Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Growing up, I was the odd kid who was all sorts of indifferent about doughnuts. Actually, I leaned more toward the dislike side of things than indifference. Doughnuts never did much of anything for me. Count me out on the funnel cake train, as well. The one exception to my doughnut dislike was Boston cream. Now those doughnuts I would gobble up and look for seconds. Seriously, if you fill just about anything with pastry cream and top it with chocolate, chances are, I’m going to eat it. Quite a few years ago, I baked a Boston Cream Pie for my grandma to commemorate her 91st birthday and, needless to say, it was an enormous hit. I had no doubt that a cupcake version would be just as good, and I was right. You just can’t go wrong with pastry cream and chocolate!

Boston Cream Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I actually think that these cupcakes are better than a traditional Boston cream pie. You know me and my preference for a large frosting to cake ratio in my cupcakes. Well, the same holds true when we’re talking about pastry cream inside of a cupcake. The higher the pastry cream to cake ratio, the happier my taste buds are.

Boston Cream Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

These cupcakes start with a fabulous, buttery vanilla cake recipe. Once the cupcakes have cooled, the insides are hollowed out and filled to the brim with pastry cream, then the entire top of the cupcake is smothered in a chocolate ganache glaze. While these cupcakes involve three different components, they come together quite easily and are a cinch to assemble.

Boston Cream Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

If you’re as big of a fan as I am of cupcakes, pastry cream and chocolate, you absolutely cannot go wrong with these babies. Since I’m still not gaga over doughnuts, I’ll just eat a few more cupcakes in the meantime ;-)

Boston Cream Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: DIY: Homemade Limoncello
Two years ago: Classic Apple Pie
Three years ago: Fig and Almond Cheesecake
Four years ago: Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Buttery yellow cupcakes filled with pastry cream and topped
with a chocolate glaze.

Ingredients:

For the Pastry Cream:
1⅓ cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks
⅓ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
3 eggs
¾ cup whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Make the Pastry Cream: Heat the heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 15 seconds.

2. When the cream reaches a full simmer, slowly whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is completely melted. Transfer the pastry cream to a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed. Add the butter one piece at time and mix until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla extract, increase the speed to medium, and mix until light and fluffy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.

5. Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Make the Glaze: Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, chocolate and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Set the glaze aside to cool and thicken at room temperature for 30 minutes.

7. Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a paring knife, cut into the center of the cupcake at a 45-degree angle about ⅛-inch from the edge and cut all the way around. Remove the cone and cut away all but the top ¼ inch, leaving a small disk of cake.

8. Fill the inside of each cupcake with pastry cream and top with the disk of cake. Spoon the chocolate glaze over top of each cupcake, covering the top completely. Refrigerate the cupcakes until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes. The cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

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79 Responses to “Boston Cream Cupcakes”

  1. Katrina Amstutz on September 26, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I was exactly the same way about doughnuts growing up! I would only eat boston cream, bavarian cream or the chocolate cake glazed doughnuts. I’m still just as picky about doughnuts although I like to try new things so I’m always up for trying new flavors, especially at local bakeries as opposed to chains. These look absolutely delicious though! I’ll have to try them soon!

    Reply

  2. marcie on September 26, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I was in Boston looking for the perfect Boston Cream Pie because I loved it so much growing up. All I found was a really heavy one! These cupcakes are the perfect size and that cream filling looks amazing. Why couldn’t I find these in Boston??

    Reply

  3. Holiday Baker Man on September 26, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Nothing like a little pastry cream to make the day!

    Reply

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on September 26, 2013 at 2:09 am

    You just can’t go wrong with pastry cream and chocolate – that’s for sure. And a higher ration of pastry cream (or frosting) to cake, always a great plan. I don’t even really need cake, I’ll just take spoonfuls of frosting!

    Reply

  5. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 26, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I was funny about doughnuts growing up, too. I would ONLY eat the jelly kind. I love the idea of boston cream in a cupcake form! :)

    Reply

  6. Nat on September 26, 2013 at 4:12 am

    This look absolutely fabulous, full stop. I love ganache to the point of insanity, truth be told. Will a hand mixer work though, if we don’t have a stand mixer? Just tricky? Any tips?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Nat, I think you would be just fine with a hand mixer!

