Thick vanilla custard serves as the go-between for two bouncy layers of sponge cake in a homemade Boston cream pie. This robust creation is then topped with a heavenly chocolate glaze that ties it all together beautifully.
What Goes Into Homemade Boston Cream Pie?
While the word ‘pie’ conjures up a different visual, Boston cream pie appears more like a cake. You’ll have to forgive the Bostonians responsible for its creation, for back then, cakes and pies were made in the same pans, resulting in the confusion.
Boston cream pie needs two distinct layers of spongey vanilla cake. It requires a bit of patience as the cake layers have to cool first before the middle layer of rich, creamy custard goes in. And of course, the pièce de resistance, the chocolate ganache, must be poured over to finish it off.
Boston cream pie is a little complex, but we’ve made the recipe easy to follow so you can make it from scratch. It’s an impressive dessert that will surprise and delight your friends and family, so let’s get baking!
Boston’s famed Parker House Hotel is the place where Boston cream pie was first invented. An Armenian-French chef by the name M. Sanzian brought it to life in 1856.
Yes, you’ll have to refrigerate your Boston cream pie after you put it together as the custard filling will go bad. It would be a pity to do all that hard work just to waste it, so make sure you refrigerate it!
While Boston cream pie must be refrigerated, when you serve it, let it sit out at room temperature for at least 15 and no more than 30 minutes.
If you use pastry cream, you can freeze a Boston cream pie without incident. However, our recipe uses cornstarch which can make it turn watery when you thaw it.
While Boston cream pie made the traditional way is not gluten-free, you can replace cake flour with almond flour, use gluten-free all-purpose flour, and trade baking powder for a gluten-free version.
- Use a mixer to make your cake batter to simplify things and get it blended faster.
- A fine-mesh strainer is the key to getting the perfect custard filling.
- You can make the two layers of cake a day or two in advance to save yourself some time. After that, it becomes very easy to assemble your prepared custard.
- The ganache is best made right before you serve Boston cream pie. If you must make it beforehand, warm it up, and then add it on top just prior to serving.
Grab your slice!
Homemade Boston Cream Pie
For the cake:
- 1 ½ cup cake flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- A pinch salt
For the filling:
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz chocolate chips
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease two 9-inch pie pans and line with parchment paper.
- Mix cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- Add butter and mix well, you can use a mixer.
- Add eggs and mix well until combined. Add yogurt, vanilla, and milk. Mix until dough is formed. Divide dough between two pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Now prepare the filling. Mix yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a separate bowl.
- Add milk to a saucepan and heat until bubbles form. Add milk to the egg mixture, whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan and place over low heat, cook until thickened. Add vanilla extract, mix well.
- Pour the cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl. Press the mixture through the sieve. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Prepare the glaze. Heat whipping cream over medium heat, pour over chocolate chips. Add corn syrup and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread the filling on top and place the second layer on top. Pour glaze on top and serve.