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Pastry Cream Filling for Boston Cream Pie

  • Yield: Makes enough for one 9-inch cake
Pastry Cream Filling for Boston Cream Pie


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar until well combined. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Whisk in cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. While whisking egg mixture constantly, slowly add 1 cup of the heated milk to the egg mixture. Strain this mixture into milk remaining in saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil, 4 to 6 minutes.

  2. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap against the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Reviews (20)

  • brea 3 Oct, 2014

    Why this recipe hasn't be corrected is beyond me! After making this recipe, I have completely lost faith in Martha's recipes. This is not the first less than perfect Martha recipe, but this is definitely the worst. This absolutely turns into rubber with 6 T. of cornstarch. This is definitely a mistake and I can't believe in the few years that people have been complaining about this recipe that it hasn't been corrected. I wished I had read the comments before using this recipe!

  • mickeyg561 25 Mar, 2014

    This is the best recipe for a cream filling I've ever made. I've made this twice in the past 4 months and it's a huge hit with my family. The amount of cornstarch is perfect for a filling; the filling stays between the layers and has the best flavor. You must beat the filling after it's chilled, just as the recipe states. The Boston Crème Pie recipe is also the best and is this is the filling I fill it with.

  • hikerdoc232g 8 Mar, 2014

    Horrible!!! I knew something was wrong when butter was not included after the custard had cooked, boiled and thickened. After three hours in the refrigerator, the mixture solidified and looked like cold scrambled eggs not smooth pudding. Do yourself a favor avoid this version of custard for Boston Cream Pie . Such a waste!

  • miyoko101 30 Jul, 2013

    It should be 6 TEASPOONS (2 tablespoons) of cornstarch!

  • jenna_trapani 3 Feb, 2013

    Ugh... I'm never, ever, ever, EVER making anything without first reading the reviews EVER AGAIN! I think it's just too much corn starch that's causing the problem. I tried saving it by adding more milk, sugar, and vanilla, and then beating the crap out of it with my mixer. But even then, the taste was not at all up to par.

  • sruddystar 11 Jan, 2013

    Gosh darn it! I usually pay attention to the reviews. I sure wish I had, because I have the same darn rubbery mess as everyone else!!! Sucks!

  • c_aston 14 Aug, 2012

    scratch that comment, my cream too turned rubbery, it was fine going from pot to bowl, but once i took it out of fridge i could use it to make rubber balls. I threw it out and started fresh however no offense to the fabulous martha... i went with the good old fashion betty crocker recipe in my good old fashion betty crocker turned out wonderful. sorry but i have to go with Alexis, whatever martha!!!

  • c_aston 14 Aug, 2012

    I thought the creme turned out exactly like video and tasted very good.

  • cfdispense 2 Jul, 2012

    What a waste of time. Why doesn't the written recipe match the video at ALL? I'll try again tomorrow, video version.

  • cfdispense 2 Jul, 2012

    What a waste of time. Why doesn't the written recipe match the video at ALL? I'll try again tomorrow, video version.

  • junkforjill 19 May, 2012

    Agreed, 6 T is WAY TO MUCH. 3 T was not quite enough - it was not strong enough to hold the top layer and icing. I would suggest 4 T.

  • illag 6 Apr, 2012

    I agree with the majority here-- 6 tbsp is an insane amount of cornstarch! This turned out like cold, lumpy, firm Cream of Wheat. To use in a Boston Creme Pie, simple vanilla pudding would work better (the Everyday Food vanilla pudding recipe works).
    To save this I had to run it through a sieve twice. After chilling it was too hard, so I cut it with milk, warmed it, passed it through the sieve two more times, and just dealt with the crappy result. I should have tossed it, honestly.

  • laroberts 15 Mar, 2011

    I also suggest cutting the cornstarch to 3 T. Mine had to be cut with a knife and would not spread!

  • weezie1014 15 Feb, 2010

    thank you for your comments! i started out with six and got this rubbery mixture. but then i tried three and it was great!

  • yumyumcake 23 Nov, 2009

    I followed the recipe exactly as written (using all 6 tablespoons of cornstarch), and the results were terrific. It was easy to make, the consistency was perfect, it tasted delicious, and it made a great filling for my cake.

  • mssegal 11 Mar, 2009

    the six table spoons is a typo, it is only three tablespoons of corn starch,I have made pastry custard / cream for years and I never use more than three tablespoons unless I am making a double batch.

  • msoup 28 Jul, 2008

    I also had the same result as the previous comment - followed the recipe to a T and ended up with thick and rubbery cream. I used the pastry cream recipe for the other Boston Cream Pie (holiday 2002 I think) on this site for my second attempt and it was perfect.

  • MBR 7 Jul, 2008

    I made this pastry cream to fill the Boston Cream Pie. It came out hard and rubbery. I thought 6 Tablespoons of cornstarch sounded like a lot! I wonder if that was a typo? I would probably use half as much next time, or find another recipe!

  • mmsrjs 8 Mar, 2008


  • MelindaSue 20 Feb, 2008

    This recipe calls for 1 salt. Is that 1 tsp or is there a fraction missing? Help!

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