      Reply

  7. Ellen on September 26, 2013 at 5:11 am

    All this time I thought I was the only person not into doughnuts! I really don’t particularly love them-I remember just wanting I scrape the icing off and eat that, hehe. These Boston cakes look lovely!

    Reply

  8. Sbaker on September 26, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Hi, please could I ask how you get your cupcakes to come out flat on top? Mine also comes out like there’s a slight volcano on top (sometimes with a bit of cracking as well)?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Honestly, it all depends on the recipe. If a cupcake recipe has more baking powder or soda, it will rise more, which can create the domes. To keep them from spilling over, don’t fill the batter too high.

      Reply

      • Sbaker on October 3rd, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me! Am looking forward to trying this recipe!

        Reply

    • wingsofpoesy on January 12th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      My cake decorating teacher just told us to flatten them when they come out of the oven, while they’re still hot. Just kind of punch ‘em down lightly (and carefully). It works for cakes, too!

      Reply

      • Kaycee on February 7th, 2014 at 9:44 pm

        I used this while I was making these earlier tonight and it worked great! I had never thought of that before. Thanks for the great tip! :)

        Reply

  9. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on September 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Oh man, what a great recipe!! The cream center is calling me!! I need these cupcakes in my life!!

    Reply

  10. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on September 26, 2013 at 7:58 am

    These look awesome!! Yum!

    Reply

  11. Christina on September 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Wow, what a sinful, decadent cupcake! I can almost taste their creamy center. I wish I had one right now for breakfast!

    Reply

  12. Andrea @ Barbells and Buttercream on September 26, 2013 at 8:32 am

    My daughter does not care for doughnuts either…or condiments. No syrup on her waffles, no mayo on her sandwich, no ketchup on her fries…WEIRD! Any-who, Boston Cream is my husbands favorite so I will be giving these cupcakes a try ASAP!

    Reply

  13. Tieghan on September 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I have never had Boston Cream anything and I do not know why! These look awesome! All that cream and chocolate on top is calling my name!

    Reply

  14. Erin F on September 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

    These look delicious!!! I love Boston Cream Cake, so I have to give these a try!

    Reply

  15. Kathy on September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I love Boston cream donuts! I need to try these cupcakes, they look fabulous!

    Reply

  16. 2 Sisters Recipes on September 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Oh these look wonderful! What a genius idea – boston crème donuts are my favorite and now we can have them in a cupcake!! LOVE it girl! :)

    Reply

  17. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on September 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Any kind if creamed donut is a favorite but add chocolate and it is a winning match! I am such a huge cupcake fan and definitely want to give these a try!!

    Reply

  18. Nicole on September 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    What a great recipe! My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up and he loves eclairs. I don’t know if I’m up for making eclairs, but these cupcakes I can do :).

    Reply

  19. Jill @ Inspirations Fine Catering on September 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Yum!!! I love Boston Cream… I will definitely try these, they look delicious!!!

    Reply

  20. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on September 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

    My fiance would LOVE these. He doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth but the one thing he always gets at Dunkin Donuts is a Boston Cream.

    Reply

  21. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious on September 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I’d much rather prefer this over the traditional pie – it’s so much more fun to eat!

    Reply

  22. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on September 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Those look absolutely amazing! Can you have one delivered to Michigan for me? Please :)

    Reply

  23. Melanie @ carmelmoments.com on September 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Boston cream anything sounds delicious to me. I am looking forward to trying these. They look perfect!

    Reply

  24. Jennifer on September 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I love Boston Cream ANYTHING!! Putting these on my to-do list for sure!!

    Reply

  25. Kelly on September 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    These look Delish! I have never met someone that doesn’t like donuts. I had to talk myself out of stopping for some this morning. Lol

    Reply

  26. Catherine on September 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t wait to make these! Can you recommend a substitute for the corn syrup though? That’s not something I’ve ever used. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Catherine, Even if you’ve never used it, if it’s available to you, I would recommend using it. The corn syrup helps to thin the chocolate and create a shiny ganache.

      Reply

  27. Emily on September 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Wish I had one of these right now! :) They look amazing.

