Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

by Lisa on November 5, 2010

Recently, after a long day of furniture shopping, my husband and I were meandering through the grocery store pondering what we would be having for dinner.  As we were picking up some fresh produce to make dinner, my husband strayed over towards the bakery case and took a very long look at the desserts.  It’s been a while since I’ve baked, as we’re currently between houses and staying with my parents and hence most of my kitchen is packed up and awaiting transplant to our new place…which we sadly don’t close on for another 31 days…not that anyone’s counting.  The poor guy really wanted a Boston Cream Pie.  Well, I figured after a long day of patiently deciding exactly which sofa arms were just the right shape (instead of watching Sunday afternoon football) he deserved a treat.  I had put Boston Cream Pie on my list of things to make while I’m 30 (after all, it is the official dessert of Massachusetts, partly thanks to my esteemed friend and co-blogger Beth) so figured I would give it a go tonight.  I was thinking about making the ‘real deal’ full sized pie here, but there is something that psychologically makes me feel better when I eat a cupcake rather than eating a slice of cake, so I opted to go the cupcake route with this one.

The recipe I located sounded fairly accessible for a recipe that requires homemade custard and ganache, and as Martha can do little wrong when it comes to cupcake recipes in my book, I figured they would be great.  Indeed, these little treats are absolutely delicious - although we were so excited for a bite as the vanilla cake smell filled the house, I just couldn’t wait long enough to get through the 40 minutes recommended to let my custard fully set, and as a result mine were a little bit wobbly.  Also, I had about twice as much ganache as I needed – unless you plan to REALLY REALLY cover your cupcakes in glaze, or you want to eat half a cup of ganache on its own, you can probably get by with about half a batch.  This recipe made a perfect 18 cupcakes for me otherwise.  It was rather odd not using paper liners for my cupcake pans, but because you slice the cakes in two in order to put the filling inside liners really aren’t practical.  I think this would also come out well if the cupcakes were hollowed out and filled with the vanilla cream, which would allow for liners and more stability – but would make them look less like real Boston Cream Pies.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes – from Martha Stewart Recipes

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Grease your cupcake pans (enough to make 18 cupcakes) and dust with flour.  Set aside.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In a saucepan, melt the butter into the milk over medium heat.  While this is heating, in the bowl of your trusty stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar on medium for about 5 minutes or until light yellow and smooth.  Beat in dry ingredients until well incorporated.  In a slow steady stream, add the milk mixture to the bowl.  Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans – fill them only about half way.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops appear lightly browned.  Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them and cool completely on a wire rack.

    For the cream filling:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whisk egg yolks until smooth, and set aside for later use.  In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Place this over medium heat and pour in the milk in a slow stream.  Cook milk mixture until it begins to bubble and thicken.  Then whisk about a third of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously to make sure the eggs don’t scramble.  Return the egg yolk mixture to the pan and continue to heat for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture firms up into a custard.  Stir in vanilla.  Pass the cream through a sieve to remove any bits of cooked eggs.  Place in a bowl with plastic wrap in contact with the surface so it does not form a skin, and set aside until cool.

    To make the ganache:
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Bring cream to a boil, then remove from heat.  Add the chocolate chips and corn syrup.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until the mixture is smooth. 

    To assemble:
    On a level surface, slice each completely cooled cupcake into two layers.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla cream onto the bottom half of the cupcake.  Let set for 4-5 minutes.  Place the other half of the cupcake on top of the cream.  Spread the warm ganache on top of the cupcake.  Enjoy!

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