If you're looking to make a drool-worthy dessert, these Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes have you totally covered. Honestly, who can resist that rich, silky dark chocolate glaze dripping down spongy cake and luscious pastry cream? No one here!!
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As you can see there are three components to pulling off successful Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes - the pastry cream, and cupcakes, and the ganache glaze. Don't let this intimidate you! Each one can be made in advance, AND the assembled cupcakes can be made a day ahead as well. Make these and your family will grovel.
Making the Pastry Cream
First up is the pastry cream. Why? Because should you decide to make everything the same day, the pastry cream needs to chill a good 2 hours before using. You can make the cupcakes and glaze while the cream chills out in the fridge. Of the three components, this would be the one I'd recommend making a day or two before assembling if you can.
The pastry cream is simply egg yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and vanilla. It doesn't take very long to make, but you need to be tethered to the stove. It requires constant stirring for 7-8 minutes.
Instructions in the recipe are pretty explicit so you'll be in good shape. Keep in mind, once the pastry cream is cooked, it's like pudding; it will form a skin unless you place plastic wrap or parchment directly on the surface. Pop in the fridge and on to the cupcakes!
Making the Sponge Cake
Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla are the usual suspects for the cupcake batter. And for all chocolate lovers, I added cocoa powder to a portion of the finished batter to get a bit more chocolate in the recipe. Well, just because. If the ganache is enough for you, feel free to skip this step.
Regardless of marbling or not, the muffin cups should be ¾ full. Filling the cups with an ice cream scoop makes this part super easy.
Also, use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the right temperature and keep the chances of over-baking to a minimum.
How to Make Ganache Glaze
The ganache is a snap to make while the cupcakes are in the oven. Finely chopped, high-quality chocolate melts the smoothest, but chocolate chips will do the trick too. Simply bring some heavy cream and corn syrup to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, let it start to melt, and add a bit of vanilla.
Stir until smooth, and voila! You got ganache glaze, friends. It will keep in the fridge up to 5 days if you're not using immediately.
Now the really fun part... putting it all together! Use a serrated knife to halve the cupcakes. I get a neater result when filling a pastry bag to pipe the cream onto the bottom cupcake halves.
Place the top halves on the cream and drizzle with your glossy glaze. You can do this a day ahead if you like, or take a bite! You're going to have to taste test at least one anyway. Enjoy!!
More Handheld Desserts to Try!
Soft Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Nutty Irishman Cheesecake Swirled Brownies
Key Lime Bars with Shortbread Crust
Orange French Macarons with Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream
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Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons whole milk (optional)
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt over medium heat. Gradually add the milk in a slow, steady stream stirring constantly. Continuing to stir, cook until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, 5-6 minutes.
- Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring one third of the milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly so they don’t curdle.
- Pour the yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil and reaches 200 degrees F with a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer. The pastry cream should be thick and glossy.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- If you notice any lumps, strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Makes about 2 cups
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour 12 standard muffin cups, tapping out excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk set over low heat.
- Place eggs and sugar in a large bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape sides of the bowl as needed.
- Bring the milk and butter just to a boil. With the mixer on low, add the hot milk mixture to the batter in a slow, steady stream. Mix until smooth then add the vanilla.
- Optional – If you’d like marbled cupcakes, transfer about 1 ½ cups of the batter to a medium bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk until incorporated.
- Divide yellow cake batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. If marbling, divide the chocolate batter evenly over the yellow batter. Muffin cups should be ¾ full. Run a knife through the batters to marble.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, 12-14 minutes.
- Place the muffin tin on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges to loosen. Transfer cupcakes directly to rack to cool completely.
- Cupcakes can be stored in airtight containers overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months.
- Place chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand, without stirring 3-4 minutes, until chocolate begins to melt.
- Gently stir the chocolate and cream with a spatula until totally combined. Begin in the center of the bowl and gradually work toward the edge, pulling in as much chocolate as possible until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Let cool. If not using immediately, glaze can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat on low before using. Makes about 1 ¼ cups
- To assemble, use a serrated knife to cut the cupcakes in half horizontally. Either with a spoon or a pastry bag, spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of pastry cream on the bottom half of each cupcake.
- Place top half on pastry cream and press gently so the cream comes to the edges of the cupcakes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of glaze over each cupcake. Enjoy!
- Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill cupcakes in a container that won’t touch the glaze. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
*Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
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Den M. says
Kim, I have a thermapen instant read and would feel more confident if you know what temp the pastry gets cooked to. Thank you.
Kim Peterson says
The pastry cream should reach 200 degrees F and be thick and glossy. They're always a hit!
Joann Friedman says
If I make the cupcakes, filling and ganache a day ahead of time, should they be refrigerated or left out and covered overnight.? My assumption is that it should be refrigerated because of the cream filling? Just want to be sure.
Kim Peterson says
Definitely refrigerate. Enjoy!
I love that you made this into cupcakes! They look so good!
Kim Peterson says
Thank you so much!!Less guilt with smaller portions! 🙂