Tag Archives: pastry cream

Boozy Cupcakes

Boozy Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

I am no stranger to desserts with alcohol or even cupcakes with booze inside.  This isn’t even my first time making a bourbon pastry cream.  Why do I need so many boozy cupcake recipes?  Why not?  Boozy cupcakes are delicious, everyone loves them, and they signal the start of a party!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

These cupcakes were made for Ron’s birthday.  Last year Irene and I were jerks and we both forgot to bake for Ron’s birthday.  We bake for everyone’s birthday but sadly he was left out.  This year I made sure to remember, but I was still a week late, whoops.  Better luck next year I guess!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

For the past few years Ron has gotten a box of the chocolate bottles with liquor inside from one of his students.  Many afternoons we would go have a little “pick-me-up” during our preps.  Honestly, there is more sugar in those things than anything else.  Good times up on the fourth floor!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

I wanted to try to recreate that memory in cupcake form.  These aren’t the prettiest cupcakes but they sure do taste good!  I made the pastry cream a little thicker than usual and divided it among four bowls with a different liquor added to each bowl and mixed in.  You could use any liquor you want. I went through my liquor cupboard and thought about what sounded good with chocolate.  I came up with marshmallow vodka, amaretto (Disaronno), Godiva liqueur, and bourbon.  All excellent choices!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

The chocolate cupcake is moist and tender.  The pastry cream is delightfully creamy and has a strong boozy flavor.  The frosting is nice and chocolatey.  This cupcake may not be high on the cuteness factor, but it is high on the fun and delicious scale!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

Print the Recipe!

Boozy Cupcakes!
Yield – 16 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line the cupcake pan with liners, it’s easiest to use four different liners, one for each flavor.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.  Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to generously fill each liner
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Boozy Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce cornstarch
2 eggs
2 tablespoons each of Disaronno, marshmallow vodka, bourbon, Godiva liqueur, or liquors of your choice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Heat the milk until it reaches scalding in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the sugar mixture and whisk continually.  Add a little more hot milk while you keep whisking.
  4. Once the eggs are warmed add to the rest of the milk on the stove and heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pancake batter.  Stir the entire time.
  5. Once thicken, add in the butter and stir to combine.
  6. Push the pastry cream through a fine sieve into another bowl.
  7. Divide the pastry cream into 4 different bowls.  Add 2 tablespoons of liquor to each bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap touching the cream.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Chocolate Whipped Frosting

Yield – Generously frosts 36-40 cupcakes (refrigerate or freeze for later use, just let thaw and then re-whip to piping consistency)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
  2. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate chips.  Give them a few minutes to melt and then mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and salt and allow to cool completely.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – beat for 8 minutes
  5. Add in the cooled flour/milk/chocolate mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy, about another 5-8 minutes.  This is a softer frosting, don’t be discouraged!

Melted candy melts of a contrasting color

  1. Cut a deep cone out of each cupcake.  Cut off the pointy end of the cone so you just have a lid to put back on the cupcake after you fill it with pastry cream.
  2. Add a generous spoonful of pastry cream to each cupcake, make sure to coordinate fillings with liners.
  3. Place the lid on the cupcake.
  4. Pipe frosting over the top to cover up the lid.
  5. With melted candy melts or anything really, pipe a symbol so you know what flavor liquor is in each cupcake.
  6. Refrigerate to help the cupcake firm up and hold its shape.boozy cupcakes // pale yellow
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Filed under Cupcakes

Chocolate & Bourbon Cupcakes

Two cupcake recipes in a row?!?!  Crazytown!  This is what happens when you have two friends with birthdays on the same day.  I saw the recipe for these bourbon cupcakes ages ago on Pinterest and knew they would be perfect for Nicole’s birthday.  She is one of the coolest ladies I know and loves a good, dark drink like Guinness or whiskey AND she loves pastry cream, like she loves pastry cream a LOT.  Nicole also has one the cutest babies around!

I was interested in this recipe because it has so many steps!  I love cupcakes with fillings, topping, and an excuse to use my mini blow torch.  These cupcakes are no joke but I have an admission to make – I never ate an actual cupcake!

I know!  I don’t know what happened.  I sampled the cake, the pastry cream, and the frosting while I was baking, but I just never got around to trying it all together.  Honestly, it’s awkward for me to eat something I’ve made in front of other people, so I didn’t eat one at Nicole’s party at the new beer garden, and I may have been full from delicious German beer, whoops.  I usually save a cupcake for myself to eat privately at home, but this time I forgot!

These opinions are a collection of my personal opinions based on my sampling of the parts and the opinions of others.  The cupcakes are awesome!  The cake is super rich, chocolately, and moist.  I was worried at first that the cake would be too tender to hold the rich pastry cream, but the cake held it just fine.  Bourbon pastry cream is wonderful – it’s rich and creamy and full of vanilla bean goodness.  The bourbon flavor is present, but not over powering. And now that bourbon is my new favorite thing ever, I appreciate the flavor it brings to the cupcake.  The meringue frosting is light and a great contrast to the rich pastry cream, no heavy buttercreams here!  Any day I get to use my blow torch is a good day!

