Maleficent, the evil fairy from the classic animated film Sleeping Beauty, has always been one of the all-time baddies in the Disney universe. But when the live action retelling of her story starring Angelina Jolie was released, we learned that not only was Maleficent misunderstood — she was (gasp) good. Well, now that Maleficent is back in a sequel, it's only fitting that we make some Maleficent-themed cupcakes that celebrate her sweet side. Decorated in her signature black, green and purple colors, these cupcakes are crowned with horns made of candy. You could say these cupcakes are so good, they're wicked.
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Step 1: Prepare Modeling Chocolate
We're making Maleficent's horns out of modeling chocolate. This modeling chocolate is actually made from black candy melts and doesn't contain any chocolate, but it's still called that. Modeling chocolate tastes a lot better than fondant, so people who have an aversion to fondant will like it a lot more. Start by melting a bag of black candy melts in a double boiler, i.e., a large bowl placed over a pot of simmering water.
Keep stirring with a silicon spatula until the pieces are melted.
Warm a quarter cup of light corn syrup in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and pour the syrup into the candy melts.
Stir the mixture until all the streaks of corn syrup have disappeared.
Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a sheet of plastic wrap, and let it cool to room temperature.
When cooled, fold the modeling chocolate into a brick and wrap with plastic wrap. Let it set overnight.
Step 2: Make the Horns
Cut the modeling chocolate into pieces with a knife.
Knead a small piece of modeling chocolate that is about the size of a half dollar. The candy will soften in your hands.
Mold it into the shape of a horn. Maleficent's horns go out, then in, and then out again. They are thicker on the bottom and narrower at the tip.
Place the horns on a piece of parchment paper. Make them in pairs so that you can make sure they are symmetrical. Maleficent would not be happy with asymmetrical horns.
Step 3: Bake Cupcakes
Prepare cupcakes from scratch or with a box mix. I used a box mix of devil's food cake (how appropriate). If possible, select black cupcake liners. I found these wavy liners online that reminded me of Maleficent's robes.
Step 4: Prepare Frosting
I chose to make frosting from scratch because it holds its shape better and allows me to create a good height, but you can use store-bought frosting if you prefer. To make your own buttercream frosting, combine one stick of butter with a half cup of vegetable shortening, and mix until smooth.
Mix in three cups of sifted powdered sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and three tablespoons of water. Many people use heavy cream or milk instead of water, but because the frosting won't be refrigerated, I prefer to use water.
Add a few drops of purple icing dye to the frosting. Continue adding dye as you mix until the frosting becomes a saturated shade of purple.
Step 5: Pipe Frosting on Cupcakes
Spoon the frosting into a pastry piping bag. You can select any piping tip you wish. I used a leaf piping tip because I wanted the wavy shape it creates.
Squeeze the frosting into a swirl on top of the cupcake.
Step 6: Add Green Sprinkles
Drop some green sprinkles onto the frosting. Now the cupcake has Maleficent's black, purple and green color scheme. And really, one should always say "yes" to sprinkles.
Step 7: Attach the Horns
Insert a toothpick at the bottom of each horn. You may need to snap off a bit of the ends if the toothpicks are too long.
Position the horns on either side of the frosting swirl, using the toothpick to keep them in place.
It would be a good idea to let people know that the horns are held in place with toothpicks so that they don't bite into them.
These Maleficent cupcakes would be perfect for a Sleeping Beauty-themed party. On second thought, forget Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent is the real heroine of this story.
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