These adorable cupcakes are perfect for sharing this Holiday season! Fudgy chocolate cupcakes are loaded with chocolate chips before being smothered with a sweet peanut butter chocolate frosting, then topped with a festive reindeer cookie!
Not only are these cupcakes simply adorable- they are also beyond delicious! Chocolate and peanut butter collide to prove once again that they are a match made in heaven!
Why Do I Love This Recipe?
Taste- Look, if there’s one thing about me you should know, it’s that I LOVE CHOCOLATE! These cupcakes are no exception! The cupcake base is LOADED with chocolate chips to give you that extra explosion of chocolate flavor! These cupcakes are topped with a delectable chocolate peanut butter frosting that you’ll want to eat straight out of the bowl! You can’t forget about the deliciousness that is a chocolate-covered nutter butter on top!
Texture- If you love light and fluffy cupcakes, you will love these! Aside from a light cake base, the frosting on top is nothing short of amazing! This frosting is light and smooth while still being firm enough to hold a crunchy Nutter Butter on top!
Looks- These cupcakes are irresistibly cute for all ages! From toddlers to adults, nobody can keep their eyes (or their hands!) off these loveable festive reindeer!
Easy- Don’t let these fool you; it only takes a few steps to make it look like these cupcakes came straight from a bakery! Kids will love to help decorate the reindeer with eyes and a nose before they’re added on top of the cupcakes!
Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcake Ingredients
- Chocolate Cake Mix Plus Ingredients Needed On Box
- Chocolate Chips
- Black Candy Melts
- Chocolate Melting Wafers
- Nutter Butters
- Black Sugar Pearl Sprinkles
- Powdered Sugar
- Cocoa Powder
- Peanut Butter
- Heavy Cream
How To Make Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes
Step One: Combine cake mix with cake mix ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
Step Two: Pour cake batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Bake according to box directions.
Step Three: Once baked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. Allow cupcakes to fully cool before frosting!
Step Four: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper to begin making the nutter butter reindeer. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the black candy melts in short increments until fully melted and smooth. Pour the melted black candy melts into a piping bag.
Step Five: Make the reindeer antlers by piping the black candy melts on a lined baking sheet. To make the antlers, I started by drawing a “Y” then slightly overlapped a second “Y” underneath it. Repeat this step until you have two antlers per reindeer. Set these antlers aside to completely cool and harden.
Step Six: Using a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate melting wafers on low heat until completely smooth. Once fully melted, take one nutter butter and fully submerge it into the dark chocolate to make sure it is completely coated. Lift the nutter butter out of the chocolate with a fork and tap any excess chocolate off. Transfer nutter butter to a lined baking sheet.
Step Seven: To decorate the reindeer, add two sugar pearls for eyes and an m&m for the nose. Carefully remove two hardened antlers from step five from the parchment and place them on your nutter butter, slightly above the eyes.
Step Eight: Repeat the steps with the remaining nutter butters. Once you’re finished decorating the reindeer, you can begin making the frosting.
Step Nine: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until all is incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and mix it again until incorporated. Once the frosting is an even brown color, add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add heavy whipping cream and vanilla, then beat until you get your desired consistency. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag.
Step Ten: Time to assemble! Frost your cooled cupcakes, then top with sprinkles if you like. Add one nutter butter reindeer on top of your cupcake, and enjoy!
What If I Can’t Find Nutter Butters?
No worries! If you can’t find Nutter Butters in-store, you can substitute them with a different cookie, such as Oreo or another cookie similar in size. Just remember the shape of the reindeer’s head will come out differently!
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can buy fudge-coated nutter butters. To stick the eyes, nose, and antlers to the fudge-coated nutter butters, use a dab of chocolate as “glue”!
Do I Have To Use A Double Boiler In This Recipe?
No! Instead of using a double boiler, you can microwave the melting wafers according to package instructions. Just be sure to work in small batches, as these chocolates do not reheat well and may start clumping.
Tips and Tricks To Make Nutter Butter Reindeer Cupcakes
- Create the antlers in any design you want! I found the “Y” method to be the easiest, but you can definitely add more or less detail. Be cautious if you pipe them on the thin side, as they will be more delicate and may break when removing them from the parchment paper.
- Use a homemade cake recipe! For the sake of simplicity, I went with a box mix rather than homemade, but to step it up, you can use homemade!
- If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought frosting.
- Three baking sheets
- parchment paper
- Two 12-cup cupcake tins
- Cupcake liners
- Double boiler
- Hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake mix plus ingredients needed on box
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup black candy melts
- 2 – 10 oz packages ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers
- 24 Nutter Butters
- Black sugar pearl sprinkles
- Red and brown M&Ms
Chocolate peanut butter frosting:
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F or to package instructions and line two cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with a whisk until combined. Then add the semisweet chocolate chips and fold in with a rubber spatula. Then spoon two tablespoons (about ⅔ full) of batter into each of the cupcake liners.
- Bake for 14-19 minutes (or to package instructions), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- Gather your ingredients for the nutter butter reindeers and prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the black candy melts in 30 second increments, stirring frequently between each time, until fully melted and smooth. Pour the melted black candy melts into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 tip. Alternatively, if you don’t have a piping bag or piping tip, you can use a ziploc bag and cut a very tiny piece off of the corner.
- Now make the reindeer antlers by piping the black candy melts onto a lined baking sheet. You can use any design you like and get creative with it. Just make sure to keep it around 1 ½ inches in length and not to pipe it too thin otherwise they may break easily when removing them. The way I made it is by first making a ‘Y’ and then making another ‘Y’ underneath it, slightly overlapping the first. Repeat until you have 2 antlers for each reindeer. I like to make extra in case any break or if I am making extra cookies. Set aside to harden or place in the fridge.
- Using a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate melting wafers on low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth.
- Take one nutter butter and fully submerge it into the melted dark chocolate and make sure it is 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. Transfer it to the lined baking sheet then repeat with a couple more nutter butters to work in small batches.
- Now it is time to decorate the reindeers. Add two sugar pearls for the eyes and a red or brown M&M for the nose. Then carefully remove two antlers from the parchment paper and place them onto the reindeer, slightly higher than the eyes. You don’t want to place it too close to the edge of the nutter butters otherwise they may start to drip off while the chocolate sets.
- Repeat the steps with the rest of the nutter butters. Then place the reindeers on the baking sheets into the fridge for 10 minutes or until fully set.
- Now it is time to prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Then gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until all is incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and mix again until fully incorporated and you have a nice even brown color. Then add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream and the vanilla extract. Beat ingredients together on high speed until you get the desired consistency. Adjust to taste by adding 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. You can also add a little more cocoa powder if you’d like a darker, more chocolatey frosting.
- Frost the cupcakes using an icing spatula or put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip. Sprinkle on your choice of sprinkles and then top each cupcake with a nutter butter reindeer.
- If you can’t find sugar pearls, you can use black confetti sprinkles or black cookie icing and just dot the eyes and mouth on. You can also purchase candy eyes in the baking section of your grocery store.