Hello friends and followers. As if that headline doesn’t explain it all, today is Johnny’s birthday! And even though we’re both insanely busy, I wanted to whip up some cupcakes for him to take to work — because who doesn’t love bringing homemade goodies to work on their birthday?
I wanted to surprise Johnny by making semi-homemade Boston cream pie cupcakes. I used an altered yellow cake box mix (because it’s just so easy!), but I didn’t cut corners with the custard filling or the chocolate ganache!
For the cupcakes:
1 box yellow cake mix, sifted
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
1 cup almond milk
Preheat your oven to 350. Mix all of your ingredients thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps. You’ll notice that the extra egg, butter over oil, and substituted milk really gives you this fluffy and airy batter that makes a damn delicious cupcake.
To prepare your muffin tins, I’d recommend greasing and flouring your tins instead of using paper liners — simply because this dessert is best when that lovely ganache runs down the sides a bit instead of getting stuck to the paper instead! Anyway, fill your tins about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool before filling with custard.
** Fun fact: if you ever just barely burn just the sides or bottoms of your cupcakes, don’t despair! You can use a lemon zester to lightly scrap away those little baking blemishes until you have a char-free cupcake!
For the custard cream:
Slightly adapted fromAmerica’s Test Kitchen
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks (I’d recommend using farm fresh eggs; so much richer!)
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, mix your egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk until just combined and then add your cornstarch. Whisk for about 30 more seconds so that everything is incorporated and your mixture is rather thick. Meanwhile, bring your heavy cream up to a simmer. Once warm, add your cream to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Return the entire mixture to about medium heat and whisk for a few minutes until it starts to look, well, lovely. Remove from heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla. Since this needs to sit, you can put it in a clean bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and then place it in the fridge for at least two hours – or overnight if you desire!
When you’re ready to fill your cupcakes, you can do one of two things: either use a pastry bag with a narrow, pointed tip (literally just push it into the center of the cupcake and fill — being careful, of course, not to overfill) or you can cut the tops off, scoop out the center a bit, and fill it that way (you’ll see step-by-step photos for this at America’s Test Kitchen).
Both methods work well because the ganache will cover up any blemishes – from overfilling at the top or rough edges from cutting off the top!
For the easy chocolate ganache:
10-12 ounces of chocolate (bitter or semi-sweet), chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring your heavy cream up to a nice simmer – you want it to be hot so that it’ll help in melting the chocolate. When you’re ready, pour the heavy cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and whisk vigorously until smooth and creamy. I let the ganache sit for a few minutes so that it would thicken up before pouring it over the cupcakes.
Now, I’m off to finish an assignment and hide some presents around the house, but hey — have you wished Blueberry Bison a happy birthday yet?! Feel free to do so in the comment box below!