Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie

We had a busy weekend, but I did manage to fit in Cook’s Illustrated latest Boston Cream Pie, Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie.

If you haven’t seen the article, it’s worth buying the magazine for that alone. Andrea Gerry re-works the cake, which she says is often too dry, makes a less runny filling, and pours on a glaze that won’t harden or turn brittle like some lackluster Boston Cream Pie toppings. At the end of the day, I’d say it was one of the best Boston Cream Pies I’ve made.

Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie

Normally I’d post the recipe, but since I didn’t make any changes and the magazine is still “fresh”, here’s a link to Cook’s Illustrated Wicked Good Boston Pie Recipe. You can sign up for a membership or just go buy the magazine. That, or you can just put Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie into Google. A few people have already posted it verbatim so you can get it from them.

In the meantime, I’d like to make it again with a few changes.

First off, I’d like a smaller cake. This one’s going to take us a week to eat, but that’s not CI’s fault.

Second, I think Shirley Corriher’s pastry cream recipe from Bakewise is still my favorite.  Hers makes a smaller yield so you have to make 1 1/2 times the batch size, but it’s worth it. It’s very smooth and the flavor reminds me of the inside of a Dunkin Donut Bavarian Creme. CI’s pastry cream was good, though.   To be really fair, I’d have to try the two side-by-side.

Third, in Bakewise Shirley makes her cake with her “Magnificent Moist Yellow Cake” which is  my favorite yellow cake recipe.   CI was trying to be authentic and keep a more spongecake like texture, so they used a hot milk sponge cake with extra butter.  I can’t complain too much because we all liked it, but the one I made with Shirley’s yellow cake recipe had a little more flavor.

Finally, the ganache. Shirley uses Alice Medrich’s Double Icing technique for pouring on ganache perfectly.  I didn’t think to use that, but it might have been nice if CI touched on that technique since it’s perfect for using with Boston Cream Pie.  Or maybe they did, but didn’t agree.  Who knows?  Their ganache went on okay too.

I’m curious to hear what other people think of this recipe, so if you make it, let me know.

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  1. Yvonne says

    I love Boston Cream Pie! Living near Boston, we grew up on it! Is it a pie or is it a cake? Even us yankess don’t know–but it is yummy! Will try this one soon!

  2. says

    Glad to hear you liked this. I wondered if you had made it yet. As you know, this doesn’t figure into my repertoire of desserts, but now I’m really curious about Shirley Corriher’s yellow cake. That is something I could get excited about.

  3. says

    Yvonne, CI says it was originally a cake but home cooks made it in a pie pan so they started calling it a pie.

    Helena and Cakelaw, thanks!

    Sue, Shirley’s yellow cake recipe is in Bakewise. It’s perfect, though it does require some extra steps such as whipping cream and adding whipped cream to the batter.

  4. says

    The Boston Cream Pie I recently made was mostly Martha Stewarts. I thought the ganache got way too hard and didn’t cut as nicely. I used a cop out filling. I wish I could “afford” to make another soon, I’d have to have an occasion.

  5. says

    This pie does look “wicked”;) lol I’m new here but I’v added you to my blog list-don’t want to miss anything!! I’ve been looking around your blog and can I just say-YUUUUMMM!!

  6. Ann says

    Oh, this looks great. Boston Cream is my mom’s favorite. I can’t wait to make this and surprise her with it. I’ll let you know how it comes out 🙂

  7. says

    I’ve only had boston cream pie with chocolate frosting–not chocolate ganache. I’ll have to try it with ganache–it sounds better than just regular chocolate frosting :).

  8. says

    Wow, every time I see an image of one of these I tell myself that I have to make one. I’ve never had a real Boston Cream Pie, only Boston Cream doughnuts, and those are probably my favourite “non-plain” doughnuts. I can only imagine how good something like this is (I really need to find out :)).

  9. says

    I made this cake yesterday and ended up having to make the cake part twice. The first time I made it, it fell, badly. The edges were lacy and the top had what seemed like a sugar crust on it. So I made the cake again and made some changes. First, I cut the leavening down from 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder to 1 tsp. I also increased the oven temperature to 350 degrees. The second time around, the cakes came out perfectly.

  10. says

    Trista, I actually made the cake twice too. I should have mentioned it, but I thought I just did something wrong and didn’t want to blame Cook’s Illustrated. The first time I made it I used a little turbinado sugar in place of the regular sugar (about 1/2 cup) and the cakes fell. I figured it was my fault for using the turbinado and maybe not mixing enough? I made the cake again (after going out and buying more granulated sugar) and it was fine — no sinking.

  11. Kristin says

    Hi Anna,

    Is there any way you would be able to e-mail me both recipes, the Wicked Good and Shirley’s? I have tried googling them but am still not able to get them. I will try to find the book but if there is any way you could e-mail them, I would greatly appreciate it!

    If it’s too much of a pain, don’t worry. I love your blog and will always be a huge fan!


  12. says

    Wow it looks like you’ve done your homework on this one. Since posting this recipe have you tried making the changes you noted? If so how did they turn out?

    While visiting my daughter up in Boston we went to Mike’s Pastry Shop and had an incredible Boston Cream Pie. I would love that recipe of course there’s no way they’ll part with it.

    I’m going to try your version and see how it is. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  13. Nicole Simmonds says

    Thanks for posting… This is one of my favorite cakes!! I made it with Shirley’s cake as you recommended and Cook’s Illustrated filling and ganache it came out amazing!! I made it for guests and they raced about it. The cake was perfect!

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