Cupcakes, Food, Recipes

Candy Cane Reindeer Cupcakes

In America I stumbled upon a delicious snack (in Walgreens of all places) which involved chocolate covered pretzels covered in crushed candy canes. The salty pretzel combined with the rich dark chocolate and minty candy cane was a winning flavour combination and NEEDED to be made into cupcake form.

I used my chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes as a base, and topped it with a subtle peppermint-flavoured buttercream. It was then adorned with chocolate-dipped salted pretzels (“antlers”) and finished with a dusting of crushed candy canes. Delicious and suitably festive.

Candy Cane Reindeer Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Author: Swah


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 7 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 125 g butter room temperature
  • cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Peppermint Buttercream

  • 160 g butter softened
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • A dash of milk if required


  • 100 g dark chocolate melts
  • Salted pretzels large
  • Candy canes


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 x 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  • Stir the cocoa powder, coffee and brown sugar in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Whisk to mix and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Slowly add the flour, bicarb and baking powder. Pour in the cocoa/coffee mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins and fill approximately ¾ full (this recipe should make around 18 cupcakes)
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cupcakes slightly spring back when touched.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in their tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

Peppermint Buttercream

  • Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Gradually add in the icing sugar and beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the peppermint extract and a dash of milk if needed until it's a spreadable consistency.
  • Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.


  • Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring occasionally until melted.
  • Dip broken pretzel pieces into the chocolate, allow excess to drip off, and then allow to harden on a baking paper-lined tray.
  • Crush candy canes in their plastic bag(s) with a rolling pin.
  • Stick hardened choc-pretzels into the iced cupcakes and sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top.

What are you going to bake this festive season? How about some Brownie Cupcakes with Strawberry Santa Hats? Or some Ginger-spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing?

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  • Reply Tina @ bitemeshowme December 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    oh these are just too cute to even eat! I may just make these for my nephews and their day care! the flavour combo is a winner!

    • Reply Swah December 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      I think the kids would love them Tina! :D

  • Reply Katie December 11, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Here comes Santa Clause! So festive & fun!

    • Reply Swah December 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Katie! I’m slowly getting into the Christmas spirit

  • Reply Helen (Grab Your Fork) December 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Nawww these are way too cute, and I love the salty sweet combo of chocolate covered pretzels!

    • Reply Swah December 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I think chocolate covered pretzels are my new favourite thing… let’s just say most of them didn’t end up on the cupcakes, but in my mouth :O

  • Reply 12 Christmas Treats To Make With Kids - Bake Play Smile December 1, 2016 at 4:01 am

    […] Candy Cane Reindeer Cupcakes – Love Swah […]

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