies for Santa, these Christmas Tree Brownies feature delicious brownies, cream cheese frosting, and candy cane "trunks" for a fun and festive holiday treat!

Christmas Tree Brownies with text overlay.

If you enjoy cute and festive holiday treats, you'll also love Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats, Christmas Tree Sheet Cake Pops, Christmas Cupcake Toppers Using Nutter Butters, and Christmas Ornament Cheese Balls!

I can't tell y'all how excited I am about how today's recipe turned out! I mean, how cute are these Christmas Tree Brownies?! And even though they make look a bit on the fancy side, they were so easy to make. Decorating these guys would be such a fun holiday activity with the kiddos!

Different ideas for decorating Christmas Tree Brownies.

The Brownies

I started with my favorite brownie recipe EVER (I can never thank you enough for your brilliance, Ina Garten), which is almost entirely concocted of butter and chocolate. It's the holidays, right? They are to-die-for and, while I only make them a few times a year, they are exponentially worth every calorie.

As a bonus, these brownies are made in a big 12- by 18-inch sheet pan, which not only results in a ton of brownies (enough to enjoy and share!), but they're also the perfect depth for cutting out with cookie cutters, should you so desire.

Close-up of Christmas Tree Brownies decorated with sprinkles and candy canes.

How to Make Them

So after baking up a pan of chocolate decadence, I cut my brownies into tree-like triangles. I started out using a Christmas tree cookie cutter but quickly determined that I liked the look of simple triangles much better.

Then it was time to whip up a batch of my favorite frosting ever -- cream cheese frosting, which has the perfect amount of tang to balance out these rich, sweet, fudgy brownies.

I scooped the frosting into a gallon-sized freezer plastic baggie, snipped about ½-inch off of one corner, and used it as a piping bag to quickly and attractively frost my brownies.

How to pipe on the cream cheese frosting.

How to Frost Them

I found that I got the best results by turning each tree upside down, starting at the long flat side, and then frosting back and forth across the brownie, all the way down to the tip (the end where the star would go).

You could just as easily use a knife to frost your brownies, but I think that this plastic bag method is actually quicker, less messy, and ends up looking nicer.

Christmas Tree Brownie on a plate for Santa.

The Final Touches

Finally I broke off the straight side of a mini candy cane to use as the Christmas tree trunk, and then I went to town with a variety of holiday sprinkles!

You could choose to tint your frosting green, but I decided to leave mine un-dyed and instead bring in color using sparkling sugar, sprinkles, Sixlets, and whatever festive little candies I had in the pantry.

Collage of six Christmas Tree Brownies decorated in different ways.

The final result? Brownie pops that will be the star of the Christmas cookie platter!

And if you decide to leave a few for Santa? Well, in return, he might just stuff your stocking extra full this year. 😉

Christmas Tree Brownies, two-photo collage with text.

More Christmas Ideas & Recipes

Christmas Tree Brownies on a plate.

Christmas Tree Brownies

Whether you need treats for a cookie platter or goodies for Santa, these Christmas Tree Brownies feature fudgy brownies, cream cheese frosting, and candy cane "trunks" for a fun and festive holiday treat!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 brownies (depending on how big you cut your trees)
Calories: 480kcal
Print Pin Rate


For the brownies:

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 28 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, DIVIDED
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I use Baker's chocolate squares)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, DIVIDED
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

    Mini candy canes, the straight sides broken off

      Assorted sprinkles & mini candies, for decorating


        • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a rimmed 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.
        • In the top of a double broiler (or in a large, heat-safe bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt together the butter, 16 ounces of chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate, stirring until smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.
        • In a large bowl, blend together eggs, instant coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Slowly and gradually stir the warm butter/chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
        • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend into chocolate mixture until just combined. In a small bowl, toss remaining 12 ounces chocolate chips with remaining ¼ cup flour. Stir into chocolate batter and spread into prepared sheet pan.
        • Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf or counter to remove any trapped air bubbles. Bake for 15 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, taking care not to overbake. Allow to cool completetely.
        • Once brownies are cool, cut into Christmas tree-shaped triangles. Use a thin metal spatula to remove from cookie sheet onto a platter.
        • To decorate, insert a straight piece of mini candy cane into the base of each tree.
        • Scoop Cream Cheese Frosting (or your favorite frosting) into a gallon-sized freezer baggie. Push frosting into a corner of the bag and cut off a ½-inch piece to create a hole. Use as a piping bag to pipe frosting onto each brownie. Place brownie upside down, start at long, flat side, and pipe frosting back and forth going down the brownie, all the way to the tip (where the star would go).
        • Use a variety of sprinkles, leftover crushed candy canes, and small candies to decorate the trees. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container.


        • The instant coffee granules give the brownies a deeper, richer, chocolate flavor, as opposed to making the brownies taste like coffee. You may reduce the amount used if you wish, but when I've tried doing so, I didn't think the brownies tasted as decadent.
        • If you prefer nuts in your brownies, you may add 3 cups chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut) to the step where you toss the remaining chocolate chips with the remaining flour.
        • You may tint your frosting with green food coloring, if you wish.
        • You will have lots of leftover brownie scraps from cutting out the trees. I'm sure you will think of some way to dispose of them... 😉


        Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 548IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg
        Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

        Outrageous Brownies recipe from Ina Garten

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        Recipe Rating


        1. First you tell me the brownies are all butter and chocolate, then you tell me to share?? What kind of nonsense is that?? lol
          They look scrumptious! Thanks for revealing the secret of perfectly frosting them, the baggie. I seriously thought you're a professional baker!

