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4.35 from 29 votes

Chocolate Reindeer Cupcakes

Rudolph and his friends are covered in whipped chocolate frosting that tastes almost mousse like and then decorated with chocolate covered pretzels, mini Nilla Wafers and M&Ms
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Calories: 513kcal



  • For the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the boiling coffee (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
  • For the frosting: Beat butter on medium speed for two minutes. Add the powdered sugar and whip until combined. Add the cocoa powder and whip until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and milk. Add more milk if the frosting looks too dark. You want the color to be light brown like milk chocolate mousse. Whip for one last minute. Frost the cupcakes.
  • To assemble: Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Carefully break pretzels into large antlers (I over-broke several pretzels before I got it just right, so you may want to be prepared with extra pretzels). Dip the tops of the antlers in the melted chocolate and place on the baking sheet and place in the fridge to harden.
  • Generously frost the cupcake with chocolate frosting.
  • Place the mini vanilla wafer near the bottom center of the cupcake. Place a small amount of the frosting onto the back of the red or brown M&M and attach it to the top center of the vanilla wafer.
  • Once the chocolate has hardened to the antlers remove them from the fridge and attach the pretzels at the top of the cupcake, pointing diagonally outward or inward (whatever you prefer).
  • After the pretzel antlers are arranged, add the M&M or candy eyes into place (for me it was directly above the vanilla wafer snout).


*To bring eggs to room temp, place them in a glass of hot water for 5 minutes. *To bring the buttermilk to room temp, place in the microwave for about 30 seconds. *The pretzel thins I used are the bite size pretzel twists, but either thins or regular twists can be used.


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1.4mg