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Boston Cream Pie Cake

by on September 21, 2009 · 21 comments

If you’ve ever received Cuisine at Home magazine’s sample issue, this Boston Cream Pie Cake might have caught your eye. Unlike regular Boston Cream Pies, it has an extra chocolate layer in the middle which makes for a dramatic presentation — or at least as dramatic as one could imagine for Boston Cream Pie. Boston Cream Pie is a humble sort of dessert and this one requires more dishes and more work than most. Or maybe it just seemed that way because it was my first time making it and recipes always seem more complicated the first time around.

The recipe requires so much beating that you really need a stand mixer to do the job. But if you measure right, use the correct flour, weigh the ingredients and sift as directed, you’ll be rewarded with a very light and airy sponge cake. The chocolate layer is excellent – very soft and very chocolaty. The cocoa is not just for show.

The pastry cream was not great. I made it twice and didn’t love the texture, so I used a different recipe in the end. I’m going to give you Cuisine at Home’s recipe, because chances are it just wasn’t my preference and others might like it. Also, Cuisine at Home’s recipe yield’s right amount of pastry cream, whereas if you use a different recipe you may have to make two batches.

The glaze was absolutely perfect. It flowed nicely without being runny and was very shiny. I’d use that again on just about any cake.

This was a winner, but I’d still like to try a smaller or more streamlined version.

boston cream pie cake

Boston Cream Pie Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Boston cream pie with a bonus layer of chocolate cake.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Pastry Cream Filling:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light rum, optional
Golden Cake:
  • 1 cup cake flour (4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Cake:
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of hot brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces of good quality semisweet chocolate finally chopped
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
  1. Make Filling First: Bring milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar and vanilla to a simmer in large heavy saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, stir together 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small mixing bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed till fluffy and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Stir in the corn starch mixture. Whisk 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then add the egg mixture back to the milk in the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, about 5 minutes. When mixture starts to boil, continue boiling for another minute. Remove from heat and add room temperature butter and rum (if using). Pour into a bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap or parchment to prevent a skin from forming.
  3. Chill until cakes are baked and completely cooled.
  4. Make Cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9-inch cake pans with flour- added cooking spray and line with parchment paper rounds.
  5. Now you will make the golden and chocolate cake batters. To get started, sift together the dry ingredients for the golden cake and the dry ingredients for the chocolate cake and put them in separate bowls.
  6. Make the golden batter first. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 8 minutes. Gently fold sifted flour mixture (for the golden cake, of course) into eggs in two additions, making sure it gets thoroughly mixed. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla. Pour batter into one of the prepared cake pans and put it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the chocolate batter. Wipe the bowl clean and beat the eggs and sugar for 8 minutes. Gently fold sifted flour mixture into eggs in two additions. Fold in coffee, oil, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Pour batter into other the other cake pan and bake the chocolate cake for 15 to 18 minutes or until it springs back when touched.
  8. Transfer cakes to a rack; cook 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, then invert cakes onto plates. Remove parchment and invert again onto the rack so the cakes are right side up. Cool completely.
  9. To assemble, split golden cake into two layers and place the bottom half cut side up on a cake platter. Top with half of the cold filling (about 1 1/4 cups) spreading it evenly to the edges of the cake. Carefully place the chocolate layer on top and spread with remaining filling. Top with second golden layer, cut side down; press lightly to stabilize layers. Chill cake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. For the glaze, place finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Boil cream and corn syrup, pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let it cool for about 10-20 minutes or until it thin enough to pour, but not so thin that it will flow all over the place when you pour it. Pour glaze on top of cake.


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Published on September 21, 2009

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie September 21, 2009 at 10:54 am

I sure wish I could hop into the computer and eat that up! The pic is tempting me.

sherri September 21, 2009 at 11:05 am

Whoa~ I think I’m in love!

Lisa Ernst September 21, 2009 at 11:40 am

This looks absolutely irresistible! I love the extra layer of chocolate in the middle. If I were in a cake baking mode, this would be the one.

gloria September 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Anna, what an irresistable looking cake! You put a lot of effort into this one and it shows. Never seen a better looking Boston Cream anything!
Do you have a tried and true method for splitting cake?

Anna September 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Gloria, I’m glad you asked. Splitting cakes used to intimidate me, but there are 3 tools that make it easy 1) a metal skewer 2) large serrated knife and 3) cake lifter.

You put the metal skewer through the cake so that it pokes out through the other side, then cut right over the skewer, slightly resting the knife on the skewer to guide you, then you use the cake lifter to lift the top layer off.

I am terrible at doing stuff like that, but with those 3 tools I can split a cake.

Here’s what the cake lifter looks like.

pity September 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

what a wonderful cake, it really looks divine, a lovely temptationfor a chocaholic like me, thanks for sharing!

cheers from london,


Mary September 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm

That extra layer of chocolate caught my eye as well. Cook’s Illustrated also has a wonderful version of this, sans the chocolate layer. Anna, in your spare time you could do
comparison posts in search of the world’s best Boston Cream Pie :-).

snooky doodle September 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

this looks delicious! that extra layer adds an extra layer of yumminess :)

Mimi September 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I have to admit the chocolate layer caught my eye.

dawn September 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Oh Anna I love that middle! I think everyone does! What a fabulous cake and photo. Did you come see my latest creation? It was oh so fabulous.
I must try this one.

HeartofGlass September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm

^I think Anna has already done BCP ‘smackdowns’ in the past…it is your husband’s favorite dessert, isn’t it?

I like BCP (er, especially doughnuts) but often it can be too sweet and uncomplicated–this chocolate looks like it adds a really interesting and complex flavor. I love er…chocolate cream powdered doughnuts too…I have to admit…but this dessert takes BCP to another level with a bit of extra chocolate cream glam.

Niki September 22, 2009 at 7:33 am

You know, I’ve always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie Cake, but have never felt like I wanted to be standing in a kitchen for hours on end to do so. Which is sad b/c of my absolutely love of the stuff. I wonder if there will ever be an easier way? But then again, if there was, then I’d probably make one every week…

Jaime September 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Looks good. Boston Cream Pie is tricky, if I recall my mom’s failed attempts when I was a child.

Em September 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm

That looks absolutely amazing – I’m not sure I have the patience to make such a cake as that..

Marie November 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

This looks amazing *drool :)* My dad makes it for me every year on my dirthday and i love it, we use a whipping cream frosting though and its really good :D

A.marrie March 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

i’m goona have dreams about this for weeks….mmmmm boston cream pie.

Rosanna October 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I think tonight I’ll dream it!!! :-P

Willa November 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

What cream recipe did you use?


Anna November 1, 2010 at 11:48 am

Willa, I used the one above.

Willa November 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Oh, you had said in the end you used a different pastry cream recipe because you did not like this one???? I am making this for someone. thank you for sharing your recipe. i love to cook. :)

David Head February 17, 2012 at 9:05 am

We have made something similar ,They are just Devine. It’s one of those cakes that has ,the because of factor,,,,meaning you’ll always go because of the cake.So if more restaurants put something. like this on there menus ,they will more than likely sell.And it’s so nice to have freshly baked instead of frozen from the suppliers.
Kind Regards
David Head

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