A couple of weeks ago I attended a work event where we had a quick team building session – cupcake making! The lovely lady who was running us through things had some fantastic Christmas ideas (you may have seen them over on my twitter). As soon as I clapped eyes on her reindeer cakes I knew they’d be perfect for the primary school Christmas fair I’m attending over in Leicestershire today.
To make them extra festive I decided to do a red velvet cake, in a red paper cupcake case. I didn’t have the ingredients in for a ‘traditional’ red velvet recipe so I adapted a chocolate one I knew would work well.
This recipe is from my much-loved Be-Ro book – you can see it’s had plenty of use and I’ve only had it about 5 years! It had quite a low cocoa content anyway, so I upped the vanilla to a teaspoon, and added a good amount of red gel food colouring to get the colour.
I also didn’t have any evaporated milk – but as this is essentially just concentrated milk, I used 90ml of regular milk and omitted the water.
As the cupcakes were much smaller than the big cake in the recipe they needed less baking time – they took about 12 minutes at 180 in my fan oven.
To decorate it was chocolate all the way! First I whipped up some chocolate butter cream (simply using butter, icing sugar, and cocoa), before piping onto the cakes using a wide star nozzle. I quickly topped with the first chocolately decorations – two Cadbury chocolate pretzels for antlers, and a chocolate button to form the base for the nose.
The red Rudolph nose was as a simple as a chocolate button – ‘glued’ into place with a little leftover buttercream.
Finally I was left with the eyes – these presented more of a challenge as I didn’t want to pipe straight onto the cakes for fear of messing the whole thing up! Luckily I found these great sugar sprinkles in the supermarket, the white ones were perfect (and I’m sure the pink ones will come in useful some cake down the line):
To the white discs I added small blobs of black royal icing, very carefully dabbed on using the end of a cocktail stick. I made a whole plateful of googly eyes so it was easier to match up pairs – I didn’t want boss-eyed reindeer!
These were glued in place with a tiny bit more butter cream. If I’d have been organised I’d have made the eyes in advance so they could be stuck on as soon as the icing was in place… but, well, if you saw the state of my kitchen, you’d understand organised isn’t really a word in vocabulary…!
They are seriously some of the cutest cupcakes I think I’ve ever made – and combine all the classic food groups of chocolate, cake, and sweets. I hope the kids like them as much as I do!