Our Second Place Cupcake Recipe
from Bruce Yanoshek

Makes 12


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz. Unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  •  ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs cocoa powder (I used a blend of natural and Dutch processed)
  • ½ cup brewed coffee
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

Make the pudding at least 4 hours in advance. The day before is fine.

  • In medium heavy saucepan, thoroughly combine sugar, cornstarch and salt with a whisk. Whisk in milk until sugar is dissolved, then cream. Add the chopped chocolate and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. The chocolate will begin to melt, then clump together. Just keep it moving in the liquid as you constantly scrape the bottom of the pan with the whisk. In four to 5 minutes, the foam on top will disappear, then the mixture will thicken and bubbles will appear all over the top when you stop stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Make the cupcakes.

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers and set aside.
  • In small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and both sugars.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. With a whisk, stir in the cocoa powder and cook about 1 minute, until very fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool one minute.
  • Whisk coffee into cocoa mixture, then buttermilk. Whisk in both sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the egg.
  • Whisk in half the flour mixture until fairly smooth, then the remaining half, and whisk until smooth. Transfer batter to a small pitcher or large measuring cup with a spout. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake on middle rack 14 minutes, or until done.
  • Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to rack and cool completely.

With a medium open-star tip, fill cupcakes with part of the pudding, then switch to a large open-star tip and make decorative swirls on top.