Boston Cream Pie

If you read my memoir piece, What She Left Us, this infamous sweet treat will be familiar to you. This recipe from The New Doubleday Cookbook is not as complicated as its history and miraculous rediscovery, which I am grateful for.

Boston Cream Pie

Approximately 16 servings

Basic Three Egg Butter Cake

2 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 eggs, separated

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine milk and vanilla in new bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream butter until light, add sugar gradually, continuing to cream until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add dry ingredients alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry, adding about 1/3 of the total mixture each time. Beat just until smooth.
  6. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, and gently fold into batter.
  7. Spoon into 2 greased and floured 9” round layer cake pans.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until cakes shrink slightly from sides of pans and are springy to the touch. Doneness can be checked by inserting a toothpick into the center, when it comes out clean, it’s done. It may look yellowish with some brown spots on top.
  9. Cool in pans on wire racks 5-7 minutes.

To remove cakes from pans, invert on racks. Then turn rightside up and cool completely or else the filling you’re about to make will run off.


Double Vanilla Cream Filling

You may wish to double the filling. This is a natural reaction.

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 sugar

¾ cup milk

1 egg yolk lightly beaten with ¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 heavy whipping cream

  1. Blend cornstarch, sugar, and milk in a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, over moderate heat until mixture boils and is thick.
  2. Boil and stir ½ minute longer, then take it off the heat.
  3. You’re now going to raise the temperature of the egg yolk mixture without curdling it. Beat a spoonful of the hot mixture into egg yolk mixture, then another spoonful until about a ¼ of a cup has been added. Now that the egg mixture is hotter, gradually pour it into the sauce pan, beating constantly.
  4. Mix in vanilla and cool to room temperature, beating now and then.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  6. Once the hot mixture is cooled to room temperature, fold in the whipped cream.

You may want to refrigerate it at this point, it will make it less runny and easier to put the cake together.


Chocolate Glaze

You may wish to double the glaze. This is also completely natural and I would encourage you to do so.

2 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons warm water

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water; stir to blend well.
  2. Set top of double boiler on a damp cloth, add ½ cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon water; beat until smooth.
  3. Add remaining sugar and water. Beat until glossy.
  4. Keep the mixture runny, you’ll be pouring it on the cake soon.


Here’s where it all comes together.

Pick the cake round with the flattest top or cut off the dome shape of one of them. This will be the base. Set the base on your desired serving platter/stand.

Pour the cream mixture on top of the base, try to keep it in one heap. Place the other cake round on top of the filling. Try to make it as even as possible, don’t worry if some of the filling spills out.

Now for the glaze, to get the best coverage, start pouring it in the center and slowly move it out from the center in a circular pattern all the way to the edges. Let it drip down the sides.

Store in the refrigerator.


Image from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *