Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped



  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
  3. Add room temperature butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, sour cream, and milk to the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth and well combined.
  4. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with batter.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

Pastry Cream Filling:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until well combined.
  3. Gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  6. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator until cold.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute to soften the chocolate.
  4. Stir the mixture until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool slightly.


  1. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a small knife to remove a small piece from the center of each cupcake.
  2. Fill the holes with the chilled pastry cream, using a piping bag or spoon.
  3. Pour a teaspoon of the chocolate ganache over the pastry cream-filled center of each cupcake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  4. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the remaining ganache, allowing excess ganache to drip off.
  5. Place the cupcakes on a wire rack to set the ganache completely.
  6. Serve and enjoy your delightful Boston Cream Cupcakes!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes + chilling time for the filling.

Here are some helpful tips to make your Boston Cream Cupcakes even more delightful:

  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to chocolate and vanilla extract, as they are key components of this recipe.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your butter, eggs, and dairy (sour cream, milk, heavy cream) are at room temperature before starting. This ensures a smoother batter and better incorporation of ingredients.
  3. Proper Mixing: Mix the cupcake batter just until combined to avoid overmixing, which can result in dense cupcakes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together to aerate the mixture and prevent clumps in the batter.
  5. Don’t Overfill Cupcake Liners: Fill the cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full to prevent overflow during baking.
  6. Even Baking: Rotate the muffin tin halfway through baking to ensure even browning of the cupcakes.
  7. Chill Pastry Cream Properly: When chilling the pastry cream, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
  8. Pipe Filling: Use a piping bag fitted with a small round tip to fill the cupcakes with the chilled pastry cream. This ensures precise filling and minimizes mess.
  9. Create a Well: Use the back of a spoon or a small knife to create a well in the center of each cupcake before filling with pastry cream. This ensures there’s enough space for the filling without spilling over.
  10. Allow Cupcakes to Cool Completely: Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before filling and frosting to prevent the filling from melting and the ganache from sliding off.
  11. Thin Ganache if Needed: If the ganache is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little extra hot cream and stirring until smooth.
  12. Use a Double Boiler for Ganache: To prevent burning the chocolate when making the ganache, use a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water to melt the chocolate.
  13. Dip Cupcakes Quickly: Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache quickly and in one smooth motion to ensure even coverage and a glossy finish.
  14. Decorate with Chocolate Shavings: Sprinkle chocolate shavings or curls on top of the ganache for an elegant touch and added chocolate flavor.
  15. Experiment with Flavors: Get creative with flavor variations by adding a hint of orange zest to the pastry cream or using dark chocolate for a richer ganache.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create Boston Cream Cupcakes that are even more delightful and irresistible!

Here are 20 secrets to achieving the perfect Boston Cream Cupcakes:

  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients, especially butter, eggs, and dairy, are at room temperature before starting. This helps them blend seamlessly and creates a smoother batter.
  2. Proper Mixing Technique: Mix the cupcake batter until just combined. Overmixing can result in dense cupcakes.
  3. Use Cake Flour: Substitute some or all of the all-purpose flour with cake flour for a lighter, more tender crumb.
  4. Add Sour Cream: Incorporating sour cream into the batter adds moisture and richness to the cupcakes.
  5. Don’t Overfill Cupcake Liners: Fill the cupcake liners no more than two-thirds full to avoid overflow during baking.
  6. Even Baking: Rotate the cupcake pans halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
  7. Create a Well: Use a spoon or melon baller to create a small well in the center of each cupcake to hold the pastry cream filling.
  8. Chill the Pastry Cream: Chill the pastry cream thoroughly before filling the cupcakes to prevent it from melting and oozing out.
  9. Pipe Filling: Use a piping bag fitted with a small round tip to fill the cupcakes with pastry cream for precise and neat filling.
  10. Seal the Filling: After filling the cupcakes, lightly press the top of each cupcake to seal in the pastry cream.
  11. Thin Ganache for Dipping: If the chocolate ganache is too thick for dipping, add a little warm heavy cream to thin it out to the desired consistency.
  12. Double Boiler for Ganache: Use a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water to melt the chocolate for the ganache. This prevents burning.
  13. Dip Quickly: Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache quickly and in one smooth motion for even coverage.
  14. Ganache Set Time: Allow the ganache to set at room temperature for a glossy finish. Avoid refrigerating the cupcakes immediately after dipping.
  15. Use High-Quality Chocolate: Use high-quality chocolate for the ganache to achieve a rich, smooth flavor.
  16. Decorate with Chocolate Curls: Garnish the cupcakes with chocolate curls or shavings for an elegant touch.
  17. Storage: Store the filled and ganache-topped cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve to keep the pastry cream filling fresh.
  18. Serve at Room Temperature: Allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving to soften the ganache and pastry cream filling.
  19. Enjoy Fresh: Boston Cream Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made for optimal taste and texture.
  20. Experiment with Flavors: Get creative with flavor variations by adding a touch of espresso to the ganache or infusing the pastry cream with different extracts like almond or orange.

By following these secrets, you’ll create the perfect Boston Cream Cupcakes that are sure to impress!

