Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes

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These adorable Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes will be a huge hit at your next Christmas party! Top moist, fudgy cupcakes with a rich and creamy peanut butter frosting, then add a chocolate covered Nutter Butter cookie decorated to look just like Santa’s reindeer. Add a little candy nose and you’ve got the perfect holiday treat!

Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes on holiday plate

Want the cutest Christmas cupcakes to add to your dessert table this year this holiday season? these delicious Nutter Butter reindeer cupcakes will be the star attraction. This easy recipe starts with fudgy chocolate cupcakes and an irresistible homemade peanut butter chocolate frosting.

The frosted cupcakes are topped with chocolate covered peanut butter cookies that are decorated to look just like one of Santa’s reindeer. You can even use red candy for the nose to make them look like the most famous reindeer of all…Rudolph!

I love easy recipes that are a dessert and craft in one, just like these Oreo Penguins and Christmas Tree Cupcakes. It’s the perfect way to add a little bit of Christmas cheer to your holiday season.

Nutter Butter reindeer cupcakes from above

💖 Why We Love this Recipe

  • Delicious-The peanut butter chocolate frosting makes these cupcakes completely irresistible, especially for all the peanut butter lovers in your life!
  • Fun to make: The little ones will have so much fun making and decorating these cupcakes (and the adults will have even more fun eating them)!
  • Super festive-The festive reindeer theme makes these the perfect sweet treat for a holiday party, gift giving or a just a delicious holiday snack.
  • Easier than they look: These cupcakes look like they come from a fancy bakery but they’re so much fun and really easy to make using simple ingredients.

🔪 Recommended Tools

  • Three baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Two 12-cup cupcake tins
  • Cupcake liners
  • Whisk
  • Double boiler
  • Cooling rack
  • Hand mixer
  • Large Bowl
  • Piping Bag with small decorating tip

🛒 What’s Needed to Make Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe

For the Cupcakes

  • Chocolate fudge cake mix (plus ingredients needed listed on box)
  • Semisweet chocolate chips

For the Reindeer Toppers

  • Black candy melts
  • Dark chocolate melting wafers (candy melts)
  • Nutter Butter Cookies
  • Black sugar pearl sprinkles
  • Red and brown M&Ms

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Pure vanilla extract

📖 How to Make Chocolate Reindeer Cupcakes

To Make the Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 F or to package instructions and line each cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients listed on the back of the box. Mix with a whisk until combined.

Eggs in cake mix

Step 2. Add the semisweet chocolate chips and fold in with a rubber spatula.

Chocolate chips in cake mix

Step 3. Spoon the batter into each cupcake liner, about ⅔ full.

Cake batter poured into muffin cups

Step 4. Bake for 14-19 minutes (or according to package directions). Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Baked cupcakes in muffin tin

To Make the Nutter Butter Reindeer Toppers

Prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the black candy melts in 30 second increments, stirring frequently in between. Continue until chocolate is fully melted and smooth.

Black candy melted melted in pan

Step 2. Pour the melted candy into a piping bag fitted with a small round decorating tip.

Tip: If you don’t have a piping bag or piping tip, you can use a Ziploc bag and cut off a very tiny piece of the corner.

Melted black chocolate in icing bag

Step 3. Make the reindeer antlers by piping the black candy melts onto a lined baking sheet. Start by making a ‘Y’ and then making another ‘Y’ underneath it, slightly overlapping the first one. Make enough antlers, so each cookie has two each, then set aside to harden or refrigerate.

Tip: When piping the chocolate, keep the antlers 1 ½ inches in length. Don’t pipe them too thin or they may break easily when removing them. You may want to make some extras, just in case any break.

Reindeer antlers on cookie sheet

Step 4. Using a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate candy melts on low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth.

Tip: You can also microwave the wafers according to package instructions using the same method as above. You’ll just want to work in small batches as these chocolates do not always reheat well and may start to clump.

Melted chocolate in double boiler

Step 5. Take a peanut butter cookie and fully submerge it into the melted chocolate, making sure that it’s evenly coated. Lift it out with a fork and lightly tap it on the edge of the pot a few times to remove the excess.

Step 6. Transfer cookie to the lined baking sheet, then repeat with a couple more Nutter Butters, working in small batches.

Chocolate covered Nutter Butter Cookie

Step 7. Add two sugar pearls for the eyes and a red M&M for the red noses (or you can give them brown candy noses with a brown M&M). Then carefully remove two antlers from the parchment paper and place them onto the reindeer, slightly higher than the eyes.

Tip: Don’t place the antlers too close to the edge of the cookies because they may drop off the edge.

Nutter Butter reindeer being assembled on cookie sheet

Step 8. Repeat the steps with the remaining cookies, then place the baking sheets into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until fully set.

Nutter Butter reindeer on cookie sheet

To Make the Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting

Step 1. To prepare the chocolate fudge frosting, melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on low, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. You could also use your double boiler for this. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Butter creamed in bowl

Step 2. Place butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated.

Butter with powdered sugar

Step 3. Next, add the cocoa powder a little at a time and mix again until fully incorporated. You should end up with a nice even brown color.

Cocoa with powdered sugar and butter

Step 4. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined.

