These are my favorite cupcakes—and you can make them a batch of 18 in 15 minutes prep time, about 30 minutes elapsed time with baking.
Boston cream pie cupcakes are made with a vanilla bean cake mix, filled with Bavarian cream, and topped with chocolate ganache. Here’s how to make them with step-by-step pictures.
Step 1: Bake the Cupcakes
Mix the batter as directed on the cake mix package. We used our vanilla bean cake mix and our stand-type mixer. (You can use a common cake mix from the store but we prefer our vanilla bean mix which is a cream cake, has more substance, and balances better with the filling and the topping.) While the cake was mixing, we put paper liners in two standard muffin pans. We also used this time to assemble the ingredients for the chocolate ganache: chocolate, butter, and cream.
Once the cupcake batter was mixed, we used a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, to fill the cupcake liners. Fill the scoop about 3/4 full. The scoop will give you uniform cupcakes and the slide action will cleanly discharge the batter. A scoop is a much quicker way to fill cupcake liners. We didn’t bother scarping the last of the batter from the bowl but if you choose to do so, you’ll get another cupcake or two.
Elapsed time without baking: 7 minutes.
Step 2: Filling the Cupcakes
For this step, you will need a package of premade Bavarian cream pastry filling. It comes in a two-pound plastic tube with tapered ends. Clip the end so that you have an opening of about 1/4 inch.
Holding a cupcake in the palm of your hand, stick the open end of the tube through the top of the cupcake. Gently squeeze the tube forcing Bavarian cream into the cupcake. You will feel the cupcake expand as it is filled. Repeat with all 18 cupcakes.
Elapsed time without baking: 2 minutes.
Step 3: Topping with Ganache
Ganache is a very simple but very scrumptious mixture of chocolate, butter, and cream. Be sure to use fine quality dark chocolate. You can use good quality chocolate chips but chocolate chips are made with a coarser grind wand with less cocoa butter and the resulting ganache will be very good but not as great as with quality chocolate.
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces dark chocolate wafers or other quality dark chocolate
4 tablespoons butter
Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat slowly in the microwave stopping to stir a couple times until just melted. Stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir. Carefully reheat just as necessary and stir until the ganache is smooth. The ganache should be thick, thick enough that you will have a heavy coating of ganache to top the cupcakes. If it is too thin, let it cool for a moment. You can adjust the thickness by heating or cooling your ganache.
Dip each cupcake in the ganache. If the coating is too thin, let the ganache cool or double dip waiting a second or two between dips. Set aside.
You will have some leftover ganache. Store in the refrigerator to use later as an ice cream topping or as frosting for cookies.
Elapsed time without baking: 5 minutes.
What You’ll Need
You’ll have most of what you need in your kitchen or can pick up at your local grocery store. You will need:
- Two good quality muffin pans so that you can bake all 18 cupcakes at once. (Place both pans side-by-side on the same rack two-thirds up in the oven)
- Cupcake liners
- A 1/4 cup slide action ice cream scoop
- Premade Bavarian cream pastry filling
- Good quality chocolate. We used our dark chocolate wafers
About the author: Dennis Weaver and his wife, Merri Ann, are the founders of The Prepared Pantry. Dennis is a baker and a writer. Dennis is the author of “How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking.” He is a food columnist and has written articles for websites, newspapers, and magazines. You can follow Dennis and get his articles and recipes by subscribing to The Prepared Pantry’s newsletters.