Vegan Chocolate Reindeer Cupcakes

Katy Watson provides a recipe for the cutest reindeer cupcakes (vegan of course) to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Time to whack on the Buble album and spend an afternoon baking some festive treats!
These cupcakes are divine. Adapted from Little Blog of Vegan’s easy chocolate cake recipe, these little sweethearts are almost too cute to eat!

Picture 1

Preparation- 40 minutes
Baking time- 18-20 minutes
Makes- Around 10
Level- Easy


For the cake…

  • 240ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 210g of self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 100g of golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g of coconut oil (Melted)

For the buttercream…

  • 120g of dairy-free butter
  • 250g of icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (you can use extract)
  • 1 teaspoon of dairy-free milk (if needed)

For decoration…

To make the cupcakes

Step 1– Preheat your oven to 180°c and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

Step 2– In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.

Step 3– In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine.

Step 4– Add the melted coconut oil (we just melted the oil in bowl over simmering water) to the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.

Step 5– Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a smooth batter.

Step 6– Fill the cases 3/4 full with the delicious batter.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

Step 7– Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

Step 8– Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

To make the frosting

Step 1– Cream the butter in a bowl, on high speed until creamy. I use my stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment.

Step 2– When your butter/margarine is creamy & light in colour, add in the icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla bean paste/extract. Whizz together until fluffy & fully combined.
Add a splash of dairy-milk if the buttercream is too thick. And obviously, if you have to do this by hand it is okay!

Step 3– Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozzle.

Step 4– Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake.

To decorate, first break ten pretzels in half roughly down the middle.
Make little balls out of the marzipan and use the pen to add the irises.
Add the antlers, eyes, and red nose skittles to the top of the cupcake.
And there you have it, a whole fleet of reindeer!

Serve these cupcakes fresh or store in a sealed container in or out of the fridge, the buttercream will firm up at room temperature.

Best eaten within a few days


About the author: Katy Watson is our Food and Drink editor and an English Literature Masters student at York. She loves reading, badminton and her two guinea-pigs.

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