Boston Cream Pie: classic Sunday dinner dessert

Here in the King Arthur Flour test kitchen we often get folks poking their head in the door, asking quite literally, “What’s cookin’?”

The responses to what we’re making that day can range from “Yeah, chocolate!” to “Oh. Thanks anyway.” The day I made this Boston Cream Pie, though…

…I was completely surprised by the number of exclamations of “My FAVORITE,” and “I LOVE Boston Cream Pie.

So many folks were so excited to see this classic dessert coming down the line, it made me wonder why we don’t see it in restaurants and bakery cases more often.

Do bakers think it’s too difficult? It isn’t really. Too time consuming? It’s faster than many other layer cakes.

Too old-fashioned? This, in my opinion, is the culprit behind the decline of Boston Cream Pie in the limelight.

In a world of triple chocolate cakes with three kinds of mousse filling, cupcakes with filling, frosting, and fondant, and gourmet ice creams galore, the humble Boston Cream Pie has been lost to modern technology.

Well, no more I say, no more. Pick up the banner, my friends, we’re going to bring this vintage delight back to glory. No one puts Boston Cream Pie in a corner.

Our cake for today is a hot milk cake. Rich and tender, it has a delicate, eggy flavor that’s missing from plain vanilla cakes.

Combine 2 large eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar in your mixer, and beat on high speed until pale yellow and thick. When you lift the beater, the egg should run off in a thick stream. In the photo, you can see we aren’t quite there yet.

In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup milk and 5 tablespoons butter to a simmer. You should just see bubbles beginning to break the surface all over, but not become a vigorous boil.

Ah, that’s the sign we were looking for: a nice, thick ribbon of batter falling off of the beater.

Blend in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Ed. note: Hi, this is P.J. – MaryJane, thanks for letting me get my 2¢ in here! Vanilla Bean Crush is one of my favorite products. It has a wonderful aroma, with pure vanilla flavor. And, since the pods are crushed during the brewing process, it includes both seeds, and gorgeous flecks of the bean itself.

It’s also nice that, for every bottle of Vanilla Crush sold, Sonoma Syrup donates 10% of the retail price to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation supporting breast cancer research. As an 11-year cancer survivor – I appreciate that! – P.J. Hamel

Time to add the hot milk.

Stream the hot liquid down the side of the bowl while you continue to mix on low speed. Keeping the batter moving and pouring in a steady, thin stream is the key to getting a good blend without cooking the eggs.

Once the milk is blended in, sift together 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Lightly sprinkle this over the top of the cake batter and mix on low speed just until combined.

Note: You can add the sifted dry ingredients before the hot milk mixture, if desired; there won’t be any difference in outcome.

…And yes, my poor mixer has an injury. The PTO cover has come loose and tends to drop into the bowl at random times, mostly when I’m making buttercream. Clang!

Pour the batter into a 9″ x 2″ round parchment-lined cake pan. The pan must be 2″ deep or your batter will overflow and make a mess of the oven. Break out the ruler for this one if you have any doubts.

Also, check for any lumps of flour as you pour the batter. Remove them with a small spoon and discard.

Bake the cake at 325°F for 50 to 60 minutes.

When done, the cake will be a deep golden brown and will pull away from the sides of the pan. See what I mean about the pan needing to be deep enough? This cake rose nearly to the upper rim, so better safe than sorry.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To assemble the cake you’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of prepared pastry cream. You can use our Pastry Cream recipe, or pastry cream filling mix (my favorite) or even a good vanilla pudding mix made with heavy cream instead of milk.

Using a long sharp serrated knife, divide the cake into two equal layers. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to torting, cakes so take your time.

Heap the bottom layer with the cold pastry cream and spread right up to the edges. Use an offset spatula to smooth the pastry cream to an even layer.

P.S. You can never have too many offset spatulas. They solve so many kitchen woes. Treat yourself, you won’t regret it.

Why spread right up to the edges? Why not leave a little space, like you do with fillings or buttercream?

