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Boston Cream Pie

Light cake, layered with rich pastry cream and covered with chocolate ganache - while it's not really a pie, it will likely leave your guests asking for seconds.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices


  • Two 9”cake pans



  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs

Pastry cream (aka Crème Patisserie)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed


  • 8 oz. dark chocolate 60% or higher , chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Pastry cream

  • Start by preparing your pastry cream. Combine milk, salt, vanilla bean paste, and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved ( about 2 minutes) before removing from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of sugar with the cornstarch and egg yolks, whisking together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly drizzle ¼ cup of your warmed milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the warmed mixture until the two are completely combined.
  • Once your mixture is smooth, return it to your saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously and cook for about 7 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to the texture of pudding.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter. Continue stirring until the butter has melted and the cream is glossy.
  • Strain the pastry cream through a mesh sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool - at least 2 hours.
  • Once the mixture is cool and ready to serve, whisk until fluffy.


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 9” cake pans.
  • Combine yellow cake mix and instant pudding mix in a large bowl.
  • Mix in milk and melted butter before beating in eggs, one at a time.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool in their pans. If desired, use a large serrated knife to even out the surface of one or both cakes.
  • Ganache
  • Finely chop 8 oz. of high-quality dark chocolate and set aside.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, heat 1 cup of heavy cream until very warm, but not boiling. (I recommend using increments of 45-60 seconds in the microwave.)
  • Once the cream is hot, combine with the chopped dark chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Once the hot cream has melted the chocolate, whisk vigorously, until the mixture is smooth and shiny.


  • Place one cake atop your serving dish. Cover the top of your cake with a thick layer of pastry cream before setting your second cake on top. Slowly pour warm ganache over the stacked cakes, allowing some drips to flow over the sides.
  • Slice and serve.


  • You may need to use barbeque skewers or large toothpicks to anchor your cake and prevent the top layer from sliding off.
  • For an more creamy cake, slice both cakes in half and spread pastry cream between each layer of cake.
  • For a smaller version, cut your recipe in half and place pastry cream in the center of a single cake sliced lengthwise.
  • For a much simpler recipe, substitute instant vanilla pudding for the pastry cream. Instead of making ganache from scratch, buy a container of chocolate frosting from the baking aisle, heat it until it has melted slightly, and pour over your assembled cake using the same method.
Keyword boston cream pie, cake, chocolate, ganache, pastry cream