Delightful yellow cake adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting Recipe. Buttercream Frosting recipe adapted from Wilton's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Fudge Frosting adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's Bergers-Style Cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard sized muffin tins with cupcake liners. Spray cupcake liners with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. If you are using powdered buttermilk, as I did, whisk that in as well. Set the bowl aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl and hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light yellow and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides down to ensure that all of your butter and sugar are evenly mixed. Beat eggs in one at a time, mixing for one minute after each egg is added. After all the eggs are added, beat in the vanilla extract.
All at once, add in the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add in the buttermilk or, if you chose to use powdered buttermilk, the equivalent amount of water at this time. Beat on low for 1 minute, then increase to medium speed. Beat for 3 more minutes.
Gently fold in the sprinkles by hand, being careful not to mix too much. If you over-mix, color from the sprinkles will bleed into the batter.
Fill muffin liners 2/3 full of batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. The cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean. The center should spring back when touched lightly.
Cool the cupcakes for 2-5 minutes in the baking pan, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, cream together the butter and shortening in a large bowl until light, fluffy, and well incorporated.
Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed. Between additions, scrape the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula. When all the confectioner's sugar is mixed in, the mixture will appear pretty dry.
Add milk in one tablespoon at a time until it reaches a fairly spreadable consistency. If you don't need the last few tablespoons, then don't add them. You want to mixture to be soft enough to pipe easily, but thick enough to hold it's shape when piped.
Once the desired consistency has been achieved, mix in enough orange (or red and yellow) food coloring to achieve a pumpkin-orange color.
Add the chocolate chips, cream, and salt to a large bowl and microwave at 50% power until melted and smooth. Do this in short increments of about 30 seconds at a time to prevent burning your chocolate and stir between intervals.
Once the chocolate mixture is cohesive, whisk in the remaining ingredients until the frosting resembles brownie batter. If you use a thermometer to check the temperature, it should be around 95 degrees.
Fit a large piping bag with a jumbo open star piping tip. I used a Wilton 1M for these cupcakes.
Fill the prepared piping bag with your buttercream icing. Set aside.
Spoon approximately 2 tbsp onto the top of each cupcake. Spread evenly, so that the top of the cupcakes are completely covered.
Set aside to allow the fudge to firm up slightly.
Pipe swirls on top of each cupcake, leaving the middle open.
Press 2-4 pieces of candy corn into the center of each cupcake.
Enjoy! These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for several days, if you manage to keep them around that long.