This was my third time making this cute little Lightning McQueen cupcake. When I made them the first time 2.5 years ago I used brown M&M’s for the wheels and yellow ones for the headlights. I also rolled red modelling chocolate into a rope and wrapped it around the white windshield as a border. The method I’m sharing today is the improved version and is easier.
Modeling chocolate is my preferred medium for this cupcake since, unlike fondant, it sets up quicker and firmer without any addition of tylose powder. Moreover, modeling chocolate won’t stretch like fondant so is easier to cut without tearing or changing in shape. I usually make my modeling chocolate with Candy Melts which already come in a variety of colors. So it saves time from coloring them myself too. If you don’t have modeling chocolate on hand, fondant would work equally as well. However, the drying time (especially for the windshield that stands upright) may take a day or two to firm up. Tylose powder may be kneaded into the fondant to speed up the drying process.
How to Make Lightning McQueen Cupcakes
What you need
Modeling chocolate (white, black, grey, red and yellow)
Fondant rolling pin
Circle cookie cutters of various sizes
Circle fondant cutters
Melted white chocolate
Cupcake frosting (I used Swiss meringue buttercream)
Knead all modeling chocolate until pliable then set aside. Take some red modeling chocolate then roll out with a fondant rolling pin on the fondant mat to 1/8“ thickness. Use a circle cutter to cut out a disc that is big enough to cover the cupcake top. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cupcake surface with a spatula. Wrap with the disc then smooth top and all edges with your palm. Set aside.
For the windshield, roll out white modeling chocolate to 1/8“ thick. With a knife cut a trapezoid with a base width slightly less than the width of the cupcake. Trim the top and bottom with a knife as shown in picture and round the top corners with fingers. Roll out red modeling chocolate to 1/8“ thick. Glue the white piece on top with melted white chocolate. Trim red piece with a knife, leaving borders on three sides only. Round top corners with fingers. Let dry for 5 minutes.
Make the four wheels with a circle fondant cutter (or simply shape by hand). Roll out grey modeling chocolate thinly and, with a smaller fondant circle cutter, cut out four circles for the rims. Create impression with a toothpick. Attach rims to the wheels with melted chocolate. Let dry for 5 minutes.
Adhere windshield and wheels to the cupcake with melted chocolate. Make the eyes and headlights with black and yellow modeling chocolate respectively then attach to the car with melted chocolate. Add a smiley face with melted chocolate. Let dry.
My creations back in April, 2014.
I baked a dozen of vanilla cupcakes and turned two of them into Lightning McQueen. The rest were decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and sprinkles.
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