Skip to content

The Best Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie can often turn out dry in texture or bland in flavor. Not this Best Boston Cream Pie! This recipe boasts a custard that has flavor depth and a sponge cake that’s moist and tender. The dark chocolate ganache is amazing. 

boston cream pie 56

We’re a Boston Cream Pie loving family.

Aside from the questionable word Pie in the title (alas, it’s actually a cake) there’s no question this is one of our favorite desserts in the universe.

I made this Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie, dubbed by Cook’s Illustrated, for a dear friend’s birthday. Everyone grabbed big slices and ate their plates clean. More than one of us was eyeing that last piece for seconds, but we did the right thing and gave it to the birthday girl.

I haven’t stopped thinking about this cake since. Oh my goodness gracious me oh my…

boston cream pie

Just showing off the creamy custard spread on top of the first sponge cake layer above 🙂

Boston Cream Pie is 100% my jam, from top to bottom.

Every layer is ridiculously boss. Every. Yummy. Layer.

The custard alone is worthy of eating by the bowlful. Not spoonful. Bowl-full. It’s rich, creamy, just the right amount of sweetness, and deeeeliciousssss…

boston cream pie 2

The sponge cake layers are surprisingly simple to make. The results are standout.

You’ll want to just tear right into that uber soft, spongy, tender, moist round cake. Straight out of the cake pan.

But don’t. Not yet. Your patience will be greatly rewarded.

Be cool, let it cool, and do the layers.

boston cream pie 3

I did say every piece of this Boston Cream Pie would be insanity, right?

Absolutely use the best dark chocolate you can get for the ganache layer. Trust: you’ll taste every bit of the quality that’s put into it.

Your chosen chocolate is destined to become a thick, glorious, beaming crown over the dessert.

boston cream pie 4

At this point, you’ll be highly tempted to dip your finger or spoon or chopsticks into this melty goodness.

Been there, done that. Who can resist?

Once the ganache has thickened a bit, pour it onto your beautiful Boston Cream Pie and let ‘er drip.

boston cream pie 5

There really aren’t words well enough to describe this exceptional cake.

Except maybe…wicked.

Enjoy!

Print

The Best Boston Cream Pie

This Boston Cream Pie is the best of the best. Each layer is delicious all on its own. The custard is rich, creamy, and smooth. The sponge cake layers are moist and tender. The ganache is amazing. It all comes together to form a ridiculous dessert you won’t forget. Allow ample time for custard to chill and cake to cool before assembly.

Yield: 8-10 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • CUSTARD:
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • pinch of table salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 TB cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • SPONGE CAKE:
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 TB salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • GANACHE:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 TB light corn syrup
  • 4 oz high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. CUSTARD: Heat half and half in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until combined. Remove half and half from heat and – whisking constantly – very slowly add 1/2 cup of half and half to the yolk mixture, to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to the remaining half and half in the saucepan.
  2. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until it thickens, 1 min. Reduce to med-low and keep simmering, whisking constantly for 8 minutes. It will slowly go from pale yellow to a deep yellow and become thicker. Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vidorously, until bubbles burst on surface, 1-2 min. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until melted. It should be pudding-like, thick, and smooth (not clumpy.) Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. SPONGE CAKE: Preheat oven to 325F with rack on middle position. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment over the grease. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter over low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, 5 min. Add hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until combined. Add dry ingredients and whisk just until incorporated; don’t overmix.
  5. Quickly divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with small tender crumbs attached, about 20-27 min.
  6. Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool completely in pan at room temp. Run thin sharp knife around edge of pans and invert cakes onto rack. You might need to give the pans a good slap on the back. Slowly and gently peel off the parchment paper.
  7. Place one round cake on a serving plate, top side up. Stir chilled custard briefly and spread onto cake evenly. Place second round cake, bottom side up, on top of the custard. Cover and chill while you make the ganache.
  8. GANACHE: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring heavy cream and corn syrup to simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate chunks. Whisk until smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5-10 min. Whisk again and pour onto top of cake, using ruber spatula to spread evenly and letting it drip slowly down the sides. Cover and chill cake at least 3 hours before slicing. A fully chilled cake will be easier to slice.
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: dessert

Source: Chew Out Loud, from Cook’s Illustrated

Here are a few of my favorite standout desserts:

1. Double Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Whipped Cream and Strawberries. I can’t wait to re-photograph this awesome cake. This was one of my very first recipes here, and it’s still one of my favorites.

double chocolate layer cake with strawberries

2. Best Ever Angel Food Cake. I can’t help it, this really IS the best ever. Spongy, pillowy, soft, and everything a real angel food cake was meant to be.