    Reply

  28. Sarah on September 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    These look yummy! I know Catherine commented and asked if you can substitute for the corn syrup but I was wondering if it can be left out? Thanks for all of the delicious recipes and beautiful pictures of your creations! :)

    Reply

  29. Patrick on September 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    These look fabulous. One question: I always weigh ingredients when I bake. How do you measure your flour? Dip and sweep, spoon and level, sift and level? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Patrick, I also weigh my flour.

      Reply

  30. Rebecca Collins on September 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Do you. Have nutrition values?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Rebecca, No, my recipes do not have nutritional information.

      Reply

  31. Terri C on September 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Excited to try these! Yum!

    Reply

  32. Lea on September 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I looked at the top of the top picture and thought ‘these are a bit out of focus’ and then I scrolled down to see the delicious treat in all it’s glory :) I’d love to eat this right now!

    Reply

  33. Toni Stanaway on September 27, 2013 at 8:15 am

    All of us in Australia have never heard of these Boston Cream Cakes but they sound amazing , will give them a go ,thanks for your wonderful blog !

    Reply

  34. jsanta26@aol.com on September 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

    mmmm. this is torture for a pregnant lady. I want them in my belly right now!

    Reply

  35. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on September 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Pastry cream and chocolate together totally rule! I am with you on that, Michelle. Your cupcakes look so moist and inviting. I adore Boston Cream Pie (when done right with quality ingredients and the cake is moist). Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful Fall weekend!

    Reply

  36. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on September 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I wasn’t much of a donut fan as a kid either, I really just liked the chocolate frosting :) Boston Cream pie with the filling and the chocolate though, yum!

    Reply

  37. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on September 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Boston Cream donuts are my heart, so these cupcakes would be my heart x 2! I cannot wait to eat these!

    Reply

  38. Dina on September 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    they look yummy!

    Reply

  39. Jenn Every on September 28, 2013 at 12:26 am

    This recipe is definitely a keeper…wow

    Reply

  40. sara on September 28, 2013 at 2:08 am

    These are so cute! I’m in love. :)

    Reply

  41. anisa | whisk & heels on September 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    this look DIVINE! I have to know – what muffin tin are you using? I’ve been searching for one with straight-sided wells for years and have yet to find it.

    Reply

  42. Shelly (Cookies and Cups) on September 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Boston Creme Pies, this is the best thing ever!!

    Reply

  43. Lisa from the 'Burgh on September 30, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I made these yesterday – absolutely wonderful! I did to the pastry cream the night before and the cupcakes came together very quickly.

    Reply

  44. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on October 1, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Oh my god, I definitely ate way too many doughnuts as a kid. My favorite was the tiger tail, which was a half chocolate, half maple bar. I wish I could eat as many of those today as I did when I was 12. Now I’d die. I could definitely go for one of these cupcakes!

    Reply

  45. Francine on October 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    These taste fantastic! I made two batches today for my daughter to take to school for her 10th birthday tomorrow. Using a standard muffin tin, my yield was 18 per batch as opposed to 12 (This meant I could have gotten away with making just one batch, but I’m glad I didn’t because now I can keep some instead of sending them all off to school). Mine came out more rounded on top than yours so the glaze isn’t a nice flat layer within the liner – a bit messy looking, but oh so yummy. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

  46. Helen on October 2, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Hi, I would love some feedback on the texture of these cup cakes. I made them today and the were a bit doughy and not like the traditional ones I enjoy in Australia and wondering if this is how they are meant to be. I have never used this method before and usually cream the butter and the sugar and then add the dry ingredients and milk alternately. I may try this method and see if it changes the texture. Partner enjoyed them with the filling cream and ganache. Regards Helen

    Reply

    • Francine on October 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 am

      I wouldn’t describe the batches I made as doughy, but certainly not typical American cupcake texture – far better IMO. My husband is English and he said they’re like a spongecake in taste and texture. Adding the butter in bits until resembling “sand” is how scones are traditionally made, so I’ve used this method before, just not for cupcakes.

      Reply

      • AndreaL on October 14th, 2013 at 10:21 am

        I agree – I also found these to be like a spongecake but a little moister.

        Reply

  47. kevin on October 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Hi there from the UK!

    These look great and I plan to give them a go this weekend. However, you measure butter by the tablespoon, how many grams of butter is one tablespoon?

    Thanks!

