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Christmas Tree Brownies

Last week, my friend came over to my place and we made Christmas tree brownies! It was a baking date that we had planned a few months in advance as a way to usher in the holidays, to rest and recharge, and to catch up with one another after our own periods of busyness. Needless to say, it was time filled with good conversations and a lot of fun baking, decorating and eating the brownies.

This post is more of a simple how-to and not so much of an elaborate recipe. Christmas can be a busy time of year and the holiday preparations can be overwhelming. Sometimes all yoi want is something delicious and festive, yet also simple to make. Fret not because these Christmas tree brownies truly could not be any simpler! Additionally, they are very fun to put together, and in fact, could even be used as a bonding activity with family (I foresee kids would love baking and decorating these!) and friends (just like my friend and I did when we made this together). All you need is to make a large batch of brownies (feel free to use your favourite brownie recipe or double the amount of my fudgy brownie recipe), slice it into triangles, decorate it and that's it! Also, brownies is a dessert most people would enjoy, so you won't have to worry about whether they would be well-received or not.

I hope you give these a go and enjoy every bit of the process!


Christmas Tree Brownies

Makes approximately 16 to 20, depending on how you cut the brownies (and a small amount of brownie scraps which you can and should nibble on)


For the brownies:

  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter

  • 226 g dark chocolate (at least 70%), coarsely chopped

  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder

  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 150 g (3/4 cup) white granulated sugar

  • 150 g (3/4 cup) brown sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 96 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 35 g (approx 1/3 cup) dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

  • 150 g dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

  • 2 Tbs peanut butter, warmed (optional)


For the royal icing: (adapted from Baking a Moment)

  • 1 Tbs meringue powder

  • 44 g water

  • 160 g icing (powdered) sugar, sifted

  • Gel food colouring, optional

To assemble:

  • Pocky biscuits, pretzel sticks, or any stick-like biscuit (this will be the 'tree trunk')

  • M&Ms or similar type of round candy (these will be the 'baubles'), optional

  • Edible gold glitter, optional

  • Sprinkles, optional


Make the brownies:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium bowl in a microwave. Stir until smooth and melted. Stir in espresso powder and salt. Set aside to cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two 8-inch square pans with parchment paper. Alternatively, you could use two 8 or 9-inch round pans lined with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, whip the eggs, sugars and vanilla together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate mixture into the whipped eggs and sugar. Whisk until it is well-combined.

  4. Sift together flour and cocoa powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the the chocolate mixture until just combined and there are not lumps of flour.

  5. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Swirl in peanut butter if desired. Bake the brownies for 25 minutes to 30 minutes (check it at 22 minutes), or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out almost clean with some streaks of brownie. If there is still wet batter clinging to the skewer, bake the brownie for a little longer and check it again.

  6. Once the brownies have baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before slicing into them.

Make the royal icing

  1. In a medium bowl, combined meringue powder and water. Using a hand-held whisk, whisk the meringue powder and water together until it becomes foamy and white.

  2. Sift in the icing sugar and whisk the mixture until it holds stiff peaks. Whisk in any food colouring if desired. Cover the royal icing with cling film until you are ready to use it. Place the royal icing in a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle (I used Wilton no. 2 round piping tip).


  1. Cut the pocky biscuits or pretzel sticks into the desired length, about 2 to 3 inches long.

  2. To make the Christmas tree shape for the brownies: If you baked the brownies in 8-inch square pans, this is how I cut them (see the photograph below). If you baked the brownies in round pans, simply cut the brownies into wedges and trim the bottom of each triangle to get a straight edge. (Don't throw away the scraps! Save them to munch on them.) Using a chopstick, gently poke a hole in the bottom of each triangle (not too deep though as the brownie might break) where the pocky or pretzel stick would be inserted.

  3. Pipe a little bit of royal icing into the hole that you poked. Gently insert the pocky biscuit or pretzel stick into the brownie. Set the brownie on a tray and pipe royal icing designs on the surface of the brownie. If you wish to stick M&Ms on the brownies, pipe an extra blob of royal icing where you want the M&Ms to stick. You could also add sprinkles while the royal icing is still wet so that the sprinkles will stick.

  4. Then, do not touch the royal icing or the brownie. Let the royal icing dry completely; it will harden as it dries. Once the royal icing has dried, you can now eat the brownies (yay!).

How I cut the brownies


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