I was trying to come up with something interesting to say for this little dessert we have presented here. I went looking for the history of Boston Cream Pie but it wasn’t that interesting. According to the ultimate source of all internet information, Wikipedia, a chef in Boston in 1856 started making it for the Parker House Hotel. Now if that isn’t a riveting and interesting story, I don’t know what is. I then thought, “Perhaps we will tantalize our readers with the great explanation of why it’s called a Boston Cream Pie instead of Boston Cream Cake, since it is clearly a cake.
Because in the 1850s, pie tins were more common than cake pans, so it was probably baked in a pie tin.
All of this overwhelming and fascinating history has my head spinning.
Anyways, the point is, Liz wanted to make Boston Cream Pie cupcakes and I obliged her and let her into my kitchen and we baked together this weekend – something we haven’t done in a while. The end result was delicious success.
|Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes|
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 box of vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees/F. Line a muffin tin with liners or lightly grease.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until it is fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. After each addition, mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Divide batter amongst a muffin tin pan. Will make approximately 18 cupcakes depending on how full you fill each cup.
- Bake for approximately 16-18 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
- While cupcakes cool, prepare the vanilla pudding using half the amount of milk as stated on the box, in this case it was 1 cup of milk. This will make a thicker, more custard-like filling. Set pudding aside.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to remove the centre of the cupcake. Alternatively, you could cut the cupcakes in half, and spread the pudding between the top and bottom halves of the cupcakes.
- If choosing to fill the centre core, use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the hole in the centre of the cupcake.
- For the ganache topping, heat cream on medium-low heat until bubbles begin to form at the side of the pot. While the cream comes up to temperature, finely chop the chocolate into very small pieces- smaller than chip size. Place chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. Add the heated cream to the chocolate and give the chocolate a single stir to distribute the cream throughout the chocolate. Then let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes without stirring. After 5 minutes have elapsed, stir to combine the melted chocolate and cream.
- Using a spoon, piping bag or squeeze bottle, pour the ganache over the tops of the cupcakes and let it drip down the side for the classic Boston Cream Pie look.
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
1. Cake recipe from Anna Olson, Back to Baking, Whitecap Press
2. We opted to use vanilla pudding mix for convenience, since you’re already making cake and ganache. You can make it more cream-like than custard by mixing in whipped cream or use a pastry cream recipe. If you use our pudding method, you will likely have pudding left over.
I bought a Cupcake Corer from William Sonoma while I was in Bellevue last weekend. Combined with Liz’s desire to make Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, we had everything we needed.
With two bakers manning the ovens and the camera, we got some pretty great action shots.
We poured ganache and then watched it ever so slowly ease down the side of the cupcake. We entertained ourselves by providing slow motion commentary.
“Noooooooooo…….thhhheeee gannnaaaachhhhhe issss fallllllllllllinnnnng.”
Looks like there isn’t much filling, but you actually get a sizable amount of pudding in each bite. I definitely recommend the cupcake corer.