Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease two muffin trays or line with patty cups.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, almond essence and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter alternating with the milk just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the tray set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Ice with your favourite icing.