December 4, 2021

Reindeer Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free and dairy free)

This fun festive treat combines a rich and fudgey chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, topped with gluten free pretzels, fruit pastilles and goggly eyes. If you do make these cupcakes I’d love to see, don’t forget to tag me in your photos over on social media!

Which butter do you use for the the buttercream?

I use the Stork ‘perfect for baking’ 250g gold packet butter which is naturally dairy free and available in most major UK supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of this butter, it’s always best to use a hard dairy free butter block instead of a soft spread for a dairy free buttercream as soft spreads can sometimes cause the mixture to curdle. Note: This is the only Stork butter that doesn’t contain milk so be careful to pick up the right packet.

How long will the cupcakes last?

These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Which pretzels do you use for the antlers?

For the antlers I use the Schar Gluten Free Pretzels.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Reindeer cupcakes

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 160 g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (Omit if your flour blend already contains this)
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120 ml dairy free milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 g dairy free butter (melted)
  • 100 ml hot coffee

For the buttercream

  • 200 g dairy free butter block (See FAQs)
  • 350 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder

For the toppings

  • 24 Schar pretzels
  • 24 edible goggly eyes
  • 12 red fruit pastilles (or other circular red sweets/chocolate)


  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases. 
  • To a large bowl add caster sugar, flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, cocoa powder and salt. Mix well until combined.
  • To a separate bowl whisk dairy free milk, eggs, vanilla extract and melted butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and then add the hot coffee and mix well.  
  • Pour the mixture into the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and leave to cool. 
  • Make the buttercream by beating butter with an electric whisk until soft. Gradually add icing sugar and cocoa powder, continuing to beat for up to 5 minutes until combined and creamy. Pipe onto the cupcakes.
  • Press 2 pretzels into the top of the cupcakes for ears, followed by 2 goggly eyes and a red fruit pastille for a nose. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I absolutely love seeing what you’ve created, so if you do make this recipe (or any other recipe from my website) don’t forget to tag me over on my social media pages @glutenfreealice and use the hashtag #glutenfreealice

*Please note, this post contains affiliate links.

One response to “Reindeer Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free and dairy free)”

  1. Kris B says:

    5 stars
    These look amazing can’t wait to make. Thank you for the post

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