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Deliciously chocolatey and fudgey reindeer cupcakes with a chocolate cupcake, chocolate fudge frosting, and reindeer decoration! 

IT’S CHRISTMAS BAKING SEASON!!! And yes, I am far too excited about this. I decided to start with a bang and do a super cute, super easy and amazing festive bake – these reindeer cupcakes! 

I have wanted to post some festive cupcakes every year, but as I get so many requests for so many festive recipes I have to make sacrifices.. but this year?! They had to happen. 

These beauties are so chocolatey, so delicious, and a bit of fun so I hope you all adore them as well. 

Christmas Baking

My Christmas baking list is now rather large, and I have no plans on stopping this year either. I am just obsessed. You will find a lot of chocolate orange bakes, gingerbread flavours, or even a lot of baileys recipes – but themed bakes are also just so much fun. 

Because my lacking of themed bakes has become so apparent, I was desperate to do something fun this year as a festive cupcake. In the past my gingerbread cupcakes have been super popular, and whilst I adore them, I just wanted a festive cupcake that looked amazing! 

Christmas bakes are always going to be fun to get involved with making, or even just eating. The variety in Christmas baking is so vast now amongst all bakers that it’s just madness! 


For the cupcakes I went for a basic chocolate cupcake recipe because you want a good stable base for decorating. It’s a super simple recipe to put together consisting of butter, light brown sugar, self raising flour, cocoa powder and eggs. 

I do tend to stick to using light brown soft sugar for my chocolate based cake sponges these days as I just adore the ever so slightly more caramel flavour it brings, but caster sugar works well also. 

I used some gold and brown baking cups because I thought they looked cute, but brown muffin cases would work well as well. I wanted a brown based cupcake case and cupcake sponge to suit the ‘brown’ colour of a reindeer.  


For the frosting, instead of using a basic chocolate American buttercream frosting like I often do, I used my best ever chocolate fudge frosting again because I missed it. I just wanted to eat some of it to be honest, and I am so glad I used it on these reindeer cupcakes. 

It is still an American buttercream frosting really of butter and icing sugar, with cocoa powder added in – but the addition of evaporated milk works WONDERS. Honestly, it’s a little life changing. 

If you can’t use evaporated milk for any number of reasons, you can leave it out, or use a smidge of double cream – but you will probably need less. Also, it’s not quiiiite as good this way. 


There are a number of ways of decorating the look of the reindeer, even just down to which piping tip you use. I decided to use my favourite piping tip as always for a beautiful swirl, and I think it works. 

I then used a simple idea of broken pretzels, red M&M/smartie, and some edible eyes popped onto the frosting. It really is that simple! But come on, they’re so cute!! 

You could use a jumbo round piping tip if you preferred, or even 1m piping tip for a slightly different swirl – they’d all work. The pretzels work well because of the curve – it looks like antlers. And also, it doesn’t matter that some looking slightly different, as antlers look different!! 

Tips & Tricks 

For this recipe I used

These cupcakes freeze well without being decorated, or can be frozen once decorated. They last 3+ months in the freezer! 

Reindeer Cupcakes

Deliciously chocolatey and fudgey reindeer cupcakes with a chocolate cupcake, chocolate fudge frosting, and reindeer decoration! 
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Category: Christmas
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Christmas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling & decorating: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 200 g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 200 g light brown soft sugar
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 4 medium eggs


  • 200 g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 350 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 ml evaporated milk


  • 12 pretzels (halved)
  • 12 red M&Ms/smarties
  • 12 sets of edible eyes



  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/160ºfan and get 12 baking cups/muffin cases ready.
  • Beat the unsalted butter and light brown soft sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Add the self raising flour, cocoa powder and eggs and beat again until combined.
  • Split between the 12 cases and then bake for 20-22+ minutes, until fully baked.
  • Leave to cool fully


  • Beat the unsalted butter on it's own for a few minutes to soften
  • Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and start to beat again
  • Add the vanilla extract and slowly add the evaporated milk whilst beating to a smooth texture


  • Pipe the frosting onto the 12 cooled cupcakes with your favourite piping tip
  • Add two halves of a pretzel as antlers, a red sweet as a nose, and eyes.


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  1. Laura on November 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Where is your cookie scoop from? I want to get one, but not sure which brand/size.

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 1, 2023 at 11:42 am

      A 5cm one is best for cupcakes! x

  2. Emma on September 10, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    What cocoa powder do you use?

  3. Linda on July 19, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Hi, my icing keeps turning grainy how do I stop that from happening. I can beat and beat and sift and sift but still the same result

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 28, 2023 at 9:46 am

      Are you adding liquid? It may actually be splitting – do you use block butter? x

  4. Janice on November 7, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Could you please decipher the ingredients in the recipe to cups, teaspoons, etc.? Thank you!

    • Stacey on December 3, 2022 at 8:06 am

      I used Google to convert them.

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