Witch Hat Cupcakes

Decorated ice cream cones make an adorably spooky topper for these treats. As the cupcake base, you can use our easy one-bowl recipe or a boxed mix. The toppers can be made up to 8 hours in advance and kept uncovered on a tray in the freezer.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min (includes cooling and chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

Cupcakes:

3/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Black gel food coloring

Assembly:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

12 sugar ice cream cones

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cups black sanding sugar

12 green sour belt candies

12 yellow candy-coated chocolates, such as M&Ms

Directions

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan to just below a simmer. Pour over the cocoa powder in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  
  3. Whisk the sugar, oil, egg and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until smooth. Divide the mixture among the paper liners. Bake until a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  4. For the frosting: Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring well with a rubber spatula between each, until completely melted and smooth. Cool slightly. 
  5. Beat the butter on medium high speed with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cooled chocolate and beat until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar and cocoa and beat on low to combine. Add 1 tablespoon milk and the vanilla. Beat on high until light and fluffy, adding the last tablespoon of milk, if needed, to make a smooth, pipeable frosting. Starting with about 1/8 teaspoon, beat in black gel coloring to tint the frosting nearly black (you may need up to 1 teaspoon total).  
  6. For assembly: Line a baking sheet with parchment and clear space in your refrigerator or freezer to accommodate the level pan. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring well between each, until completely melted and smooth. Let cool slightly. While the chocolate cools, use a paring knife to gently saw off the tip of each ice cream cone (about 3/4 inch) at an angle to make the bent tips of the hats.  
  7. Use a small spoon to coat the cut end of a cone with melted chocolate and lay it flat on the prepared baking sheet. Attach the tip piece at an angle so it looks like the point of the hat is bent and paint with a little more chocolate to seal the two pieces together. Repeat with the remaining cones and refrigerate or freeze until set, 5 to 10 minutes. 
  8. Once the cones are fused together, pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl or small sheet pan. Working one at a time, lightly coat the cones in melted chocolate and roll in the sprinkles. Set upright on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the cones until set, 5 to 10 minutes. 
  9. Put the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a round of frosting in the center of each cupcake and press on a hat to adhere. Cut the sour belts to wrap around the base of the hats about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Use a little frosting to adhere the ends to the hat, if needed. Pipe frosting around the perimeter of the cupcakes to make a brim for each hat. Stick a yellow candy on each sour belt to make a hat buckle, gently pressing it into the frosting so it sticks. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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