Boston Cream Pie

Total Time:
2 hr 55 min
10 min
2 hr 45 min


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pastry cream, recipe follows
  • Ganache, recipe follows
  • Pastry Cream Filling:
  • 2 cups whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Ganache:
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream, boiling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Beat an additional 3 minutes on high speed and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg white mixture and fold in. Gently pour the batter into a 9-inch greased pie pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Pastry Cream Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.

Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. (The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.)

Ganache: In a medium bowl, pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

To assemble pie, remove the cake from the pan. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on a serving plate or board, and spread with the pastry cream. Top with second cake layer. Pour chocolate ganache over and down the sides of the cake. Store in refrigerator.

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    dear food network gurus - have you actually made this cake? the cake was flat, could have been my fault, so I'll give it that. There was enough filling for 1 and a half cakes, cut back to maybe 4 egg yolks instead of 6, adjust the rest of the ingredients. And when to add the ganache? maybe let it cool a bit? and maybe use 4 oz of chocolate to 1/2 cup cream? the chocolate soup is all over the cake and there is far too much. My husband's birthday is today and I made this for him. I'm sure he will love it, but I am EXTREMELY disappointed
    Cake was so easy to make and looks delish-I cheated and made Vanilla pudding from a box ( using less milk then required to make it thicker) On the Ganache I only used 1/3 cup cream and warmed in microwave-adding semi sweet chocolate chips to melt, cooled , then poured over cake- turned out fantastic!
    I was heartily disappointed by the results of this recipe. The cake lacked flavor. The custard had the consistency of silly putty and was very bland. The icing was runny and bitter. Despite following the recipe exactly, my hopeful desert was a complete flop!
    Made this recipe yesterday. Kept the ganache and cream in the refrigerator for about four hours before using. Cream was a little stiff, but manageable. Genache spread fine. My cake came out very heavy, ruined the presentation. Recipe calls for 3 mins of high speed mixing, before folding in the egg whites. Maybe I should have eliminated that step.
    There is nothing wrong with the cake. I gave it 4 stars because I dont think the cake is tall enough. Nothing to do with flavor. My cake was not dense at all either. Maybe people are over mixing. I have not made the other components of the recipe yet. I wanted to make sure the cake was ok first.
    I'm so glad I chose this recipe despite the negative reviews. It was easy to follow & the result I got was outstanding. My cake was nice & moist. A tad dense, but flavorful. My custard was delicious! I licked the spoon afterwards! My ganache was good too. The recipe makes a ton, but I just made truffles with the leftover. I also made sure to let the pie chill for 24 hrs before eating it. 
    Make the custard first. It needs to chill for at least 2 hrs before you can use it. After I finished the custard, I made the cake. Then, I let it cool until the custard was ready. I used a cake pan instead of a pie plate & got a pretty nice size sponge to work with. Don't rush things with this recipe. It's a bit time consuming, but remember, you're making all the components from scratch. If you want an authentic result, you have to put in the time. 
    Overall, easy recipe & a delicious result. Will definitely bake this again, but next time, I'll make it when I expect guests! =
    Sorry Gale Gand: This recipe is Awful! Awful! Awful! Please remove this recipe! Cake: tasteless and heavy. Cream filling: Bland and tastes like cornstarch. Ganache: watery. I'm sad to have wasted so many fine ingredients, especially my vanilla beans! It ruined my husband's birthday treat.
    One more opinion... 
    This recipe makes a BOSTON pie that is traditional since early 20th century. I grew up on boston cream pie and THIS recipe makes the pie my family made..flavor and texture. 
    Now, 21st century, e-mail, computers, etc. ...all of us can share opinions, etc. 
    - Anyone who reads all of FoodTV recipe evals, this recipe is classic.  
    - Anyone who has a family or cookbook recipe for Bostom Cream Pie...have a dessert party. - Make THIS recipe and your personal one.  
    - Compare.  
    - Ask/listen to your guests and give feedback to FoodTV company. 
    Bottom line...this recipe makes a delicious pie.. 
    Have fun!!! 
    Annie, Fremont, CA
    This pie was not good. The cake was very dense and there was way too little cake. Also, the custard was tasteless with a watery consistency. What I would suggest is double the amount of the cake ingredients (use a separate yellow cake recipe, or make half the amount of custard and ganache to avoid having left over pastry filling and icing. The only thing good about this recipe was the icing. Will not be making this again.
    Excellent recipe. My family raved about it. The key is organization in each step, but overall easily doable. I will definitely be making it again.
    This was very good. at first i thought that there wasn't enough cake but after i tried it i realized it was the perfect ratio of chocolate, custard, and cake i will deffinetly make this again. the only criticism i have is that the cake was a little dense
    To be completely honest, I was short on time, so I used a boxed yellowcake mix, so I cannot review that. The filling and ganache were worth three stars. The filling was very good when eaten with the cake, but I don't think it tasted very good by its lonesome. I also think it was too thick- it was almost like a gelatin when chilled. I think perhaps using a little extra vanilla and cutting down on the cornstarch will fix those two problems. Even after chilling the ganache, it was VERY runny. I used the entire 12 oz bag of chocolate chips and I still ended up digging out some more chocolate from my cupboards to add. I also had a lot of ganache left over. You can easily reduce the recipe by half and get away with it. I will use this recipe again, but it required modifications.
