You knew this was coming right? Once we tackled the Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes, I knew it would be easy to move on to Christmas reindeer cupcakes. La Jolla Girl was very helpful because these reindeer cupcakes use a similar process. We used Ina Gartin’s Banana Crunch Muffins (they make fabulous cupcakes) and buttercream frosting. You’ll need:
2. Frosting tinted brown. Leave about 1/4 cup white if you don’t have a white frosting tube/pen.
3. Donut holes
4. Mini M&Ms
5. Mini Chocolate Chips
6. White frosting pen (optional)
7. Small marshmallows for tail
8. Brown candy melts or chocolate chips (candy melts are easier)
9. Wax paper and Ziploc bags
10. An edible “stick” such as a pretzel or candy melts that I piped out straight and let harden. This stick attaches the donut hole to the cupcake.
Start with the antlers, ears and sticks (if you aren’t using pretzels). I drew out a quick template, but it’s not necessary. Take candy melts or chocolate chips and put them in a Ziploc bag. Microwave until melted. Cut a hole at the corner of the Ziploc bag and pipe out antlers, ears and sticks on to wax paper. I put the template with wax paper on top in a half sheet pan. That way it’s easy to move out of the way, if necessary.
If you use chocolate chips, they will melt from the heat of your hand and are more delicate once piped. Make well more than you need. Candy melts are much easier to work with. La Jolla Girl’s reindeer antlers were pretty cool. They were just big squiggles.
Poke hole in cupcake and insert the other side of the stick. If you don’t poke a hole first, the stick is more likely to break from the pressure. Frost the cupcake and donut hole. A small brush helps get the frosting in crevices. Attach a red mini M&M for the reindeer nose.
Punch holes for antlers too. Insert antlers and ears. If they feel loose, you can pipe a very small amount of frosting into the hole to secure. La Jolla Girl had just watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV and insisted that he had a small tail. So she grabbed a small marshmallow and placed it on the cupcake.
Speaking of kids, here is what we made with La Jolla Girls squiggle antlers. Reindeer on a candy cane with sunflower seeds as ears. The squiggles were top heavy and broke on occasion, but toward the end I was able to guide her so that they’d work. These survived, but I should have had her make more for the reindeer cupcakes.