    Reply

  48. Beth on October 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    So, Boston cream doughnuts are my favorite flavor, hands down. I will have to try these… as long as I can keep from eating the pastry cream before I fill the cupcakes!

    Reply

  49. Lauran Leggett on October 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    This is awesome! I love the site!!

    Reply

  50. lisa s on October 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Hi, could I double this recipe or even triple it? Or is it better to make in small batches? I am a sharer and a dozen doesn’t seem nearly enough of these beauties!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Lisa, I have not tried to scale this recipe up (or down), so I can’t say for certain how it would work, but it’s certainly worth taking a shot if you think you’ll need more than one dozen.

      Reply

  51. AndreaL on October 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Delicious!!! Made these over the weekend. Took my time and was having fun making them but they didn’t turn out as pretty as yours :) but I’m glad I tried them. I actually got 16 out of the batch. Sat down as they were cooling & turned on the TV & Lidia Bastianich was also making them on tv but she added olive oil & some orange zest & juice to the recipe. She was putting her Italian spin on them. But I loved this recipe. The pastry cream was light & airy. Yum!

    Reply

  52. Nellie on October 29, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I made these tonight and they are awesome! Although I ended up with some extra pastry cream and chocolate glaze… might have to whip up some more cakes tomorrow to use it all up! :)

    Reply

  53. debs on November 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

    hi. is it ok to use half and half instead of heavy cream? thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 24th, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Debs, Both the pastry cream and ganache may not set up correctly if you substitute half and half.

      Reply

  54. Hillery Schanck on December 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Every Christmas Eve I make beignets from scratch for neighborhood friends for a morning Wii family competition. The standard is the powdered sugar beignets you see at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. This year I dreamed up adding Boston Cream beignets. I used your cream filling and the ganache topping with the traditional beignet recipe. They were out of this world. Thanks for the fabulous memories.

    Reply

  55. Adele on January 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Dear Michelle,
    As usual I love all your recipes and how pretty the end products always turn out to be! I have noticed that in your usual cupcake recipes, you cream the butter, sugar and vanilla (and others) together first. I’m just wondering, why it is different in this case. Why do we not cream the butter and sugar as usual (instead of mixing sugar with the flour mixture and then adding butter after).

    Sorry for the confusing question! I just really like to figure out why some recipes differ from others :) Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 26th, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Hi Adele, This is known as a reverse creaming method, and using it creates cakes that have a more tender crumb, which holds up to the pastry cream filling.

      Reply

  56. Morgan on February 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Hi! these cupcakes sound delicious!!!!! I glad that me and my friend will get to make these on this snowy day!

    Reply

  57. Kylee Robinson on March 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I have my own go to vanilla cupcake, and having a cupcake business, I will likely top this with a rich chocolate buttercream….but I just made the pastry cream, and thanks to your excellent instructions, it came out PERFECT and DELICIOUS on the first try! I am in LOVE! Thank you!!

    Reply

  58. kristy1029 on April 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    WOW! These were so good that I made them twice in one week! They were such a hit that they were gone within 2 hours of having them ready to eat! So fraking good!!! They are just too good to resist!

    Reply

  59. Dorene on May 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    YUMMY! I made these for a friend’s birthday. Boston Cream pie is her favorite but I needed to feed 30 people so I went with these cupcakes. They were delicious! I have left over glaze which I have been eating with starwberries and ice cream. Thank you!!

    Reply

  60. Columbia M. on June 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I will be making these this weekend!!! They look amazing and I love how your cupcakes have a straight edge! How do you achieve this look, certain liners or your cupcake pan? I would love to know :)

    Reply

  61. faith on June 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    these look good ! i would use cheetah print cupcake liners, though.

    Reply

  62. JJ on July 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Yikes. These looked so good and would have been the perfect surprise for friends taking their first trip to Boston. However, mine were a disaster! The cupcake texture didn’t quite look right as they were kind of dense and flat. I baked them an extra 3 minutes… probably should have given them an additional five min. The cream was like soup! It never did set up. I could only find heavy whipping cream; perhaps that was an error on my part as that is what i used. I did not attempt to make the topping; why waste the chocolate.? I was very disappointed and it makes me hesitate to use recipes posted ;(

    Reply

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