I’m posting this recipe for my Boston Cream Pie from Scratch just in time for my oldest son’s upcoming birthday. Ever since he was a little boy, he has loved Boston cream doughnuts and of course Boston cream pie. Naturally, I had to do a special post just for him for his special day. This recipe for Boston cream pie is made from scratch with two fluffy yellow cake layers that are filled with silky homemade pastry cream and topped with a rich chocolate ganache.
History of Boston Cream Pie
The funny thing about Boston Cream Pie, is that it’s not actually a pie, it’s a cake. Back in the day, both cakes and pies were cooked in the same type of pan, now known as a pie tin or pie plate. The words were interchangeable so that’s probably where the name originated from. The historic Parker House hotel in Boston has long since stated that they were the original creators of the Boston Cream Pie. I really don’t care who invented it, but I’m glad it happened!
How to make Boston Cream Pie from scratch
Boston Cream Pie consists of three essential components:
- Yellow Cake
- Pastry Cream
- Chocolate Ganache
This yellow cake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cake recipe from Amanda at I Am Baker for her Happy Birthday Cake. It’s simple to put together and always comes out perfect. After making this cake, you slice it through the middle to create two equal layers that you will fill with pastry cream. If the idea of baking a cake from scratch is not your speed, a box mix will substitute just fine.
Way back at the beginning of Saporito Kitchen, I posted a recipe for my White Chocolate Cream Filled Eclairs. I used the same recipe for pastry cream in this Homemade Boston Cream Pie. I just doubled the quantities and omitted the white chocolate. Pastry cream can seem like a scary thing to make from scratch, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Chocolate ganache is so easy to make and also very versatile. I use it all the time in dessert recipes and it’s an essential component of my Whiskey Chocolate Cake recipe. Ganache consists of just two ingredients, chocolate and cream. It’s flavor and texture is perfect to finish off this classic dessert.
Once you have your three components put together, you are ready to assemble your cake! Here are some tips to make sure your cake, or pie I guess I should say, comes out perfect!
- Make sure to allow your cake to cool completely before slicing in half so it doesn’t crumble or break.
- Leave a little room around the edges of the bottom layer of cake when you are adding the pastry cream to give it some room when you add the top layer. Then, make sure you press down very gently when adding your top layer so the pastry cream doesn't squish out the sides and down the cake.
- Allow the cake to chill in the fridge for an hour or two after you have assembled it. This allows everything to set for easier slicing.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for my Homemade Boston Cream Pie as much as our family does. If you are looking for more baking recipes, here are some fun desserts that are popular on the blog: