Love Boston cream pie? Make these Boston Cream Cupcakes for a delicious version of the classic dessert in a perfect individual serving. Homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with rich pastry cream and topped with dreamy chocolate ganache–all the big flavor in every cupcake!
Boston Cream Cupcakes
A good Boston cream pie is one of our favorite desserts, so these Boston Cream Cupcakes really hit the spot! It’s so fun to make cupcakes from scratch and this recipe will walk you through the easy steps to make your own homemade cupcakes, the vanilla cream filling, and the chocolate frosting.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the Boston Cream Cupcakes (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):
- Heavy cream – Heavy whipping cream is a key ingredient for both the pastry cream and the chocolate ganache.
- Egg yolks
- Granulated sugar
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch helps to thicken the pastry cream and bring it to a pudding-like consistency.
- Unsalted butter – This recipe needs very little salt, so you’ll want to use unsalted butter.
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Whole milk – It’s best to use whole milk in this recipe as it contains just the right amount of fat to create a tender cupcake.
- Light corn syrup – Corn syrup adds a lovely shine and consistency to the chocolate ganache.
- Semi-sweet chocolate – For the best flavor, semi-sweet (or bitter-sweet) chocolate is key. Milk chocolate is too mild and does not perform well when making a chocolate ganache.
How to Make Boston Cream Cupcakes
You’ll want to make the pastry cream first so it has plenty of time to chill while you make the cupcakes.
Start by heating the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add in the cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
Slowly add the simmering heavy cream to the egg yolk mixture, whisking quickly as you pour the cream in. Once it is all combined, add the pastry cream back to the saucepan. Add in the butter and vanilla extract then cook the cream for 1-2 minutes until thickened and pudding-like, stirring constantly.
Pour the pastry cream into a small bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator while you move on to the next steps.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use an electric mixer to mix in the butter until it resembles coarse sand, then add the eggs.
Add the milk and vanilla extract, mixing the batter until smooth. Scoop the batter into a muffin pan lined with paper liners.
Bake the cupcakes at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature.
Create a well in the center of each cupcake using a small paring knife to cut out a “cone” of cake from the center. Cut the bottom of the cone away to create a round disk or “cap” of cake that you’ll place back on the cupcake after you fill it with pastry cream.
Scoop the cold pastry cream into the center of each cupcake, then top with the disk of cake.
It is okay if you don’t completely hide the pastry cream with the disk of cake. The chocolate frosting will cover it all up for you.
In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients for the chocolate ganache frosting and heat over medium heat. Stir often until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Spoon the chocolate glaze over top of the Boston Cream Cupcakes. Some may run over the sides, which is completely fine and even looks really nice! Chill the cupcakes for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
How to Store the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. The cupcakes are delicious chilled, or leave them at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before serving.
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Boston Cream Cupcakes
- Heat the heavy whipping cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer, stirring often.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add the cornstarch and whisk until well combined.
- Once the cream is simmering, very slowly whisk it into the egg and sugar mixture a small amount at a time. Be sure to whisk as you add the cream to incorporate it quickly.
- Return the pastry cream to the saucepan, add the butter and vanilla extract, and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. In 1-2 minutes the cream should reach a pudding-like consistency.
- Pour the pastry cream into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix until it resembles coarse sand. Add the eggs and beat just until incorporated.
- Mix in the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Fill the prepared muffin cups 3/4 full of the batter. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, chocolate, and vanilla extract and cook over medium heat, stirring often until smooth. Set the glaze aside to thicken at room temperature.
Assemble the Cupcakes
- Using a small paring knife, cup the center out of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Cut away the tip of the cone leaving just a thin "cap" of cupcake that will be placed back onto the cupcake to cover the pastry cream after the cupcake is filled.
- Spoon the pastry cream into the center of each cupcake then top with the cupcake disk.
- Spoon the chocolate ganache frosting over top of the cupcakes.
- Refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes before serving.
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