Two reasons. One, pastry cream is much thicker than buttercream and won’t squash out the sides as easily when the top layer is added.

And two, a little bulbous ridge of pastry cream around the equator of a Boston Cream Pie is pure perfection. You know you won’t miss out on one bite of creamy goodness when the center is so full.

The perfect chocolate glaze is the hallmark of a great Boston Cream Pie. Not too sweet, not too thin or thick. It isn’t a fluffy frosting, for sure, but a thick ganache.

In a measuring cup with a pour spout combine 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or disks and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, or until the cream is very hot and the chocolate is beginning to melt. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is very smooth.

Let the glaze sit for about 10 minutes to cool a bit and to thicken just a touch.

Pour the warm glaze over the cake very slowly. Use an offset spatula to help coax the chocolate towards the edges. Allow the chocolate to flow, rather than try to force it. You want some to dribble down the sides a little, but more of the glaze should remain on top of the cake.

Oh yes, that will do very nicely, thank you.

For easier slicing, allow the cake to sit in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up the glaze. If you don’t have the patience, it’s fine to serve right away, too.

Personally, I’m looking forward to sharing this cake with my husband. We both grew up in families with big Sunday dinners, and this kind of dessert just takes me back to those days.

How about you? Does Boston Cream Pie hold any special memories in your family? Perhaps this is your first time making it? Share your stories with us in the comments section below; we’d love to be part of your baking memories.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Boston Cream Pie

Print just the recipe.

Check out these other classic Sunday dinner desserts: Carrot Cake , Lemon Glazed Pound Cake, Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake.

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Skippy

    Maybe it lost popularity because people were flummoxed by the name (“Oh…I was expecting pie…”).
    Wouldn’t that be a shame? Maybe we should all make one this week and bring it right back to the top of the charts. I’m willing to take that kind of punishment, you know, for the team. 😉 ~ MaryJane

  2. KellyH

    I’ve never made or had Boston Cream Pie (but *loooove* the donuts!!), so I’ve a question about the filling before I start planning a meal around this dessert! The recipe for the cream says to not fold in the whipped cream – does that mean leave it out entirely, or whip it in, or…?

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m so excited!
    HI Kelly,
    Sorry for any confusion. For the Cream Pie filling, you want just straight pastry cream. So don’t add the extra cream, just stop after step 6. ~ MaryJane

  3. Cindy Leigh

    MJ- beautiful! I will make this for husband’s birthday early next month. I’ve got everything in the house already, mostly all now in organic versions, thanks to my new anti breast cancer diet.
    PJ- congrats on 11 years. I am about to become a survivor too. I already love Vanilla Bean Crush, and now there’s another reason!
    Cindy Leigh, we are all so glad that you are going strong and will be with us for a long, long time to come. I hope your hubby loves the cake too. ~ MaryJane

    Cindy, you’re a survivor from day #1 – as soon as you hear the words, you’re a survivor. And a conqueror. Onward and upward! 🙂 PJH

  4. nancyphippsbyrne

    This looks great! I know the hot milk cake is delicious, as I have used that for “lazy daisy cake”. If I use your pastry cream recipe, should the 1 cup of heavy cream, softly whipped, be included or omitted?
    For a traditional Boston Cream Pie you will omit the whipped cream. BHR@KAF

  5. sohn

    Thanks very much for the recipe and detailed step-by-step instructions! The cake looks delicious. My husband has been promising me to make me a Boston cream pie ever since our twins were born (and that was over 4 years ago!). Now that it’s almost my birthday, he can finally make the cake! I have already sent the link to your blog to him…
    Tee hee, don’t make us send the baking squad after him! Tell him you need that cake now! ~ MaryJane

  6. Heather

    Boston Cream Pie was always my dad’s favorite as a kid and I have come to love it. I love creamy saucy things and with the pudding in the middle and the ganache on top I am in heaven. I often make this for my birthday cake. Thanks for a new recipe. I love the use of a hot milk cake. That is also one of my favorite cakes.
    I am seriously debating making this for my B-day cake at the end of October. BUT I also want my traditional Tomato Soup cake, and my brother’s favorite cherry cheesecake. Is it to much to have a cake a day for birthday week? 😉 ~ MaryJane

