Boston Cream Pie

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: one 9" cake, 10 to 12 servings

Recipe photo

Boston Cream Pie is a truly classic dessert. Two layers of rich yellow cake are sandwiched around a thick layer of pastry cream, and topped with a soft, dark chocolate glaze.

Boston Cream Pie

star rating (12) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" cake, 10 to 12 servings
Published: 07/23/2012

Ingredients

Cake

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups prepared pastry cream (from scratch, or pastry cream filling mix)

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tips from our bakers

  • Want to make individual cakes? Simply bake the cake as cupcakes, filling each well about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Split, spread with filling, and ice with chocolate glaze.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a 9" x 2" round cake pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray, line it with parchment, and spritz the parchment.

2) To prepare the cake: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until very thick, until the batter falls from the paddle in thick ribbons. This will take several minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

3) Bring the milk and butter to a simmer in a small saucepan. Slowly stream it into the egg/sugar mixture with the mixer going, and beat for another minute.

4) Place the flour, baking powder, and salt into a sifter or sieve and sift over the cake batter. Mix on low speed just until combined, about 1 minute.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan, checking carefully for lumps of flour. Remove any lumps with a small spoon and discard. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until it's a deep golden brown and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.

6) Remove the cake from the oven, run a nylon spreader or table knife around the edges, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto to a rack to cool completely.

7) When the cake is completely cool, use a long, sharp serrated knife to slice into two equal layers. Fill with the pastry cream, spreading it right to the edges. Replace the top layer.

8) Prepare the glaze by melting the chocolate, corn syrup, and cream together until smooth and lump free. Add the vanilla and stir well. Pour the glaze over the filled cake and serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge, well wrapped in plastic.

Yield: one 9" cake, 10 to 12 servings.

Reviews

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  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • rwm71911s from KAF Community
  • Have made this recipe twice now. First being careful to follow the recipe and the second time being extra careful to follow the recipe. Both time the cake raised very nicely for about three quarters of the cooking time then fell in the middle. We tasted it both times and the taste was OK but the appearance and texture was terrible. The last time was for a friend's 100th birthday. We couldn't serve it and ended up tossing the cake and used another recipe.
    Congratulations on your friend's 100th birthday! That is amazing, not many people get to experience this milestone. So sorry that this recipe did not meet your expectations. I also had a similar experience and will be passing on our comments to the test kitchen to revisit this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to send your comments. We appreciate your feedback. JoAnn@KAF
  • star rating 03/27/2015
  • Kristen from Alexandria, VA
  • Delicious and easy! I used a 9x2 pan without any trouble at all. This cake browns very quickly, so don't be alarmed. Just keep any eye on the edges and watch for them to pull away from the pan, as the recipe states. I agree with others that including a link to the pastry cream recipe.
  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • smihlen from KAF Community
  • It must be me, but I made this twice this morning. First time, I overflowed the pan, as I used a 1 1/2 inch pan rather than 2 inch deep. It ran all over the oven, but I let it bake while I made it again. Second one, I split between cake pan and cupcake pan. I didn't use liners, as I don't like the way they crumple in the pan. The cupcakes sunk in the middle, all except one. The cake sunk as well, as seems dry to me. It looks so delicious in the blog, I can't figure out what I've done to mess this up. At any rate, after waiting over 40 years to make Boston Cream Pie, I don't know if I will try this recipe again.

    We hope you stay determined to succeed in your Boston Cream Pie search! Sometimes using foil-lined cupcake liners can make your life easier; they do not crumple when batter is poured into them and it also can help the cakes rise by providing something for the batter to climb up while baking.
    Cakes can sink in the middle if you are over-creaming the butter and sugar together for too long. Whip them just until they are light and fluffy. You can also try boosting the oven temperature by 15-25 degrees, which will help the structure set and prevent your cake from falling in the middle. You may consider making our Boston Cream Pie french toast for a fail-safe way to satisfy your craving for the chocolate-cream combination. Find the recipe on our blog! Happy baking! --Kye@KAF


  • star rating 01/29/2015
  • SMCK from Western NY
  • The first thing is you NEED a 10x2" round cake pan, if you try a traditional 9" pan it will overflow and make a mess.. Great , easy, to follow recipe. I used the pastry cream recipe on this site(tastes great) Great Boston Cream Pie.
  • 10/24/2014
  • shirley from vermont
  • The pastry cream recipe should definitely be included here!
  • star rating 06/29/2014
  • Sandra from Manchester,CT
  • I use a Duncan Hines Butter golden yellow cake mix,( always comes out moist and delisous makes two layers,cut each layer in half,make filling with KAF pastry filling mixed with 1 package of cooked vanilla pudding (cooled) . USE only 3 cake layers and 2 layers filling, Frost using ganache in recipe, I get raves about this cake everytime I make it. The thinner cake layers and extra layer of filling make it great. You will have a 1/2 cake layer left over .
  • 06/20/2014
  • nancy9 from KAF Community
  • Boston Cream Pie is a favorite, and I always check out new recipes for it. I just wish you'd give an alternative to using your "shortcut" mix. I got some of the pastry creme mix a while back, but it's so full of chemicals, and with NO eggs or milk listed in the ingredients, that I wouldn't eat it or give it to anyone else to eat, either. Shortcuts are fine, but not fake food, so I tossed it. Please, would you give a good alternative pastry cream recipe? I don't mind a little more work, for real food.
    You can certainly use the pastry cream recipe on our website for your Boston Cream Pie. ~Amy
  • star rating 03/13/2014
  • Erin from Columbus
  • I've made this recipe twice, and it's very easy, plus being very good. The first time the Boston Cream Pie came out looking just like the picture and the cake "milestones" matched the recipe step-by-step. The second time I made it (same pan, same steps, etc.), the cake overflowed the pan and went all over the bottom of my oven. Of course, because the cake was misshapen, the Boston Cream Pie didn't look anywhere near as appealing. I've made my notes on the recipe to use 2 cake pans the next time.
  • star rating 02/06/2014
  • Liz from Belleville, IL
  • I made this recipe for my birthday. I made 24 cupcakes. You had to use a fork to eat but I only made a few at a time since my husband and I were the only ones eating them. They turned out just great. Thanks for a great recipe.
  • star rating 06/19/2013
  • angmichaud from KAF Community
  • I made this for my father-in-law for Father's Day. I have never made (nor eaten) a Boston Cream Pie in my life... However, he is from New England, so he definitely knows what it should taste like. This recipe was a HUGE success. He loved it - we all did. It turned out perfectly and he said it tasted like the ones his mom used to make. Thanks, KAF! You always save the day.
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