If you love the rich flavor of Nutella and the crisp flakiness of puff pastry, have I got a treat for you! This amazing Christmas tree is simple to make, loads of fun with the kids, and is perfect for your holiday gathering.
Make a Christmas Tree out of Puff Pastry Sheets
For months now I’ve been wanting to make this adorable Nutella Christmas tree. I’ve seen it on Pinterest and in other recipe share sites.
There are multiple variations. Some use a double layer of puff pastry, others are simpler, with Nutella spread on a single layer.
I knew I would have a houseful of pre-teen girls helping me so I asked their opinion and they chose the double-layered on from CafeDelites.com: It was filled with Nutella and sprinkled with sweetness on the outside, as well.
What is Nutella?
Nutella is a sweet and creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread that is made from hazelnuts, sugar, and cocoa. It’s incredibly rich and has a smooth, spreadable consistency. Because of this, you’ll see it used a lot as a topping for bread, toast, pancakes, waffles, and delicious pastries. Nutella is also used as a filling for sandwiches, crepes, and other desserts.
Some folks eat Nutella by the spoonful! But it’s loaded with calories so a little goes a long way, which makes it perfect for this edible Christmas tree. (The combination of chocolate and pastry? Yes, please!)
I loved the idea that this recipe also included cinnamon and sugar. If you’ve followed me for a while you know that I use my favorite Vietnamese cinnamon in a majority of my bakes. And my recent Churro Crumble Knock-off cookies are on my top ten list of favorite cookies ever.
All that to say, I had a feeling this recipe would be a big hit. Only one problem: I’d only worked with puff pastry once before, when I made my Cinnamon Palmiers. I had no idea how it would hold up for a project like this!
What is Puff Pastry?
Puff pastry is a light and flaky pastry made from layers of dough and butter. (This is funny because when you pull it from the package it looks like a simple pie crust, albeit a bit lighter in color.)
Puff pastry is a versatile and popular pastry which is used in both sweet and savory dishes. The basic ingredients in puff pastry include flour, water, and butter. I knew better than to make mine from scratch. I’ve tried in the past. (Ahem.) Let’s just say I’m not good at it and leave it at that!
Working with Puff Pastry
To make puff pastry from scratch you create a basic dough and then fold it multiple times with layers of butter in between. Sounds easy enough, right?
It’s not. If you can pull it off, this folding and rolling process creates multiple thin layers of dough separated by layers of fat. When the pastry is baked, the water in the dough and butter creates steam, which causes the pastry to puff up and form many delicate, crispy layers. This results in a light, airy, and buttery texture with a golden, flaky crust.
Me? I went with packaged and I don’t regret it one bit!
Edible Christmas Trees: A Messy Project (but Fun!)
Let me say up front that when you’re baking with kids you’re going to end up with a mess, especially if you give them the freedom to participate fully.
That was the case here. We ended up with Nutella in places it should never have landed. And of course the twisting of the branches on our tree resulted in a gooey mess, as well.
But, guess what? I wouldn’t change a thing! Why? Because the girls had a blast, and so did I!
So, let’s go ahead and get started, y’all! Grab your aprons and have some paper towels handy. If you’re working with children you’re going to need them.
Nutella Christmas Tree Ingredients
You will find the full recipe at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand in your kitchen.
- Puff pastry
- Nutella (we used an off-brand of hazelnut spread)
- Egg yolk (for egg wash)
This would be a good time to insert a couple of thoughts: First, the original recipe called for doubled puff pastry (as in two packages) but we found one package to be plenty! We just had to use care in cutting it.
Second, the egg yolk part was fun with the pre-teen girls. It led to a full demonstration of how to crack an egg, how to separate an egg, and so on. We are easily distracted when we’re baking together!
Finally, if you don’t like Nutella (or hazelnut) you can use a simple chocolate spread (ganache).
