- Cut the licorice twists into pieces for the pumpkin stems. Tint the vanilla frosting orange with the food coloring. Tint 1/2 cup of the orange frosting a darker shade of orange with more food coloring, and spoon into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air, seal the bag, set aside.
- Place the orange decorating sugar in a shallow bowl. Spread the lighter orange frosting on top of the cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Starting on the edge, roll the cupcake tops in the sugar to cover completely.
- Use a wooden skewer to mark ridges in the top of each cupcakes. Starting in the center or slightly off center, lightly press the skewer down toward the top of the paper liner to create 5 or 6 indentations. Snip a 1/16-inch corner from the bag with the darker orange frosting and pipe a line in each indentation to make the ribs. Insert a cut green twist for the stem. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter or a cutting board and add the green licorice laces, trimmed to various lengths for tendrils.
As you can see, I could not find any green licorice so I got black instead. I also could not find any licorice laces in any color. I even went to Fortinos hoping I would be able to get all my ingredients in one stop. No such luck. They didn't even have any orange decorating sugar so I had to pick that up at Michael's instead. Ah well...they still came out looking mighty cute, I think. One of my guests even said, "Oh! I totally didn't think those were real! I thought they were made out of ceramic or something and they were just for decoration".
Surprisingly, I didn't think the cupcakes really tasted very pumpkin-y really so next year, if I were to make them again, I may add a bit more of the pumpkin pie spice. But, the grown-ups and the kids both loved them and thought they were great. Super easy and lots of fun to make, too!
Still got the pumpkin bug? Well, be sure to head over to the Fairy Blogmother's site for more of What's Cooking Wednesday...she even has a nice pumpkin cake recipe up today!