Boston Creme Pie

Boston Creme Pie

This Boston Creme Pie got the best of me this week.

Can you see the giant portion taken out from the whole cake in the background?

Yep…..that was all me!

If you watch to the end of the video where I take my famous bite of cake to sign off yet another video…..I let out this strange squeaky squeal of ecstasy.

I then proceeded to eat the entire piece and then another one after that.

And then who will eat the piece that I used for the photo?  Can’t waste it right?

I seem to have a problem with really delicious desserts!

And the problem is ~ I CAN’T STOP EATING THEM!

I know you will love this Building on Recipes cake just be sure to have someone in the house to share it with, or tear you away from it!

Boston Creme Pie
This is aBuilding on Recipe recipe so be sure to get all your base recipes prepared ahead of time
Serves: 1 - 8" cake
  1. Follow along as per the video below
Because of the pastry cream, this cake must be kept refrigerated. It can be brought to room temperature for about 2 hours maximum

Wrap well or store in an airtight container to prevent drying of the sides of the cake, since this is a "naked cake" (no icing)
I will let you in on a secret I didn’t mention in the video: I had about 1 cup of buttercream leftover from an earlier project and I didn’t want to waste that either.  So I added it to my vanilla pastry cream recipe and O M G! It took this classic combination to heights I’d never dreamed of!
I honestly didn’t think it would do much to the filling, but what a great way to incorporate something I didn’t know what else to do with!

So you see guys, be creative…. experiment with different things; you never quite know what gems are hiding if you don’t dig around and stir things up a bit!

(Now I didn’t include the buttercream in the recipe below, since #1 I don’t want you to make an entire recipe just to add a spoonful…and #2 I didn’t mention it in the video so to add it in here would be a nightmare of confusion I couldn’t handle! Since I’ve learned that only a handful of you guys actually READ my blog posts….I feel like this is the hidden gem of information that only SOME of you will get! Wink wink..secret handshake private club stuff right here!)

AND……………………. if anyone pays attention in my videos – the reason this is called a PIE and not a CAKE is because originally the New England’ers that first made this classic combo did not have cake pans, so they would bake their batters in Pie Tins!

NOW- I have been corrected and someone else mentioned the “real” history of the Boston Creme Pies as follows: The original Boston Cream Pie was never baked in a pie tin at all. Dating back to 1856, an Armenian-French chef by the name of M. Sanzian created this dessert, and did in fact, bake sponge cake layers in true round tin cake pans. It was originally named for the Parker House – dubbed “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie”.
The use of pie tins did not come into play until 1875 when the New York Times featured this recipe after Christmas. Use of pie shaped tins were for common-folk/common-households, and not the traditional Pastry Arts methods. 


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  1. I actually did time it and from when you started cutting the cake to you putting the Ganache, it took about 2-3 minutes. Lol love it!!! (Well with my time out here)

  2. What happened – made the sponge cake recipe (measured with scale) used 8″ cake pans and overflowed! Any idea what went wrong?

      1. I posted on the Yellow Sponge Cake blog, but I had to use a third pan because I was not comfortable with the fullness of two. Sooooo glad I did or I would have had a mess, Two very nice layers and a nice little cake that was almost a third layer.

        I always weigh my ingredients and double check everything before I start mixing so I don’t know how to explain it. A BONUS cake. 🙂

  3. Hi Gretchen,

    I’m not sure if this recipe has quite enough chocolate in it for me. Would it be weird to put some ganache on the first layer before adding the pastry cream? I know it’s not authentic, but my love for chocolate knows no bounds.

  4. This is THE BEST Boston Cream Pie — EVER! (And I have tried many, many recipes.) I loved the special addition to the pastry cream too. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Hi der,
    Made dis yesterday n my memory deceived me.I thought u had mixed whipped cream n did d same.( was too lazy to open n double check it)..but it was delicious too pastry cream plus whipped cream.saw it now dat I did wrong when I dropped in to post dat I tried this I hv not tried Wat u had :p..will attempt dis again Wid SBC for sure…

  6. So happy to see you again. I am making this Boston Cream Pie tomorrow and
    getting all my prep work done ahead of time.
    Thanks for the video, makes it so much easier to put together.
    You are an angel, for sure.
    Love your recipes.
    Hope you like Florida

  7. Hi again Gretchen…and thanks again for all your wonderful recipes! Question: Is there a difference between your chocolate ganache and your poured chocolate fondant (i.e. your Shadow Cake)?

    1. Yes the fondant is a sugar based icing and the ganache is a heavy cream base. You cannot really refrigerate the fondant (well, you COULD- but it may sweat and dissolve) and the ganache should be refrigerated after 1 day or so

  8. When you say cake flour – are you referring to Swans Down cake flour or gold Medal all purpose flour? Love all your recipes-have made many of them.

  9. Just watched this again and re-read the blog post (yes… I have read it twice) and thought I’d comment that the “secret” edition is brilliant and I will be trying it. Pastry cream is okay, but I think the addition of your buttercream will make it beyond amazing!

  10. Hi again Gretchen! I am about to tackle your Boston Cream Pie…but I have a question:

    In the recipe it states that the cake ingredients will yield “1 – 8″ cake”. However, when I click on the “One Recipe Yellow Sponge Cake” link, it says the ingredients will yield “2 – 8” Layers.

    Should I actually use HALF of the Yellow Sponge Cake recipe (thus one layer) for the Boston Cream Pie, and as your video indicates, slice it in half to make two “layers”?

    1. You can use the entire recipe for a very TALL lovely Boston Creme Pie- or cut the recipe in half for a thinner cake…its really up to you- I think I used the entire recipe, but I did trim my layers slightly

  11. Hi Gretchen

    I made this today as per the recipe and it was delicious. All the recipes are super easy to follow. I made some little cupcake Boston cream pies too. Will try all the cake recipes now that I’ve tried the first one.