Best Angel Food Cake

3. Banana Chiffon Cake. Airy, light, spongy, and absolutely marvelous. We adore this so much, we eat it for breakfast, snack, and dessert.

Banana Chiffon Cake

4. Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake (GF). I don’t usually like mousse, but this one’s in a league of its own. Treat your guests to this and they’ll be in awe of you.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake 4

We’re so glad you’re here! Join us on Facebook. Give us a Like, and we’ll send you newest recipes, ideas to make dinnertime easier, and great giveaways!

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

Add a comment

Recipe rating

59 comments

    • Aimee

    I have made ganache before but never added corn syrup. Does it add too much sweetness to the gnanache or change the flavor, or is it just for the “shiny” element? (I am a dark chocolate fan)..Can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend for a family birthday party!!

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Aimee! It doesn’t add too much sweetness at all – it’s a perfect flavor balance! Yes, I believe it adds to the texture and the shimmery aspect. Hope you guys love this “pie” as much as we do!

        • Aimee

        Thank you! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • Trish F.

    I am looking forward to making this cake for a birthday this weekend. I know I can make the components ahead of time on Friday and assemble the cake the day of the party. Do you think the pastry cream will hold up for a couple of days? Would you recommend freezing the cake layers and thawing on Saturday?

      • chewoutloud

      Trish, the pastry cream should hold up fine up to 48 hours, airtight and chilled. You can freeze baked cake layers, wrapped airight and thaw before assembling. The completely assembled cake can be covered and chilled up to 24 hours ahead 🙂

    • Hala

    Hello. Any substitution for half and half?

      • chewoutloud

      Hala, you can use heavy cream (or whipping cream) with good results. Enjoy!

        • C

        I’m making this for a friend’s bday who’s from Boston and did a trial run yesterday… sadly it didn’t rise :(. I’ve made sponge cake before and they sometimes ask for the eggs and sugar to be mixed to be whipped to a meringue, is this what you mean by light and airy? I checked the cooks illustrated recipe as well and they used the same terminology. Other than that, the cakes tasted great! Just flat 🙁

    • Cindy

    I have made a Boston Cream Pie several times before. I have misplace the recipe I had used. Just found yours an anxious to try. Usually the amount of custard is way too much.Also I prefer using only one layer and splitting it. My friends and family like a small serving of dessert. Will probably put one layer in freezer for a later time.

      • chewoutloud

      That sounds great, Cindy! Hope you guys enjoy 🙂

    • Katrina

    I made this cake for my Aunt & Uncle’s birthdays (2 days apart from each other), and was completely shocked when 6 of us practically finished the entire thing. It was SOOOO amazing! Before this version, I was not a fan of Boston Cream Pie (and was sad that is what was requested that I make). Now I am a fan, and i will be making it again tomorrow for my husband’s birthday! Thanks for the great recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so happy you guys loved it!! Thanks for coming over to let us know. Happy baking and eating

    • Kelly Smith

    Can’t wait to try this. Will the cake dry out if I make it the night before and keep it in the fridge.

      • chewoutloud

      I’ve made it the night before and kept it covered airtight in fridge. Works well; enjoy!

        • Kelly Smith

        Thank you so much. Also, is it okay to use unsalted butter instead of salted butter. And why do you use corn syrup in the ganache?

          • chewoutloud

          Yes for unsalted butter; you can always add a pinch of salt if desired. The corn syrup is for texture and glossy appearance. You could omit it, but it will have a slightly less “gooey” texture and look less shiny. Either way, it will still taste great

    • reticulatedwriter

    This recipe is amazing! I made it for my best friend’s birthday Saturday night and every bite was eaten, as well as every crumb. We even swiped up all the drips of ganache with our fingers. So yummy, and worth the work. Even my friend who’s a professional baker loved it. Thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, awesome job! So glad you guys loved it 🙂 Thanks for coming over to let us know…thumbs way up! 🙂

Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Plus our newest recipes each week