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Seems right that eventually I would need to create a Boston Creme Pie cupcake don’t you think?
I mean everything you love about a Boston Creme Pie in a small little package? Um, yes please.
Ok before we talk cupcakes, let’s talk buttercream. I have created a vanilla buttercream cheatsheet for you so you break out of a vanilla rut and make some crazy delicious buttercream flavors of your own! Just enter your e-mail below and it’s yours!
Ok so I’ve been blogging away now for technically 5 years now. And with a blog name that includes Boston in the title, seems wrong that I don’t include one of the quintessential (big word for a Monday I know) recipes from Boston- Boston Cream Pie. Of course, I had to turn the namesake recipe into- what else- cupcakes!
Oh boy these cupcakes. If you are unfamiliar with Boston cream pie- it’s a yellow cake, with a layer of vanilla pastry cream, and covered in a chocolate ganache frosting.
For the cupcakes I used a yellow buttermilk cupcake base, a homemade vanilla pastry cream (I promise it’s easy!) and a whipped chocolate ganache frosting with a dollop of chocolate ganache on top. You with me so far? Don’t worry I got lots of step by step photos to help you out…
Let’s first talk about these cupcakes. Here a few tips to make sure yours come out fluffy and perfect.
- Use unsalted butter. And good quality butter. I love Cabot butter (no I’m not getting paid to promote it, but it’s quality and delicious). Why unsalted? This allows you to control the salt you add to the recipe which is key especially when it comes to baking.
- Room temperature ingredients are key. Be sure your butter and eggs are room temperature before you start baking. Room temperature ingredients allow more air to be incorporated into your mixture which allows for a light and fluffy cupcake in the end.
- Use quality vanilla extract. These are a vanilla cupcake after all. No imitation vanilla extract please! Invest in a bottle of PURE vanilla extract. I love Nielsens-Massey vanilla extract, but if you can’t find that or afford, McCormick is another great alternative.
- Do not overmix. This is a big one you guys! I know stirring can be therapeutic, but save it for your cooking dishes. Overmixing your baked goods will result in a tough cupcake. So be careful and do not overmix. Not sure how to do that? I like to leave a streak of flour in the bowl. The flour will bake out, and you can ensure that you do not overmix.
Ok on to the vanilla pastry cream. This is an easy pastry cream recipe. I used Martha Stewart’s pastry cream recipe from her cookbook, Cupcakes. Here are few step by step photos to help you out.
Step 1: Simply start by whisking your egg yolks in a bowl.
Step 2: In a saucepan, combine your sugar, salt, cornstarch, and milk. Heat this mixture.
Step 3: Temper your eggs. Say wha-a-at? All this means is add about a 1/3 of your heated milk mixture to your egg yolks to bring them up to temperature. Then add the egg yolk mixture back into your saucepan.
Step 4. Add in your vanilla extract.
Step 5. Heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. During the step, do no walk away. I repeat do not walk away. Be sure to watch and stir continuously.
Step 6: For lump free perfect pastry cream, push the cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve. And then store in your refrigerator, covered until chilled and ready to use!
There you go! Easy peasy homemade vanilla pastry cream!
Ok so now onto the ganache….mmm, ganache.
Seriously the simplest and most decadent chocolate frosting you could ever ask for. Ganache is no more than equal parts chocolate and heavy cream. That’s it!
Again, here are a few step by step photos to help you out.
Step 1: Measure out your chocolate. Use good quality chocolate. If you prefer it a little sweeter, use semi-sweet or half bittersweet and half semi-sweet. You need 1 lb of chocolate chips.
Step 2: Measure out your heavy cream and add to your saucepan. Again, equal parts so you will need 16 ounces. For me this was basically 1 pint of heavy cream. So you can measure to get the exact amount or just go ahead and pour one half pint of cream into your saucepan. Heat this over low heat until simmering.
Step 3: Add your heated heavy cream to your bowl of chocolate.
Step 4: Allow the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Stir until smooth and velvety. And that’s it! Homemade chocolate ganache!
Now I like to chill my ganache and then throw it in my mixer and whip for about 3 minutes. It’s amazing what air can do! It turns a silky chocolate sauce into a beautiful light and airy frosting perfect for piping onto my cupcakes.
But before we get to the frosting, we need to fill our cupcakes with that delicious pastry cream we made earlier. For this I like to use what I call the “cone” method. For this, use a knife and at angle cut the center of your cupcake out so you end up with a cone shaped center. Like this…
Go ahead and fill up that center with a spoonful of your pastry cream…
Then simply pop the top back on! I like to trim the top down so it fits a little better. But do what works for you…
Now onto the frosting! I like to whip my ganache in my stand mixer until light and fluffy. With these cupcakes, I reserved some of the ganache to simply spoon some right on top of the whipped frosting at the end.
Or if you are feeling lazy (and I totally don’t blame you) you can simply dunk your cupcakes (after they are filled of course) into that rich chocolate sauce.
However you decide to top them, you will absolutely love these cupcakes. Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes with a creamy filling and a rich chocolate frosting on to. What’s not to love?
More cupcake recipes to check out!
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To make these cupcakes I compiled a list below of the essential baking equipment you need:
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 3/4 cup 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose Flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the pastry cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups milk
For the chocolate ganache frosting
- 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped
- 16 ounces heavy cream
To make the cupcakes
- 1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin tins (24 wells) with paper cups or silicone cups.
- 2. To make the cupcake batter: Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until they're well combined.
- 3.Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all the eggs have been added, beat the batter at high speed of your electric mixer for 5 minutes, until it's light-colored and fluffy. Stop once, midway, to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- 4.Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, beating briefly to combine.
- 5.Gently stir in the flour alternately with the buttermilk. Add the vanilla at the end.
- 6.Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, using a muffin scoop until about 3/4 full. Bake at 350F degrees for 18-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before filling and frosting.
To make the pastry cream
- 1. Whisk egg yolks until smooth in a large bowl.
- 2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium. Stirring constantly, gradually add milk in a slow, steady stream, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
- 3. Whisking constantly, slowly pour one third of the milk mixture into egg yolks (this step is called tempering, which keeps the yolks from curdling). Pour mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
- 4. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). Once cupcakes are cooled, remove the center of the cupcakes and fill each cupcake with about a tablespoon of the chilled pastry cream. Replace the top of the cupcake.
To make the ganache frosting
- 1. In a medium bowl, measure out 16 ounces of chocolate. Set aside.
- 2. In a medium saucepan, heat the 16 ounces of heavy cream over low heat until simmering.
- 3. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 5 minutes undisturbed.
- 4. After 5 minutes, stir until smooth. At this point you can dip the filled cupcakes in the ganache. If you prefer a whipped chocolate ganache frosting allow the ganache to cool. Reserve a small amount of the ganache to dollop on top in the end. In a stand mixer, whip until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes. Using a french star tip, pipe the frosting on top, then dollop some of the reserved ganache in the center. You can store the cupcakes in the refrigerator, covered for up to 2 days.
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