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New Age Washington Pie

Author:

According to culinary history, as embodied in the 1933 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook (a.k.a. Fannie Farmer), Washington Pie is Boston Cream Pie with raspberry jam between the layers, instead of pastry cream. Our view? Let's make a golden yellow cake, filled with layers of pastry cream AND raspberry jam, topped with fudge icing. Surely George would have approved!

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
12 servings

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Cake

Pastry Cream Filling

  • 1 large (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups light cream or 1 1/2 cups each heavy cream and milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Raspberry Filling*

  • 3 cups fresh raspberries (one 12-ounce bag frozen)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Pie Filling Enhancer
  • *In a pinch, reach for 1 1/2 cups seedless raspberry jam

Hot Fudge Icing

Instructions

  1. To make the cake: Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment and spray) two 9" round cake pans.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, at medium speed of an electric stand mixer or high speed of an electric hand mixer, for one minute.
  4. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat until light colored. This will take a total of 5 minutes at the medium speed of a stand mixer, or the high speed of a hand mixer. Be sure to stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and salt atop the batter, along with the vanilla and almond extracts.
  7. Using a spatula or large spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in the bowl alternately with the yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir by hand only until the batter is completely mixed.
  8. Divide the batter into the pans.
  9. Bake the cake layers in the middle of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes, or until they're quite firm (and not sticky) when you gently press the middle, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes.
  11. Working with one layer at a time, run a knife around the sides of the cake to make sure it's not sticking to the pan, center a plate or flat pan over the cake, and tilt it upside down. Remove the pan from the cake, center the cooling rack over the cake, and turn it back onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
  12. To make the cream filling: Combine the instant pudding mix and the light cream (or milk and cream), and vanilla.
  13. Whisk by hand, or mix at low speed of an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until it thickens. Refrigerate the filling until firm, about 1 hour.
  14. To make the raspberry filling: Combine the raspberries and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring to combine the two. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute.
  15. Remove the raspberries from the microwave, and stir until they fall apart and turn to a rough sauce. If they're still too frozen to do this, microwave them in short bursts until they're soft.
  16. Sprinkle in the pie filling enhancer, stirring until smooth. Set it aside.
  17. To assemble the cake: Using a very long serrated knife, cut each layer in half lengthwise, to make four round, thin layers.
  18. Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread the cake with half the cream filling (a scant 20 ounces, or 1 3/4 cups).
  19. Top the filling with the second layer. Spread it with the raspberry filling. Put the third layer on top of that. Spread the third with the remainder of the cream filling. Top with the final layer of cake.
  20. To make the icing: In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  21. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt, and stir this mixture into the chocolate along with the cream or milk. Note: Whisking the cocoa with the other ingredients prevents it from forming lumps in the sauce.
  22. Stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it's boiling vigorously around the edges. Simmer for 2 minutes, and remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  23. Immediately pour the hot icing over the cake, allowing it to dribble down the sides.
  24. Store cake, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.