  7. "Paul from Ohio"

    Oh GOSH! Now you’ve gone and done it! One of my all time favorite desserts…………gotta have it. Next on my list. Thanks MJ, was pretty sure you were baking up something wonderful for us.
    OK OK, I’ll try THIS OTHER Vanilla – just got a big bottle of yours.
    I’m so glad this is a favorite of yours. Think of me when you have a piece, with a nice cold glass of milk. XXOO ~ MaryJane

  8. gaitedgirl

    How do you manage to cut your layers in two without making them look all weird and angular? When I try to cut them, I end up with one half beautifully cut in two while the other is tapered with one thick half and one thin half. Is it just a, “Do it enough times you get it right” or is there a method to the madness??

    The last time I had Boston Creme Pie was at my brother-in-law’s rehearsal dinner. I had forgotten just how good it was!

    Trying to describe cake cutting in this venue is a challenge, but I’m going to give it a try! First you want to level the cake using a long serrated knife. Carefully “carve” off the little dome on top so the cake is flat, then place the knife in the center. Holding the knife with your dominate hand, place your other hand on top of the cake applying gentle pressure, begin to carve your knife through the cake to cut it in half. Hope this is helpful! BHR@KAF

    You can also space toothpicks around the circumference of the cake (in the middle), and just keep heading for the picks, removing them as you reach them… Make sure to ALWAYS hold your knife flat (parallel to the counter). PJH

  9. sundance183

    Has KAF ever considered a section of the web site that is short videos to demonstrate techniques like this one? Just a thought.

    Also you can put a small block of wood or something that is 1/2 (or 1/3 or whatever you need) the thickness of the cake layer and rest the knife on it as you cut and turn the cake, thus insuring that the knife always stays in the middle of the layer.
    Oh, we have lots of ideas for videos and hope to have many, many technique videos in the future. Just give us a little time, for hair and make up ya know! ~ MaryJane

  10. gaitedgirl

    @ MJ – For “hair and make up”, do you mean “flour in hair and pudding smear on the face”? Gotta keep it real! 😉

    Hee.hee. This is a great visual – and we’ve all been there, usually when someone comes to the door while we’re in the throes of baking! Irene @ KAF

    Believe it or not, I got a haircut yesterday and I’m actually wearing make up! Once in a life-time deal today folks! ~ MaryJane

  11. jcanfiel

    Love, love, love Boston Cream Pie – it’s always been one of my favorites. I’ve never had or made a hot milk cake, so I’m looking forward to trying this. As much as I bake, I have never actually made a Boston Cream Pie, so this is on the docket for this weekend. I always have an awful time trying to cut a cake in half as well, so this will be my opportunity to use my cake slicer that I bought months ago. We’l see how that works! Since my birthday is coming up near the end of the month, maybe if I’m a good girl, I’ll earn a trip to KA to purchase some Vanilla Crush. I have Vanilla Bean paste, so maybe I’ll use that for this recipe! Can’t wait to see your new place!
    Did anyone else notice the plethora of October birthday folks in this thread? Someday we’ll have to plan a great big fall birthday celebration. Maybe shoot for the world’s biggest Boston Cream Pie??? ~ MaryJane

  12. catieartist

    I am with “Paul from Ohio”. There is nothing on earth like a great Boston Cream PIe.

    I have some wonderful memories of special breakfasts on Saturday mornings when my mom would cook up a huge platter (for the family of six), of eggs, bacon, biscuits. Then my grandfather would arrive just in time to eat, with all of the children praying he had remembered to stop at the bakery, so he could bring the two boxes of donuts! We all looked forward to that magic box of heavenly goodness. I always tried to be ready so I could grab the one filled with Bavarian Pastry Cream, simply coated in white powdered sugar. (my taste buds are beginning to hum just thinking about these!)
    Long after those days were over, it remained my favorite donut, but in later years they started putting a deep chocolate glaze on the top, instead of the sugar. Who wouldn’t love a chocolate eclair for breakfast?!
    I have loved them ever since, but now, I have been denied completely!

