Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
1 cup Buttermilk, ⅔ cup Vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Gradually add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until everything is well combined.The batter will be fairly liquid-y but don't worry—this is just right for baking.
1½ cups Flour, white, all-purpose, ½ cup Cocoa powder, 1¼ teaspoons Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Salt
Fill muffin tins ⅔ full, leaving room for cupcakes to expand in oven.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
If you want to make your reindeer look like mine, first mix the icing without the cocoa, Set a tablespoon of this white icing aside, and then mix the 1/3 cup cocoa powder in the remaining icing. The white icing is used for the eyes.
Combine butter and icing sugar in electric mixer.
⅓ cup Butter, 3 cups Icing sugar
Gradually add milk and vanilla.
⅓ cup Milk, ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
Set aside tablespoon of white icing for reindeer eyes.
Gently blend cocoa powder into icing.
⅓ cup Cocoa powder
When well-combined, increase speed until nice and fluffy.
Set aside heaping tablespoon of chocolate frosting for attaching decorations.
Frost cooled cupcakes and apply vanilla wafer muzzles as you go before icing dries.
Create the faces first and add ears and antlers last.
Use extra chocolate icing to attach noses (red m&ms).
Draw smiling mouth with black soft gel.
Add dabs of white icing and attach brown m&m eyes.
Use chocolate sticks as ears.
Insert pretzels as antlers.
Store in airtight container in fridge up to 7 days.
Pretzels: You'll need 2 pretzels per cupcake plus lots of extras for mistakes (if you're a klutz like me). Break them up into matching pairs or use the small oval type of pretzel. Nutritional values are approximate only and do not include decorations.