Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Grease and flour cupcake tins, or use papers.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick. Add these ingredients in this order, beating well after each addition: sugar, soft butter, oil, cocoa, buttermilk*, vanilla and flour mixture. Fold in boiling water, then chocolate chips.
Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full and bake for 12 – 16 minutes. Let cool.
Icing: Cream butter & icing sugar until light and fluffy, then add vanilla and milk. Add a few drops of peppermint extract to icing. Have fun with the cupcake decorating; divide the icing into three bowls. Add green food colouring to one, red food colouring to another, and carefully swirl some of both colours together for a candy cane effect in the other. Spread icing on cupcakes, or swirl icing onto cupcakes using a piping bag. Toppings: Sprinkle with crushed candy canes; or top with red & green jelly beans.