Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line them with paper bake cups; set aside.
In a small mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl beat together sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add egg and molasses; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until well combined. Gradually add hot water, mixing just until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups and cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 muffins.