Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, Gluten Free

Boston Cream Pie is one of my favorite desserts. I love cake. I love pudding.  I love chocolate on top of anything. Put it all together and I am a happy girl.

You can make a Boston Cream Pie or Cupcake from scratch – which is actually rather quick work, or you can make it all from boxed stuff.  For the homemade version, follow the recipe below.

For the out-of-a-box version, just get out your favorite yellow cake mix, gluten-free.  Find a container of GF vanilla pudding (Kozy Shack).  Gently heat some cream and chocolate chips together and pour it over the cake.

Did you know that Boston Cream Pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts and is reported to have originated there as a pudding pie dessert?  Read about that here.  That 1879 recipe looks like fun…if you’re cooking over a fire. And if you are really interested in reading some fun trivia about the history of pie including where the Four & Twenty Blackbirds came from, read about that here.

Have some fun with the pie (cake) but skip the flying bird part (ick).  You can make one big round cake to share or several cupcakes for individual serving size portions.  Just make extra pudding and lots of ganache so you can go crazy piling that stuff mile-high.

I adapted this recipe here from my ancient and well-loved Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  I doubled it, changing it slightly, made it gluten-free and converted the measurements to weights.

Whether you fill the cupcake with pudding or just slice off the top and add some pudding underneath the lid, these little treats are sure to make any Boston Cream Pie foodie quite happy.

Boston Cream Cupcakes (adapted with a little help from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
Boston Cream Pie began as a pie and evolved to a pudding like cake. These are cupcakes loaded with pudding, and topped with a shiny ganache and dusted with GF chocolate sprinkles. It is best to make the pudding the day before so it is totally set and cold. Make the ganache well before assembly so it is thick and cool, yet still gooey enough to barely pour it. If you pour while it is too warm it will drip down the sides.
  • 12 oz. GF flour (3 oz. arrowroot starch, 5 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 4 oz. superfine white rice flour)
  • generous pinch kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (not a misprint!)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 9 oz. sugar
  • 2 generous teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks plus 1 whole large egg
  • 8 oz. sour cream or creme fraiche or a mix of both
Blanc Mange or Anemic (but tasty) Pudding
  • ½ cup cold milk
  • 6 heaping tablespoons GF cornstarch
  • ⅔ cup of sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, scalded
  • 2 heaping teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Bourbon or Rum (optional)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two regular sized cupcake tins with liners (makes about 24).
  2. Weigh together flours, add salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to mix. Set aside. In a stand mixer, blend together butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add egg yolks and the one whole egg, one at a time until incorporated (low-speed). Turn the speed to medium and mix with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes. Turn to low and stir in the flour mixture alternately with the creme fraiche/sour cream until thoroughly mixed in. Turn off mixer and using a spatula, give the batter one more stir to gather any flour or rogue ingredients into the mixture.
  3. Scoop (use an ice cream scoop) into cupcake liners - should be about ⅔ full. Don't over fill! Bake about 10 minutes and rotate pans. Bake about 4-6 minutes more or just until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't over-bake them or they will become dry. Cool on a rack.
Blanc Mange or Anemic Pudding
  1. Mix the cornstarch, sugar and salt into the ½ cup of cold milk. Set aside. In a large saucepan over the medium high heat, pour in 4 cups of milk. Scald slightly. When hot, whisk in the cold milk/cornstarch mixture until no lumps remain. Over a medium low heat, keep the mixture bubbling gently and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring a lot of the time. It will get sort of thick but won't look set. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (and the bourbon/rum). Strain to remove any rogue lumps. Cool and store in the refrigerator - best to make this the day before. You want it cold.
  1. In a double boiler, heat the cream and chocolate chips together until cream (hello, Ina Garten) is quite warm. Once the chips start melting, remove from heat. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir gently (don't kick up any bubbles) until totally mixed. Leave alone to cool slightly.
  1. Either slice off the entire cupcake dome and dig out a tiny swimming pool for the pudding, or core the cupcakes to insert pudding and replace the cork of cake. By the next day the pudding should be set enough that it will stay in place in the sliced version, even as it sits in a layer. The pool type excavation helps keep it in place. For the cored method, place a good tablespoon or so of pudding in the hole and replace the cake cork. For the sliced dome, place enough pudding in the swimming pool to heap up in a layer that is visible. Replace dome on top of pudding.
  2. Take the slightly cooled ganache (it should be a bit thick by now) and spoon it over the tops of the cupcakes in a circular pattern trying not to drip it down the sides. Let set at room temperature for about 20 minutes, and serve.
Only assemble as many as you need to serve at one time - they will need to be refrigerated because of the pudding - but once the chocolate is added and refrigerated it will lose its shine. Here is the timeline I used: - day before serving make pudding and refrigerate - on serving day, make cupcakes early in the day and cool - make ganache about an hour before assembling cupcakes - if the ganache gets too thick, warm it slightly over the double boiler just for a couple of seconds - assemble close to serving time




  1. I love bits and pieces of info in between bites of this heavenly cupcakes…Worth the read! Thanks for sharing!

  2. these look amazing… will have to try them out… love your pics as well

  3. Hey! I love your website! If you are interested in ideas, my website is vegan, and vegetarian gourmet food!
    I am a college student journaling my way through cooking.

  4. I was just thinking of making Boston Cream Pie for my youngest child, who is turning 6 next week. You beat me to it! I hadn’t even thought about making it in cupcake form. It’s so much easier to give away to my neighbors (so we don’t eat all of them all of them all of them) when they’re single serve size.
    Great idea, Lisa!

    xoxo Nicole