Boston Cream Cupcakes

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Featured Image for post Boston Cream Cupcakes

A dark, rich, moist chocolate cupcake filled with luscious pastry cream and topped with whipped chocolate ganache. I dressed them up for St. Patrick’s Day, but these decadent cupcakes would be perfect any time of year. 

I’ve been dreaming up filled cupcake recipes ever since I bought a cupcake corer/plunger. I thought since St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday,  now was the perfect time for a Boston Cream Cupcake.


For the base of my cupcake I wanted to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe, and I found it thanks to Averie, Averie Cooks, and her Friday Things. Averie linked to Laura’s post a Vanilla Cupcake Comparison on Laura’s Sweet Spot, which lead me to her Chocolate Cupcake Comparison and the winner, the Cook’s Illustrated Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe which is slightly adapted from The New Best Recipe cookbook by Cooks Illustrated.

The cupcake uses two kinds of chocolate for a deep chocolate flavor. The original recipe used chopped bittersweet chocolate, but I used semisweet. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I also substitute boiling water for the hot coffee. The recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, which I think is the perfect amount.

Featured Image for post Boston Cream Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 49 minutes



  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pastry Cream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup cream



  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line standard-size muffin pan with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour boiling water over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.

Pastry Cream

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thickened.
  2. Remove from stove. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in the saucepan. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Transfer pudding mixture to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic; refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or overnight.
  3. When pudding is chilled, whip cream to form soft peaks and gentle fold in to pudding. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place half of the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add remain chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes.


Adapted from Cooks Illustrated Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake.

*I made the following high altitude adjustments: 2/3 cups granulated sugar and 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

More cupcake recipes you might like:

Lemon Shamrock Cupcakes, Barbara Bakes
Thin Mint Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day, Zoe Bakes
Irish Coffee Cupcakes, Tracey’s Culinary Adventrues
Mocha Mint Cupcakes, Created by Diane

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originally published March 15, 2013 — last updated March 5, 2019
Categories: Cakes