Heat oven to 375 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans.
Grease only the bottoms only of about 60 mini muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray, or you can use liners.
In a large bowl, beat all mini cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups about 1/2 full. If using one pan at a time, refrigerate batter while the other little cakes are baking. Wash pan before filling with batter again, or place new liners.
Bake 10 to 13 minutes, do a toothpick test and if it comes out clean, remove the cakes to a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes then remove them from the pan to cool completely.
Place the cupcakes on a wire rack with a drip pan below or use waxed paper to catch the dripping glaze.
In a 3-quart saucepan, mix all glaze ingredients except the hot water on low-heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons hot water. If necessary, stir in up to 1 teaspoon more water so glaze will just coat the cakes.
Turn each cake, top side down on cooling rack. Pour about 1 Tbsp. of glaze over each cake, letting the glaze coat the sides. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes.
Top each cake with your chosen decorations. Store covered at room temperature.