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A boston Cream Pie Cupcake on white square plate with a red handled fork

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

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Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes tender, moist cupcakes filled with rich vanilla custard and finished with a swirl of chocolate ganache.

Frosted Filled Cupcakes offer a surprise in the middle. What looks like an ordinary vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting will reveal the bonus pastry cream after that first bite. What a heavenly surprise!

3 boston cream pie cupcakes on a white tray with 2 red handle forks

Custard Filled Cupcakes

Since Katie is a big fan of Boston cream pie yogurt, I figured the cupcake version would be popular with her, too. Plus any leftovers would be instantly absconded by the chocoholics in the family.

Another of our favorite cupcakes are these Frosted Black Bottom Cupcakes.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcake on a white plate

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Bill, with his usual hesitance to try anything new, almost passed over one of these gems after lunch.  “Uh, I’m not really into that sort of cupcake.” Oh, really????  Homemade cupcakes, rich vanilla custard, and chocolate ganache?

He likes all three of those.   He was persuaded to try one and quickly declared his love for these Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, imagine that?  Hmmmm, I guess I know his palate better than he does.

How to Make Filled Cupcakes

The first time I made Boston cream cupcakes, I took a tip from Martha Stewart, cut the cupcakes in half horizontally, and added a tablespoon of the vanilla custard on the bottom half of each cupcake, topping with the other half, and drizzling with the unchilled ganache.

This time, I used my cupcake coring tool and removed a cylinder from the middle of each cupcake. I had plenty of filling leftover, so feel free to scoop out even more cake to make a bigger receptacle for the filling.

PRO-Tip: If you don’t have a cupcake coring tool, just use a serrated knife to cut out some of the middle of each cupcake without cutting through the bottom or sides.

Next, I used a narrow spoon to drop a scoop of filling into the well and smoothed the top. Using a piping bag with an open top is another terrific option.

Reserve the tops from each piece of cake removed from the middle of the cupcakes, and trim to make a cap to seal in the custard. This is optional. I’ve made filled cupcakes without adding the caps. 

Overhead view of 3 Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes on a narrow white platter

Cupcake Baking Tips:

  • Fill your cupcake papers only about 2/3 full so they don’t overflow onto the top of the pan.
  • Check for doneness by either tapping the top of the cupcake with your finger and if it leaves an indentation, they need more baking time OR inserting a toothpick in the middle of a cupcake which will come out with only a moist crumb or two when the cupcakes are done.
  • Remember that there is a little carryover cooking time. The heat of the muffin tin will cook the cupcakes even when out of the oven. It won’t help if the middles are still raw, but it could make the cupcakes a little dry if you find NO moist crumbs on your toothpick.

What is a Boston Cream Pie?

If you’ve never seen nor eaten a Boston Cream Pie, it may surprise you that this “pie” is actually a cake. This dessert is made of two layers of sponge cake, a custard filling, and either a chocolate topping or dusting of powdered sugar. It’s easy to see that these cupcakes are actually mini Boston cream pies or Boston cupcakes!

More Cakes and Cupcakes You’ll Love:

This recipe was first shared in March 2011. Photos and the recipe were updated in 2021. The new improved recipe is from Hugs & Cookies. It’s part of our series of cooking recipes from each other’s blogs. Check out what Danielle made of mine this month!

A boston Cream Pie Cupcake on white square plate with a red handled fork

The Recipe: Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Tender yellow cupcakes filled with pastry cream and drizzled with chocolate ganache

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 12 cupcakes



  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 egg whites, (reserve 2 yolks for pastry cream)
  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons water

Pastry cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar together for about 4 minutes. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Add the egg whites and combine well.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

In a measuring cup, combine milk and water.

Add half the dry ingredients to the mixer.

Then add the milk/water and finish with the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl a couple of times.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2-2/3 full and bake 15-18 minutes. Cool.

To make the pastry cream, put yolks in a bowl and whisk well.

Put the sugar, cornstarch, and milk in a saucepan and cook on medium until the mixture starts to thicken while whisking constantly.

Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.

Add a little of the hot mixture to the yolks whisking continuously so the yolks don't cook.

Add the mixture all back into the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook 2 mins while stirring.

Remove heat and stir in butter/vanilla. Cover surface with plastic and cool..

To make the ganache, bring the cream to a boil and it pour over the chocolate and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl.

Cover and let sit a few mins and then whisk.

Chill 2 hours until completely cool.


Cut out centers and fill with pastry cream. Replace top with a small piece of cake you cut out.

Pipe on the ganache!

Ateco tip 844 is the best! Even better than my Wilton 1M!

Store in fridge.t.  Add chopped chocolate, and let stand till chocolate starts to melt.  Stir until smooth.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.


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39 comments on “Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes”

  1. The ganache frosting is such a great variation on the regular stiff frosting. Great cupcakes!

  2. Lizzy – your hubs sounds like mine. Heaven forbid he try anything new. As if we would feed them something utterly gross?! lol
    I bet Katie really enjoyed these. I know I would. Can you adopt me please??

  3. First, I love your dishes! Had to get that out of the way first 🙂 Second, does that look mouth watering? Wow. Boston Cream Donuts have always been my favorite, it triggers an instant reaction in me, as in, I’m instantly happy AND hungry! Great job! Love the photo!

  4. Oh-my-god!
    How amazing looks this?!

  5. Wow we keep getting onthe same wave length I just made these Saturday and posting soon… havent had the time to write it up… we love these so much they were gone in a few hours not days! Yours area beautifully done just perfect! My boys cant wait for me to make them again! I tried another recipe before it was aweful.. this is almost the exact recipe I have too! so I already can say to everyone make them they are awesome!

  6. This is a great recipe and your cupcakes look simply perfect! Great Pics Lizzy!

  7. Yum! You will be on cupcake wars soon!!!!!! lol

  8. wow….just awesome…I feel like licking off the Chocolate Ganache 🙂

  9. Oh yum! My husband would marry me all over again if I made this for him!! lol ♥- Katrina

  10. Boston Cream Pie in a cupcake form? Brilliant, Lizzy! All the flavor, but in a portion-controlled form. Of course, it must means I’d likely eat two or three of them…but I digress. Well done!!!

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