Everyone brings Christmas cookies to a potluck or holiday party. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! After all, I have a whole cookbook dedicated to cookies (with an entire chapter based on holidays!).
But it’s also fun to make a dessert that no one else will bring personally I love brownies just as much as cookies… especially when they’re THIS cute!!
Take these cuties to your holiday parties and add them to your cookie plates or boxes, as a great cookie alternative for gifting.
These brownies are also perfect to cut out ahead of time and have a Frost Your Own Brownie dessert table, with prepared piping bags of buttercream and bowls of sprinkles! So fun, and a BIG hit with the kids.
I bet Santa will love a couple of these with a glass of milk on Christmas Eve, too 😉
How to Make Christmas Brownies
The Best Brownie Recipe
My Best Ever Chewy Brownie recipe is one of my most popular recipes ever – and for good reason! It’s a super duper easy recipe and made with ingredients you may already have in your pantry. Be sure to read through the pink tip box (above the recipe) in that post for tons of tips. I included info about the science of baking brownies for the most perfectly chewy, rich, chocolaty brownies your friends and family will ever taste.
The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe
My Best Ever Buttercream Frosting recipe is super easy to make, comes together quickly, and is perfectly creamy. You can color it any way you like, and it pipes like a dream. Feel free to also add any extracts or flavorings you’d like – there are even some listed on the recipe page (right above the recipe card) in case you need some inspiration.
Can I Reduce the Sugar in These Brownies?
No. These Christmas Brownies balance sweetness with the bitterness of cocoa. The sweetness actually mellows as the brownies cool and set over time. While sugar does sweeten, it also affects the texture and is essential to creating ultra-moist and rich brownies. If you reduce the sugar, your brownies will become more dry and cakey. Learn more about the role sugar plays in baking here.
If you’re worried about the brownies being too sweet, simply use a dark or bittersweet chocolate chip inside the brownies, to level out the sweetness.
The Best Pan for Brownies
What Shape Should I Use For Christmas Brownies?
Any shape you desire! I love making Christmas tree brownies because they’re easy to decorate and look beautiful quickly. Add some green food coloring to the frosting (and a little peppermint extract too, if desired) and top with a few festive sprinkles, for a deliciously simple but super cute treat.
Alternatively, feel free to make these Christmas Brownies into stars, snowflakes, reindeer, snowmen – whatever your heart desires! Just keep in mind that the larger the cookie cutter used, the fewer Christmas brownies you’ll be able to cut from one batch of brownies.
How to Cut Festive Christmas Tree Brownies
- Bake the brownies as directed in the recipe (or double the recipe, as I did!) and allow the brownies to cool completely.
- If time allows, chill the brownies for at least a couple of hours. Overnight works too, if you prefer to make these in advance.
- Remove the whole slab of brownies from the baking tin, leaving the parchment paper or foil on the bottom, and place on a work surface.
- Using a tall metal cookie cutter, stamp out shapes as closely together as possible (hello, little brownie scrap snacks!). This can be a little challenging because of the chocolate chips, so if kiddos are helping out, I suggest doing this step in advance and letting them run wild with decorating.
- Using an offset spatula or paring knife, gently wedge underneath the brownie piece to release it from the parchment paper or foil and remove it neatly from the brownie slab.
- Gently use your fingers to carefully press the brownie piece out of the cookie cutter (this is easier if the brownies are cold).
- If not decorating right away, store brownie shapes wrapped individually in plastic wrap, inside an airtight container, to prevent the edges from drying out.
How to Frost Christmas Brownies
- Make a batch of my Best Ever Buttercream Frosting.
- Color the buttercream in any colors you desire (I used green AmeriColor gel food coloring for these Christmas Tree Brownies). Feel free to also add flavorings – peppermint extract in the buttercream is delicious with brownies. Stay away from extracts containing spearmint; otherwise, your frosting might taste like toothpaste!
- Place buttercream in disposable piping bags fitted with any piping tips you like. We used an open star piping tip.
- Frost as you like, then add your favorite festive sprinkles, mini M&Ms, or any other edible decorations. The buttercream will begin to dry as it sits, so decorate the cookies as they’re piped so your toppings stick!
Do I Have to Pipe the Frosting?
If you’re not confident in your piping skills (though this is a perfect time to practice!), then feel free to use an offset spatula and simply spread the frosting generously on top of each holiday brownie shape before decorating with sprinkles, mini M&Ms, or whatever you desire.
How to Host A Christmas Brownie Decorating Party!
This is such a fun idea for a holiday party – or just a fun activity to entertain the kids (or adults) at your holiday party.
- Prepare the brownies. Allow the brownies to cool, and cut out into your desired shapes.
- Make the buttercream. Separate the buttercream into bowls and add gel food coloring to make as many colors as you wish (or keep things simple and color the whole batch green so no one fights over the different colors!)
- Prepare the bags of frosting. Place the buttercream into disposable piping bags, or instead, place inside sturdy ziptop bags. Secure the ends of the piping bags with rubber bands to avoid the frosting spilling out the wrong end. Snip the ends off the bags when ready to pipe.
- Prepare the decorations. Fill small bowls with a variety of holiday sprinkles, mini M&Ms, crushed candy canes, or mini chocolate chips.
- Decorate! Allow each guest to decorate their own Christmas Brownie! Everyone can enjoy their own Christmas Brownie for dessert or take it home to enjoy later.
How to Store Christmas Tree Brownies:
The brownies taste best the day they are baked and decorated but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. Please note that the edges of the brownies, once cut, will dry out quickly if not stored inside an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Christmas Brownies?
Brownies freeze beautifully! For best results, freeze unfrosted brownies (either as a whole slab or as pre-cut shapes). Simply wrap the whole slab or brownie shapes in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for a couple of hours at room temperature before decorating and serving.