Peanut butter mixed into chocolate

Step 5. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat ingredients together on high speed until you get the desired consistency.

Tip: Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker and sweeter or add another tablespoon of heavy whipping cream to whip more air into it and make it lighter. For a darker chocolate flavor, you can also add a little more cocoa powder.

Cream in frosting mixture

Step 5. Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip.

Frosting in icing bag

Step 6. Swirl a layer of frosting on the top of each cupcake.

Tip: You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes if you don’t have a piping bag.

Frosted cookies on wire rack

Step 7. Add your choice of festive sprinkles to the top of the cupcakes.

Iced cupcakes with sprinkles

Step 8. Finish by placing a Nutter Butter reindeer top each one. Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate cupcakes topped with reindeer
How Do I Store Frosted Christmas Cupcakes?

Because the frosting contains dairy, store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be good for a few days.

Can I Use Store-Bought Frosting?

If you’re short on time, you can use store bought chocolate frosting. To give it the texture of homemade frosting, place it in a in separate bowl and beat it with and electric mixer until light and airy. Stir in a little peanut butter and beat it again to give the frosting that same delicious flavor of the homemade version.

Variations for Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes

  • Reindeer eyes: If you can’t find the sugar pearls that we used for the eyes, you can use black cookie icing to dot on the eyes and mouth on the reindeer face. You can also purchase candy eyes in the baking section of your grocery store or use black candy sprinkles.
  • Cookies: Nutter Butter cookies make the perfect shape for a reindeer head, but you can always chocolate dip some Oreos, vanilla wafers or another cookie similar in size if you prefer. If you’re short on time, you can skip the mess and buy ready-made Fudge Covered Nutter Butters cookies.
  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate melting wafers were used for our antlers, but you can use milk chocolate if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Cake mix: We used chocolate fudge cake mix but you can use any flavor cake mix you’d like. You could even make the cupcakes from scratch.
  • Antlers:  Instead of forming the antlers from chocolate, you can make pretzel antlers with mini pretzels or pretzel twists. You’ll just need a little extra melted chocolate to help them stick to the cookies.
Nutter Butter Reindeer with bite taken out

Want More Festive Christmas Treats?

Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes square
5 from 1 vote

Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes


Course Dessert, Desserts & Sweets
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
These adorable Reindeer Cupcakes, topped with an adorable chocolate dipped Nutter Butter reindeer cookie, make the perfect sweet treat for all your holiday parties!

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes

Reindeer

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or (or follow package instructions if different). Line each cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs (or whatever ingredients are listed on the back of the box). Mix with a whisk until combined.
    1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake mix, 1 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs
  • Add the semisweet chocolate chips and fold in with a rubber spatula.
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Spoon the batter into each cupcake liner, about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 14-19 minutes (or according to package directions). Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

TO MAKE THE NUTTER BUTTER REINDEER TOPPERS

  • Prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the black candy melts in 30 second increments, stirring frequently in between. Continue until chocolate is fully melted and smooth.
    1 cup black candy melts
  • Pour the melted candy into a piping bag fitted with a small round decorating tip.
  • Make the reindeer antlers by piping the black candy melts onto a lined baking sheet. Start by making a ‘Y’ and then making another ‘Y’ underneath it, slightly overlapping the first one. Make enough antlers, so each cookie has two each, then set aside to harden or refrigerate.
  • Using a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate candy melts on low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. You can also microwave the wafers using the same method as above. You’ll just want to work in small batches as these chocolates do not always reheat well and may start to clump.
    20 ounces Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers
  • Take a peanut butter cookie and fully submerge it into the melted chocolate, making sure that it’s evenly coated. Lift it out with a fork and lightly tap it on the edge of the pot a few times to remove the excess.
    24 Nutter Butter cookies
  • Transfer cookie to the lined baking sheet, then repeat with a couple more Nutter Butters, working in small batches.
  • Add two sugar pearls for the eyes and a red M&M for the red noses (or you can give them brown candy noses with a brown M&M). Then carefully remove two antlers from the parchment paper and place them onto the reindeer, slightly higher than the eyes.
    Black sugar pearl sprinkles, 24 Red and brown M&Ms
  • Repeat the steps with the remaining cookies, then place the baking sheets into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until fully set.

TO MAKE THE PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • To prepare the chocolate fudge frosting, first place butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Next, add the cocoa powder a little at a time and mix again until fully incorporated. You should end up with a nice even brown color.
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Add the peanut butter and beat until combined.
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat ingredients together on high speed until you get the desired consistency.
    1-2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip, then swirl frosting onto each cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes if you don’t have a piping bag.
  • Add your choice of festive sprinkles to the top of the cupcakes.
    holiday sprinkles
  • Finish by placing a Nutter Butter reindeer top each one. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t have piping bags or a piping tip, you can use a Ziploc bag and cut off a very tiny piece of the corner.
  • When piping the chocolate for the antlers, keep them at least 1 ½ inches long. Don’t pipe them too thin or they may break easily when removing them. You may even want to make a few extras, just in case any break.
  • Add more powdered sugar to make your frosting thicker and sweeter or add another tablespoon of heavy whipping cream to whip more air into it and make it lighter. For a darker chocolate flavor, you can also add a little more cocoa powder.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 289IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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