Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Light tender yellow mini-cakes, filled with creamy custard and covered with a shiny intensely chocolate glaze--these Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes are the third installment in my sister's once-a-month-dessert-for-a-year-birthday-gift and they were met with much joy by her family (and mine too--full disclosure, we had to keep a couple--they were just too good!)

When my kids were little I used to make cupcakes all the time. There always seemed to be some occasion, even if it was just an excuse to help keep certain little people from taking a too-late-in-the-afternoon-nap. Now that my kids are grown and there aren't that many bake sales or class parties (or necessary naps), I rarely make them which is why there is (shockingly) only 1 cupcake recipe to date on this site! But no worries, this shall be remedied, I promise you! 

Ok, enough cupcake lamenting--onto these amazing treats which are the perfect combination of flavors and textures and pretty easy to make too--you can even make the different components over the course of a few days, so that it's a snap to put them together.

Once you bake up a batch of the cupcakes, you cut out a little wedge from each one and fill the spot with the pastry cream. Then you trim the cut out wedges and place them back in the cutout spots, covering the pastry cream. 

Next, you make an easy chocolate glaze, dip the cupcakes and voila! You've got yourself Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes!

Who can resist moist yellow cake, creamy custard and a thick chocolate glaze?!! I'm so glad my sister had a birthday!! Can't wait to see what I'll be whipping up for her next month!

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes
Prep Time for the cupcakes:  15 minutes; Bake Time for the Cupcakes:  20-25 minutes; Prep Time for the Custard Filling:  20 minutes plus several hours for custard to chill; Assembly Time:  15 minutes, plus chilling time


For the Cupcakes

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the Custard Filling

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

The Recipe

1.  To make the Cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

2.  If you have a stand mixer, attach the whisk attachment. Otherwise just use a regular hand-held beater and beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and light, about 3-5 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and then add to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk and ending with the dry ingredients.

3.  Pour the batter into the muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the cupcakes are puffed, firm in the center and light golden brown. A tester inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cool in the pan on the rack. You can make these up to two days ahead and keep them at room temperature, well wrapped.

4.  To make the Custard Filling:  Place the milk and vanilla bean in a medium-sized saucepan and bring almost to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from pan from the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

5.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light an fluffy. Then whisk in the cornstarch very well, making sure that there are no lumps. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture and pour a 1/4 cup of it into the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Slowly whisk in the rest of the hot milk. Don't wash the saucepan.

6.  Place a fine-meshed sieve over the pan and strain the mixture into it. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble and thicken. Cook and whisk for one minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the cold butter. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and chill for several hours or up to 2 days ahead of time.

7.  To Fill and Assemble the cupcakes:  Use a small knife to cut a little plug of cake from the middle of each cupcake and set the plugs aside. Fill the holes with the chilled cream (you may have some left over). Now, trim the plugs so that they are like flat coins and place over the custard-filled holes. Chill for 30 minutes.

8.  To make the Chocolate Glaze:  Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk gently until fully melted. You can make the glaze up to a week in advance. Place it in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator. Then reheat it in a double boiler over barely simmering water just before you're ready to use it.

9.  Dip each cupcake into the warm glaze and place onto a large platter. Chill for at least 20-30 minutes or longer until ready to serve.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Chocolate and Vanilla by Gale Gand.

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