Christmas is the perfect time to mix tasty sweet recipes with small crafty projects. Which is why I had to share these adorable reindeer brownies. They’re simple enough for kids to assemble, and the recipe uses everyday ingredients. But the taste is pure, sweet, decadent bliss. Because you deserve it this holiday season. Your really do.
These Reindeer Brownies are Fun Chocolaty Bites for Christmas
The original recipe did use dairy, but we’ve adapted it to be dairy-free. The brownies themselves make the transition nicely. Brownies really don’t need dairy! But I also wanted to share some options for the decorations.
You can see my special diet tips below, including an antler alternative. And in the recipe I provide a quick DIY eye option. But what about those Rudolph noses? M&M like candies aren’t typically dairy-free, but there are a few good options.
- No Whey No No’s – These have a more natural look, but are top allergen-free and do include some red candy-coated chocolates.
- Little Secrets Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pieces – These are dairy-free and the red ones are perfect for Rudolph noses!
- Red Hots Cinnamon Candies – There’s no need to get fancy. These old school candies shine just as bright. And the cinnamon flavor is great with chocolate.
- Red Icing – Simply whisk some powdered sugar with a splash of water. Stir in a little dairy-free butter alternative if you want it to be richer. Then whisk in drops of natural red food dye until your desired color is reached. Pipe dots of the icing on for noses!
- Unreal makes some dairy-free Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems and Dark Chocolate Quinoa Gems, but the colors don’t include red. They do have a dark pink.
This Reindeer Brownies recipe with photo was shared with us by AmericanPecan.com.
Special Diet Notes: Reindeer Brownies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian.
- For nut-free needs, you can substitute broken pretzels for the antlers.
- For gluten-free reindeer brownies, you can substitute a gluten-free, grain-based flour (like oat, rice, or sorghum) or flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Do not use coconut flour or a nut flour – they are not 1:1 swaps.
- For egg-free reindeer brownies, aquafaba would be your best substitute option – but we haven’t tested it yet. Brownies can be tricky! If trying it, use 6 tablespoons of aquafaba in place of the eggs (3 tablespoons per egg).
- If you need gluten-free and egg-free, I recommend using this Allergy-Friendly Brownie Bites Recipe for the brownies.
Dairy-Free Reindeer Brownies
Author: American Pecan Council
Recipe type: Dessert
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon oil or dairy-free buttery spread, melted
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 20 raw pecan halves, cut in half
- 40 candy eyeballs (see Note below)
- 20 red chocolate candies (see post above)
- ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease 20 mini muffin tins.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil or melted butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat with a hand mixer or whisk until the mixture is thick and pale in color, about 1 minute.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), and salt. Stir until just combined. The batter should be thick.
- Add roughly 1 tablespoon of batter to each prepared mini muffin tin.
- Bake the brownies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a brownie comes out mostly clean, with some lingering crumbs.
- Melt the chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate into a sandwich bag and cut off small portion of one corner to use as tip.
- Use the melted chocolate to “glue” pecan antlers, candy eyeballs, and red candy noses onto the brownies.
- Let the chocolate set before transferring the brownies to an airtight container. The brownies will stay fresh for up to three days.
Note: If you can’t find candy eyeballs, make a quick thick icing by whisking powdered sugar with just a little water. Pipe dots of the icing on for eyes, and put a dairy-free mini chocolate chip in the middle of each eye.