These Boston Cream Cupcakes are totally irresistible. From the moist vanilla cake, to the rich pastry cream filling, to the homemade buttercream frosting and smooth chocolate ganache drizzle, this cupcake is like a slice of Boston cream pie in every bite.
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
If you’ve ever experienced the deliciousness of a Boston Cream Pie, then you can already imagine how delicious these cupcakes are. Traditionally, a Boston cream pie is made with yellow cake, filled with custard or cream, and then topped off with a buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache drizzle. That’s exactly what you have in these tasty cupcakes, but everything is better in cupcake form, right?
Quick Time-Saving Note: If you’re looking to save time, you can use store-bought cake mix, pudding and frosting to save time. Either way, these cupcakes are going to hit the spot and be a total hit with anyone who tries them!
Why We Love Our Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe
- Easy to make
- Delicious filled cupcakes recipe
- Easier than making a traditional Boston Cream Pie
- Full of rich, decadent flavor
- Fun and unique cupcake recipe
- Can be made with store-bought ingredients or from scratch
- Quick and simple assembly
- Baking powder
- Icing sugar
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Heavy cream
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How to Make Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe
This recipe will come together in steps that can be broken down into 4 main parts.
First, you will make the pastry cream that will become the filling to your cupcake.
Second, you will make and bake the cupcakes.
Next, while the cupcakes bake you will make the buttercream frosting and ganache.
Finally, you will use all of these to assemble the Boston Cream Cupcakes!
For the Cream Filling
Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk and set aside.
Add sugar, cornstarch, and milk to a saucepan and place over low to medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved and bring mixture to a simmer until thickened (about 1-2 minutes).
Stir in the egg mixture and bring to a light boil and continue to stir, until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Pour into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the cream’s surface so a skin doesn’t form. Set aside.
For the Cupcakes
For the cupcake batter, you can either use our homemade cupcake recipe or use a store-bought boxed cupcake mix. If you want to make our homemade cupcakes follow these instructions. If using a boxed cupcake batter, start the instructions after we bake the cupcakes.
Add all cupcake ingredients to a mixing bowl. Either use a stand mixer or a hand mixer and beat at low speed, scraping sides as needed, until all ingredients are moistened. Beat at medium speed until batter is combined and smooth.
Scoop cake batter into cupcake tin.
PRO TIP: We love to use a cupcake scoop to fill cupcake batter into the muffin tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. (If you are filling a boxed mix, follow the instructions on the back of the box).
For the Frosting
While baking, cream your butter. Then, add icing sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and milk and mix the ingredients together until smooth.
OPTIONAL: Melt chocolate chips and heavy cream in the microwave to make your ganache. (the ganache is literally the icing on the cake … or cupcake. Feel free to skip this step if you wish!)
When cupcakes are cooled, scoop out a hole in the middle of each cupcake.
Fill each hole with the pastry cream.
Pro-tip: While it can be tempting, (because the filling is so tasty) it’s important that you don’t overfill the cupcakes! This can create quite the mess. I may be speaking from experience here…
Pipe the buttercream on top of the filled cupcake.
Pro-tip: If you don’t have a piping bag for the buttercream on the top of your cupcakes, you can simply use a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner.
OPTIONAL: Drizzle with chocolate ganache.
Variations / Options / Add-ins
- PASTRY CREAM: You can use pudding in place of making the pastry cream filling.
- CUPCAKES: Instead of mixing up the cupcakes from scratch, you could use a boxed cake mix for your cupcake mix.
- FROSTING: You could also use a store-bought frosting instead of making a homemade buttercream, but I would recommend getting one that can easily be piped onto the top of your cupcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your Boston cream cupcakes will need to be refrigerated after assembly, and between servings. The pastry cream filling is perishable if they sit out for too long. Place the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. They are actually delicious served chilled!
Traditionally, Boston cream filling is made of a custard or pastry cream. In this case, we are making a homemade pastry cream to fill the cupcakes. The pastry cream is made of egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, milk, butter and vanilla. You can also use vanilla pudding to fill the cupcakes if you’d like! It will offer the same flavor and consistency.
Boston cream pie is a buttery cake layered with a creamy custard and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. It was invented at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856 by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian. While it is called a pie, it is in fact a cake!
Other Easy Desserts
Boston Cream Cupcakes
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup butter melted and cooled
- 1 cup milk
- 4 egg whites
- 3½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup white sugar
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup butter softened
- 2 cups icing sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup semi sweet melting chocolate or chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add sugar, cornstarch, and milk to a large saucepan. Put on low to medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Continuously stir on heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened.
- Add a teaspoon of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk. Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture slowly, stirring, until they are combined. Bring to a light boil, continuing to stir, until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
- Pour into a medium bowl and cover with Saran Wrap directly on the creams surface so a skin doesn’t form. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers. Set aside.
- Add all cake ingredients to a stand mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping sides as needed, until all ingredients are moistened. Beat at medium speed until batter is combined and smooth.
- Scoop batter with a ladle into cupcake cups. Fill to 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter. Add sifted icing sugar and cocoa. Add vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside while you make ganache.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, add semi sweet chocolate and heavy cream and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
Put cupcake together
- Once cupcakes are cooled, scoop out a hole in the middle of each cupcake. Fill hole with pastry cream.
- Put buttercream in a piping bag and pipe icing on top of cupcake. Drizzle with chocolate ganache. Do this with remaining cupcakes. Leave to set.
- Ganache drizzle is totally optional (but it is sooooo good)!
- If you don’t have a piping bag for the buttercream on the top of your cupcakes, you can simply use a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner.
- While it can be tempting, (because the filling is so tasty) it’s important that you don’t overfill the cupcakes! This can create quite a mess. I may be speaking from experience here…
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