Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 350?F.
Line one 12-cup muffin tin with 12 paper muffin-tin liners and place 4 paper muffin-tin liners inside the other muffin tin. Add 2 tablespoons of water to each of the paperless muffin wells.
Place all the cupcake ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly among the paper muffin-tin liners.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cupcakes rise and turn golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the tins from the oven and carefully transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful not to spill the water in the empty wells.
Using a small spatula or butter knife, frost each cupcake with whichever icing youíve chosen to make (use about 2 tablespoons per cupcake).
Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Blend with a handheld mixer until smooth and creamy. The icing can be made and kept refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 1 week.
Use to frost the cupcakes and serve.
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Silver dragÈes (balls)
Mini chocolate chips
Crushed Oreo cookies
Toasted chopped nuts