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Boston Cream Cupcakes

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close up shot of a chocolate frosted cupcake showing it's inside Boston Cream filling
The secret of these Boston cream cupcakes is the cake mix and vanilla pudding that help to make them so easy to put together, creating a treat that tastes absolutely divine.
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Table of Contents
  1. Boston Cream Cupcakes Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These delicious Boston cream cupcakes are so simple to make. Based on the classic donuts, a fluffy cupcake is injected with a silky vanilla custard filling — and topped with a wonderfully rich chocolate ganache frosting.

close up shot of a chocolate frosted cupcake showing it's inside Boston Cream filling

Boston Cream Cupcakes Ingredients

Boston Cream Cupcakes raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites

For the Cream Filling

  • 1¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix

For the Ganache

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: Instead of a white cake mix, you can replace it with vanilla cake mix or yellow cake mix. Or, if you prefer and have a favorite cupcake recipe to make these from scratch, you are welcome to do that instead.

CREAM FILLING: If you feel ambitious and have a tried and true recipe, you are more than welcome to make the pastry cream from scratch.

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How To Make This Boston Cream Cupcakes Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

This is an easy recipe to make but requires time to allow the ganache to cool before frosting. Give yourself lots of time to allow for the waiting time.

For the Cupcakes

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place paper cupcake liners into the cupcake baking tin and set aside.

PRO TIP:

If you want to skip the cupcake liners, you may, just make sure you have greased the cupcake pan well so the cake doesn’t stick.

STEP TWO: Using either a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, mix together the cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites until completely incorporated.

STEP THREE: Spoon the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners, filling them half full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

cupcake batter poured into a cupcake liner then baked

STEP FOUR: Leave the cupcakes in the cupcake liner and using a sharp knife or a large decorator icing tip, carefully core out only the center of the cupcake about the size of a quarter. Be careful not to cut too deep and cut the liner. Do not replace the tops of the cupcake, leaving them open for the cream.

PRO TIP:

You can buy a fancy corer to cut the holes in the middle of the cupcake, but a serrated knife will do just fine.

For the Boston Cream Filling

STEP ONE: Using a hand mixer and a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and the instant pudding mix. Beat at medium-low speed until the pudding starts to thicken. Cover vanilla cream with plastic wrap and allow the pudding to chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill the cupcakes.

heavy cream and pudding blended together in a bowl

For the Ganache Frosting

STEP ONE: In a small heatproof bowl, heat the heavy cream for 2 to 2½ minutes. It is essential that the cream is hot when poured over the chocolate chips. 

STEP TWO: In a medium-sized heat-safe bowl, add the 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips and the light corn syrup. Once the cream is piping hot, carefully pour the cream over the chips. Allow the chips, corn syrup, and cream to sit for 2 to 3 minutes before whisking to allow the chips to melt.

PRO TIP:

Adding corn syrup to the ganache helps to give it that glossy shine that makes it presentation perfect.

hot cream poured over the chocolate chips in a bowl

STEP THREE: Use a whisk to combine the hot cream, corn syrup, and chocolate chips, whisking until the chips are melted. Cover the ganache with cling wrap and allow the ganache to cool for about 1 to 1½ hours

STEP FOUR: Once the ganache has cooled, using either a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, whip the ganache for 1 minute until fluffy. If the ganache is a bit stiff, you can add ½ tablespoon of lukewarm heavy cream.

ganache whipped until fluffy in a bowl

STEP FIVE: To prepare the ganache frosting for the top of the cupcake, you can use a decorator’s piping bag and a larger frosting tip. If you don’t have these, you can use a gallon-sized Ziploc bag with a small corner tip cut off. 

PRO TIP:

For the fancy star swirl, we recommend the Wilton tip 2D or 2A or a generic large decorator’s tip.

For Assembly and Frosting

STEP ONE: Using either a gallon-sized disposable Ziploc bag with a small section of the corner tip snipped off or a decorator’s bag with no tip, fill the bag ⅓ of the way full of cream. This will help keep the cupcake filling process a bit less messy and give a bit more control. Twist the top unused portion of the bag to help keep air out and give more control of the cream flow.

Place the bag’s tip into the cupcake and use light even pressure to fill the cupcake. Continue until the center of each cupcake is filled. You will have to stop and refill your baggie with cream during the process.

cupcake being filled with Boston Cream filling

STEP TWO: To frost the cupcakes, hold the ganache baggie about ½ inch from the center surface of the cupcake above the cream. Using even pressure, squeeze to form the center of the star swirl. Keeping the tip elevated and using the same amount of pressure, follow the star swirl’s outer line (making kind of a C around the star-swirl until the outer swirl lines connect). Continue until all the cupcakes are frosted.

cupcake being frosted with chocolate ganache

How To Serve

Serve these delicious cupcakes with a nice warm cup of coffee or our Bailey’s with coffee ice cubes. They are so beautiful, they would also be a perfect choice for a birthday treat for someone who is a fan of Boston cream confections.

The classic flavor of a traditional Boston cream pie can’t be beat. For another take on this tasty combination, try our Boston cream poke cake.

If you love custard on its own like I do, have a taste of our custard pie.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Any leftovers should be kept in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 to 4 days.

IN THE FREEZER: These Boston cream pie cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for up to three months in a sealed container. Thaw in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

close up shot of a bunch of chocolate frosted cupcakes

Skip the coffee shop drive-thru; these are better than a donut and even better than the classic pie.

Moist cupcakes, creamy centers, and decadent chocolate frosting make this the best Boston cream pie cupcakes recipe to make when you are craving a treat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use a different type of cake mix?

We use white cake mix but vanilla or yellow cake mix would work just fine in this recipe.

