1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 24 small paper brioche cups, and place them on the baking sheet.
2) To make the cupcakes: Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
3) Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg.
4) Add 1/4 cup of the water to the melted butter mixture, then half the dry mixture, and stir. Add the remaining water and dry mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
5) Spoon the batter into the prepared brioche cups.
6) Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
7) To make the frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
8) Add the sugar and cinnamon, beating well.
9) Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.
10) Fill a piping bag with the frosting, and pipe large swirls on top of the cooled cupcakes. Or simply frost by hand.
Yield: 22 to 24 cupcakes in mini brioche paper cups; or 12 standard cupcakes (see tip at left).