Makes 24 cupcakes

Melted butter for pans

2 cups sugar

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

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3 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup warm water

½ cup warm milk

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

Scant ½ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

Colored dots or sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the insides of cupcake cups. If using silicone pans, place on sturdy baking sheets.

2. Put sugar into a food processor and process 20 to 30 seconds. Add butter, and process until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, processing in between, then add vanilla, water and milk; process to blend.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of container. Blend 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth.

4. Pour batter into the prepared cups almost to the tops. Bake on center oven racks 18 minutes (changing positions of baking sheets halfway through) or until cakes spring back when gently pressed. Let cool in pans 5 minutes before unmolding onto a cooling rack.

5. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost tops with Chocolate Frosting and sprinkle with colored dots or sprinkles.