Reindeer Cupcakes

We had our nativity service at church this past weekend, with a bring & share lunch to follow, so I wanted to make something special to bring for the children. I’d seen different versions of reindeer cupcakes circulating the internet last Christmas, and decided to have a go at making my own. They are fairly easy to make, but still have the desired ‘wow’ effect.

Ingredients (makes 12):

For the cupcakes

  • 125g butter
  • 135g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk

For the chocolate frosting

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the decoration

  • mini pretzels (I used the gluten free ones from Schär)
  • red M&Ms, Smarties or similar
  • 1 tablespoon melted white chocolate (I melted this in a small bowl in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time)
  • black icing pen


For the cupcakes

  • Pre heat your oven to 180 C (fan oven 160 C).
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, then stir in the ground almonds.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture with a large metal spoon.
  • Add 4 – 6 tablespoons of milk until the mixture drops off the back of your spoon.
  • Spoon the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tray lined with paper cases until the cases are half full.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes (check after 10) until the cupcakes are firm on top.
  • Leave to cool before icing.

For the chocolate frosting

  • Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the softened butter and mix well until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the milk one tablespoon at a time, until your icing has the desired consistency.
  • Finally, mix in the vanilla essence.

To assemble to cupcakes

  • Spread some of the chocolate frosting on top each cupcake.
  • Add two preztels either side at the top for antlers, and press in to the icing.
  • Press a red M&M or similar in at the bottom for the nose (make sure you turn it so any logos printed on the the sweet are facing down!)
  • Pipe two blobs of melted white chocolate below the antlers for the eyes, leave briefly to set, then add a black dot in to the middle of each eye with the icing pen.

Done! This is also a great activity to do with kids, if you prep the cupcakes and frosting in advance, and then get them to help assemble the cupcakes. You may need to help with the eyes a little, unless you want some pretty crazy eyed reindeer!

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8 Comments on Reindeer Cupcakes

  1. Jon
    17 December 2018 at 10:43 am (1 year ago)

    Do you know I saw the EXACT same thing in M&S cafe at the weekend for £2+. You should make a load of these and go and see them for £1.50 each outside one of their stores, you’d make a killing!

  2. Talya
    17 December 2018 at 1:24 pm (1 year ago)

    I always love your creations love the use of pretzels so very doable I might have a crack at making these!

  3. Sonia Cave
    17 December 2018 at 5:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh wow these look so easy to do, but are really effective. Even the little people can still make them look like reindeers so feel they’ve succeeded!

  4. Rim
    17 December 2018 at 9:21 pm (1 year ago)

    Such a good idea to use the pretzels. Your cupcakes look adorable and yummy.
    We are fan of chocolate, so we would definitely love these!

  5. Pati Robins
    18 December 2018 at 9:09 am (1 year ago)

    i be so making those with y daughter on friday ! they look so much fun and very tasty too xx

  6. Lauren Porter
    18 December 2018 at 3:03 pm (1 year ago)

    Aw these are so cute, I love the pretzel antlers! Anything chocolate is good with me & the kids

  7. Anosa
    18 December 2018 at 7:50 pm (1 year ago)

    What a cute idea to use pretzels to decorate as reindeer ears, such a cute idea and they look yummy

  8. Checka
    18 December 2018 at 8:58 pm (1 year ago)

    How cute are these cakes! I’m going to try and make them dairy free at the weekend


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