How to Make this Simple Christmas Tree
This one comes together so easily, y’all! I’m glad I waited to make it with the girls because it was so fun to work together!
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir well and set aside.
Unwrap your puff pastry dough. (Ours came with its own parchment paper. If yours does not, you’ll need a piece of parchment underneath it while you work.)
You’ll need to start by cutting out your first tree using just half of the dough. Don’t bring it to a point at the top. (You’ll be adding a star up there.) Be sure you use a ruler to measure!
Cut a second identical tree (simple triangle shape) out of the remaining dough.
Gently lay out one piece of dough on your parchment paper. If it spreads, just reshape it the best you can.
You’re going to want to build this tree on a baking sheet.
Now it’s time to add the tree trunk. I let the girls cut out a rectangle of excess pastry. Press it in tight so it doesn’t separate while baking.
Stir your Nutella and make sure it’s ready then spread Nutella on one tree.
Be careful not to go too close to the edges. (I had some great helpers!)
Now gently lay the second tree on top of the first. (This was actually the trickiest part because the dough wants to stretch as you work with it. Next time I might refrigerate the top pieces while adding Nutella to the bottom piece.)
Add another rectangle for the trunk.
Voila! A stuffed tree!
Now it’s time to mark where you will make your cuts. I didn’t get it right the first time but was able to adjust as I went along. Basically, you want to mark a center section that will not be cut. (In the pics it looks like I’m cutting through the dough but I’m not, I promise! I’m just gently marking lines.)
Now measure your branches. I used a ruler and made mine 1” tall. Follow the image below to see how we made our cuts, starting at the bottom. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut all the way through the layers.
The girls all took turns making cuts.
Once you have all of your branches trimmed it’s time to twist them. We started on bottom with the bigger ones and gave each a double-twist (toward us).
And this, my friends, is where things started to get messy. Not that I cared; I didn’t. I knew it would all be fine in the end.
As the branches got smaller, we could only get one twist out of them.
But the time we got to the top of the tree we just did a little half twist (basically flipped them up once).
Using excess puff pastry and a star cookie cutter, make a star for the top of the tree. We made ours two layers thick but didn’t stuff it with the gooey Nutella. I think, in retrospect, we would’ve been fine with one thickness.
Mix the egg yolk with water and brush the beaten egg on the pastry.
Now your Christmas tree is ready to go into your preheated oven. (Check out that fun Christmas tree shape!)
Pop it inside and brace yourself for an amazing transformation!
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until it puffs up and turns crisp and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
The girls decided out tree needed some white sugar pearls.
If you’re good at piping you could also add other decorations at this point. (See my suggestions below.)
Allow the pastry to cool completely. We used a couple of bench scrapers to gently lift the tree to the serving tray. (I just happened to have a Christmas tray left over from a prior Cupcake Trifle recipe.)
The girls tossed some broken peppermints and chocolate chips on the tray because, well, why not.
Now came the moment we had all been waiting for.
Let me tell you, the anticipation was almost more than we could handle.
I said, “Go for it!” And the girls dove in.
I think their response says it all! They absolutely loved this one and so did it. (We especially loved the tree branches. All of that twisted caused a light, flaky result!)
I would tell you how to store the leftovers but I doubt you’ll have any. Just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature. They’ll be good a couple of days.
What to Expect from this Nutella Christmas Tree
I have to tell you, I loved every single moment of making this tree with the girls. This was an amazing project to tackle with kids.
The layers of puff pastry are delicate and light with a crisp sweetness. The addition of cinnamon and sugar was everything. It really does take the flavors over the top.
The real star of the show is that baked Nutella. It really works its way into the layers of pastry adding depth of flavor and texture.
This is much like an expensive pastry you would find on a bakery shelf at a little cafe in France. Only, you don’t have to travel anywhere to get it. You can make it yourself!
I have to give this recipe a super high rating. We’ll definitely be making this one again and again! (I think it would be perfect for Christmas morning.)
