Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boston Cream Cupcakes

We had a birthday in the Just One Donna household last week.  It was hubby's special day and he is very fond of Boston Cream Pie.  I had been planning to make him a Boston Cream Pie, but then I turned on the TV and saw a very short clip on the Today Show by Chris Kimball from America's Test Kitchen in which he highlighted a Boston Cream Cupcake.

 Hmm, I thought.  That would be a nice twist on a classic and Hubby was sure to like these cupcakes.

I made these cupcakes with mixed results.  Let's take a look at how it went.

Boston Cream Cupcakes
There are three steps to these cupcakes; the cake, the pastry cream and the chocolate glaze.  We'll take each step separately.

The Cake
  • Boston Cream Cupcake Ingredients
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened 
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin.  Note that I didn't use paper liners with this recipe.  I think I would use them next time.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, 1 to 3 minutes.

Moist Crumbs
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add Eggs One at A Time
Beat in the milk and vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, light, and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes.

Add Milk and Vanilla
Using a greased 1/3-cup measure, portion the batter into each muffin cup.  I used my icecream scoop and made sure I used all of the batter.  This may not have been best for this recipe.

Fill Each Cup with 1/3 Cup of Batter
Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through baking.

Bake for 18-20 Minutes
 Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.  You'll see from the picture below that I had trouble getting the cakes out of the tin because they overflowed the cup while baking.  Next time I'll be more precise about putting only 1/3 cup of batter into each cup.

I Had Trouble Removing the Cakes from the Pan
The Pastry Cream

Pastry Cream Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl, then whisk in the cornstarch until pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

The Egg Yolk Mixture
Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture to temper, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Temper the Cream and Egg Yolk Mixture
You'll want the mixture to come to a boil.  Be sure it is really thick before your take it off the heat.

Cook until Thick
Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 2 hours.

The Glaze

The Glaze Ingredients

  •  8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and microwave the ingredients together at 50% power, whisking often, until melted and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. 

Let the glaze cool, uncovered, until it is thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

The Glaze Ready to Pour

Cut around the inside edge of the top of each cupcake, removing a cone-shaped piece of cake, and cut off the pointed end.   I didn't cut off the pointed end, but should have.  Don't be like me.  Fill the cupcake with 2 tablespoons of the pastry cream, replace the top, and set each cupcake on a wire rack set over a parchment-lined baking sheet.

The Cakes Filled with Pastry Cream
Spoon the glaze over the cupcakes, letting it run down the sides. Refrigerate the cupcakes until the glaze has set, about 10 minutes, before serving.

A Boston Cream Cupcake
Ok, so they don't look perfect.  That is why I say I had mixed results.  They tasted wonderful!  Here's what I will do differently the next time I make these.

1.  Measure out the batter using a 1/3 cup measure.  My cupcakes overflowed the muffin cup when they baked making it difficult to remove them from the pan.
2.  Cut the point off the cake I cut from the top of the cupcake.  That will make the top of the cupcake flatter.
The rest of this recipe is terrific.  The cake is moist and tasty.  The pastry cream is smooth, delicious and decadent.  The glaze is yummy.

Go ahead an give these cupcakes a try.  Just learn from my mistakes and I'm sure you'll be happy with the result.  You can get the printable Boston Cream Cupcake recipe by clicking the link.

Want another cake recipe?  How about my Favorite Chocolate Cake?
Would you like another recipe with a delicious pastry cream? 
This Berry Trifle is delicious.



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  2. Looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Those look really good! I could go without the cake part and just eat the filling, delicious!

    Stopping by LATE from #CommentHour

  4. I was going to comment on a more recent post but this one is too yummy looking not to comment. It is now saved under my 'Recipes to Try' bookmark. Thank you for sharing this!!
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Donna, can't wait to try these. They sound delicious and certainly bring back childhood memories of Boston Cream Pies.


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