Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pans; set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl; set aside.
Beat sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition, just until mixed.
Divide batter evenly among paper baking cups. Bake 23-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes in pans; remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.
Beat 3/4 cup butter in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt alternately with half & half and 1 teaspoon vanilla, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in corn syrup. Frost cupcakes.
Chocolate Frosting: Add 2 to 3 squares melted and cooled unsweetened baking chocolate.
Lemon or Orange Frosting: Stir in 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon or orange zest.
Creamy Coconut Frosting: Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract or flavoring.