Variations on this Easy Puff Pastry Recipe
Who knew you could use puff pastry sheets to make something so fun! We had such a good time making this special treat and it came together beautifully.
But, you know me, folks! I’m always looking for ways to change things up. Here are some ideas that come to mind right away:
Cookie butter: I’m thinking that cookie butter would be divine in place of the hazelnut spread. Cookie butter has a warm flavor, perfect for the holidays!
Mini M&Ms: I think it would be fun to liven up your tree with M&Ms made to look like Christmas lights. Use black icing to pipe on the black “string” and place your mini M&Ms like lights.
Peppermint Kisses: Here’s a fun idea: Melt down Andes chocolate chips to use as the center filling, then decorate the finished tree with red and white peppermint kisses. I think a peppermint filling would be absolutely delicious.
Espresso Chips: Use ganache made from melted espresso chocolate chips (Nestles) on the inside. You could even sprinkle a tiny bit of espresso powder on the outside of the tree.
Powdered sugar: If you like, you can “dust” your tree with icing sugar to turn it into a snow-covered tree, perfect for the holiday season.
Other Christmas Treats from Out of the Box Baking
If you loved this puff pastry nutella christmas tree recipe (perfect for Christmas time) I think you’ll get a kick out of the following:
- Christmas Cupcakes to Decorate
- Holiday Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes
- Soft Christmas Peppermints
- Easy Oreo Christmas Ornaments
That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe. It’s the perfect way to use up that store-bought puff pastry for Christmas parties, family gatherings, or other holiday events with the kids. It’s going to be a festive season with this special treat!
If you make this recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I make a very small commission off of items you purchase at absolutely no additional cost to you. Please check out my policy page for more information about this blog and the ads that run on it.
- 1 roll of puff pastry
- 1 small container Nutella (we used an off-brand)
- 1 - 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Egg yolk (mixed with a splash of water)
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
- Unwrap your puff pastry dough. (Ours came with its own parchment paper. If yours does not, you’ll need a piece of parchment underneath it while you work.)
- You’ll need to start by diving the pastry in half. You don’t want to do a straight line or you’ll end up wasting pastry. Cut it on an angle.
Using the first piece of dough, cut out your first tree. (Set excess dough aside.)
- Use the other half to make a duplicate tree.
- We used leftover dough to make the trunk at the bottom.
- Spread Nutella on one tree. Be careful not to go too close to the edges.
- Now gently lay the second tree on top of the first. (This was actually the trickiest part because the dough wants to stretch as you work with it. Next time I might refrigerate the top pieces while adding Nutella to the bottom piece.)
- Now it’s time to mark where you will make your cuts. I didn’t get it right the first time but was able to adjust as I went along. Basically, you want to mark a center section that will not be cut.
- Now measure your branches. I used a ruler and made mine 1” tall. Follow the images above to see how we made our cuts. (You won't be able to make this one without looking at the images in the post, sorry!)
- Make the cuts.
- Once you have all of your branches trimmed it’s time to twist them. We started on bottom with the bigger ones and gave each a double-twist (toward us).
- As the branches got smaller, we could only get one twist out of them.
But the time we got to the top we just did a little half twist (basically flipped them up once).
- Using leftover dough, make a star. We made ours two layers thick but didn’t stuff it with Nutella. I think, in retrospect, we would’ve been fine with one thickness.
- Now your Christmas tree is ready to go into your preheated 400 oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Bake until it puffs up and turns crisp and golden.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Decorate any way you like. Sugar pearls. Piping. Sprinkles. . .whatever you like.
- Allow the pastry to cool completely. We used a couple of bench scrapers to gently lift the tree to the serving tray. (I just happened to have a Christmas tray left over from a prior Cupcake Trifle recipe.)
- Serve and enjoy!
- I would tell you how to store the leftovers (wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container) but I doubt you’ll have any left over. They’ll be good a couple of days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 58Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.