Boston Cream Pie

I’ve always loved Boston cream pie. With sweet vanilla pastry cream, light airy sponge cake, and a silky chocolate glaze, it’s hard not to. I’ll admit it’s not the easiest to make, but I promise it will be worth it in the end.

Boston Cream Pie (click to print)
from America’s Test Kitchen
makes a 2-layer, 9-inch cake

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sponge Cake
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Glaze
⅔ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

FOR THE PASTRY CREAM: Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl, then whisk in the cornstarch until pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, about 1½ minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 2 hours.
—-
FOR THE CAKE: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together over low heat until the butter is melted. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla, then cover to keep warm.

In a large bowl, whip the 3 egg whites and the cream of tartar together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites until they form soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually whip in 6 tablespoons of the sugar, about 30 seconds. Continue to whip the egg whites until they are shiny and form soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.

In a separate large bowl, whip the 3 egg yolks and the eggs together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed and gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, about 1 minute. Continue to whip the mixture until very thick and voluminous, 4 to 6 minutes.

Scrape the whipped whole egg mixture on top of the whipped white mixture, then sift the flour mixture over the top. Very gently fold everything together with a large rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the warm milk mixture against the side of the bowl and continue to fold the batter until evenly combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Immediately divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 12 to 18 minutes.

Immediately run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them out onto a parchment-lined plate. Peel off the parchment paper bottom, flip the cakes right side up onto a wire rack, and discard the parchment. Let the cakes cool completely before filling or glazing, about 2 hours.
—-
FOR THE GLAZE: Microwave all of the ingredients together, whisking often, until melted and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Let the glaze cool, uncovered, until it is thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.
—-
TO ASSEMBLE: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top. Place one of the cake layers on the rack. Spread the pastry cream over the cake, right to the edges. Place the other cake layer on top and press lightly.

Pour the chocolate glaze on top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Refrigerate the cake, uncovered, until the chocolate has set, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Before serving, transfer the cake to a cake platter and let sit at room temperature, 30 to 60 minutes.

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4 responses

  1. Been AGES since I’ve had a slice of Boston Cream Pie. Excellent choice prior to Thanksgiving Jessica. Making one this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Amazing looking boston cream pie! I have never had a bite of boston cream pie, but I always want to! Chocolate, sponge cake and pastry cream just sound perfect together. Maybe it is time for me to whip up one and try it. :)

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