Don't be fooled by its name—this famous "pie" is not a pie at all! It is a layered sponge cake filled with pastry cream, topped with chocolate sauce, and garnished with almonds. The original Boston cream pie recipe is a culinary creation of Boston's Parker House hotel. It was originally called the Parker House "chocolate cream pie" and was created for the opening of the hotel in 1856. The cake became so famous, it's been designated as the official state dessert of Massachusetts. There have been countless variations of this classic dessert throughout the years, but this recipe most closely resembles the classic version.
- For the Cake:
- 7 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- For the Pastry Cream:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon dark rum (or rum extract)
- For the Chocolate Icing:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup water
- For the White Icing:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon water
- For the Garnish:
- 1 cup almonds (toasted and sliced)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Prepare the sponge cake: Separate the eggs by placing the yolks and whites into different bowls. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar to the whites. Beat the yolks until creamy and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the creamy yolk mixture. Gradually add the flour, then mix in the butter.
Pour into a greased 10-inch cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until spongy and golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Make the pastry cream: In a large saucepan, bring to a boil the butter, milk, and cream.
As this mixture is cooking, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a bowl and whip until ribbons form.
When the cream, milk, butter mixture reaches the boiling point, gradually whisk in the egg mixture and cook to boiling. Boil for one minute.
Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Once chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with 1 teaspoon dark rum or rum extract.
Assemble the Boston cream pie: Cut the sponge cake into two layers.
Spread the flavored pastry cream over one layer. Top with the second cake layer. Reserve a small amount of the pastry cream to spread on sides to adhere to almonds.
Place chocolate and water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Spread a thin layer of chocolate icing on the top of the cake. If some of the icing drips down the side of the cake, don’t worry. This will be covered up with the almonds.
Combine the white icing ingredients and warm to approximately 105 F. Adjust the consistency with water. The icing should flow freely. Spoon white icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip.
After pouring on the chocolate icing, follow immediately by piping spiral lines of the white icing starting from the center of the cake working your way outwards. Using a wooden skewer, pull the white lines through the chocolate layer to form a decorative web design. Start in the center of the cake and pull outward to the edge.
Spread sides of cake with a thin coating of the reserved pastry cream. Press on the toasted almonds.
Serve and enjoy!