Reindeer Cupcakes

The holidays are a time to get together with the ones we love, and of course, to share delicious holiday treats! If you make these Reindeer Cupcakes, they’ll be the centerpiece of your cookie platter, and will probably make your sister-in-law a little jealous too.

Assembly is super simple. So simple, even the kids can help! They’ll be excited, too, because they get to use all kinds of their favorite candies and treats, like pretzels, M&Ms and candy eyes.

Whether you’re baking up a tray for the kids’ class party, or if these are to enjoy with the family, these fun, incredibly delicious, from-scratch cupcakes, will steal the show! Get the kids together and get baking!

What are Reindeer Cupcakes?

The name cupcakes was first used in the late 19th century for cakes measured by the cup. Originally baked in teacups, the name “cupcakes” was born. Reindeer Cupcakes are decadent, made-from-scratch, chocolate cupcakes decorated with irresistible reindeer faces.

Children and adults alike will have fun assembling these treats with familiar ingredients like pretzels and M&M candies.

Are Reindeer Cupcakes Hard to Make?

There are a few steps to make these delectable, chocolatey cupcakes, but we think you will agree that the time spent was well worth it. I suppose you could bake up a boxed cake mix and decorate them, but save that batch for the kids’ bake sale at school. This tried and true cake batter recipe is made with real cocoa, sour cream and vanilla paste, and it’s out of this world!

How Do I Store Reindeer Cupcakes?

Frosted cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator since they contain ingredients like eggs and sour cream. For freshness, they should be enjoyed within 3-5 days since the fridge tends to dry out baked goods. An airtight container works best since Ziploc bags and plastic wrap tend to stick to the frosting.

Can I Freeze Reindeer Cupcakes?

Freezing unfrosted cupcakes works best. Individually wrap each cupcake and place in an airtight container.

Frozen cakes easily pick up that dreaded “freezer taste” so this is an important step if you want them to be just as good when the time comes to use them. Remove them from the freezer and unwrap them before allowing them to defrost on the counter for an hour or two. This prevents them from getting sticky on top. Decorate them and enjoy that fresh baked flavor.

To freeze Reindeer Cupcakes after they have been assembled, first, freeze them, uncovered, on a baking sheet for about an hour. This will freeze the icing and prevent the plastic wrap from sticking and messing up their cute reindeer faces.

Remove them from the freezer and quickly, individually wrap them. Place them in an airtight container to prevent them from being crushed by other items in your freezer. Remember to unwrap them while still frozen when you are ready to enjoy them again. This will help them from getting soggy as they thaw.

Tips for Making Reindeer Cupcakes

  • For the best possible results, follow the recipe exactly, and let your ingredients come to room temperature before you begin.
  • Use a good quality liner for your cupcake pans. It really makes a big difference! Your cupcakes are less likely to stick to the paper and break when you try to remove them.
  • This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your cupcakes have completely cooled before frosting them. The best practice is to let them rest in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them. You can pop them into the freezer for about 20 minutes at this point. This will give you time to whip up a batch of your favorite frosting or prepare your decorations while they fully cool.


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  • No matter what size cupcakes you prefer, filling liners to ¾ full, unless otherwise stated, is a good rule of thumb.
  • Half-fill empty craters in your cupcake pan with water while baking. This helps your cupcakes bake evenly.


  • Vanilla Bean Paste – substitute an equal amount of vanilla extract.
  • Reindeer Face – using a little imagination you can create other fun creatures for any occasion.
  • Chocolate Chips – semi-sweet baking chocolate is an equal substitute for chocolate chips. Chop for easier melting.

More Yummy Seasonal Recipes You’ll Enjoy

If you like this delicious Reindeer Cupcake recipe, you’ll want to try some of our other themed holiday desserts! Try any from the list below.

Patriotic Whoopie Pies
Autumn Trail Mix
Frankenstein Cupcakes
Instant Pot Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs
Kiwi Prosecco Popsicles

Yield: 12-15

Reindeer Cupcakes

Reindeer Cupcakes

These adorable Christmas Reindeer cupcakes are simple fun for the whole family to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


For Cupcakes

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweet cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Reindeer Face

  • Chocolate frosting of choice
  • Nose: 12-15 (one per cupcake) Vanilla wafers, 12-15 (one per cupcake) M&Ms
  • Ears: 24-30 (two per cupcake) small full pretzels
  • Eyes: 24-30 Candy eyeballs
  • Eyes (option #2): 24-30 white M&Ms (two per cupcake) and dots of black icing from a tube


  1. Set your oven to preheat at 350 F. Using cupcake liners, line a muffin pan.
  2. Set a small saucepan to low-medium heat and add in your butter and chocolate chips. Stirring occasionally, allow the butter and chocolate chips to melt completely. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, add your sugar, vanilla paste, eggs, and sour cream. With a hand mixer, whisk until smooth and well combined.
  4. In a separate medium-sized bowl, add together your remaining dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder baking soda and salt) and stir to blend completely.
  5. Pour your chocolate and butter sauce into the large bowl with the sugar, eggs, and sour cream mixture. Stir thoroughly.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture in 1/2 cup portions to the batter. Combine well with your hand mixture set on a low speed.
  7. Using a small measuring cup, begin to pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Fill ¾ of the way to allow room to rise.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F and then check with a toothpick. A little moisture on the toothpick is fine. However, if the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, cook for 3-5 more minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 30 minutes so their completely cool to the touch before adding your chocolate frosting.
  10. After frosting, assemble your reindeer face with ears first (pretzels), then eyes (candy eyeballs or white M&Ms), snout (vanilla wafer), and then nose (M&Ms).

Did you make this recipe?

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