1 18 1/4 ounce package plain yellow cake mix
1 3.4 ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 recipes Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (see Recipe Center)
Nontoxic food coloring to tint frosting
Jellied fruit slices, mini candied licorice sticks, and Gummi Worms for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Blend cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and extracts in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again, if needed. Spoon or scoop batter into each cup, filling it almost to the top.
3. Bake in middle of oven until cupcakes are golden and spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pans on racks, 15 minutes. Remove from pans.
4. Meanwhile, divide frosting between two bowls. Tint frosting in one bowl with food coloring, if desired; keep frosting in remaining bowl white.
5. Place a heaping tablespoon frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it smoothly with a short metal spatula or spoon, covering the top completely. Decorate with candy.