    Unfortunately, as I have written before, I cannot eat wheat. What recipe does KAF have, or how can I adjust the yellow cake mix, wheat free, to best emulate this cake recipe you used MJ? Would an adjustment in how I prepare the mix work to produce that sponge effect? And/or, added ingredients?
    I have your pastry cream mix, the yellow GF cake mix, and several of your chocolate selections on hand. After reading the blog I cannot ignore the craving. I know today I have to bake. I have denied myself for too long!


    You have a couple GF choices, either make the mix you have OR use this recipe for a GF Yellow Cakefrom our website. You could consider using one layer of the two for the Boston Cream Pie and freeze the other layer for cake cravings later! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  13. Anneripp

    Does anyone know where Boston Cream Pie got its name?

    I love Boston Cream Pie. My mom made all kinds of layer cakes, but never Boston Cream Pie.

    It’s my very favorite when it’s served with some ganache on the side. Just to make sure every bite gets chocolate, you know.

    And I use dental floss to cut my cake layers. The added bonus is using the floss afterwards. Yum.

    Boston Cream Pie was named the official state dessert of Massachusetts in 1996. The Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House Hotel) holds the key to the origin of this recipe from the 1800’s. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  14. "Christian T"

    Favorite from my youth on the prairie. There was a popular mix for this in the fifties and Mother and I would put one together every so often.

    To cut the cake we used a sewing thread wrapped around the side of the cake at the cut line and then lapped the ends of the thread. Pull both ends and the thread cuts right through the cake.

    As for the current seeming lack of popularity – each of the three parts is a cooking skill that is no longer common. Unless that mix is still available! (It isn’t – SIGH) And we really shouldn’t mention the calories and fat!
    I think I vaguely remember a Boston Cream Pie type mix from the late 1980’s too. Love the thread idea. ~ MaryJane

  15. aaronatthedoublef

    My wife tends to favor individual desserts so could you make this as a cupcake? Or even use cupcake tins to make lots of little layers to make individual layers cakes?


    Yes, yummy Boston cream cup cakes….an easy conversion. I would skip baking them in cupcake papers.

  16. "Dalila G."

    This is definitely a recipe I do like.
    It’s a rather easy one, just fo me! LOL!
    We are big time Boston Cream Pie lovers in my household.
    Thank you for the great step by step!

  17. dede362

    This is one of my favorite cakes but I haven’t made it for years. When I was growing up my mother made this for my birthday. My mothers trick was to use dental floss to cut the layers. This method works great. Place the unflavored floss around the middle of the cake layer, cross the ends of the floss and pull in opposite directions. This will cut the layer with ease and no mess.
    You all are so wonderful for sharing your tips and tricks. I use dental floss for my cinnamon rolls, but haven’t tried it with cake layers…yet! ~ MaryJane

  18. argentyne

    I adore Boston Cream Pie, however with just me in my house, I need to avoid making an entire cake … well, ever. 🙂

    Not because it would go to waste… but because it always goes to waist.

    Can you give me some adjustment ideas for making the cake into cupcakes instead? I can then freeze those and fill with pastry cream and top with chocolate a couple at a time.
    The hot milk cake should make about 12-14 cupcakes. Just pour into lined muffin tins and reduce the baking time. ~ MaryJane

  19. ohyoucook

    I don’t have the patience to let the glaze set or even to find the cake slicer … I just grab a fork and dig in! It IS just one serving, right?
    Two servings actually. Grab your sweetie or BFF and go for it! 😉 ~ MaryJane

  20. "Mia H"

    I’ve never had Boston Cream Pie! I’m always on the lookout for desserts that aren’t too chocolatey – my sweetie gets migraines from too much. This is definitely going on the list.
    Oh, I can’t wait to hear back on how you all liked it. It’s a real classic with just enough chocolate to offset the vanilla. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

  21. Bridgid

    Confession time: I am not fond of Boston Cream Pie. However, my beautiful little boy LOVES it. And he loves Wii. So for his birthday last year I made a BCP to look like a Wii Remote. Instead of the traditional round cake, I baked it in a square pan, divided the layers, filled with pastry cream & ganache in alternating layers, added a thin layer of ganache on top, and then covered it in fondant. Yes, I know, fondant is totally not appropriate, but there was no way I could get it to look somewhat realistic without it. Everyone loved it.

