Boston Cream Pie Recipe with Yellow Cake

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According to, “The Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official Massachusetts State Dessert on December 12, 1996. A civics class from Norton High School sponsored the bill. The pie beat out other candidates, including the toll house cookie and Indian pudding.”

Boston Cream Pie: Cake or Pie?

Rumor has it, that the Boston Cream Pie was created by a French chef named Sanzian for Boston’s Parker House Hotel. Because the “cake” was first made in the 1850s, it is said there were more tin pie pans around at the time, so bakers made the yellow cake layers in the abundant pie pans, and the Boston Cream “Pie” was born. To this day, some pastry shops and bakeries continue to make – and sell – the Boston Cream Pie in pie tins. Some bakers still decorate the Boston Cream Pie with a swirl of chocolate icing and a cherry on top.

Boston Cream Pie Recipe

Basic Yellow Cake Recipe

See the Basic Yellow Cake from Scratch Recipe.

Follow the directions for two – 9 inch round cake layers.
Let yellow cake layers cool completely before filling with vanilla pastry cream.

Vanilla Custard Pastry Cream Recipe

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

How To Make Vanilla Pastry Cream

Scald milk, being careful not to boil, set aside while whipping the yolks and sugar.
In a medium-size bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together with a mixer until pale and thick.
Add white flour and continue whisking.
Very slowly, beat hot milk into eggs being careful not to curdle. Pour back into the pan and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low.
Cook on low for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in butter and vanilla.
Turn off heat. Let cool, placing plastic wrap on top and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Makes plenty to fill a Boston Cream Pie.

Chocolate Ganache Icing Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

How To Make Chocolate Ganache

Over low heat, scald the heavy cream.
Add the mini chocolate chips, and whisk to melt.
Let cool at room temperature long enough to spoon or drizzle.
Chill to spread or pipe. The chocolate ganache will firm up the cooler it becomes.

Assembly and How To Make a 9 inch Boston Cream Pie

Follow all recipes and how-to’s above for Basic Yellow Cake, Vanilla Pastry Cream and Chocolate Ganache recipes.
If needed, level the basic yellow cake layers with a large serrated knife so the surfaces are flat.
Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a pretty serving platter.
Spread as much of the vanilla pastry cream on top as allowable, trying to keep it from oozing out all over the sides.
Carefully place the second yellow cake layer on top, pressing down ever so slightly.
Refrigerate for an hour or so if necessary to keep the Boston Cream Pie together.
Spoon chocolate ganache over the top, allowing to drip down over the sides if desired. If a neater appearance is desired, let the ganache cool or chill slightly before spreading with an off-set spatula.
Chill the filled and frosted Boston Cream Pie for approximately 2 hours before slicing.
Serves 10-12.

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