Happy birthday, Cupcake

Posted by Anita on 01.22.07 6:08 PM

(c)2007-AEC *all rights reserved*Yesterday, the Bald Guy celebrated his thirty(mumble) birthday — an occasion worthy of pulling out all the stops… and half of the pantry bins. But when you’re baking in a toaster oven countertop convection oven, your patisserie options are a wee bit limited. In one of those “only in the food-blogosphere” coincidences, Chockylit and Garrett are hosting a cupcake roundup this week — and yours truly just happens to have a little six-cup muffin tin that’s perfect for a half-batch of mini birthday cakes.

Not content to follow a request for “yellow cake with chocolate icing” to the letter, I started thinking about fancier alternatives. A series of chats about classic New England fare got me wondering how I could make Boston Cream Pie in a cupcake format. So I whipped up a batch of vanilla sponge cake [link removed*], some pastry cream, and a simple chocolate glaze: a cup of heavy cream, a quarter-pound of dark chocolate chips, and a tablespoon of Karo syrup.

One of the things I love about Boston Cream Pie is the way it combines a trio of simple Home Ec 101 recipes into a fun, old-timey dessert. But, as I soon discovered, the original format — cake sliced in half, pastry cream between the layers, chocolate glaze over the top and dribbled down the sides — doesn’t work very well in miniature. If you add enough cream to make a distinct filling layer, the pieces won’t stay together. You end up with a (delicious) mess, rather than a cupcake.

Undaunted, I tried a new method: Using a doughnut hole-cutter, I punched halfway down each cupcake, and dug out the center, ever so gently. Then I dipped the top of the cupcake in the chocolate glaze, far enough that the center got coated. I added a tablespoon of the pastry cream to the well, and filled the hole with the top half of the cut-out round. After a little more experimentation, I realized that it was easier to dip the center piece of cake in chocolate before placing it over the cream, rather than drizzling more glaze over the almost-finished cupcake. (If all this is too much to visualize, I’ve documented it all in a Flickr set.)

An excellent side benefit of dipping the unfilled cupcakes and their “stoppers” — rather than pouring glaze over the completed cupcake — is that the chocolate keeps the cream filling from soaking into the cake. And, it also makes a whole lot less mess.


* Edited to add: We removed the link to the Cook’s Illustrated recipe in July 2008 in protest of their bullying tactics.

baking, dessert, holidays & occasions, other blogs



Comment by Chubbypanda

Oh my sweet word… (o.O)

Where the hell were you when I was still single!?!

Posted on 01.22.07 at 9:20PM

Comment by Anita

Panda, you crack me up!

Posted on 01.22.07 at 10:15PM

Comment by cookiecrumb

Too cute by half.
Happy (Mumble), Bald Guy!!

Posted on 01.23.07 at 9:52AM

Comment by Brett

You’re so resourceful – that’s a great idea for a cupcake. Happy b-day, Cameron.

Posted on 01.23.07 at 3:48PM

Comment by Anita

Brett: I think you mean “obsessive” :D

Posted on 01.23.07 at 4:26PM

Comment by Jason L. Cheung

Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Posted on 01.24.07 at 7:34AM

Comment by Tea

Good lord, I am so impressed! And a big happy birthday to the boy. Hope you guys had a great weekend.

Posted on 01.24.07 at 10:04AM

Comment by Cameron

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

And yes, I am indeed *married* to this amazing woman. Fortune is kind.


Posted on 01.24.07 at 11:33AM

Comment by Jess

that looks so good!

Posted on 01.25.07 at 11:03PM

Comment by Trackback ping from Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit | Cupcake Round-Up!

[...] Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes By Anita & Cameron of Married with Dinner [...]

Posted on 01.28.07 at 6:06PM

Comment by mandira

Came to your blog through cupcake bake shop, your cupcake looks delcious!

Posted on 01.30.07 at 11:27AM

Comment by sher

I have wanted to make these and I thank you so much for the helpful advice. They look marvelous!!!!!

Posted on 02.01.07 at 12:52PM

Pingback by Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit » Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

[...] First off, picking one of the 60 plus cupcake recipes to try from the round-up was difficult. Ultimately I was somewhat overwhelmed and just decided to go with what I was craving at the time – Boston Cream Cupcakes. I was also in the mood for bananas and added some fresh, chopped up banana to the pastry cream. As expected, the cupcakes were immensely satisfying. But then again, I am in the throws of pregnancy, so my opinion is a little bit suspect. [...]

Posted on 02.11.07 at 11:52AM

Comment by Ani

I haven’t baked any cupcakes yet, but just looking at the pictures in the process of assembling the cupcakes and the finished product, ahh!

Posted on 02.27.07 at 10:38AM

Comment by Anita

Hi Ani, Thanks for stopping by. If you make them, I’d love to hear how they come out! :)

Posted on 02.27.07 at 12:04PM

Comment by Potato ricer

We had a cake party for a friend who was leaving last night. your recipe went down a storm! many thanks :o)

Posted on 08.20.09 at 2:19PM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.