These Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes are to die for! A moist vanilla cupcake, pastry cream filling and beautiful chocolate ganache topping make this one tasty cupcake you will definitely want to sink your teeth into.
So I guess today is the day that I will dispel the myth that I have always been an amazing baker – just in case you were under that impression.
🙂 The truth is, I grew up cooking with my mom, not baking. Sure, there was some baking around holidays, but day-to-day was all about the cooking. So when I started baking several years back, it was quite an effort to really learn what I was doing. Lots of hours have been spent in the kitchen. With cooking, I was used to being able to throw things in a dish and not have to worry too much that small changes to a recipe would ruin it. With baking, it’s a whole different ball game. Small changes can make a huge difference – and be incredibly frustrating.
So back around the time I started baking, I was taking a lot of the desserts I’d make into work. I’d ask co-workers what their favorite dessert or flavor was if what was their birthday and then I’d challenge myself to come up with a cake. It was a great way for me to try things I hadn’t tried before – the best way to learn! Even now, I still love unexpected requests that give me a challenge or get me to step out of the box.
Well one such request was for a Boston Cream Pie – and I had never even made pastry cream before. Ever. I had no idea what I was doing. But I found a recipe and went for it. I’d been fairly successful up until this point, so I figured it’d be all good.
I was wrong.
I had no idea what I did at the time and it’s been so long that I don’t even remember what recipe I used to look back and figure it out, but I remember wondering how in the word the pastry cream would thicken enough to hold up between cake layers. Ultimately the cream was much too thin and by the time the cake made it’s way to work, it was basically two layers of cake that used to have pastry cream between them, but was now in a puddle around the bottom. Major fail.
Well fast-forward about 5 years and that co-worker has moved on to another adventure. It was sad to see him go, but I was happy for him in his new path.
Of course to send him off, I had to redeem myself. Yes, he’s had many of my cakes since then, but the Boston Cream Pie had to be revisited. This time I went with cupcakes.
BOSTON CREAM PIE CUPCAKES
6 tbsp (84g), unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups (155g) sugar
6 tbsp (86g) sour cream, room temperature
2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
2 tsp (8g) baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp (90ml) milk, room temperature
2 tbsp (30ml) water, room temperature
PASTRY CREAM FILLING
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp (78g) sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup + 2 tbsp (270ml) milk
1 tbsp (14g) salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz (338g) semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp (30ml) light corn syrup
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (210ml) heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the amount of creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Fill the cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
9. While the cupcakes cool, make the pastry cream. Put the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.
10. Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and mix until smooth.
11. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
12. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
13. Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. This process ensures that you don’t cook the egg yolks.
14. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
15. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
16. While the cupcakes and cream are cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Put the chocolate chips and corn syrup in a large bowl.
17. Bring the heavy cream to a boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
18. Place the chocolate ganache in the fridge until completely cool and firm, 1-2 hours.
19. Once everything is cooled and ready, cut out the centers of the cupcakes. I use a cupcake corer, but a knife would work as well.
20. Divide the pastry cream between the cupcakes and fill in the centers.
21. Top the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache. I used Ateco tip 844 (Wilton 2D or 1M would work as well) to pipe roses on top. To make the roses, start the piping in the center then create a swirl moving outward. Complete 2-3 rotations until the cupcake is covered, then release pressure and pull the piping bag away.
22. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve. Cupcakes are best for 2-3 days.