    MJ – I have my birthday & a half birthday 6 months later, and I ususally have at least 2 different cakes for my birthday, so YES, have as many cakes as you want for your birth week! (My birthday is the same week as Christmas & New Year’s, so a birth week is a little too much for my situation.) This year’s half birthday cake was over the top decadent – I made chocolate cake filled with raspberry and covered in almond macaroon. Seriously wow.
    Absolutely brilliant way to make the Wiimote! Sometimes you do need to go the fondant route to get the details you are looking for too. My daughter’s b-day is 6 days before Christmas, so she would total agree with you about a tough time to get birthday stuff done. Today I’m leaning towards the cheesecake, but we’ll see what happens when the end of the month rolls around. 🙂 ~ MJ

  22. "Niki Baker"

    Does anyone know if it would be ok to make the cake in two 9 inch cake pans? I only have 1.5 inch deep cake pans and this would also take care of the need to cut it in half.
    That would be just fine. The cake layers will be thinner, so adjust the baking time. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

  23. daphnewoman

    Well, I was so excited about this one that I baked one before any comments were posted. I was just about to tell you that it was a bit hard to serve because the pastry cream was so soft and the ganache (when cold) was kind of hard. NOW I find out I should not have added the extra cream to the pastry cream. Guess I’ll have to make it again!!! It was ethereal anyway, though a bit crushed.

  24. bbackstrom645

    The filling didn’t set up for the last BCP I made and ran all over the place when I put the top layer on. Very disappointing, so I think I’ll try this recipe. Has anybody else had this problem?
    I am so sorry this happened and know how disappointing it must have been. We would like to help you and need to know if you used out pastry cream filling mix, item 1732 or did you make your own recipe for pastry cream? Please contact us on our Bakers’ Hotline at 1-800-827-6836 for further assistance. We are here until 9pm M-F and until 5 on the weekends. Thanks! Elisabeth

  25. Sue S.

    My mother used to make BCP from a mix (might have been Betty Crocker) in the early 60’s. I LOVED this cake. Just saw this recipe and immediately went to work….its in the oven as I write this. Pastry cream is cooling off in the fridge..can’t wait to eat the finished product!
    I vaguely remember that mix too, but so glad you’re jumping in with the homemade version to go down memory lane. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

  26. bbackstrom645

    The recipe I used was from a cookbook. I’ll try the KAF recipe for the next one. One question – is the pastry cream filling for this cake made with the whipping cream?
    Sorry for any confusion. In the pastry cream recipe on the KAF site, you would stop before adding the whipped heavy cream. You want the filling thicker to slice. ~ MaryJane

  27. Alicia

    This was my requested birthday cake every year since I was a little girl. It’s so hard to find a decent one anywhere these days – either they use frosting instead of ganache or the pastry cream is too sweet or strangely granular. Guess I’ll just have to break out my baking gear. 😉
    As a long time BCP lover, believe me that this one is definitely a classic version. I think you’ll be thrilled. ~ MaryJane

    1. revsharkie

      This was my birthday cake, too. I’m not sure my mom made her own pastry cream, or if she used vanilla pudding mix. Or maybe she borrowed some pastry cream out of the walk-in at the cafeteria; we made lots of pies, so there was pretty much always pastry cream on hand–and they made it in HUGE batches (43 eggs, 4 gallons milk, etc.)! (I’m glad to find a pastry cream recipe here, though, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to scale that gigantic recipe down to something that makes sense.)

