Boston Cream Pie


by Heather Harris Brady

This was our dessert for Sunday family dinner, a request from darling daughter. For my readers around the world, Boston cream pie is a bit of a misnomer in that it’s not a pie at all – it’s a yellow cake with cream pie filling and a chocolate glaze – sort of like an eclair in cake form. It’s also the official dessert of the great state of Massachusetts. It’s been around a long time, it showed up on a Boston hotel menu in 1879.

You can make the filling and glaze ahead, or while the cake is baking, as time allows. I’m not giving a step-by-step for the filling, since I’ve covered that multiple times. (If you want to review the method search coconut cream pie or chocolate pudding.) I prefer splitting one layer, because I like a larger ratio of filling to cake, but you can double the cake batter if you want two full layers with the filling in between.

Boston Cream Pie, Makes one 8″ “pie”, eight generous servings


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1-2/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. milk

Vanilla pastry cream (filling)

  • 2 c. rich milk (you can use half and half too)
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. butter

Chocolate ganache (glaze)

  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. butter

Preheat the oven to 350. Make the cake batter:

Cream the butter and the sugar together well, beat in the eggs one at a time.


Beat in the vanilla, baking powder and 1/2 of the flour. Beat in the milk and then beat in the rest of the flour. You should have a thick, creamy batter.


Line an 8″ cake pan with parchment and grease. Spread the batter into the pan.


Bake for about 30 minutes, until the center is firm to the touch.


Turn onto a rack and cover it with a tea towel. Let it cool completely.

To make the filling:

Heat the milk over medium. Combine the cornstarch and sugar, whisk into the milk. Stir constantly until thickened. Beat the eggs well in a bowl. Stir in a large spoonful of the thickened milk into the eggs, stir, and then add the eggs into the pan on the stove. Cook for another two minutes until bubbly and thick. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and butter. Pour into a dish, cover with plastic wrap and cool completely in the fridge.


To make the glaze:

Warm the cream in a pan over medium heat. Add the chips. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool.

To assemble:

Turn the cake onto your serving dish and split the layer in half with a sharp knife.


If you go around the edges first, then through the middle you can avoid some of the raggedy edges (don’t be like me).

Spoon the cold filling onto the split layer.


Put the top back on and glaze it.


Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving. Dipping a knife in cold water will help give you clean slices.




Keep the cake cold and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. The cake will keep, refrigerated for two or three days, but it never lasts that long at our house!
One year ago: Fresh Blueberry Pancakes


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