TODAY is the day. What day might that be, you ask? The day I share with you the Christmas cake you didn’t even know you needed in your life. Or maybe you did, and that’s why you’re here. Either way, you’re here, we’ve got a cute @ss cake and that’s all the really matters, right?
I’ve seen a couple of reindeer cakes on Instagram – because clearly that’s where all the ultra cute cakes are these days – and I have to say, I am OBSESSED.
And short of one of those amazing insta-cakes magically showing up on our door steps like a Christmas miracle (seriously guys, this girl’s happy to protect you from yourself and take that cute cakey goodness off your hands. Just sayin’.) we’re just going to have to be all self-sufficient and adult-y and make these babies ourselves.
Now, in case you’re sitting there thinking “ERMAGHERD SO CUTE… but cake decorating looks hard…” don’t worry ‘causse I gotcha covered.
- I made you a super easy, downloadable template for the fondant face pieces and candy melt antlers. Can I get a virtual fist bump?
- This cake really requires only minimal decorating so it looks more complicated than it really is, which, let’s be honest, is the best kind of cake. “Wow! This cake is amazing! It must have taken you FOREVER to make it!” “Yeah… ‘Forever’… You’re welcome.”
- Look at that cute reindeer face! You KNOW you NEED it.
Don’t forget to grab the template here!
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- 1 oz semi sweet chocolate (chips or coarsely chopped bars)
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 oz baking cocoa
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 6 tbsp. water
- 300g granulated sugar
- 6 egg whites
- ¾ lb. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Brown food gel coloring
- 1 cup yellow candy melts
- 2 lollipop sticks
- 1 lb white fondant
- Powdered gold food coloring
- Vodka (for mixing with the gold food coloring)
- Food gel coloring in black, green, ivory and red
- Circular cookie cutters
- A small knife
- To make the cake, pour the boiling water over the semi sweet chocolate, and whisk until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg until light and frothy. Add the vegetable oil and continue whipping until completely incorporated. Add the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract and water/chocolate mixtures, and whisk until just combined. Gently whisk in the baking cocoa, flour, and baking soda with a spatula until the batter is lump free.
- Divide the came batter evenly between two parchment paper lined 6" cake pans (about 1lb of batter each), and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Once the pans are cool enough to handle, transfer the cakes to plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool and firm.
- To make the frosting, stir together the water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until completely clear. While the syrup cooks, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff. With the mixer on high, slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites. Whip until the mixture and bowl cool to room temperature. With the mixer on low, add 1" pieces of butter until all the butter has been added. Add the vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and whip until a smooth frosting forms. Add a few drops of brown food coloring until the frosting becomes a light brown.
- Once the cakes are cool, level the tops if necessary and split each cake in two. Begin stacking your layers of cake, alternating between layers of cake and frosting. Coat the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (a crumb coat) and allow to set in the refrigerator (about 15 minutes, or until the frosting is firm). Frost the outside and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and smooth with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator to set.
- Melt your yellow candy melts and pour into a piping bag. Cover your template with a piece of parchment paper and pipe your candy melts over the antler outline. Use a toothpick and gentle tapping to move the candy melt into place. Press your lollipop sticks into your candy met antlers and cover completely with candy melt. Don't worry if your antler aren't completely smooth. Once the antlers have hardened, paint them with a thick mixture of gold food coloring and vodka. Allow to dry completely.
- Cut out the template pieces for the reindeer's face. Tint a handful of fondant a light beige using your ivory food coloring (for the forehead, eye area and ears), a small handful black (nose and eyes), a handful green (leaves), a small handful red (berries) and leave a small handful white. Roll your fondant out to a few millimeters thick and cut our the face pieces with your template and a small knife. You can create the reflection in the eyes and the eye lashes by rolling small pieces of fondant between your hands. Optional: use a little white food coloring to paint a shiny spot on the top of the nose.
- For the leaves, roll your green fondant out to a few millimeters thick. Using your circulate cookie cutters, cut out circles in various sizes and then cut them in half to form leaves (like in step 11 of this tutorial). Use a fondant tool or the back of a butter knife to create veins in your leaves. For the berries, roll your red fondant into various sizes of berries. Using a butter knife, score the ends of your berries with an "x."
- Insert your antlers into your cake and use a damp paper towel to wet the back of your fondant pieces and adhere them to the cake.