Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Do not follow instructions on cake mix box. Instead, using an electric mixer (stand or hand-held), blend cupcake ingredients and 1-1/4 cup/300 mL of water in a large bowl on medium, about 2 min.
Divide batter evenly into lined muffin tin and bake on middle rack of oven for 18 to 20 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 to 8 min., then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Blend butter until smooth with an electric mixer (stand or hand-held) and slowly add sugar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time. Add remaining ingredients and blend for 1 min. Allow cupcakes to cool before icing.
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