Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes45

Posted by chockylit in Bananas,Chocolate,Experimental Recipe (Sunday February 11, 2007 at 12:52 pm)

banana boston cream cupcakes topped with a caramelized banana chips

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 throes of pregnancy, so my opinion is a little bit suspect.

I also took this opportunity to experiment with vanilla cupcake recipes. If you recall from a couple posts ago, I have been comparing a bunch of vanilla cupcake recipes and I was eager to get started with testing.

Martha Versus Amy

martha versus amy martha versus amy

The Results

Martha’s cupcakes were extremely dense, but not dry. They were so dense; it was almost like biting into meat (ok, I exaggerate slightly). Flavor-wise, they weren’t terribly interesting. Ultimately this was ok in this recipe, as the banana pastry cream and chocolate ganache definitely made up for the flavorless cake. The recipe was very accurate and the cake very cooperative. As advertised, I got exactly 12 cupcakes out of the batch and she was specific as to how full I should fill the papers. They rose perfectly to a dome (preferred by some) and I had no trouble with them as far as mixing, baking, filling, and frosting go. The end result looked the best and I ended up taking these to the dinner party and not Amy’s.

Final word: I could see where this would be the best recipe when you want that perfectly round and flat cake (for example for a wedding cake) and don’t mind compromising on flavor and texture.

martha's cupcakes
martha’s perfect domes

Amy’s cupcakes were less dense, had a tastier, more vanilla flavor and were also not dry. The crumb was more delicate and the experience was more like biting into actual cake than Martha’s. However, the recipe was inaccurate and the cake less cooperative. The recipe also specified 12 cupcakes and did not suggest how full to fill the papers. I got far more than 12 cupcakes out of the batch and ended filling them too full (slightly over 3/4s full) attempting to follow the recipe without adjusting for experience. A lot of the cupcakes overflowed and a few sank a bit. These were a lot harder to fill and frost, because of the unevenness of the end result. I am certain, however, that with proper filling (I would recommend between 2/3s and 3/4s full), they would come out fine and would be a far tastier alternative.

Final word: Overall a much more enjoyable eating experience. For cupcakes or any situation where something can be imperfect, these would be my preferred choice.

amy's cupcakes

As you know, I use the Magnolia recipe quite a bit. Magnolia’s texture is somewhere in the middle… denser than Amy’s but not as dense as Martha’s. They can also be uncooperative, but I find the flavor very buttery and delicious. Someone left a comment on a prior post of mine that uses the Magnolia recipe and the person said that “These are like wedding cake–dense and bland.” and I couldn’t disagree more. I think Martha’s recipe could be described as that, but I can also see why and when the recipe would come in handy.

The Recipes

Vanilla Cupcakes from Martha Stewart
12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; scrape down bowl, and beat in vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, about three-quarters full each. Bake until golden and tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool completely.

Vanilla Cupcakes from Amy Sedaris
12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1½ sticks unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons baking powder
2½ cups flour
1¼ cups milk

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
4. Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk.
5. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and satiny.
6. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool on wire rack for 45 minutes or until at room temperature.

Note: This recipe makes more than 12 cupcakes (maybe around 16). Be careful to fill only 2/3s to 3/4s full so they don’t overflow.

Banana Pastry Cream

2 cups Whole milk
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
2 bananas, medium sized

1. Heat milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, the vanilla, and salt in a pan over medium until it reaches a simmer,
2. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a medium sized bowl until combined.
3. Slowly add ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
4. Add remaining milk mixture slowly while whisking.
5. Transfer back into the pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until it thickens. It will thicken all of a sudden, give it a good whisk then take it off the heat.
6. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter, and with a paddle attachment beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
7. Transfer to a bowl, cover will plastic wrap touching the cream, and refrigerate until cool, hour or so. This can be made a day in advance.
8. Chop two fresh bananas into small chunks and fold into the pastry cream before using.

Chocolate Ganache

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add butter and vanilla and stir until all chocolate is melted and combined. If the chocolate won’t completely melt, place bowl over a water bath to finish the job.
5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixture and let cool for 10 minutes.
6. Sift powdered sugar into the mixture and beat until combined.
7. Continue to beat with an electric mixer until lighter in color and creamy.
8. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Note: I had plenty of pastry cream and chocolate ganache for all the cupcakes with a little bit left over.

