Rufus the Reindeer
December 08, 2017

Rufus the Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the sweetest reindeer of all?

I'm talking about Rufus, of course! Kaysie Lackey's adorable and oh-so-delicious reindeer cake!

Rufus Reindeer

Rufus's basic form uses the Sugar Structure 4 Legged Standing kit, and we're going to show you in pictures how he came together!

This is what you'll need:

  • Sugar Structure 4 Legged Standing kit
  • Base board: 12" x 16" plywood
  • Cake boards: 2 sheets 8" x 10" foam core
  • Cakes: 9" x 7" x 1.5" (3 layers)
  • Ganache: 750g
  • Head: 4" foam ball and 5" foam egg, 50g modeling chocolate to fill gap, 75g m.c. for each cheek
  • Primary body color: 800g fondant + 400g brown modeling chocolate
  • White body color: 150g fondant + 75g white modeling chocolate
  • Chest: 200g modeling chocolate
  • Front legs: 150g modeling chocolate each
  • Back legs: 200g m.c. each
  • Neck: 200g m.c.
  • Tail: 75g m.c.
  • Muzzle: 75g primary body color + 75g yellow modeling chocolate
  • Nose: 40g m.c.
  • Hooves: 40g m.c. each
  • Antlers: 100g m.c.
  • Collar: 75g m.c.

 Ok, let's get started! The first thing you want to do is cut your cake boards for Rufus's body. You're going to want 2 foam core boards to sandwich around your structure. Here are Kaysie's templates for the boards.

Rufus Reindeer templates

Next, assemble your 4 Legged Standing Sugar Structure according to the kit instructions, but splay out the legs a bit to give Rufus some motion. 

Now sandwich those cake boards around your structure. Hollow out a bit of the boards where the rods will sit so the two boards fit right together around the armature, then hot glue them together.

Next stack your cakes and carve them into a nice chubby reindeer body. We find it handy to use your Sugar Shapers to draw in guidelines of where you're going to make cuts. 

stacking cake on a Sugar Structure

guidelines to carving cake on a Sugar Structure

guidelines to carving cake on a Sugar Structure

Refine the body's shape using small cuts- it's easier to cut more off than to add back on. The fatter your reindeer, the more servings you get.

Shaping cake on a Sugar Structure

And don't forget the reindeer booty!

Reindeer butt on a Sugar Structure

Cover the body with a layer of ganache and use modeling chocolate to build out the chest.

Making a reindeer with Sugar Structures

Now make your legs out of modeling chocolate. Remember to split them open and carve out a space for the rod. Enclose the legs around the rod legs and shape as needed to attach them  to the body in a natural manner. Smooth the edges over with ganache.

Hot Hands modeling chocolate for the legs

Sculpting with Hot Hands modeling chocolate

Now let's move on to the head. We generally use foam for heads because it's not worth the trouble of cutting cake boards, attaching, and carving for the small amount of servings you'd get from the head. So shape your foam pieces into a head by cutting the tip off the egg (this will be the top part of the head) and trimming a flat side into the ball (this will be the muzzle). Hot glue them together. Use modeling chocolate to fill in and space where the two pieces meet, to fill out the cheeks, and to build up the neck.

Building a reindeer with Sugar Structures

Rufus's basic form is made, now it's on to the fun part- making him look like a reindeer! Start by covering his whole body with the primary body color blend, then use the white blend to cover a strip running from his throat all the way to his bum.

Covering your reindeer cake

Covering your reindeer cake

Add on his tail, then cover the muzzle in the lighter blend and make some holes where his antlers will go.

Reindeer tail

Making a reindeer cake with Sugar Structures

For the ears, use a teardrop shaped cookie cutter and cut two teardrops from both the body colored blend and the white blend. Use your lip chisel (blue) and tri-tip chisel (red) Sugar Shapers to give a scalloped shape to the inside ear shapes (the white teardrops).

Reindeer ears out of modeling chocolate

Making reindeer ears with Sugar Shapers

Reindeer ears and Sugar Shapers

Attach the ears with the white side facing out. Then fold the ears downward and shape until you've got them how you like them. Use a wooden skewer to hold them in place until they dry.

Chocolate reindeer ears

Chocolate reindeer ears

Make antlers by shaping wire and wrapping it in floral tape. Tape the ends to pieces of sharpened dowels. Cover the wires in modeling chocolate and use pliers to place in the antler holes on the head.

Adding antlers to Rufus

For his eyes, use an oval cutter to cut out eye shapes and use the same cutter make whites to place in the eye holes. Add pupils in black.

Rufus Reindeer

Make a triangle out of dark brown modeling chocolate for his nose. Use your bone chisel (orange) Sugar Shaper to work in nostrils and your tri-tip chisel to draw the split in his nose.

Sugar Shapers for reindeer noses

Then use your Sugar Shapers to model a mouth.

Sugar Shapers

Reindeer mouth with Sugar Shapers

If  you want, you can add a collar with sleigh bells for a festive touch. Then just dust to add dimension and you're done!

Rufus the Reindeer

Rufus Reindeer