Food & Wine

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cake

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cake

Cake base ingredients:

  • 1 x quantity gingerbread dough (recipe here for the dough)
  • 3 x supermarket mud cakes
  • 1 x packet of ready-to-roll coloured fondant (the multipack from the supermarket)
  • cornflour, to dust the bench
Chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 500g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon milk


  1. First, you will need to make your gingerbread antlers. You can make chocolate antlers by melting chocolate and spreading it in big strokes on some baking paper and then letting them set in the fridge. They are a little more fragile than gingerbread but are quick to make.

  1. Next, whip up your buttercream frosting. Beat butter with an electric mixer until pale in colour (it's an obvious change, so keep going until it's nice and light). Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl, intermittently, so that you don't end up with yellow lumps.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat between each addition, then add the cocoa powder the same way. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until completely incorporated. Put the icing into piping bags until you need it, to make it easy to work with.

  1. Now it's time to build Rudolph. Take your mud cakes out of the packaging and stack them one on top of the other, using buttercream between the layers to hold them together. Cover the whole outside in the frosting and smooth to an even finish. Then place the cake into the fridge to set the frosting a little.

  1. Meanwhile, take your fondants out of the pack and choose your Christmas colours. Sprinkle some cornflour on your bench to stop the fondant sticking and roll a Rudolph nose from the red fondant, some closed eye lines from the black, a scarf from the green and any other touches you want. But the beauty is that for this face, you don't need many details. Once the cake has firmed a little it's time to place all the elements.

  1. Position the scarf, eyes and nose on Rudolph, then use a knife to make slots in the top of the cake where your antlers go and gently slot them in. Turn the hearts upside down to make the ears and press them into the cake in front of the antlers. Finally, use the leftover buttercream to create a main out of buttercream swirls that will secure and support the antlers. And Rudolph is ready for the reindeer games!

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