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with the banana pastry cream.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of ganache on top of each cupcake.
5. The ganache will be very thick. I dip a small palette knife in very hot water, dry with a cloth, and then smooth down ganache.
6. I topped these cupcakes with caramelized banana disks.

hot water and a small palette knife does the trick

45 comments for Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes »

  1. Thanks for the compare/contrast! I’ve wondered about Martha’s recipe but thought it looked it it would bake up dense.
    The caramelized bananas look great.

    Comment by rachel — February 11, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  2. You know, I live in San Francisco, too (yay, Mission!) Should your friends ever tire of tasting your experiments, I would like to offer my services.

    This offer is purely altruistic, of course :)

    Comment by buzzgirl — February 11, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  3. You should try with real vanilla instead of vanilla extract.. it has so much more flavors and i love the little black dots in the dessert. You can leave the vanilla with mild or crean 24 hours before making the recipe. You ‘ll see how much milk and cream will get the flavor.

    Second ry the ganache just with cream and chocolate and some pepper. You’ll see how much pepper can improve the taste of your chocolate. Forget about butter and dark chocolate doesn’t need any sugar.

    thanks for the comparison ;-)

    Comment by Laurent — February 11, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  4. I love the amy sedaris recipe, I’ve been eating my cupcakes for the last few days. In my version of the book the recipe states that she gets about 18-24 cupcakes and to fill the cups 2/3 full.
    Mine created a nice dome and I’ve actually been eating them without frosting (I was out of powdered sugar, sigh)
    that being said, I think the chocolate ganache looks great and adding bananas sounds yummy

    Comment by yahaira — February 11, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

  5. i’ve been following your blog for quite a while now, and your chocolate cupcake is now top of my list – the ‘never fail’ recepie! thanks for sharing – my family/friends are grateful! =)

    but back to vanilla, and one recepie i find better than magnolia’s is billy’s from billy’s bakery. i find that the ratio of 60-40 of cake flour to normal flour (i use top flour) gives the cupcake the lightness, yet deanse flavour.

    on a totally seperate note from cupcakes, CONGRATULATIONS on the coming baby!

    Comment by Lynette — February 11, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  6. Congrats on the pregnancy! I wondered if you were with child a few posts ago, when you said you’d be under the weather… how far along are you? I’m 12 weeks on Tuesday. :)

    Thanks for the comparison of the vanilla cupcakes. I’m not a big banana fan — even less so now that I’m pregnant — but I love vanilla cake. One thing I’m going to try soon is making vanilla sugar and using that to boost the vanilla flavor.

    Comment by Ann — February 11, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

  7. Hey Congratulations on the new bundle of joy u r expecting.Gonna be one lucky kid with the world’s best cupcakes available at home:-).Will definately try the vanilla cake recipe though not sure about the banana.

    Comment by Kate — February 12, 2007 @ 5:24 am

  8. Congratulations on your little cupcake! Thank you so much for all of the fantastic recipes!!!

    Comment by Ashley — February 12, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  9. Congratulations on the little one! I hope the pregnancy goes smoothly. I have a 3-year-old and 4-month-old. Babies are the best. Even better than cupcakes. =) Best wishes!

    Comment by Honor — February 12, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  10. PS> These sound great. I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe, though I must say, your blog makes it difficult to lose the baby weight.

    Comment by Honor — February 12, 2007 @ 10:58 am

  11. Hey darlin’! Congrats again on being preggers! You must be excited! >^.^

    Comment by Garrett — February 12, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  12. Hey darlin’! Congrats again on being preggers! You must be excited!

    It was so fun doing this roundup with you! I was wondering which one you were going to pick! I love bananas and boston cream pie, so I bet this was shibby delish! I went with the black sesame peanut cupcakes myself.

    Hope that you, yours, and the cupcake in the oven have a great V-Day!

    Comment by Garrett — February 12, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  13. Throes of pregnancy???!! How wonderful! We are excited for you! We are expecting grandbaby #5 in August!

    Comment by kate — February 12, 2007 @ 11:17 am

  14. thank you for the tasting notes and photo comparisons of the vanilla cupcakes. i am going to try amy’s recipe. oh, i also have that cherry glass. and congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family!

    Comment by carol — February 12, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  15. Love the comparison between Martha and Amy — cannot think of two people more different, in and out of the kitchen!

