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Boston Cream Pie Recipe

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.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

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

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

Except maybe…wicked.

Enjoy!

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Boston Cream Pie

The Best Boston Cream Pie

5 from 4 ratings
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.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

CUSTARD:

SPONGE CAKE:

GANACHE:

Instructions

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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 rubber 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.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Bake

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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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

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59 comments

    • Ellie

    I’m looking to make this cake tomorrow for my mom’s birthday, I was wondering if I could bake the sponge cake in a 9″ spring form pan and split the layers instead of baking it in two separate pans? Would it still work?

      • chewoutloud

      Ellie, you can certainly try that, but you’ll have to modify the bake time and watch carefully so that it doesn’t over or under bake. You want it just tender and toothpick inserted in center coming almost clean with few tender crumbs attached. Hope it works well and Happy Birthday to your Mom! 🙂

        • Ellie

        thanks for letting me know! I baked the cake and made the custard and they’re both wonderful! Thank you for the great recipe 🙂

          • chewoutloud

          Yay, Ellie! So so happy to hear it 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

        • Caroline

        hi
        as an aussie reading your recipe, im wondering what half half is please?

        cheers

        • Sarah

        Made this recipe this weekend and it was absolutely amazing! Thank you for posting this!

          • chewoutloud

          Yay, Sarah! So glad you guys liked it! Thanks for coming over to let us know 🙂

            • Marie Tulin

            Quick suggestion: I always read a recipe through a few times before starting. Even with that prep, I find it easier to prepare for baking if pan size and oven temp. are specified at the very beginning of a recipe.

              • chewoutloud

              Thanks for that idea, Marie! We’re so glad you are here today! Have a wonderful Christmas season and happy baking 🙂

            • Sylvia

            Thank you for sharing this recipe with beautiful photos! Do you think this would this be a fail as cupcakes?

              • chewoutloud

              Sylvia, I think it’d be awesome as cupcakes! I’ve been meaning to work on that as a separate post, actually. So keep on the lookout in the future for that recipe, if it interests you 🙂 If you can’t wait and are ready to experiment now, this cake base would be fabulous for cupcakes, and the custard is phenomenal, as is the ganache topping. Would love to hear back. Thanks for coming over today! 🙂

            • Ali

            Hi there! I’m wondering if anyone has tried this with gluten free flour instead of white flour? I know it’s generally a gamble since the gluten free ones are generally a lot flours mishmashed together, and I haven’t experimented a lot in this area, and I definitely do NOT want to mess up such an amazing sounding cake!

            • Jocy

            This looks great! I’m making it for a birthday this weekend and was wondering how far in advance I could assemble and refrigerate the cake before serving? Can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks. 🙂

              • chewoutloud

              Jocy, I’ve made it, completely assembled, 24 hours in advance. Just be sure to cover it well (I use a cake stand with a dome cover) so that it does not dry out in the fridge. Hope you love it as much as we all do! 🙂

            • Stacy

            I have question of course.I am wondering if I can substitute the light corn syrup with maple syrup?

              • chewoutloud

              Stacy, you can give that a try, but I can’t say how it would affect the final outcome. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you 🙂 This really is the best Boston Cream Pie, according to all our family and friends, so hope you really like it! 🙂

            • laura

            i’m planning on making this for my boyfriend’s bday! just to clarify… Salted butter? or UN-salted. the amount of salt within the entire recipe is a lot more than i’ve typically seen.

              • chewoutloud

              Laura, I typically use salted butter in everything, as I prefer the flavor. But feel free to use unsalted butter. Enjoy and hope you love it as much as we do 🙂

            • Jeanette

            When my boyfriend asked for a boston cream pie for his birthday I went searching. I’ve made these a couple of times before but always kept on the look out for something better. I can honestly say I’m done looking!
            You’re recipe is amazing! It is not an exaggeration to say it is the best I have every tried, Every. Yummy. Layer!
            The only thing I changed was to cut & scrape one whole vanilla bean for the custard and I used a tart pan for the bottom cake & inverted the tart pan to make a smaller top cake. There was enough battery left for me to make him his very own mini cake in a 6″ ramakin.
            Thank you for sharing this recipe. It made a special day even better!

              • chewoutloud

              Thanks for such an awesome comment; Sooo glad you guys liked it 🙂

            • Max

            Can you substitute flour with cake flour ?

              • chewoutloud

              Hi, Max. I haven’t tried it with cake flour, so I can’t advise in that direction unless I try it out myself. I know cake flour already has cornstarch, etc. that regular flour does not, so you’d have to account for that. There are some great articles online about subbing various flours, which I think could really help you 🙂 Thanks for checking in!

            • arline

            A little confused … so this IS the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated? Also, why do you show a pic of a pie with a pie crust? May I also state, in case you don’t know, that every page of your website includes these mini videos that suddenly start playing, at LOUD volume to add insult to injury, without my permission or request. Is this a glitch or with your permission?

              • chewoutloud

              Hi, Arline. Yes, the recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, with some modifications. I didn’t realize the pic looks like a pie with pie crust 🙂 It’s actually a top-down photo of the first layer of sponge cake with custard spread over it 🙂 Sorry about the mini vids…that doesn’t happen when I open my pages, so I didn’t know. It’s done automatically through BlogHer, I’m assuming. I believe if your volume is turned down, it won’t be loud. Sorry about that inconvenience! Thanks for visiting COL today 🙂

            • rawan

            What do you mean of half and half ?

              • chewoutloud

              Rawan, it’s essentially plain coffee creamer, in the chilled dairy aisle. It’s called Half and Half. It’s less rich than heavy cream, but creamier than whole milk. Kind of in-between the richness of heavy cream and whole milk, thus it’s called half/half 🙂 Hope it helps 🙂

            • Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

            My whole family loves the flavor of Boston Cream Pie. They’d be drooling over this in no time.

            • Maya @ Treats and Eats

            Wow, this looks so good! I love Boston Cream Pie but I’ve never made it myself- but I’m definitely adding this to my must try list!

              • chewoutloud

              It’s so, so worth a try, Maya 🙂 Thanks for coming over today 🙂

            • tumbleweedcontessa

            Gosh, this looks wonderful. This is how my mom made her Boston Cream Pie. Thanks for the memory.

            Wishes for tasty dishes,
            Linda

              • chewoutloud

              You’re so welcome, Linda! I always got my Boston Cream Pies from bakeries, but this recipe has been a game changer. It’s wonderful when something as simple as a cake or flower can bring back precious memories 🙂

            • frugalfeeding

            Beautiful and shiny – a very elegant cake.

              • chewoutloud

              Thank you so much 🙂

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