These adorable Rudolph Cupcakes are easy to make and so stinkin’ cute! Our chocolate reindeer cupcakes recipe is topped with rich chocolate ganache and chocolate reindeer antlers — so much chocolate and so much fun!
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Cupcakes
Tell me these aren’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!
Those big eyes, the bright red nose, and chocolate antlers! Love!!
The holidays can be hectic, and sometimes we end up trying to throw together a party dessert at the last minute. These Rudolph Cupcakes are sure to wow the crowd, and they are surprisingly easy (and quick) to make!
A box cake shortcut saves TONS of time and ensures that your cupcakes are perfect. Plus, no one will be too worried about what’s inside (or whether it’s made from scratch) when they see the adorable Rudolph on top!
For Halloween this year we made chocolate spiderweb cupcake toppers and they were a hit! These reindeer antlers are made the same way — easy peasy!
What You Need to Make Reindeer Cupcakes
The following is a shopping list with links to buy some of the ingredients and supplies used in this reindeer cupcakes recipe; disclosure policy available here.
- 1 box of chocolate cake mix + ingredients on back of box
- 1 package of Ghiradelli milk chocolate melting wafers
- 1 package of black candy melts
- 1 box of M&M’s only using the red ones
- 1 package of large edible candy eyes
Kitchen Tools Used
How to Make Rudolph Cupcakes
To save time, we used a box mix for our cupcakes. Whip up the batter according to the directions on the package.
Next, pour the batter into your cupcake liners, so that they are about 3/4 of the way full. (We use an ice cream scoop for for this step because it’s just about exactly the right amount).
Bake according to directions on box. When a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, you know they’re done.
Allow to cool completely before decorating.
How to Make Reindeer Antlers out of Chocolate
We made our reindeer antlers while our cupcakes baked, so the chocolate would have time to harden completely.
You can use an edible marker to trace the outline of the antlers on parchment paper, or you can freehand.
Melt the black candy melts using a double boiler OR in a microwave safe bowl. If melting in the microwave, heat in 20 second intervals and stir, until smooth.
Scoop the chocolate into a piping bag with a fine tip. Now you can “draw” your reindeer antlers with chocolate:
We made ours on parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet, but you can also use a non-stick silicone baking mat. That way the antlers will pop right off when they’re done.
Place cookie sheet with chocolate antlers into the fridge until they harden.
Put it All Together:
When your antlers are ready and cupcakes done baking, it’s time to decorate!
Melt the milk chocolate wafers and stir until smooth. Dip the top of each cupcake in the chocolate, so that it coats the top like frosting.
Allow cupcakes to set for about 2 minutes before putting on the reindeer faces:
- Gently press a red M&M into the center on the cupcake for the reindeers nose
- Place two large edible eyes above the nose
- Using a knife, make two indentions into the cupcakes where the antlers go (about 1/2″ deep)
- Carefully peel off the antlers from the wax paper and slide into the indentions
A free printable recipe card is available at the bottom of the post, with detailed instructions and recipe video.
Tips and Tricks
- You can also use red gumdrops or something similar to make the red Rudolph candy nose.
- Don’t have candy eyeballs at home? You can also use small bite-sized cookies or white chocolate wafers and draw a pupil with your melting chocolate (that you used to make the chocolate antlers).
- Can’t find black melting candy? Try using dark chocolate melting wafers or dark chocolate chips instead.
Related: If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats too!
More of our Favorite Festive Christmas Recipes
Love these chocolate reindeer cupcakes recipe? These are more of our most popular holiday themed recipes and treats! Kids and grown-ups alike will get a kick out of them!
- Christmas Puppy Chow
- Christmas Tree Oreos
- Kid-Made Mini Gingerbread House Cakes
- Oreo Gingerbread Truffles
- Rudolph Cupcakes
- Copycat Starbuck Cranberry Bliss Bread
- Grinch Jello Shots
- Heavenly Hot Cocoa Cookies
Be sure to pin our Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe on Pinterest:
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Easy Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe (Printable Copy):
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Rudolph Cupcakes - Easy Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe
- 1 box chocolate cake mix plus ingredients listed on box
- 1 package Ghiradelli milk chocolate melting wafers
- 1 package black candy melts
- 1 box M&M's using only the red ones
- 1 package large edible candy eyes
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare cupcake pan. (We love these reusable non-stick silicon baking cups!)
- Prepare cake mix according to directions on the back of the box.
- Pour batter into the cupcake liners, about 3/4 of the way full. (We use an ice cream scoop for for this step because it's just about exactly the right amount).
- Bake for about 21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with parchment paper. On the parchment paper, use an edible marker to draw the outline of 24 antlers.
- Melt the black candy melts using a double boiler. (You can also melt in the microwave, but be sure to use a microwave safe bowl and only heat in 15 second increments, stirring until smooth).
- Pour melted black candy into a piping bag and use to fill in the antler outlines you drew. (Note: If you don't have an edible marker at home, you can totally freehand your antlers too. Tracing an outline simply helps keep them the right size.)
- Once you've created all the antlers, place cookie sheet into fridge for candy to harden.
- Repeat the melting process with milk chocolate wafers. Dip the top of each cupcake into the melted chocolate. Carefully shake off excess chocolate and set cupcakes upright.
- Allow cupcakes to set for about 2 minutes before putting on the reindeer faces.
- Gently press a red M&M into the center on the cupcake for the reindeers nose.
- Place two large edible eyes above the nose.
- Using a knife, make two indentions into the cupcakes where the antlers go (about 1/2" deep).
- Carefully peel off the antlers from the wax paper and slide into the indentions.