Chocolate Reindeer Cake

When cut, each slice of this adorable holiday cake resembles one of Santa's reindeer.

Total Time:
2 hr 40 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
1 hr 30 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray, for the pan
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Decoration:
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 7 brown candy-covered chocolates
  • 1 red candy-coated chocolate
  • 16 small candy eyes
  • 16 pieces pretzel twists, broken into antler shapes
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Coat two 8-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk the cocoa powder and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth; set aside. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the cocoa mixture in a steady stream until just combined, then finish mixing with a rubber spatula.

  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans and tap the pans against the counter to help the batter settle. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level.

  • For the ganache: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand 5 minutes, then stir until completely smooth. Let the ganache sit until it has cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Place 1 cake layer on a cardboard cake circle on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any drips. Spread about 1/2 cup of the ganache on top and place the second cake layer cut-side down over the ganache. Dollop half of the remaining ganache on top and spread with a large offset spatula so the ganache covers the top of the cake and slowly runs down the sides. Repeat with the remaining ganache, using the offset spatula to make a smooth, even layer over the surface and around the sides of the cake. Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • To decorate: Melt the white chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals on 50 percent power until melted, stirring after each interval. Let sit 5 minutes, then transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. (Alternatively, transfer to a resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner.) Pipe a straight line through the center of the cake from top to bottom, then another line through the center from left to right, dividing the cake into quarters. Pipe 2 more lines to divide the cake into eighths. Pipe a circle of white chocolate around the edge of the cake. Pipe a small circle where the points intersect in the center of the cake. Place a candy-coated chocolate near the tip of each point for reindeer noses (one of them will be red). Add 2 reindeer eyes above each nose. Stick 2 pretzel twist pieces above each pair of eyes.

  • Special equipment: an 8-inch cardboard cake circle; a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip or a resealable plastic bag

  • Copyright 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    The Best Christmas Recipes