With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Place mini paper liners on 2 baking sheets (see note). Set aside.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until it triples in volume and forms a ribbon. Drizzle in oil while beating.
At low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with milk until smooth. With a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip or with a small spoon, fill paper liners about three-quarters of the way with batter. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat butter, icing sugar, cream and vanilla for 2 minutes or until light and smooth. Add boiling water, 15 ml (1 tablespoon) at a time, beating 30 seconds between each addition.
With a pastry bag fitted with a plain or fluted tip, frost cupcakes. Garnish with a slice of candied kumquat (see recipe), a candied cranberry (see recipe) or kisses-style chocolate.
If you are using paper liners, double them in order to properly stabilize mini-cupcakes while baking. Otherwise, use stronger aluminum liners, available in most supermarkets, which don’t need to be doubled.