Her Chocolaty Cupcakes Reap Sweet Rewards

Special Mocha Cupcakes

Special Mocha Cupcakes

Do you enjoy a cup of coffee with a chocolaty dessert? How about coffee in your chocolaty dessert?

That winning combination won over our judges in the recent “Cupcake Challenge” recipe contest. They couldn’t resist eating every last crumb of Mary Bilyeu’s scrumptious Special Mocha Cupcakes, which earned the Grand Prize of $500.00.

Tender and moist with a fluffy frosting, these cute mocha mini cakes are made with brewed coffee and four kinds of chocolate—baking cocoa, chocolate sprinkles, and both semisweet and milk chocolate chips.

“I’m a first-class chocoholic,” says Mary, who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I’ve been baking cupcakes for years, and I usually tinker a bit with the recipes. This one just evolved over the years.

“I’ve made cupcakes for birthday parties, Cub Scouts and sporting events,” she adds. “Plus, they’re perfect for bake sales and...just because.”

Among her favorites are banana split cupcakes, with pineapple and cherries. “But it’s hard to beat an old-fashioned chocolate cupcake,” Mary says. “And what’s not to like about quadruple chocolate? It’s a chocoholic’s dream!”

Practice Makes Perfect

Like most women, Mary learned to cook from her mother. “She taught me the basics, like baking cookies, making lasagna, and roasting chicken and turkey. When I moved out on my own, I borrowed cookbooks from the library and practiced making the recipes.”


Now Mary cooks and bakes for her 16-year-old son, Jeremy, and his band mates. “I’m unusual in that I actually like them rehearsing at our house,” she says. “Not only do I get to hear their music, but I have hungry teenagers who are happy to try out my recipes.”

Mary is an administrative assistant and newsletter editor by day. In her leisure hours, she likes to read, watch baseball, study foreign languages...and enter cooking contests.

Her guidelines for making winning cupcakes, she notes, are simple: “Don’t overfill the muffin cups, don’t overbake and don’t frost until the cupcakes are completely cool. These may be basic notions, but they’re really important.”