These punky pirate cupcakes are edgy and easy to make.
1 box (16.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 16-oz. can vanilla frosting
Red paste food coloring
1 16-oz. can dark-chocolate frosting
Black paste food coloring
1 cup licorice pastilles (red, black, white)
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, lining 30 muffin cups with foil liners. Fill halfway with batter, bake 15 to 18 minutes and cool.
Tint 1 cup of vanilla frosting red with paste food coloring. Transfer to freezer-weight resealable bag. Spoon remaining vanilla frosting into another resealable bag.
Tint chocolate frosting black. Spoon 1 cup black frosting into a pastry bag with a #3 plain tip. Spoon remaining black frosting into resealable bag.
Print templates at parents.com/pirate and cut out. Place template on top of cupcake; score outline with a toothpick. Pipe black frosting outlines using scored lines as a guide. Let set.
Microwave bag of frosting at 5-second intervals, massaging in between until the icing texture is of slightly whipped cream. Snip very small, 1/8" corner from bag. Squeeze frosting into area you wish to fill, but don't overfill. Tap cupcake on work surface to help frosting spread. Use a toothpick to drag frosting into corners. Repeat with other two bags of frosting.
Insert licorice pastilles into the cupcakes to look like spikes.