These Reindeer Cupcakes starts with a box cake mix and simple decoration to make these holiday cupcakes. Festive cupcakes to enjoy this holiday season.

Close up image of Reindeer Cupcakes
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As a mom of 8, my kids and I have made a lot of holiday cupcakes. These Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe are fun, festive and easy to make. The adorable Rudolph face is a great cupcake to make for an easy holiday activity. You may also like these Reindeer Brownies.

These Christmas cupcakes are full of flavor and can be made in a variety of ways. If you enjoy making cupcakes with your kids as much as I do, try these Snowman Cupcakes or Santa Hat Cupcakes.

Why This Recipe Works:

  • Simple Ingredients – You only need a few simple ingredients to make these Rudolph Face Cupcakes. If you are a baker, you probably already have a majority of the ingredients.
  • Full of Flavor – The cupcakes turn out moist, soft and tender.
  • Easy to Make – Start with a cake mix for an easy cupcake recipe.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients needed for Reindeer Cupcakes - Cake Mix, Chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, eggs, oil, water, sour cream, butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla, salt, pretzel twists, nilla wafers, red M&M, candy eyes

For the Cupcakes: 

  • Devil’s Food Cake Mix 
  • Instant Chocolate Pudding (3.9 ounces) 
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 
  • Large Eggs 
  • Vegetable Oil 
  • Water 
  • Sour Cream 

For the Frosting: 

  • Unsalted Butter (softened) 
  • Powdered Sugar (sifted) 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream 
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Salt 

Add the Decorations: 

  • Pretzel Twists 
  • Nilla Wafers 
  • Red M&M
  • Candy Eyes 

For the full list of ingredients and recipe, scroll to the bottom to see recipe card.

Variations Ideas:

  • Frosting – You can make this recipe with store-bought chocolate frosting if you prefer. 
  • Change Cake Mix – Feel free to make these cupcakes with the cake mix if your choice. You can even make Homemade Cupcakes if you prefer.
  • Reindeer Decor – The decorations for the Reindeer Faces can be changed to what you prefer. You can use a different type of cookie or change the red candy nose.

Step by Step Instructions:

Combining the cake mix with the chocolate chips

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.  In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and pudding mix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  

Adding in the eggs, oil and water to cake mix and pudding mix

Step 2 – Next mix in the large eggs, vegetable oil and water. Gently stir in the sour cream until a batter is formed.  

Pouring the cupcake batter into the muffin tin

Step 3 – Pour the batter into each cupcake tin, filling them up approximately ¾ of the way full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.  

Beat the butter in a bowl with a hand mixer

Step 4 – In a large mixing bowl add the butter and beat until creamy.

Adding the sugar, cocoa powder and cream to the butter mixture

Step 5 – Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and salt.  Mix on low speed until combined and then move the speed up to high and mix for 3 minutes. 

Frosting the cupcakes with the homemade frosting

Step 6 – Add a flat layer of the frosting on top of each of the cupcakes.

Adding the pretzels and cookie to being decorating the reindeer cupcake

Step 7 – Add a villa wafer and 2 pretzel twists onto each cupcake to form the muzzle and pretzel antlers of each of the reindeers.

Topping the cupcakes with the candy eyes and red M&M to make the nose

Step 8 – Pipe dots of frosting onto the backs of the candy eyes and M&Ms with piping bag. Then place each of them onto the cupcakes for the eyes and red nose of the reindeer. 

Recipe Tips:

  • Cool Cupcakes – Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks. Cool cupcakes before topping with the frosting.  
  • Making Frosting – Then check the desired consistency of the frosting. Add more heavy whipping (1 tablespoon at a time) if needed to thin out the frosting.  
  • Chill Frosting – Chill frosting until ready to use to decorate the cupcakes.  
Close of up image of several Reindeer Cupcakes

Can I Make Ahead of Time?

Yes, these holiday cupcakes can be made ahead of time. We like to prepare the chocolate cupcakes the night before decorating. This helps to make sure they are completely cooled.

Then I have my kids decorate them on the day we are serving them. This makes for the perfect holiday cupcake to make this time of year.

How to Store Leftovers:

Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Reindeer Cupcakes on a platter

More Easy Christmas Cupcake Recipes:

We love hearing from you. If you make these Rudolph Cupcake Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

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Reindeer Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
These Reindeer Cupcakes starts with a box cake mix and simple decoration to make these holiday cupcakes. Festive cupcakes to enjoy this holiday season.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
For the Frosting & Decorations: 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 359

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding 3.9 ounces
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 8 ounces Sour Cream

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar sifted
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

For the Decorations:

  • 48 Pretzel Twists
  • 24 Nilla Wafers
  • 24 Red M&Ms
  • 48 Candy Eyes

Instructions

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix and pudding mix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Next mix in the large eggs, vegetable oil and water.
  • Gently stir in the sour cream until a batter is formed.
  • Pour the batter into each cupcake tin, filling them up approximately ¾ of the way full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks before topping with the frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl add the butter and beat until creamy (approximately 3 minutes).
  • Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and salt.  Mix on low speed until combined and then move the speed up to high and mix for 3 minutes.
  • Then check the consistency of the frosting and add more heavy whipping (1 tablespoon at a time) if needed to thin out the frosting.
  • Chill until ready to use to decorate the cupcakes.

To Assemble the Cupcakes:

  • Add a flat layer of the frosting on top of each of the cupcakes (reserve some frosting for decorations).
  • Add a villa wafer and 2 pretzel twists onto each cupcake to form the muzzle and antlers of each of the reindeers.
  • Place the remaining in a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip or place in a bag with a small corner cut off one end.
  • Pipe dots of frosting onto the backs of the candy eyes and M&Ms and then place each of them onto the cupcakes for the eyes and noses of the reindeer.
  • Then the cupcakes are ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
You can make this recipe with store-bought chocolate frosting if you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 359kcal, Carbohydrates 36g, Protein 3g, Fat 24g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 0.4g, Cholesterol 56mg, Sodium 222mg, Potassium 158mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 26g, Vitamin A 369IU, Vitamin C 0.1mg, Calcium 53mg, Iron 2mg

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About the Author

Hi! We are Carrie and Christina! Welcome to Christmas on a Dime!

We  are sisters and love everything about Christmas. We are here to help you celebrate the magic of Christmas all year long!

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