Chocolate Orange Filled Reindeer Cupcakes

Tuesday 16 December 2014

This post may contains affiliate links. Read my disclaimer policy here.

christmas chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes

Before we start, I want to point out two things. 1) If there was a position lower than a beginner in cupcake making, that is where I will be, and 2) this recipe is for those with a very sweet chocolatey tooth. As Christmas is coming up (I'm sure you already know), I thought I'd do something extra special and attempt to make cupcakes, but not any old cupcakes, chocolate orange ganache filled reindeer cupcakes! MMMM! There is quite a lot of chocolate in this recipe, so I have chosen a very basic vanilla flavoured sponge. If you prefer an alternative recipe, go ahead with that. I would say that this is a very simple recipe, but I did have to make the cupcakes again as they didn't rise (I'm going to blame the baking powder), and I did accidentally burn chocolate in the microwave, which I didn't know that was even possible. You may have lost any faith you had left in me, but I promise if you take your time, these will come out beautifully.

christmas chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes

You know I'm never been that straightforward, and always like to do that something more, so I obviously I had to fill my cupcakes with something. The ganache is so simple to make, and it's so smooth and creamy with a rich infusion of orange. It tastes a lot like Terry's chocolate orange, which you could use instead of the plain chocolate. While I was searching the internet looking for inspiration, I came across this cool little gadget called a 'Cupcake Corer'; it basically just cuts a hole into your cupcake in a perfect circle, and seeing as I'm a perfectionist, I needed this. If you can't get your hand on one of these, slowly cut into your cupcake at the desired size. Once you have extracted your piece of cupcake, (make sure your cakes are cool!), put it aside as you're going to need it later. Pour in the ganache, slice the top off the cake piece from earlier, and pop it back in the top. Your secret filling is now hidden!

christmas chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes

Chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes from @helloaycan are the cutest thing ever! #blogmas

If you have any ganache left over (I had a tiny bit so I made mine into a chocolate spoon), you could use this as icing, if not just follow the recipe below. Again, it's another layer of chocolate, but without the orange. I do think this is the first time I've attempted (attempted being the keyword here), in decorating cupcakes so they do look a little... homemade? Well I guess they are. For the ears, I am using mini pretzels, but you could use a Curly Wurly cut into pieces. I went with the pretzels as I wanted a savery taste from all that sweet. For the mouth, I went for giant Yorkie chocolate buttons, or if you can find some, small wafer biscuits. Use a spot of icing to attach the nose. Finish off by icing the eyes and a cute little smile. I've had great responses from my lucky guinea pigs (family members) testing these so have a go yourself!

christmas chocolate orange filled reindeer cupcakes


This recipe makes 12 tasty reindeers.


  • Cupcake cases
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self-rasing flour
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 200g plain chocolate (broken into small pieces)
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 20ml whole milk
  • A few squares of plain chocolate melted
  • Bag of Pretzels
  • Giant chocolate buttons
  • Smarties
  • Black and white icing tube


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350F / gas mark 4. Grease and flour a cupcake tin or line with your cases.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a hand electric or free-standing electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  3. Add the self-raising flour to the creamed mixture in two batches, stirring well. Gradually mix in the milk until smooth. Don't overmix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, filling the cases 3/4 full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cakes are cooling, it's time to make the chocolate orange ganache.

  7. Add the cream and orange zest into a pan and heat on a medium heat until boiling. Add the orange extracts.
  8. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the cream. Leave for a few minutes.
  9. Stir together until the mixture is a creamy consistency.
  10. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes and stir occasionally.
  11. Last but not least, the icing.

  12. Melt the chocolate and set aside until the chocolate is cool enough to touch.
  13. Using a hand electric or free-standing electric mixer, beat the butter until it's light and fluffy.
  14. Gradually add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.
  15. Add in the melted chocolate. If it's feeling a little stiff, add a little milk.
  16. Keep beating together until the icing is in a smooth and fluffy consistency.
  17. You can now spread it all over your cupcake yummy, and decorate with your favourite sweet things!

The vanilla cupcake recipe was adapted from All Recipes

This is just a fun and delicious recipe to try! Give it a go and make sure you send me your photos! Let me know in the comments below any disastrous baking stories you've had!