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Boston Cream Pie

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake
Boston Cream Pie

Source: Everyday Food, April 2006


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Pastry Cream Filling for Boston Cream Pie Pastry Cream Filling for Boston Cream Pie


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Lightly butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out excess; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs and egg yolks on medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat milk and butter until hot in a small saucepan over medium heat; being careful not to boil the milk. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. With mixer still running, slowly add hot milk to egg mixture. Gradually add flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing until incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan.

  4. Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, leaving the cake bottom-side up. Let cool completely.

  5. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring heavy cream to a boil. Place chocolate in a medium bowl, and pour cream over chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted and well combined. Set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  6. To assemble cake: Remove pastry cream from refrigerator. Beat with a stiff whisk until cream is smooth. Split cake in two even layers; spread bottom half with the pastry cream filling. Top with remaining layer. Pour glaze over center of cake, allowing it to spread, covering top and dripping down the sides. Chill cake for 20 minutes before serving.

Reviews (16)

  • janis14 19 Feb, 2015

    The video recipe does not match the printed one. Very odd.

  • mickeyg561 25 Mar, 2014

    This is a wonderful recipe! The cream filling recipe is also the best and together this is one of the best desserts I've ever made. You must beat the filling, as the recipe states, after it cools completely. I make both the cake and filling the day before, keeping them separate in the fridge, and each time this recipe turns out perfect! I bake the cake in two separate pans rather than splitting it and it works great. Coating the pan with sugar makes the cake extra tasty.

  • Jerry Ferrer 8 Mar, 2014

    Horrible! This version of Boston cream pie does not work. The custard pudding simply solidified. After 3 hours in the refrigerator, the pudding looked like scrambled eggs. Most custard puddings require adding butter after the pudding cooks, thickens and boils. Against my better judgement, I tried this version. Big mistake. This is the third cake recipe from Martha Stewart that I've tried. They have resulted in failure each time. Good recipes tell you what to expect and possible pitfalls.

  • MackinacMama 21 Apr, 2013

    I have made this recipe three times and I just keep getting better and better at it. The cake is one of the lightest and fluffiest Boston Creams you will find as many other recipes are simply pound cakes. Tips-simmer, don't boil your custard!! Take your time and mix on a combo of low heat and punctuate it with a simmer now and then. Your custard will be superb. I cheat with the ganauche and use a bar of Lindt milk chocolate and heavy cream- absolutely heavenly!!!

  • Kelly Gutierrez 13 Jan, 2013

    Wow. I'm surprised by the bad reviews. I made this cake and it made me a Superstar! The creme, as with any egg based creme or pudding does harden when cold, but alas ladies, there IS a remedy. Simply add a few tablesppons of hot water and beat with your hand mixer and viola, your creme is ready to use, nice and creamy. As far as the cake goes, my cake was light and airy yet moist. Maybe you ladies are not quite accomplished and should perhaps work hyour way up to a recipe as this. Good luck

  • Addie 16 Jul, 2012

    This was the worst cake I have ever made. After all the shenanigans to prepare the batter. I expected a light airy spongy cake..It was a flat uncooked mess. It didn't cook properly at all. A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
    So very disappointed. Expect better from Martha.

  • Felecia Dispense 2 Jul, 2012

    I tried the written recipe today to make the filling, and it turned out terrible. It was way too thick b/c it cooked to fast after adding the egg/cornstarch mixture. Afterwards I decided to watch the video provided and the recipes don't match at all! I'll be trying the video version tomorrow, starting all over again. :( Hubby's birthday is tomorrow, so hopefully it turns out, otherwise I'll be making another trip to the store to buy boxed cake mix and instant vanilla pudding...

  • illag 6 Apr, 2012

    I am an accomplished home baker, and I often refer to MS recipes because they rarely fail. I can say with relative certainty that this is a complete failure of a recipe. The video doesn't match the recipe, the cake is entirely too dense and doesn't rise well. No amount of air can save this cake. And the pastry cream recipe linked here is hideous-- polenta would spread more easily. Make the Billy's Vanilla cake, stuff it with the EF pudding, and top with ganache. Those are winning recipes.

  • Durbie 10 Aug, 2011

    I made this pie three times, and it's still not coming out right. I am a pretty experianced baker and the cake overflowed in the oven, causing a huge mess. I think it might be better to divide the batter into 2 pans. On the third try I was successful, the taste was great, it just wasn't as pretty as I was hoping it would be. I even watched the video which didn't quite coincide with the recipe but it was informative. I will be trying this again for sure, it has become my mission to master this.

  • JoeFrogger 24 Nov, 2010

    The first thing that strikes me is the appearance of the chocolate frosting. This recipe does not give you that lovely smooth glazed appearance, which is traditional with the "Parker House" Boston Cream Pie. Keep scrolling down and you will find a much better recipe on this site!

  • loverofbaking 28 Mar, 2010

    the video recipe doesnt match the recipe given above though..

  • loverofbaking 28 Mar, 2010

    i have make this boston cream pie for several times..first few times,it was not very successful as mentioned before,heavy and not rising.but there is no mistake in the recipe..just have to get hold of it and eventually you will become more experience with it..the key for this recipe is not to overmix the batter as it will deflates the cake..i am sure that the cake will turn out nice and spongy.

  • exiledtocanada 7 Mar, 2010

    This was my 1st MS recipe that I have tried, and based on the results, I am not impressed. I followed the recipe as written, but the cake had a very strange texture, and was very heavy and stiff, not light. Pastry cream tasted alright, but was very lumpy due to cooking too fast after addition of egg/cornstarch mixture. I am a fairly experienced baker, but feel that there should be some additional directions around the preparation of the cake batter and in the pastry cream prep.

  • tygerchristopher 17 Jan, 2009

    I think it's supposed to be have and dense without it being too heavy and dense. To me, my cake sorta resembled pound cake but wasn't as heavy as pound cake. My cake didn't rise much, but it still tasted great and my Bible study ate and enjoyed it very much. My favorite part about this recipe is coating the pan with sugar. I do it on all my cakes now.

  • CulinaryGrad630 19 Oct, 2008

    If you don't incorporate enough air into the batter in step 2, and then add the rest of the ingredients, the cake will not have enough rise in the oven. Over mixing will produce the same dense result.

    The key in both scenarios is to make sure there's enough air in the batter so the cake does not deflate. (Light and Fluffy)

  • cinnamonbear 19 Jul, 2008

    I made this cake twice and flopped both times. Can someone tell me what I did wrong? All my ingredients were fresh. The cake never did rise and was very heavy, only about an inch tall. The cream and topping turned out perfect, it's just the cake part. Help please!

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