Santa’s prettiest— and sweetest—reindeer!
CAKE 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 pkgs. (16.5 oz. each) devil’s food cake mix 2 cups buttermilk 6 eggs 2/3 cup oil FROSTING 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 lbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted 1 cont. (16 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff Brown concentrated food coloring DECORATIONS 1 cup white candy melts 3 (4") lollipop sticks 1 tsp. gold luster dust or Wilton pearl dust 2 large red gumdrops 2 Tbs. red decorating sugar 1 jumbo marshmallow 2 Tbs. pink decorating sugar 1/2 cup dark green decorating sugar 16 leaf-shaped spearmint gumdrops 1/2 cup light green decorating sugar Black and green concentrated food colorings 1 cup canned vanilla frosting 1/4 cup red Sixlets candies 1 Tbs. gold dragées* 10 large green gumballs
● Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 4 (8") round cake pans. In small bowl, toss cranberries with 1/4 cup dry cake mix. In large bowl, on low speed, beat remaining cake mixes with buttermilk, eggs and oil until blended, about 1 minute; on medium, beat until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Fold in cranberry mixture with any dry cake mix not clinging to fruit. Evenly divide batter among pans; smooth tops. Bake 26-31 minutes until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer from pans to racks; cool completely.
Frosting: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. In large bowl, on medium, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add chocolate; beat until blended. Gradually beat in Marshmallow Fluff until smooth. On low, gradually beat in cocoa mixture until well blended. Tint frosting light brown with food coloring.
With serrated knife, trim tops of 3 cake layers to level. Place trimmed cake layer on serving platter. Spread top with some of frosting. Repeat with remaining cake layers, as shown, ending with untrimmed cake layer, rounded top up. Spread thin layer of frosting over side and top of cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Antlers: Increase template, left, on copy machine 625% to 9" tall; make two copies. Place templates, inverting one, on baking sheet; cover with wax paper. Transfer candy melts to plastic sandwich bag; microwave on High, massaging bag every 5 seconds, until smooth. Snip small hole in one corner of bag. One at a time, outline antler with piped candy; fill in with more candy, as shown. Tap baking sheet slightly to smooth candy. Insert 1 lollipop stick 1" into candy at bottom of each antler. Refrigerate until candy is set, about 10 minutes. Brush tops of antlers with gold dust.
● Nose: Press red gumdrops together; shape into ball; press remaining lollipop stick into one side. Roll in red sugar to coat, as shown; reserve. Ears: Snip marshmallow in half on the diagonal. Press sticky sides into pink sugar to coat, as shown; reserve.
Holly leaves: On surface sprinkled with some of dark green sugar, roll out 1 leafshaped gumdrop into 2 1/2" round, coating with more sugar to prevent sticking. Repeat with 7 more leaf-shaped gumdrops and dark green sugar. Repeat process with remaining 8 leaf-shaped gumdrops and light green sugar. Using 1 1/2"-2" holly leaf-shaped cookie cutters, cut out as many leaves as possible from gumdrop rounds, as shown; reserve.
Decorate cake: Transfer 2 Tbs. frosting to small bowl; tint black with food coloring. Cover; reserve. Smoothly spread some of remaining chocolate frosting over chilled cake. Arrange ears on cake top, about 1" in from edge on either side of cake. Spread some of remaining chocolate frosting over white part of marshmallow to cover. Transfer remaining chocolate frosting to pastry bag fitted with 3/4" star tip. Bangs: Pipe several swirls of chocolate frosting between ears and over front edge of cake. Carefully remove antlers from wax paper; insert ends of lollipop sticks, about 2" apart, into cake top with gold side facing forward.
Insert nose into front side of cake. Transfer reserved black frosting to plastic sandwich bag. Snip tiny hole in one corner of bag; pipe on eyes and lashes. Tint vanilla frosting green with food coloring; transfer to another plastic sandwich bag. Snip small hole in one corner of bag; pipe thick line of frosting around base of cake. Arrange holly leaves around cake, pressing into frosting to secure. Garnish cake top with 2 leaves and Sixlets; sprinkle bangs with dragées. Arrange Sixlets and gumballs around base of cake. Makes 24 servings.