These are really simple cupcakes. I used the Pillsbury Halloween box cake mix (with the orange and black funfetti!) for the cupcakes and topped them with vanilla bean buttercream. I tinted the frosting using yellow and orange coloring from AmeriColor.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Recipe source: Mixingbowl.com
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or split a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, beat the shortening and the butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract (or seeds) to the butter mixture. Gradually add the 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl often. When all the sugar is mixed in, the frosting will appear to be very dry. Add 2 tablespoons milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.