Reindeer cupcakes are a whimsical and tasty holiday dessert! Chocolate cupcakes are the basis for this easy, kid friendly holiday craft. The cupcakes taste as sweet as they look.
When I started putting my ADD mind to keyboard and publishing it on the internet, I wouldn’t have thought twice about sharing something as simple and fun as these reindeer cupcakes.
Somewhere along the way, sweet readers like you actually started to listen to what I had to say, and even rely on the advice herein. (Thank you!)
I’ll be honest, that kind of reliance is such a blessing, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. When I post a recipe here and get an email from a reader requesting modifications or brainstorming substitutions, I take that kind of trust very seriously. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked to scale up/adjust the recipe for my White Chocolate Buttercream for current weather conditions because someone is using it for their wedding cake.
I’m every bit as nervous as a blushing bride until I read the follow up email telling me that the frosting held up well on the multi-tiered cake. I felt like I had to start taking myself more seriously with the fate of other people’s life events relying on my recipes, but sometimes I feel as if I’m taking all of this a little too seriously. I say that because recently the idea of posting something a little silly like these cupcakes can feel unprofessional.
When did I ever start taking myself that seriously? The whole point of being comfortably domestic is to be able to celebrate the triumphs, as well as laugh and learn from the foibles. My hope has always been to share snippets that may save others a little aggravation in their domestic pursuits. Honestly, just when I feel like I’ve made every mistake that I possibly can, I make a few more. Mistakes are a good thing because it means that comfortable boundaries are being pushed, thus making room for growth.
How in the world is this quasi-philosophical rambling going to tie into reindeer cupcakes?
Well, let’s just say that my crafty boundary needs to be stretched a bit. I’m used to playing with my food, and I’m certainly not afraid to use pie crust as a creative medium, but crafts? Crafts aren’t really my thing. It’s not as if I hate crafting, but rather I don’t always have the patience to see them through. Every so often a son cons me into sewing a cloak for Halloween or a pair of microwavable hand warmers to keep their hands warm in the snow. Then there was this one time when I enlisted my friends to help me sew 50 felt mice in various costumes for a dear friend’s 50th birthday. The results are passable, but not so much that I would call myself Crafty.
Last holiday season I had a little fun with these whimsical Peppermint Patty Cupcakes, and called it a Christmas Craft, but really? I wouldn’t exactly call that pushing my own personal crafty envelope. Whenever I need reminding of how non-crafty I really am, I browse Pinterest for about five seconds to see what truly Crafty Folk do with their spare time.
Son #4 was browsing Pinterest over my shoulder the other day and shrieked with delight upon seeing Your Cup of Cake’s reindeer cupcakes. He practically dragged me out the door to go buy the supplies. It didn’t take much convincing to get me to go, because these are a perfect holiday craft that doesn’t take a Crafting Diva to assemble.
In fact, after making sample reindeer cupcakes, I set the Sons loose in the kitchen to decorate their own reindeer cupcakes while I cooked dinner.
I love watching my boys craft together, because they all do things with their own flair. Son #4 proclaimed himself the expert because he “found the craft in the first place”. He also played with different nose placements on each cupcake in order to find the perfect spot. #3 son was all about making each of his reindeer Rudolph so that Santa would have a back up in case of inclement weather. While son #2 was, as always, methodical about assembling his cupcakes, son #1 decided to make at least one reindeer to mimic the radiation-evolved deer in one of the opening scenes of the CW show, The 100. I think he was just looking for a good excuse to pile the red hot candies on his cupcake. I can’t really blame him there–I could eat those little cinnamon candies all day long.
The boys were having so much fun that I had to pause the dinner preparations to hop in there and decorate a couple more cupcakes myself. It was so nice to take time out to do something in the kitchen with my boys and not worry about whether or not everything was perfectly “photo worthy” for the blog. We just had fun with each other while decorating dessert.
Reindeer Cupcakes are so much fun to put together. We tweaked a batch of my favorite chocolate cake by baking cupcakes instead. I substituted dark chocolate in my Milk Chocolate Buttercream recipe to get a nice, rich brown color. Then it was a matter of adding a Nilla Wafer cookie for the muzzle, pretzel twists for antlers, either a chocolate chip or a cinnamon red hot for the nose, and candy eyes.
Sourcing ready-made candy eyes proved problematic to find up here in Northern Michigan, so I had to improvise. I found tiny packets of Sixlets brand balls of candy coated chocolate in single colors, right by the cake decorating sprinkles and birthday candles in the grocery store. I used a food coloring pen to make little black dots on the white Sixlets to make the eyes. If food coloring pens or white coated candies are hard to come by in your neck of the woods, then try substituting a miniature chocolate chip centered on the underside of a white chocolate chip to make eyes.
The point of Reindeer Cupcakes is not to strive for the perfect holiday centerpiece, but rather to make the time to create something playful and fun for the sheer enjoyment of it all.