  28. kaf-sub-laboon74

    i was sooo excited to make this cake but i didn’t have king arthur cake flour so i just used the cake flour that i have in my pantry the cake turned out sooo dry i’m not sure is it because of the flour!! is there any difference? or maybe i did something wrong.
    It is difficult to determine what made it dry. Perhaps it was the way you measured your flour or the cake as baked too long or the batter was not mixed properly. Give our Hotline a call at 1-800-827-6836. Elisabeth

  29. Jessica L

    I’ve spent the last few hours looking for a recipe that made sense to me. This is the first one that makes perfect sense and doesn’t seem like a waste of time.

    Thank you for giving me a new web site to stalk, er, visit. 😀

    Thank you for stalk-err, visiting us!-Jon

  30. Angie

    Whew I had a big fail with this one. I know it wasn’t the recipe’s fault. I think my oven was too hot. It was domed about 2″ higher in the middle than the sides, and full of tunnels. It tasted amazing, but the texture was very tight and spongey. I think I overmixed it and the oven was too hot. But I love Boston Cream so I will try again. It’s not nearly as hard to make as I expected it to be. Hopefully the next one will be a winner 🙂

  31. Kyle

    My mother made me a Boston Cream Pie every year for my birthday. They were from a mix, but were really, really good, with a very light filling. I’m gonna try this recipe – have been looking for the perfect BCP since I started baking, over 40 years ago!

    Kyle, it sounds like it’s time to bite the pie-bullet and dig in! You’ll be surprised how worthwhile the process is (takes a few steps given the pastry-cream filling and the topping and the cake), so give yourself a little time to plan the project. And ENJOY every bite! Kim@KAF

  32. Nellie88

    For you girls having trouble cutting these cakes – I had the same problem for years until I found an “adjustable cake cutter”. I’ve had it for years and, sorry, I can’t remember where I found it. It’s adjustable in height and length for round cakes or 9 x 13’s. It has a fine wire between two posts and very easy to use to make perfectly cut cakes. Perhaps we can challenge KAF to find them and stock them. I’m sure they’re out there somewhere.

  33. Mike Nolan

    Greg Patent wrote an article for Gastronomica on the history of the Boston Cream Pie in 2001. Among other things, he noted that the original topping for this cake was not a ganache but was made with confectioners fondant (which would have been a much more solid topping, almost like a thin layer of fudge.)

    This article is available on his website at

    Something Greg didn’t go into was the regional variance in the topping. These days everyone expects a soft topping, so most recipes use a ganache. However, the sweetness of the topping seems to be a matter of regional preference, some parts of the country use a milk chocolate topping, other parts use a semi-sweet or almost bittersweet topping. Personally, I find if the topping is too sweet, it fights with the pastry creme, which, like any pastry cream filled dessert, should be the major source of sweetness.

    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Mike! I totally agree, the topping should be bittersweet fondant. That’s what I grew up with, and anything fluffier is just….wrong. I always liked the sensation of a little push to get one’s fork through the top! Susan

  34. Ann

    Hi guys! I plan to serve BCP Friday. Should I make all the parts Thursday night and assemble Friday right before serving? Or should I do some or all of the assembly Thursday. Thanks! Ann

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I would say that the cake and pastry cream are both safe to make a day in advance. However, I would just make the glaze the day of. Jon@KAF

  35. Emily

    I am excited to try this recipe, but I’m curious why the estimated total time could range from 3.5 hours to almost 6. Can someone explain how the time varies that much? Thanks.

    1. PJ Hamel

      Emily, I assume it’s related to how long it takes for the cake to cool, as that’s really the only variable, besides a few minutes in the baking time. PJH

  36. kay

    This look so delicious I feel like eating it right now! But I have a question first about the cake flour to use. Can I substitute self-raising flour for KAF’s cake flour? Also, for the glaze, will using milk instead of cream affect it in any way? Thanks!