    Comment by Lydia — February 12, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

  16. Thanks for the comparision – very cool. I’m going to try both, too – the Amy cuppies for my friend Matt, since he likes plain vanilla cupcakes with no frosting, so the better taste would be more important there. I also want to try Martha’s recipie because I have a mini bear mold that I need a good, dense recipie for. Sounds like the Martha recipie would fit the bill, especially since I’ll be frosting the bears with chocolate so the blander flavor is ok since the chocolate is the star.

    Comment by Cheryl — February 12, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  17. That is funny about Billy’s and Magnolia. I definitely want to test those side by side next. See just how different they are…

    Hi, Ann. I just passed 20 weeks. Funny… I am fond for bananas right now. I know its different for all of us, hence why I know I can’t be trusted!

    Thanks all for your good wishes!

    Comment by chockylit — February 12, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  18. You are a wealth of information. Thanks for the comparison. I know when to turn now for all things cupcake!

    Comment by Kristen — February 12, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

  19. Magnolia’s cupcakes are only dense or dry if you don’t pay attention to the mixing times or if you mis-measure the ingredients. The first time I made the Magnolia cupcakes they were less than perfect, but with a little practice they are amazing.

    I can’t wait to try Amy’s!

    Comment by Emily — February 13, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  20. Thanks for the comparison! I have the Amy Sedaris book and I have made a few recipes, but no cupcakes. I should because she is known for her baking!

    Comment by Rachel — February 13, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

  21. Hello! I enjoy reading your recipes (have used the devils food cake one a number of times). I’m also from the Bay Area and just passed 20 weeks as well, due at the end of June :) I also have a fondness for bananas right now, hmmm! so I think I will definitely have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by bev — February 13, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  22. What an awesome blog!!Now I have found it…I would book mark you as I would love to come back it for more each day!! cHEERS!!Linda

    Comment by Linda — February 14, 2007 @ 5:34 am

  23. I would like to know where I can get these kind of cupcake liners

    Comment by Myra — February 15, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  24. If I don’t bake or eat cupcakes; looking at your creations and your website makes me very happy!Congratulations on your pregnancy! :)

    Comment by Go Cupcake — February 16, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

  25. these cupcakes were wonderful. I love this blog!

    Comment by Brittany — February 16, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  26. I had a feeling you might be pregnant when you mentioned before Christmas that you might not be posting for awhile. I am 33 weeks today, unfortunately have gestational diabetes but I will enjoy your cupcakes vicariously until after my new bundle arrives. Hope the rest of your pregnancy is happy and healthy!!!

    Comment by Jennifer — February 16, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

  27. thanks so much for the amy sedaris recipe! i baked a huge batch of mini cupcakes using amy’s recipe for my favorite band, of Montreal, and they all loved them.

    ps. your blog is truly excellent. my roommate and i are addicted to it. we made one of your previous recipes – the pumpkin cupcakes that call for fresh pumpkin – using a pumpkin we found growing outside our dorm. the cupcakes came out fabulously and were a huge hit at the party to which we brought them.

    Comment by megan — February 17, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  28. Late to the party, as always… I’ve been offline for about 2 weeks, and it was such a pleasant surprise to return and read this post!

    Thank you for the link, and for taking my humble idea and turning it into something even cooler.

    For some reason, even though they’re nothing alike, this reminds me of a recipe I have at home in my clipping file called “To The Manor Born”: banana cake with coffee buttercream.

    Comment by Anita — February 18, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

  29. So what do you think accounted for the difference in flavor?

    I am in love with your chocolate minty cupcakes. I’ve made them several times now for parties, and people rave about them!

    Comment by Linda — February 22, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

  30. Have you tried the Cook’s Illustrated recipe from their Baking Illustrated book for Yellow Cupcakes with Simple Chocolate Frosting? It is almost identical to Martha’s, except a half cup of sour cream is substituted for the milk, and instead of 3 whole eggs, one whole and two yolks. The dry ingredients are all mixed for a few seconds in an electric mixer then all others added and mixed til smooth. A 2 oz ice cream scoop of dough makes 12 cakes.

    Comment by bushra — February 24, 2007 @ 10:45 pm

  31. Somehow, I read this post twice and both times missed the pregnancy part! Congratulations. I of course crave bananas always, so I live in fear of what turbocharged hormones would do. I will refer back to this post often when choosing my next cupcake recipe, so thank you. It’s a great service you did here! (Maybe next the 1-2-3-4 cake versus Clare Crespo? Hm, I should try this too.)

