Preheat oven to 170C/325F. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper liners
In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer, until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beating each one in well, then beat in the vanilla.
Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and mix by hand gently, then add the milk and gently combine.
Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the almond icing: In a large bowl, beat all the icing ingredients together with an electric mixer until thick. If necessary, add more icing sugar or a teaspoon of milk to reach the desired consistency. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe over the cooled cupcakes.