2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 cup marshmallow creme
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened baking cocoa (optional for decoration)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; set aside. In small bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved; set aside.
In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about 1/3 of mixture at a time, and cocoa mixture, about 1/2 at a time, beating just until blended.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; place on cooling racks to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare frosting by mixing powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the milk.
Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. Stir in marshmallow creme. Spoon into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut tiny hole in one bottom corner of bag.
Pipe 3 small dollops of frosting mixture on top of each cupcake to resemble melted marshmallows. Sprinkle with cocoa.