Makes 18 cupcakes
1 box dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup orange juice
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1⁄2 cup milk
Black food coloring
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1⁄4 cup orange juice
Yellow and red food coloring
Black and orange candy sticks, for decorating
1. For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 cups of standard muffins tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, combine cake mix, orange juice, oil, and eggs and beat until ingredients begin to come together. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Divide batter among muffin cups. Batter should come a little over three-fourths of the way up the sides of cups to achieve a high dome on cakes.
3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs sticking to it. As soon as cupcakes are cool enough to handle, place on a wire rack to cool completely.
4. For chocolate frosting: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa and cook, stirring until smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl and cool to room temperature. Using a hand mixer, alternate adding powdered sugar and milk to bowl, beating until smooth, thick, and fluffy. Add a few drops of black food coloring to darken the color. Put in a zip-top plastic bag and set aside.
5. For orange frosting: In a bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and orange juice until light and fluffy. Add yellow and red food coloring, a few drops at a time, until desired color is reached. Place in a separate zip-top bag.
6. To decorate cupcakes, fit a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Place into a glass with open end folded over rim of glass. Snip ends of frosting-filled bags. Pipe chocolate frosting down one side of pastry bag starting at tip end and working up to the top, keeping the frosting to one side. Repeat with orange frosting, filling in the gap next to chocolate frosting. Pipe a tall swirl of frosting on each cupcake starting on the outside and working your way to the center. Refill pastry bag in same manner as needed.