Reindeer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour Bake: 25 min. + cooling


20 servings

Updated: Aug. 19, 2022
Whether you turn this cake into a reindeer or decorate it with your own creative vision, it’s a three-layer stunner that will command center stage at your next holiday get-together. Embrace your baking prowess! —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, IA


  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup red and green jimmies
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • Optional edible decorations: Cookies, gold mist, melted chocolate, candy coating, gold pearl sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three 6-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease and flour parchment and sides of pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in butter until crumbly. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup milk and extracts; beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup milk. Gently fold in jimmies.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  4. For buttercream, in a microwave, melt chocolate with cream until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly. In a heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until blended. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until a thermometer reads 160°, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. With whisk attachment of stand mixer, beat on high speed until cooled to 90°, about 7 minutes. Gradually beat in butter, a few tablespoons at a time, on medium speed until smooth; beat in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in cocoa through a sifter.
  6. Spread frosting between layers and over top and side of cake. Reserve remaining buttercream for decorating. Decorate as desired. Store in refrigerator.

Test Kitchen tips
  • For eyes, pipe melted chocolate onto parchment; refrigerate until set.
  • For ears, using your favorite cutout cookie dough, cut two 2-in. hearts and bake. While still warm, mold onto the curve of a large metal spoon; let stand until cooled. Spray with edible gold mist; let dry. Dip edges in melted chocolate.
  • For antlers, using your favorite cutout cookie dough, cut two gingerbread men. Stretch into antler shapes and bake. Pipe melted chocolate over cooled cookies for texture. Once set, spray with edible gold mist.
  • For nose, dip vanilla wafer into melted red candy coating disks; let dry before adhering to frosting on cake.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 piece: 463 calories, 28g fat (17g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 242mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.