Boston Cream Pie

Birthdays are pretty cool. Favors, fun, friends, family, and fabulously, fantastic food. (I like alliteration...could ya tell?) I love baking desserts for my friends and family any time of day or year, but I especially love going above and beyond for their birthdays. I usually ask for requests from the special person; otherwise, it's up to me and my creative mind!

For my dad's birthday, he specially requested Boston Cream Pie. This has been a traditional birthday treat for him ever since he was a little boy. My grammy made sure to prepare this pie, which is not a pie at all, for my dad on his special day. To honor these fond memories, I wanted to make a grand Boston Cream Pie. Yes, it's easy enough to make this with cake mix, pudding mix, and some chocolate sauce in a jar, but who wants easy peasy on their birthday?! Only the best for my pops!

To make his birthday cake pie extra special, I made all of the components from scratch. Now for all of you cake mix lovers, this isn't as daunting as you might think. In fact, you probably already have all of the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry right this second! If you have a little free time, the end result will be superbly better tasting and looking than anything you make out of box.

Another bonus of this recipe is that you get to taste each of the components as you make them. There isn't anything wrong with taking a spoonful (or 5) to taste test the pudding or chocolate sauce. One of the perks of being a baker! And to be totally honest, even after taste testing each of the parts of this recipe, I'm not even sure which my favorite part is--I want to sauce the rich, thick chocolate sauce, but the smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet pudding is also delish. Good thing this dessert exists so we can have cake (and pudding and chocolate) and eat it too!

Boston Cream Pie (adapted from Hershey and King Arthur)
(10-12 servings)

3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup 1% milk (or any type of milk you prefer)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Filling:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups 1% milk (or any type of milk you prefer)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar, sift after measuring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To prepare the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray, lining the bottom with parchment paper, and spraying the parchment paper with cooking spray.

Using a stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar and beat on high for several minutes, or until the eggs become thick and falls from paddle in thick ribbons. Add vanilla and blend well. 

Meanwhile, add the milk and butter to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. After you blend the vanilla in with the egg mixture, slowly pour the milk mixture in and beat for 1 minute, until well blended. Add cake flour, baking powder, and salt to wet ingredients; mix until just incorporated.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake for 10 minutes before removing from pan, removing the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, and cooling the cake on a wire rack.

To prepare the cream filling:

While the cake is cooling, stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Gradually pour in the milk and egg yolks and whisk ingredients together. Place saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Place plastic wrap directly over the pudding and put in refrigerator.

To assemble the cake:

Once the cake is completely cooled, take a sharp serated knife and cut the cake layer in half horizontally, so you have two thin cake layers. Lay the bottom layer on a cake plate. Remove the pudding from the refrigerator. Pour the pudding over top of the bottom layer, careful not to let it overflow on the sides. Gently place the top layer over the pudding. Return cake to refrigerator and prepare chocolate glaze.

To prepare chocolate glaze, add the water and butter to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until it boils. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Gradually stir in powdered sugar until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla.

Remove assembled cake from the refrigerator. Pour about 2/3 of the chocolate glaze over the cake. Use the remaining chocolate glaze to drizzle over the serving plates or store in refrigerator for other uses.

Cake is best eaten within 3 days, if it lasts that long!

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 279.4
Total Fat: 6.5 g
Cholesterol: 89.8 mg
Sodium: 88.4 mg
Total Carbs: 52.4 g
Fiber: 1.0 g
Sugars: 38.6 g
Protein: 5.4 g

-Pretty presentation
-Not a common dessert that everyone makes
-Low in fat and calories for a decadent dessert
-Great for birthdays or parties

-High in carbs and sugar
-Many different components and steps (you can make this really easy by using store bought cake mix and pudding mix!)



  1. And it was the best birthday cake/pie I ever had--too bad I had to get a year older to enjoy it! Happy Valentine's Day! L. D.

    1. The best?! What an honor! Glad you liked it so much. :)

  2. Yum! I have never even thought about making a Boston Cream pie! Can you use two cake pans or is it better to use the one and slice the cake in half?

    1. Ya know, I've never tried making it by splitting the batter into two cake pans. You would have to reduce the cooking time and the cake would be more crusty, but I don't see why that wouldn't work. If you decide to make it and try it that way, let me know how it turns out! :)

  3. What a lovely Boston Cream Pie! Who wouldn't love it on B-day! Happy Birthday to your Dad! I can see why he pick this for his B-day treat. I love baking from scratch and I think they always taste better than the metallic boxed cake mix. :P

    1. I agree, Amy! Who wants boxed cake mix when you can make homemade? I'll be sure to pass the happy birthday message along. Thanks! :)

  4. Ohhhh, my word! What are you doing to me, this looks SO FREAKING AMAZING!
    I miss Boston Cream Pie, I haven't had it in years, and wowie... I want, SO BADLY! Great recipe!

    1. Haha I don't mean to tempt you Kammie! However, in the grand scheme of all desserts, Boston Cream Pie isn't the worst. So maybe I don't feel so bad tempting you. :)


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