Can I change the flavor of the pudding for the filling?

To keep the classic Boston cream flavor, we recommend sticking to vanilla pudding but if you don’t mind a flavor change, you could experiment with other flavors.

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

These Boston cream pie cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for up to three months in a sealed container.

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close up shot of a chocolate frosted cupcake showing it's inside Boston Cream filling

Boston Cream Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes
The secret of these Boston cream cupcakes is the cake mix and vanilla pudding that help to make them so easy to put together, creating a treat that tastes absolutely divine.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 8 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • 15.25 ounces white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites

Cream Filling

  • cups heavy cream
  • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix

Ganache

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

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place paper cupcake liners into the cupcake baking tin and set aside.
  • Using either a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, mix together the cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites until completely incorporated.
  • Spoon the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners, filling them half full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Leave the cupcakes in the cupcake liner, use a sharp knife or a large decorator icing tip, carefully core out only the center of the cupcake about the size of a quarter. Be careful not to cut too deep and cut the liner. Do not replace the tops of the cupcake. Leave them open for the cream.

Cream Filling

  • Using a handheld mixer and a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream and the instant pudding mix. Beat on medium-low speed until the pudding starts to thicken. Cover with cling wrap and allow the pudding to chill in the refrigerator until filling the cupcakes.

Ganache

  • In a heat-safe small bowl, heat the heavy cream for 2 to 2½ minutes. It is essential that the cream is hot when poured over the chocolate chips.
  • In a medium-sized heat-safe bowl, add the 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips and the light corn syrup. Once the cream is piping hot, carefully pour the cream over the chips. Allow the chips, corn syrup, and cream to sit for 2 to 3 minutes before whisking to allow the chips to melt. Use a whisk to combine the hot cream, corn syrup, and chocolate chips. Continue whisking until the chips are melted. Cover the ganache with cling wrap and allow the ganache to cool for about 1 to 1½ hours
  • Once the ganache has cooled, using either a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, whip the ganache for 1 minute until fluffy. (If the ganache is a bit stiff, you can add ½ tablespoon of lukewarm heavy cream)
  • To prepare the ganache frosting for the cupcake, you can use a decorator's frosting bag and a larger frosting tip (Wilton tip 2D or 2A -or- a generic large decorator's tip). If you don’t have these, you can use a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie with a small corner tip cut off.

Cupcake Assembly and Frosting

  • Using either a gallon-sized disposable Ziploc baggie with a small section of the corner tip snipped off, or a decorator’s bag with no tip, fill the bag ⅓ of the way full of cream. This will help keep the cupcake filling process a bit less messy and give a bit more control. Twist the top unused portion of the bag to help keep air out and give more control of the cream flow. Place the tip of the bag into the cupcake and use light even pressure to fill the cupcake. Continue until all the cupcakes are filled. You will have to stop and refill your baggie with cream.
  • To frost the cupcakes, hold the ganache baggie about ½ inch from the center surface of the cupcake above the cream. Use even pressure, squeeze to form the center of the star-swirl. Keeping the tip elevated and using the same amount of pressure, follow the outer line of the star-swirl. Making kind of a C around the star-swirl until the outer swirl lines connect. Continue until all the cupcakes are frosted.

Video

Notes

  • This is an easy recipe to make but requires time to allow the ganache to cool before frosting. Give yourself lots of time to allow for the waiting time.
  • If you want to skip the cupcake liners, you may, just make sure you have greased the cupcake pan well so the cake doesn’t stick.
  • You can buy a fancy corer to cut the holes in the middle of the cupcake, but a serrated knife will do just fine.
  • Adding corn syrup to the ganache helps to give it that glossy shine that makes it presentation perfect.
  • For the fancy star swirl, we recommend the Wilton tip 2D or 2A or a generic large decorator’s tip.
 

Nutrition

Sodium: 195mg | Calcium: 53mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 372IU | Sugar: 17g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 167mg | Cholesterol: 35mg | Calories: 309kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Fat: 22g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 27g | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Cathy says

    Question: I want to make these for diabetic husband. I can use sugar free cake mix, sugar free pudding, and sugar free chocolate chips, but I don’t know what to sub for corn syrup. Any ideas?

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Cathy – I googled and some suggestions were honey, agave nectar, etc. but I have never tried any of those substitutions personally so I cannot say if it’s healthy for your husband or if the recipe will still work. Please let me know if you try swapping something out!

    • Layne Kangas says

      I haven’t tried it with this recipe specifically. Usually, that is a safe bet but I don’t know if it will have any impact on these cupcakes. Please let me know if you try! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Julie says

    I am going to try this very-anticipated recipe this week, but I have a very important question. You say to fill the cupcake batter only halfway full, and then later when you are piping in the cream, you say not to put the tops back on. ?? Where are the tops? (Since it appears you only baked a half-ful cupcake?)

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Julie – you’re going to take a small piece of the cupcake out for the filling and not replace it. The video in the post shows the step-by-step directions so hopefully, that will help clarify as well. You are taking a piece out of the middle, not cutting the top off. Enjoy!

  3. Anfisa Reutov says

    5 stars
    Okay these cupcakes are AMAZING!! Even my husband says they’re good and he normally doesn’t like cupcakes/cake. Not to mention all the compliments the kids gave me. Will definitely be making again!

  4. Judy says

    5 stars
    The only thing I had trouble with was the chocolate ganache. It didn’t seem to firm up enough to hold it’s shape. I refrigerated it then whipped it again and it finally seemed a little firmer. Oozed a bit, but still pretty and very delicious❣️Maybe use a bit less whipping cream for ganache? Great recipe though…Thank you…I’m from RI and miss Boston Cream anything.

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