Christmas tree brownies are a festive, fun treat - perfect for all ages. Chewy chocolate brownies are decorated with white chocolate drizzle and colorful sprinkles. Perfect for your next holiday dessert tray!
These homemade brownie trees will brighten up your next dessert tray and impress guests. They are made with a handful of baking staples, and turn out moist and perfectly chocolatey.
The brownie base is prepared using two bowls and a spoon (no mixer needed). Don't worry about slicing your brownies - I've included plenty of detailed photos in the post below. Decorating is easy, and can make a fun holiday activity for kids.
Serve Christmas tree brownies at your next holiday party, work potluck, or family gathering.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Unsalted butter - can be substituted with salted butter, but you'll want to reduce the amount of salt by ¼ teaspoon.
- Sugars - You'll need granulated and brown sugars for this recipe. Granulated sugar helps give these brownies a crunchy crust and chewy texture, while the molasses in brown sugar adds depth of flavor and makes them more fudgy.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your brownies.
- Eggs - Add stability and structure to your brownies.
- All-purpose flour - I've only tested this recipe using all-purpose flour. I do not recommend making any substitutions, as this can change the texture and consistency of your brownies.
- Cocoa powder - I used natural cocoa powder, but dutch cocoa powder would also work in this recipe (since there are no leavening agents).
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your brownies without making them "salty".
- White chocolate melting wafers - Can be substituted with white chocolate chips, but I recommend melting wafers because they're easy to work with and made for melting.
- Sprinkles - Nonpareils, jimmies, star shaped sprinkles, and mini M&M's candies make cute decorations for Christmas trees.
What size pan to use
I highly recommend using a square 8x8 baking pan for this recipe. Or, this recipe can be doubled and prepared in a rectangular 9x13 baking pan (baking times will go up slightly).
A square 9x9 pan can work in a pinch, but will make a thinner brownie.
How to cut brownies without crumbling
- Allow your brownies to cool completely in the pan. Cutting into warm brownies is a surefire way to create crumbly edges, as well as dry the brownies out. Room temperature brownies slice easily and crumble less around the edges.
- Use a clean, sharp knife to slice your brownies. Wipe your knife off after each cut.
- Do not use a sawing motion when slicing brownies - this causes the edges to fall apart. Cut with a swift downward motion.
How to cut brownies into trees
Using the parchment paper overhang, gently pull your brownies out of the pan.
First, slice your brownie square in half lengthwise, creating two rectangles (top left photo).
Next, make a cut into each rectangle on both sides, about 1 inch in on the top, running diagonally down to the bottom corners (top right photo). These pieces are scraps, so they can be set aside for taste testing.
Now you'll make diagonal cuts to form the trees (bottom left photo). Each tree measures about 2 inches across the bottom - to make each tree the exact same size, make small notches across the top and bottom of your brownies, using the photo above as a reference, then make diagonal cuts "connecting the dots".
Decorating your brownie trees
Once your trees are cut and chocolate melted, simply drizzle each tree with white chocolate. While the chocolate is wet, top with sprinkles or small candies, like m&ms.
Allow the chocolate to dry completely before serving your brownies.
Brownie topping ideas
- Sprinkles - nonpareils, jimmies, or sugar sprinkles
- M&M's - minis look best on these small trees
- Crushed candy canes
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts - walnuts, pecans, peanuts
- Crushed pretzels
- Buttercream frosting or chocolate buttercream - for a traditional frosted brownie
Christmas Tree Brownies
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces white chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips
- sprinkles and mini m&m's optional decorations
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Slowly add to butter mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
- Pour brownie batter into lined 8x8 pan and bake for 19-23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove brownies from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove from pan and cut brownies in half. Slice a thin wedge from the edges of each rectangle (about 1 inch on the top, tapering down to the bottom corner). Then, carefully slice brownies into 14 tall triangles (each tree has a 2 inch wide base). Use the photos in the post above as a visual aid.
- Arrange brownie trees onto a piece of wax paper or parchment to be decorated.
- In a small bowl, microwave white chocolate wafers (or chocolate chips) in 30 second increments, stirring until melted and smooth.
- Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate across brownies. Optionally, add sprinkles and mini M&M's candies. Allow chocolate to harden before moving or storing.
- The original recipe included ⅛ teaspoon of peppermint extract stirred into the melted white chocolate. Feel free to add this in for a light peppermint flavor.
- Brownies will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed container at room temperature.
- Dutch cocoa can be substituted with natural cocoa powder.