Reindeer Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
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Easy reindeer cupcakes are fun, festive, and simple to make by decorating chocolate cupcakes with M&Ms, pretzels, and candy eyes. The easy cupcakes are sure to be a huge hit at any holiday party!

For more cute reindeer-themed snacks try this easy reindeer chocolate bark recipe, reindeer brownies with pretzels, peanut butter reindeer cookies, or these peanut butter celery stick reindeer treats.

Reindeer cupcakes with chocolate frosting, red candy nose, candy eyes, and pretzel antlers.

Do you love to make recipes with your kids? Spending time in the kitchen with your kids is not only so much fun, but it creates wonderful memories as well.

Whether you and your kids need something for a Christmas party or holiday bake sale, delicious cupcakes are always a great option. This reindeer cupcakes recipe is a fun and festive option and couldn’t be easier to make thanks to using boxed cake mix and pre-made frosting.

Like Santa hat cupcakes, melting snowman cupcakes, and Christmas tree frosting cupcakes, this is the kind of recipe that really focuses on the decorating. So grab the kids, get in the kitchen, and let’s get to baking the cutest Christmas cupcakes ever!

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing decorated with pretzel antlers, candy eyes, and a red m&m, to look like Rudolph the red nose reindeer.

The sweet reindeer cupcakes are perfect for classroom parties, holiday parties, or as a delicious and fun treat any time during the holiday season.

Ingredients for Easy Reindeer Cupcakes

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Chocolate cake mix— Plus the ingredients called for on the box, likely water, vegetable oil, and eggs.
  • Pretzel twists— Will be brown to form the reindeer’s antlers.
  • Chocolate frosting— Your favorite variety of chocolate, milk chocolate, or chocolate fudge frosting.
  • M&Ms Use a red M&M for Rudolph cupcakes or a brown M&M to make Santa’s other reindeer.
  • Candy eyes— You can use large size candy eyes as we did or small candy eyes – either look great!


How to Make Reindeer Cupcakes

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, prepare cake mix to make cupcakes by following the directions on the package. Bake and transfer to wire rack to cool fully.

Step 2: Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Frosted chocolate cupcakes.

Step 3: Break mini pretzels in half to get a curved pretzel. Insert at the top of the cupcake to serve as reindeer antlers.

Chocolate cupcakes with pretzel antlers pressed into top.

Step 4: Place two candy eyeballs on the cupcake.

Reindeer cupcakes with large candy eyes added.

Step 5: Below the eyes, place a red M&M candy for a nose.

Three adorable reindeer cupcakes with candy eyes, red M&M noes, and pretzel antlers.

That’s it! Super easy, yet super cute!

I hope that you enjoy these adorable reindeer cupcakes!


Store in an airtight container until serving. For best results, serve the same day. As the cupcakes sit the pretzels may get soggy and the frosting will bleed into the eyes.

To make ahead, prepare cupcakes and store in an airtight container. Frost and decorate just before serving.

Unfrosted cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Three chocolate reindeer cupcakes on Christmas printed napkin with ornaments beside them.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • The perfect size. 3 Tablespoons of batter make the perfect size cupcakes for this easy reindeer cupcake recipe.
  • Skip the piping bag. Spoon frosting into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Give it a stir and check the consistency. If needed, microwave a few seconds longer to thin the frosting. Then, dip the top of the cupcakes into the frosting to give the frosting a smooth almost glaze-like appearance.
  • Use full pretzels. Instead of breaking the pretzel twists as we did, you can use unbroken mini pretzel twists instead. Simply press two of the twists onto the top of the cupcakes to make the antlers and place the eyes and nose under them.
  • Make from scratch. While we used a boxed cake mix and a can of icing, you can absolutely get out the cocoa powder and use your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and/or homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.

More fun and easy Christmas desserts

Reindeer cupcakes with chocolate frosting, red candy nose, candy eyes, and pretzel antlers.
5 from 4 votes

Reindeer Cupcakes

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
These cute Christmas reindeer cupcakes are ridiculously easy to make by decorating chocolate cupcakes with M&Ms, pretzels, and candy eyes.


  • 15.25 ounces chocolate cake mix + ingredients called for on the box
  • 24 pretzel twists
  • 16 ounce chocolate frosting
  • 24 red M&Ms
  • 48 candy eyes


  • Prepare cupcakes in a cupcake pan according to the directions on the package. Allow to cool fully.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
  • Break a pretzel twist in half to get a curved pretzel. Gently push a pair into the top of each cupcake to make antlers.
  • Place two candy eyes on the cupcake.
  • Below the eyes, place a red M&M candy for a nose.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature until serving. Best served the same day. If making ahead, wait to decorate the cupcakes until just before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 205kcal
Reindeer cupcakes with chocolate frosting, red candy nose, candy eyes, and pretzel antlers.

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Recipe Rating


  1. These are so cute! I love chocolate frosting too, so I’m sure these taste great as well!

  2. I like the reindeer cupcakes idea so much, I realized I could also do other animals, insects and spiders too.

  3. These are so darn cute with not much extra effort or expense. I’d love to try these, I can hear the oohh’s & giggles now.

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