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      While you could use milk in the glaze, it won’t be quite as thick and rich. I’d say for the right texture for the cake, stick with the cake flour. ~ MJ

  37. Aimee

    I have to ask…is the pastry cream in these photos homemade or made from the KAF mix? I’ve attempted 4 different BCP recipes now, including this one, and every time the pastry cream, while delicious and eggy and wonderfully smooth, is nowhere near firm enough to not seep out the sides of the cake after a few moments, despite chilling overnight. Still tasty, but not pretty. It’s beginning to feel like every photo of BCP with a thick, sturdy middle layer is a huge joke! So discouraging! Any thoughts? Thanks so much!

    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Aimee! I empathize with your pastry cream struggles; I’ve spent some time there myself. There are a couple of ways to “bullet proof” it. I don’t know what starch you’re adding to it in addition to the egg yolks, but if you don’t bring the stuff to a full rolling boil, at least for a 20 seconds or so, it won’t get enough to give you that extra stiffness you’re hoping for. I always cook it until I see bubbles come up right in the center of the pot. It’s tricky, because too far means scrambled eggs. I never let my culinary students go to the stove without having a strainer and ice bath RIGHT THERE, for the moment it’s time to get off the fire. Another, no-fail thing to try is to bloom some plain gelatin (1 teaspoon is really enough) and stir into the hot pastry cream once it’s off the stove but still quite hot. That way when it cools you’ll for sure have a slicing consistency. Susan

  38. Kathie

    I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday, which is right after Thanksgiving. We are going to relatives Wednesday to Saturday and want to serve it Saturday evening when we return home. Can I freeze the assembled cake? There are 3 alternatives I can think of:
    1) Make the cake & assemble it on Tuesday and refrigerate it for 4 days … could get stale.
    2) Make the cake & assemble it on Tuesday or earlier and freeze it. The custard may not freeze well.
    3) Make the cake, freeze the cake, make the custard & Grenache and refrigerate them, and assemble it all when I return on Saturday (warming the Grenache first). The custard may go bad and the cake won’t have time to “meld flavors”.

    Which would be best or do you have another idea?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can certainly bake the cake ahead of time and freeze it, but I think the custard and ganache would be best prepared on the day you are planning to serve the cake. Barb@KAF

  39. Peggy Rounds

    I use to make this cake as a 10 year old. Betty Crocker had the cake mix in a box. It was delicious and easy to make. I so wish they would come out with mix again. It would have to be the mix as from the early 60’s. 1960 to be exact. I will try this recipe and see if it is as good!

  40. Cat White

    My dad made the best cakes in the world and his Boston cream pie was a childhood favorite. Dad never used a recipe, just poured the flour etc out of the container. I’d eat the cake plain too. So I’ve been looking for that cake for a loooong time. Your previous cake recipe for Boston cream pie was good, but kudos to everyone who contributed to the newer updated fewer eggs, more butter version., I sighed when I read the changes, but figured I may as well try it. The first bite was great and after the second I had to write and say “I remember this cake!” Thanks.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cat, We are so glad that this recipe brings back nice memories for you. This recipe has been on my “bucket list” to try again and you have convinced me to make it this weekend to bring down to my mom. Happy that the customer feedback lead to a better cake batter and end result. Here’s to eating Boston Cream Pie!!JoAnn@KAF

  41. Lynn Davis

    Planning on making a Boston Cream pie for my Oct birthday party. Usually bake from scratch (except for using your mixes). Have you compared the KA pastry cream filling mix to this recipe? Thanks for the help

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ve found that the Pastry Cream Mix does a beautiful job of making a filling for layer cakes when you are pinched for time or when you have a large amount of work to do to make the other parts of the recipe. It tastes creamy and smooth with a deep vanilla flavor–it also takes less than half the time of making pastry cream from scratch. However, some people prefer the flavor of a homemade pastry cream with its fresh eggs and milk and sweet custard flavor. Either with the mix or the recipe, you are sure to love this cake–it’s perfect for a special occasion like a birthday. Kye@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      The question is time! If you have the luxury of time, then you could make pastry cream. If you are crunched for time, then use the pastry cream mix! Happy Baking, and Happy Birthday! Irene@KAF