        2. Driest brownies I've ever made in my life! I was already skeptical about this recipe because there was no oil. I followed this to a T (coffee granules and all) and when they were cooled, they were the driest things ever! They crumbled up so much and they were really horrible to eat. They tasted like an extremely dry chocolate cake. Not to mention, when I microwaved one to try to salvage it, it was even worse! Wish I made the brownies straight from a box.

          1. Hi Tara! I'm so sorry that this recipe didn't work out for you. I'm not sure what happened, but I have never had these brownies turn out the least bit dry or crumbly and I've made this recipe dozens of times. They are actually incredibly moist and fudgy and taste exponentially better than anything out of a box. There is no need for oil in this recipe as it already includes a full pound of butter. I'm sure you followed the recipe, but it's sounds like the brownies were either overbaked, an important ingredient was incorrectly measured, or the incorrect pan size was used. As I mentioned and linked in the post, this brownie recipe comes from Ina Garten where she has hundreds of five star reviews. I hate that this recipe didn't work out for you and I'm sorry that you wasted ingredients, but these brownies definitely should not have turned out dry.

          1. Absolutely, Christine! But I think it's going to take more like 1 1/2 boxes of brownie mix to fill this size sheet pan. I'd go ahead and mix up two boxes of brownie mix, spread enough batter to fill the sheet pan without going too high up the sides (as your brownies will rise a bit), and then bake the remainder of the brownie batter in a small, separate pan. Also, since you'll be estimating the amount of batter to use, I'd probably lay a big sheet of foil on the rack under the pan to catch any potential overflowing batter...juuuust in case. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

        3. Hi!

          How many brownie trees did you get out of one pan? I need two dozen for a cookie exchange and I can't tell how many you get out of one pan.


            1. I'm so happy that you found the answer at the top of the recipe, Carrie! I'm embarrassingly behind on replying to blog comments right now and I'm glad you didn't have to wait for me. 😉 I recently made Christmas Tree Sheet Cake Pops using this same method and I specifically thought of you when I cut them out and counted fact, I included a photo in that post to show readers how I made the cuts based on your feedback! 🙂 Hope they are/were a hit!

                1. You're welcome, Carrie! I actually think these brownie trees turn out cuter when you cut them into simple triangles (which is easier than using a cookie cutter as well). Hope they're a hit!

        4. Hello,

          My family loves brownies, but does NOT like when there are chocolate chips in them... Is it ok to just leave them out completely(the step where you coat them in flour, then incorporate them into the batter)? Or will it somehow ruin the batter?

          Thank you!!! 🙂

          1. Hi Amanda! You can absolutely leave the chocolate chips out of these brownies...they'll still turn out great! However, I would probably go ahead and incorporate that extra 1/4 cup flour (the portion that you're supposed to mix with the chocolate chips to prevent them from sinking into the batter) when you whisk together the other 1 cup flour with the baking powder and salt. Hope that helps...enjoy! 🙂

        5. These are so adorable I just want to squeal! =) Thanks so much for sharing your special recipe with us at Weekend Potluck. Have a blessed week ahead. XO

          1. Thanks so much, Marsha...I hope your week is going wonderfully as well! I appreciate you stopping by and thanks, as always, for hosting WP! 🙂

        6. These are so so adorable! I love the versatility of decorating them to match decor or for a certain person! Your recipe sounds amazing!! I would love if you would share this at Celebrate It!. It’s my blog party where we celebrate our wonderful everyday life!

          1. Thanks so much, Teri, for the sweet comment and the invite to your link party! Hopping over now...hope you have a great week! 🙂

        7. These brownie pops are just too cute! What a great idea for the holidays...delicious and cute! The little ones will love these...thanks for sharing!

          1. Thank you, Jodee, for stopping by and for the sweet comment. I hope your week is off to a fabulous start! 🙂

          1. Thank you, Jenna...and you're welcome! 🙂 I hope your family loves these if you have a chance to make them. Happy Friday!

        8. Each year I pick something to bake and decorate at Christmas time with my kiddos. These look like fun, and they will love them!!

          1. What a neat tradition, Jaren...I'm so glad you might try these brownie pops this year! They're definitely fun and easy to make. I hope that you and your kids have a good time decorating them!

          1. Thanks so much, Carol! It was really fun to see these little treats come together. 🙂 Hope you have a happy Friday!

        9. Oh my goodness, I LOVE these! Sending this to my sister who loves brownies and who has two little girls who would love to help with decorating! 🙂

          1. Thank you, Jennie...I hope your sister has fun decorating these with her girls! You are thoughtful to share this recipe with them. 🙂 Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!

          1. Thank you, Heather! It was fun coming up with different ways to decorate them. I'm going to make them again later this month and let my kids do the decorating next time...can't wait to see what they come up with! 😉

        10. Don't you just LOVE Ina?!
          You have really made my baking for family and friends a joy!
          Thank you Samantha!!
          These Christmas Tree Brownie Pops are going to win me loads of "brownie" points! LOL!!
          And all those decorating ideas....brilliant! 🙂

          1. Thank you so much for the sweet comment and the pin, Dalila! I'm glad you're excited to try these, and yes, I adore Ina...she never steers me wrong. 😉 I appreciate you stopping by and I hope you're having a wonderful December!

        11. You are truly gifted! I love, love, love all the decorating options. I can envision a platter with a bunch of these on it: one delicious recipe, a bunch of visual variety, a lot of delighted recipients! Muchas gracias!

          1. You are too sweet, Carolyn...thank you! I love these brownie pops because, not only do they taste great, but you can customize them with whatever festive sprinkles or candies you have on hand. You could even cut out shapes other than Christmas trees if you prefer (I always use heart-shaped cookie cutters for Valentine's Day). Hope you have fun making them if you have a chance to try them, and good luck with your last week of school before Christmas break! 🙂