  12. Hieee!!!!! I made this recipe for my husbands bday today. It was fantabulous!!!!!! The cake literally melted in my mouth!!!! Thank you sooooo much 😀

  13. Hi Gretchen

    Correct me if I’m wrong. In the recipe it’s written 1x recipe yellow cake. But you are using just half recipe yellow cake is it? You are using one layer and cutting it to two? Confused

    Thanks for answering all my queries !!

    1. You are correct! However, many people have had trouble with the yellow cake & sponge cakes recipes not rising properly, so I decided to keep it this way just in case that happens to anyone, they won’t have to go and mix it again! It’s always better to have a little more than too little !
      Thanks for double checking me though!

      1. Thanks for your reply! Is it OK to use both layers of the vanilla cake to split them up to make a 4 later Boston cream cake?

        Also I want to completely cover the cake with ganache. How much quantity would be needed?

        How many days will the whole Boston cream cake stay fresh in the fridge? (Ps: I made my pastry cream last night and I will be making the sponge cake and assembling it today)

        I’m going to leave out adding the buttercream to the pastry cream. Does it compromise taste?

        Too many questions..i know 😛

        1. YES! Would be EPIC! Make the full recipe ganache.
          Leaving out the BC will not compromise – no- it will be the classic version
          Cake will stay fresher longer since you are covering the entire thing, up to a week

          1. Hi Gretchen….. Just following up….I made this cake and it was YUMMY!!!…sooo melt in the mouth and not overly sweet!!

            just other concerns though…yellow sponge cake…didn’t come out as spongy as what you made..but still soft..but didn’t matter in the end as the pastry cream moistened it so well..I think the sugar syrup was not even needed…it was that moist!….now with baking the sponge I think it could be because of not evenly distributing the batter in two cake pans and one of the layers had to be baked for almost 50 mins….any tips on how to quickly and evenly divide batter into various pans for layers?

            Gretchen i tried first to make this cake into 4 layers buuut because of the pastry cream it and the the weight of the cake layers collapsed …i guess only two layers work…so i had to divide the cake and it finally looked like a mess…but it was the most delicious messy cake haha!!…2 layers next time for sure….the sponge cake was delicious..thanks for the recipe!!

          2. great! I agree that the yellow sponge doesnt really need the syrup.
            Some people have also commented that their sponge didnt rise as much as mine did, and I can only attribute that to being able to keep that whipped egg matrix as intact as possible throughout the entire recipe, meaning folding in the other ingredients gently to avoid deflating.

          3. Hi Gretchen…as I said increasing the number of layers didn’t work for me with the pastry cream filling as it kept falling off the sides. Will piping a buttercream dam help as you did with other cakes that has mousse/ eggnogg filling? will it be stable tall cake with pastry cream filling?

          4. Yes piping a dam will always work, but that defeats the purpose of “the look” of the Boston Creme, I have to wonder if it was just TOO MUCH filling, causing it to slip and slide, the pastry cream is pretty thick and should be stable unlike mousse or a curd or something like that, but alternatively,perhaps why the Boston Creme is only 2 layers! LOL You can do 4 layers of course, just ice the whole thing with buttercream crumb coat before applying the ganache icing

  14. Hi Gretchen~ I have a question in regards to your ‘secret’ addition of buttercream to your pastry cream. Originally, I was going to ask if you’d whipped your pastry cream as you mention in another blog, but now I believe it was so fluffy due to the buttercream added. My real question is, did you add your VERY famous SMBC or just a normal run of the mill (4:1 sugar/fat ratio) type of BC? Thanks so much!

  15. Hi Gretchen! I took all my components of the Boston Creme Pie to work for assembly and instead of my usual vanilla buttercream, I discovered I’d brought some coconut flavored BC……oops….!! So I tried a small spoonful in about 1/3 cup of pastry cream. OMG…… amazing! I ate it all…. 🙂 so added it to the rest of the pastry cream then, I found out the ganache I’d made was grainy….don’t know why so off to the store on my lunch time, buy stuff for more Shiny Ganache and made a GREATganache using the microwave. Piped the pastry cream through a 1M around the rim in cursive ‘e’ pattern, filled it high in the remaining space placed the top layer, poured on the ganache and voila!! Truly amazing Boston Creme Pie!! I made two, so the recipient could take a whole one home while we enjoyed the other at his party~ Thank You, Gretchen!!! The compliments I received from everyone were all because of YOU!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  16. Haha i love being in the exclusive read-the-blog club! I’ve only recently come across your channel and i LOVE it and i especially love that you have a blog alongside it with lots of extra hidden gems! I am on a mission to make every one if your vanilla sponge recipes to choose my favourite as i have been on the hunt FOREVER to find a great vanilla sponge recipe. I have every hope that i will find it amongst yours!!
    Thank you all the way from the UK!!
    Aneesa xxx

  17. Hi Gretchen! Can I make this into a cupcake? We are having about 30 people over the house and thought cupcakes would be fun for this. Thanks! Recipe looks so yummy

  18. Hello! I made the boston cream pie , is completely delicious but how can I keep it in the refrigerator without vanilla cake gets hard?

  19. I have been asked by a woman to make a gluten-free Boston Cream Cake.
    I am going in and trying this with my gluten-free flour. Any suggestions on how many grams of flour to use in place of the cake flour? I usually use about the same amount of gluten-free flour as I would with regular flour if that helps. Not sure how that equates to cake flour.

    1. I don’t do any gluten free baking so I’m sorry I won’t be much help, but I have been told by many who do that my recipes work with a straight 1:1 sub, but I’m not sure about cake flour either

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