    Comment by deb — February 26, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  32. Ah, right. You’ve already mentioned the 1-2-3 Magnolia/Billy’s and Crespos. Apologies! FWIW, I live a stone’s throw (not even) from Billy’s and find the cupcakes horribly dry, while Magnolia’s are always far more moist, but I know that has more to do with how the Billy’s boys are storing them, and for how long.

    Comment by deb — February 26, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  33. I made Amy’s cupcakes yesterday and they domed beautifully. I don’t usually expect much (in the way of flavor) from white cake, but these were delicious!! I put a peach filling in them and vanilla buttercream on top to make a peaches and cream cupcake, but they were really really great just plain, without any frosting or filling or anything. I’ll make them again for sure.

    Comment by Kat — March 8, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  34. Oh my lord…a whole blog about cupcakes! I can’t believe I just found you! I’m in the midst of a baking frenzy this month…your site might see that extending a couple more months! Thanks!

    Comment by N.Smay — March 20, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  35. I tried the Martha recipe except I’ve substituted the vanilla extract for banana extract and taken out the bananas from the custard. I thought i would give the batter more dimension since “it’s not as sweet.” It was delicious, heavy and dense! Three times as filling as usual cupcakes. Also, for the Amy Sedaris recipe, she said to preheat the oven to 375 but you said 350. Which one is it?

    I have to admit, working with the ganache took me sometime getting used to it.

    P.S. Congrats on your pregnancy.

    Comment by Cat — March 25, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  36. Hi: I am looking for a great cupcake/cake recipe for diabetes. Do you have one?

    Comment by Georgie — March 26, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  37. I once made a Boston cream pie (which is not really a pie!) and the custard is very tricky. I made one batch and it didn’t work out. So I tried Martha’s precious and detailed recipe, and it came out wonderfully. Many of her recipes are un-necessarily fussy, but one in a while she hits a home run.


    Comment by AKR — April 4, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  38. I tried the Sedaris recipe. Thanks for posting it. I totally got almost 2 dozen out of this recipe. She must be making the king-sized cupcakes LOL

    Comment by landa — April 29, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

  39. Hey Cheryl – I know this is months after the fact, but I have a quick question. How did you caramelize the bananas in this recipe? Thanks. =)

    Comment by Leah — October 10, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  40. Ok, was just surfing around for cupcake recipes and here I found the Holy Grail. Damn. Me likey.

    Anyway, just dropping a line to say that I made Sedaris’ cupcake base with the banana pasty cream filling but instead of the chocolate frosting, I used the recipe for the bourbon caramel cream cheese frosting. God dammit. These little suckers are so tremendously awesome! I am SO getting major points at work tomorrow for bringing in these babies.

    Now I just have an excess of filling and frosting so I’ll just have to bake something again tomorrow!

    Thanks so much for the great recipes! I’ll be back!

    Comment by Andrea Baylis — December 13, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  41. I am going to bake cupcakes today partly because the cupcake bakery behind my house is charging 250 a pop with the ingredients that I bought and decorating tools I spent around 15.00 and I will make loads with that amount of money happy to find this site keep it up

    Comment by Susy Balaz — March 15, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  42. Martha’s recipe is almost identical to William Sonoma’s cupcake recipe except that WS uses just 3 egg whites, and an extra tsp of powder which makes the cupcake lighter.

    Comment by masscupcake — May 22, 2008 @ 5:46 am

  43. I was looking for potential cupcake recipes to make for my upcoming wedding in May 2010 when I came acrossed this site. I found some very tasty treats-can’t wait to try some out. Thanks!

    Comment by Audree — December 29, 2009 @ 12:43 am

  44. These cupcakes turned out great. I have one question however: For any of your filled cupcake recipes, could you not pipe in the filling either before its baked or halfway through the baking process to seal in the filling and not have to cup open the cupcake and use the cone method.
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Anthony — June 24, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  45. I had been doing much research on vanilla cupcakes for a cupcake flight in my restaurant. After a frustrating trek through cupcakeland I finally stumbled across Amy’s recipe. I find the texture to be very mouth-friendly: light, fluffy, and substantial! I use vanilla bean paste because I think the small flecks of black are quite attractive looking throughout the cake.

    Comment by Carly — July 23, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

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