Massachusetts - Boston Cream Pie

Massachusetts was another one of the "easy" states - just about everyone has heard of this state's special (and official) dessert - Boston Cream Pie. 

While I had most certainly heard of Boston Cream Pie, I had never actually eaten it in it's original form.  Instead, I have been known to fancy it's spin off treat, the Boston Cream Doughnut.  oh, i miss you krispy kreme...

The Boston Cream Pie (which is actually a cake) was created around 1855 by Monsieur Sanzian at the Parker House Hotel in Boston - same hotel that created the Parker House Roll.  Sanzian took a traditional British dessert called Pudding Cake-Pie consisting of vanilla sponge cake filled with pastry cream, and topped it with chocolate ganache.  The hotel named his version Parker House Chocolate Pie.  Over the years, the popular dessert's name became Boston Cream Pie - but it's still actually a cake.  

This recipe is from Gale Gand. 

for the sponge cake

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 


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
  • make a well in center and add milk, oil, egg yolks and vanilla
  • beat on low to medium speed until combined
  • beat an additional 3 minutes on high and set aside
  • in another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form
  • pour egg yolk mixture over egg white mixture and fold in
  • gently pour batter into a 9 inch greased pie or cake pan
  • bake 25 - 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched
  • invert pan on wire rack and cool completely

for the pastry cream

2 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter

  • pour milk into medium sized pot
  • split vanilla bean in half and scrape out vanilla seeds, put seeds and pod into milk
  • simmer milk until steaming, but not boiling
  • in a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch
  • once milk is steaming, temper the egg yolk mixture 
  • add tempered egg yolks into pot and cook until the mixture thickens and reaches a boil 
  • it is important that the pastry cream boils to cook out the cornstarch, but stir constantly to avoid scorching 
  • pour pastry cream into bowl of mixer, add the butter and paddle until butter is incorporated and the pastry cream has cooled
  • remove vanilla bean pods 

for the ganache

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream 

  • chop chocolate into smaller pieces and place in heat proof bowl
  • boil cream and pour over chocolate
  • let stand for 1 - 2 minutes, whisk together until smooth

  • remove cake from pan and cut in half horizontally
  • fill with pastry cream 
*note - I did not use the full amount of pastry cream this recipe made.
  • top with remaining cake layer
  • cover the top with ganache 

And that, friends, is my first Boston Cream Pie!  


1 comment:

  1. I've never had Boston Cream Pie, but have tried the KK donut. I'm not much of a 'cream' person but I enjoyed this! I really love that you give a wee little history lesson and post pictures along with the recipes.