    My hubby's fav in Boston Cream Pie, today is his birthday so I tried this recipe...I doubled the cake part and did 2 9" cake halves, the custard and the ganache can almost do 2 cakes.
     I found the cake shrunk a good bit and looks a little dense, but I wont know until we try it tonight. I might put less cornstarch next time as well and make less ganache.
     BTW the ganache is to be poured over and the dessert chilled, for those who chilled it and used it like frosting...
     I will post my Husband's comments later...
    Delicious, worth every egg yolk! The cake part was easy to make, except for when I had to fluff up the egg whites, they didn't form peaks, so I threw those egg whites out and started again to fluff the whites without the creme of tartar and it worked. I added the creme of tartar after the whites had fluffed. The ganache was also easy to make but next will cut in half, I had to much left over. I've never made pastry creme before, and it is a good idea to make the creme ahead of time bc it needs chilling time. The creme was not too difficult, just be prepared to keep on whisking while on the stove top, before you know if it might start sticking to the pan and it also gets thick relatively fast-don't be alarmed. I made this dessert for my brothers birthday and it was a hit-everybody put in their orders for their upcoming birthdays.
    This was my first attempt at a Boston Creme Pie and I was surprised at how easy it was. I was kind of surprised at baking the cake part in a pie dish, but the shape worked out well. The custard is delicious!! and I had no problems with the chocolate. I would definately make this again and recommend to newbie bakers like myself!
    I actually only used the cake portion of this recipe since it's the same as the one my grandma uses, and it is delicious! I definitely recommend doubling the cake recipe so the cake looks a little more substantial- and of course then you can eat more of it :
    Chocolate glaze is very runny (not unlike Hershey's chocolate syrup 
    Add hot cream in batches to melt the chocolate to the proper consistency. 
    Pastry cream is too thick and springy (like a jellied paste 
    Reduce cornstarch by at least 20%. 
    The cake is very good.
    Easily the best Boston cream pie I've ever made. For those that that the chocolate was too runny, the ganache needs to be cooled to the right temperature/thickness before glazing. The vanilla bean infusion made an amazing pastry cream. The cake was so light & moist. All 3 elements worked perfectly.
    This recipe was great and is really good for family gatherings and the cake is very light and fluffy
    This was fantastic!!! The cake was moist and light. Make sure to fold the batter into egg whites slowly. I was impressed. This recipe was 100 times better than martha stewarts!
    I will start off by saying Boston Cream Pie is my one of my favorites, but this recipe did not even come close to what a delicious Boston Cream Pie should be! I followed all directions to a 'T' and these are the results I recieved.... 
    1. the cake itself was more like a white cake instead of a yellow, and not much flavor to it at all! 
    2. the filling... I don't even know what to say about it! It was almost inedible to me, it tasted more like tapioca pudding than a custard filling that goes in a Boston Cream Pie! 
    3. the frosting was sooo bitter and too runny! 
    I cannot believe I wasted my time and money on this recipe, I will never make this again! I think I will stick to the much more delicious store bought Boston Cream's never failed me!
    It was an ok recipe. I think the chocolate was too over powering for it. The filling needed more flavor to it. Will try again, but with my own tweeks.
    This pie was delicious i don't bake but i'm a very good cook.I used 3/4 cup of heavy cream in the ganache because it was a little thin with 1 cup.Also added 1 teas. instant coffee(per Ina Gartendelicious.I also forgot the butter in the pastry cream,but it tasted fine(there is enough cream and ganache for an 6 inch pie too.I will make this again.
    This recipe was delicious and it was a big hit as a birthday cake. I split the batter and cooked in in two different pans. I cooked them at the same time. It took about ten minutes and rotated the pans about halfway through. I didn't have vanilla bean so I used about three teaspoons of vanilla extract for the cream filling and it was to die for. My family members who don't love sweets went back for seconds. Fairly easy to make and my family thinks I am a super star chef.
    I used a spring form pan, greased and floured. I didn't have cake flour and forgot the butter in the pastry cream. It was still the BEST Boston Cream Pie I have eaten in my life, hands down! I'm making this again next week, except I will make two.
    i haven't made it yet but it sounds so yummy!
    I doubled the recipe as well to make it a higher cake for a birthday party. Should not have doubled the custard portion (but my kids enjoyed eating the leftovers!!) The ganache was too thin so I doubled the chocolate portion even more! 
    All around amazing cake!!! 
    jill, Leesburg, Virginia 
    I Melted into this delicious Boston cream pie. My favorite one!!!
    Before I make this, I want to verify that a pie plate is used instead of a cake pan. Can anyone let me know what they used? By the ingredients, it sounds like it would be 5 star.
    I've always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie and knew for sure Gale Gand would have the perfect recipe (I'm a big fan of her stuff, always such hits! Anyway, the cake is gloriously springy and light, and the pastry cream is absolute heaven. Don't skimp on any ingredients and don't substitute anything! Excellent tips from "kasiekirk" by the way: add a little lemon zest to the batter and make truffles out of the left over ganache!
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