Here are 40 popular questions and answers related to Boston Cream Cupcakes:


  1. Can I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?
    • Yes, you can use cake flour for a lighter texture in the cupcakes.
  2. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
    • Yes, but adjust the amount of added salt in the recipe accordingly.
  3. Can I use low-fat or non-fat sour cream?
    • It’s best to use full-fat sour cream for a richer texture and flavor.
  4. What can I use as a substitute for sour cream?
    • You can substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt in equal amounts.
  5. Can I use skim milk instead of whole milk?
    • Whole milk will provide a richer flavor and texture, but you can use skim milk if preferred.
  6. Can I use egg substitutes?
    • Yes, you can use egg substitutes like mashed banana or applesauce for each egg, but the texture may vary.


  1. How do I know when the cupcakes are done baking?
    • Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake; if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, they’re done.
  2. My cupcakes are sinking in the middle. What went wrong?
    • Overmixing the batter or opening the oven door too early can cause cupcakes to sink.
  3. Can I make mini cupcakes with this recipe?
    • Yes, adjust the baking time to around 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes.


  1. Can I make the pastry cream ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make the pastry cream a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. How do I prevent the pastry cream from becoming lumpy?
    • Whisk constantly while cooking over low heat and strain the mixture before chilling.
  3. Can I use instant vanilla pudding instead of homemade pastry cream?
    • Yes, you can use instant vanilla pudding as a quicker alternative.


  1. Can I use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache?
    • Yes, but it will result in a sweeter ganache.
  2. My ganache is too thick. How can I thin it out?
    • Add a little more warm cream, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.


  1. How do I fill the cupcakes with pastry cream?
    • Use a piping bag with a small tip or a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off to inject the pastry cream into the cupcakes.
  2. How much pastry cream should I fill the cupcakes with?
    • Fill the cupcakes until the pastry cream just reaches the top of the hole.
  3. How long should I wait for the ganache to set?
    • Allow the ganache to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Storage and Serving:

  1. How should I store leftover cupcakes?
    • Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Can I freeze Boston Cream Cupcakes?
    • Yes, freeze unfilled cupcakes and add the pastry cream and ganache after thawing.
  3. Can I assemble the cupcakes ahead of time?
    • It’s best to assemble the cupcakes shortly before serving to maintain freshness.
  4. Do Boston Cream Cupcakes need to be refrigerated?
    • Yes, because of the pastry cream filling, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator.
  5. Can I serve Boston Cream Cupcakes at room temperature?
    • Yes, let them sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving to soften the ganache and pastry cream.


  1. Can I make gluten-free Boston Cream Cupcakes?
    • Yes, use a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour.
  2. How can I make vegan Boston Cream Cupcakes?
    • Use dairy-free substitutes for butter, sour cream, milk, and heavy cream, and egg replacers for the cupcakes and pastry cream.


  1. How can I decorate Boston Cream Cupcakes?
    • Garnish with chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or a dusting of cocoa powder.
  2. Can I add a cherry on top of each cupcake?
    • Yes, a maraschino cherry can be a colorful and delicious addition to each cupcake.

Healthier Options:

  1. How can I make healthier Boston Cream Cupcakes?
    • Use whole wheat flour, reduce the sugar, and use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier version.
  2. Are there any low-fat alternatives for the frosting?
    • You can use a lighter version of the pastry cream made with low-fat milk or Greek yogurt.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. How can I prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the liners?
    • Use high-quality liners, and consider lightly spraying them with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Why do my cupcakes have a dome shape?
    • A dome shape is normal for cupcakes and occurs due to the batter rising in the center during baking.

Cultural Variations:

  1. Are Boston Cream Cupcakes the same as Boston Cream Pie?
    • No, Boston Cream Pie is a cake filled with custard and topped with chocolate ganache, while Boston Cream Cupcakes are individual cupcakes filled with pastry cream and topped with ganache.

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions:

  1. Are Boston Cream Cupcakes nut-free?
    • Yes, this recipe does not contain nuts, but always check individual ingredients to be sure.
  2. Are Boston Cream Cupcakes dairy-free?
    • This recipe contains dairy, but you can use dairy-free substitutes for butter, milk, sour cream, and heavy cream.
  3. Are Boston Cream Cupcakes gluten-free?
    • They can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend.


  1. What is the best way to display Boston Cream Cupcakes for a party?
    • Arrange them on a tiered cupcake stand or serving platter for an elegant presentation.


  1. Why are my cupcakes dry?
    • Overbaking or using too much flour can result in dry cupcakes. Be sure to follow the recipe and bake just until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. Why is my ganache grainy?
    • Ganache can become grainy if the chocolate is overheated or if water gets into the mixture. Make sure to melt the chocolate gently and avoid any moisture.
  3. Why did my pastry cream curdle?
    • Pastry cream can curdle if it’s cooked at too high of a temperature or if it’s not stirred constantly. Cook it over low heat and whisk constantly to prevent curdling.
  4. How can I fix overfilled cupcakes?
    • If you’ve accidentally overfilled the cupcakes, carefully remove some of the excess filling with a small spoon or knife.
  5. Why is my ganache too thick?