  42. Gisele

    – A Boston Cream Pie is the first dessert I used to practice, practice and practice making pastry cream. It’s my husband’s favorite dessert …. and, my pastry cream (King Arthur recipe) is amazing! This dessert is well worth the effort and time. Gisele ~

  43. ShanF

    Add another October baby to the list – I’m here because I’m making this for my husband’s birthday; his yearly standard. While I am in LOVE with your cake and pastry cream recipe (though I did add two extra egg yolks, because I can’t help myself that way based on a recipe I’ve used for BCP and cream puffs for years) but had significant issues with the glaze. 🙁 Per the recipe as written I ended up with basically a thick (tasty!) hot chocolate rather than a ganache. After nearly doubling the chocolate (I used semisweet mini chips that were on hand) I finally got the texture I was looking for. Very odd.

    But wow, that PC recipe is a winner, even if it is smooshing out of the cake as we speak. I’d call this “baking girl problems” – ie, not something I’m super concerned about. 😉

  44. Emmie

    My mother used to make me the Betty Crocker mix BCP for my birthdays in the late 1960’s. It’s still the first thing I say when someone asks “What kind of cake would you like for your birthday? ” It’s elegant and simple and unique. Thanks for reviving it!

  45. Jan

    Boston Cream pie was my dads favorite cake. I remember my mom making it often. My husbands office used to draw names for birthday cakes for each month, and I was always asked to make the Boston Cream pie for birthdays in September. It was a joy to make it and it’s so delicious. This is a go to recipe for any occasion.

  46. jeanne mccann

    Hi the note in the recipe says it has been amended and 3 eggs reduced to 2. However the recipe still says two eggs, whereas the other items have been changed in the actual recipe. Can someone confirm that it is indeed two eggs and not three? thanks!

    1. jeanne mccann

      ugh, sorry, i meant to say that the recipe still says THREE eggs! but the note says it’s been reduced to 2.
      can someone clarify please? Thank you!

    2. PJ Hamel

      Thanks, Jeanne, for catching that — that should be 2 eggs, and the recipe and blog post now match one another. Enjoy your “pie”! PJH

  47. Nancy Mock

    Boston Cream Pie has always been my husband’s favorite. I just made one today, with a special cake pan that creates pockets inside the bottom layer. So in addition to the pastry cream between the cake layers, each slice had a little pocket of pastry cream as well!
    I can’t agree with you more: Boston Cream Pie should definitely come out of the corner and onto more dessert plates!

  48. Glenn Creel

    I made the Boston cream pie last night, pastry cream and chocolate panache were excellent! However my cake was tough. I split between two pans because I did not have a 2inch pan. I probably over cooked it but that would usually make it dry not tough. Not sure what happened besides overcooking. Any ideas

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Glenn, if you divided the batter between two smaller cake pans, it probably would have only needed 30-35 minutes to bake all the way through, depending on the size. It sounds like over-baking is likely the culprit here, but other causes of tough cakes are over-mixing and using too much flour. Be sure you’re using King Arthur all-purpose flour and measure it using a scale or the message “>fluff and sprinkle method. Too much flour can make your cake dry. I hope this helps! Kye@KAF

  49. Sally

    This cake was a disaster. I have been baking for 40 years so not an inexperienced baker. I followed all the directions . After about 50 minutes I thought I’d check on it and the whole thing has sunk in the middle. The middle is only about a 1/2 inch thick ! So disappointed in this . Now I have to start all over with another recipe as I NEED this for the holiday tomorrow.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Sally, we’re so sorry to hear about your cake troubles, as we know this can be especially disappointing when dessert is needed for a celebration. There’s a number of reasons why cakes may sink in the center, including over-creaming the butter and sugar together or using a flour with too low of a protein content. We’d love the chance to talk through some of the possible causes with you to suss out the culprit of your sunken cake; please feel encouraged to give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253). We can come up with some tips for better results next time. Kye@KAF

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