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate and Bourbon Cupcakes
Adapted from Chasing Delicious
Yield – 24 cupcakes

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 ounces unsweetened cocoa (I used the dark chocolate powder from Sahadi’s)
5 ounces flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
10 ounces sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk (or juice of 1/2 lemon with enough whole milk to equal 3/4 cup)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave.  Use short increments and stir in between.  Let cool.
  3. Sift together the cocoa, flour, soda, and salt onto wax paper.  Set aside.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs in one at a time and beat to fully incorporate.  Beat in the vanilla.  Beat in the cooled, melted chocolate.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and add in half the dry ingredients.  Add in the buttermilk and then the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.
  7. Use a standard size ice cream scoop to portion the batter among lined cupcake tins.
  8. Bake for 20-22 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Let cool fully on a wire rack.

Bourbon Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk
vanilla bean
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce corn starch
2 eggs
1/4 cup bourbon
1 ounce (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  1. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean to the milk in a medium saucepan.  Heat the milk until it reaches scalding.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, corn starch, eggs, and bourbon in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the sugar mixture and whisk continually.  Add a little more hot milk while you keep whisking.
  4. Once the eggs are warmed add to the rest of the milk on the stove and heat until the mixture thickens.  Stir the entire time.
  5. Once thicken, add in the butter and stir to combine.
  6. Push the pastry cream through a fine sieve into another bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic touch the top of the cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Meringue Frosting

6 egg whites
4.5 ounces of corn syrup by weight
9 ounces sugar
6 tablespoons water

  1. Separate the eggs and add the whites to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Leave it alone for a few minutes, you’ll need it soon.
  2. Add the corn syrup, sugar, and water to a small saucepan and stir to combine.  Heat until the syrup reaches 230 F.  Once the syrup reaches this temperature, start whipping the egg whites until they reach a soft peak stage.  Keep heating the syrup until it reaches 240 F.
  3. At this point you need to put on your game face – turn the mixer on medium speed and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer trying to not get the syrup on the whisk or the side of the bowl.
  4. Turn the mixer on high and whisk until the bowl becomes cool and fully whipped.  This takes about at least 10 minutes, if not longer.


  1. Cut a cone out of each cupcake and cut off the tip of the cone.  Place the cones aside, do not eat them!
  2. Add the bourbon pastry cream to a ziploc bag and squeeze into each void left by the cone.
  3. Replace the cones.
  4. Add the meringue to a pastry bag with a large star tip and pipe on each cupcake.
  5. Using a small blow torch, torch each cupcake to your heart’s content!


Filed under Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes awhile back for my friends Nicole’s babyshower.  She has a beautiful baby girl, so naturally, I dyed everything pink!  I have made these cupcakes before and they are delicious!  The cake part is rich and moist and the pastry cream is wonderful, how do you not love pastry cream?  That was actually the driving force for these cupcakes, Nicole was really craving some pastry cream during her pregnancy!  The chocolate ganache on top ties the whole cupcake together.

These cupcakes are actually simpler than they look.  Bake, cut in half, fill with a little pastry cream, and spoon over the ganache.  There is no piping involved!  I used silicon cupcake liners because you have to remove the cupcake from the liner to fill and the silicon ones are easier.  Don’t worry, you can use paper liners just as easily, but would definitely use liners, no one wants to try and scrape out a cupcake from an unlined pan!

Print the Recipe!

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, page 114, 316, & 312
Yield  – 20 cupcakes

Pastry Cream – make this first as it needs time to cool
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth.  In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and place over medium heat.  While stirring, slowly add the milk and cook until the mixture has thickened and begins to bubble.  Pour a little of the milk mixture into the eggs and whisk together to warm the egg yolks.  Pour all of the egg/milk mixture into the sauce pan and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the cream is thick enough to hold its shape, stir in the vanilla.  Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap that is touching the surface of the pastry cream.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 °F, sift together the flour, salt, and powder onto parchment, set aside.  Melt butter and milk together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and sugar on high speed in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until the mixture holds a ribbon, or about 5 minutes.  On low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.  Add in the butter mix in a slow, steady stream and beat until just combined and then add in the vanilla.

Divide the batter into lined cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack and then cut in half using a serrated knife.

Chocolate Ganache
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Bring cream and corn syrup to a light simmer and then pour over chopped chocolate.  Let sit for 1 minute and then stir to combine.  Set aside, stirring occasionally until the mixture cools.

Place about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream on the bottom half of each cupcake, place the top on the pastry cream.  Put the filled cupcakes on a wire rack on a baking sheet.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of ganache over each cupcake, allowing some to spill over.  Let set for several minutes and then place in a fresh cupcake liner for serving.  I would refrigerate these cupcakes until you are ready to serve/eat.


Filed under Cupcakes