How to Make Boston Cream Pie Recipe

Learn how to make the Boston cream pie recipe and how this popular dessert got its start. Its fame is claimed by the Parker House Hotel in Boston back in the 1800’s and is now the official desert for Massachusetts. (This same hotel also claims the fame of the soft buttery Parker House rolls, also in the 1800’s.) Both of these recipes remain to be very famous still today. Those must have been some years for this hotel!

The original recipe called the “Parker House chocolate cream pie’ was created by an Armenian French chef.  It consisted of two layers of sponge cake which was then filled with cream.  The sides were brushed with a rum syrup and then coated with the cream; on top of the cream sliced almonds were placed all over the sides. Finally the top was coated with chocolate fondant or glaze. See why this became so famous!

As you are learning how to make Boston cream pie recipe you will find a variety of recipes all with the same title. I am sharing several with you which I have collected over the years; some are not much like the original recipe. The one question I have always asked is why this is called a “pie” and not a “cake”. It has all the characteristics of a cake.

Finally after I moved to Florida in the eighties, I worked with so many people from other countries. Many of them would get the words “pie” and “cake” confused.  I am thinking because the creator of the original Boston cream pie recipe (and creator of the name) was from another country, he simply assumed it was a pie. I do not know this for a fact but I certainly would call it a cake.

NOTE: As I learned how to make the Boston cream pie recipe I found it best to refrigerate “step to step” as much as possible; for instance, refrigerate after filling while melting the chocolate. Cakes also need to be refrigerated a couple of hours before cutting and should always be kept refrigerated.

NOTE: To melt chocolate I bring the water in the bottom of a double boiler just to a boil; place the top pan on top with chocolate and set it OFF the heat so it can slowly melt.


how to make boston cream pieHow to Make the Original Boston Cream Pie Recipe
  • 1 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Cup milk
  • Custard filling (Recipe below)
  • Rum glaze Recipe below)
  • Chocolate glaze (Recipe below)
  • 2 Cups toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375F degrees; grease and flour 2 nine inch cake pans.

Combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt; sift together 3 times and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until creamy; beat in the eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk; beat until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared pans; bake 15 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes and remove cakes from pans to rack to cool.

Prepare custard, rum glaze and chocolate topping.

When cake is cold place one layer on a cake platter.

Top first layer with 2/3 of custard filling; place other layer on top.

Brush sides and top of cake with rum glaze. (I actually drizzle rum glaze over the top).

Frost sides of cake with remaining custard filling; cover sides with toasted almonds.

Spread chocolate over the top and let it run (Somewhat) down the sides.

FILLING for original Boston cream pie recipe

  • 1 Cup light cream
  • 1 Cup milk
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Warm cream and half of the milk over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.

When it begins to bubble around the edges add the sugar and salt; stir until sugar dissolves.

Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

Add remaining milk to the cornstarch gradually while stirring until smooth.

Whisk the eggs into the cornstarch mixture.

Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan while briskly whisking.

Cook and stir mixture over low heat until it thickens and is smooth.

As soon as mixture thickens remove from the heat; let custard set to room temperature.

RUM GLAZE for original Boston cream pie recipe

NOTE: This is a small recipe but I always have some left over. It is so delicious that you can use the leftover glaze on ice cream or other desserts.

  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup dark rum

Melt butter in sauce pan; stir in water and sugar.

Boil 5 minutes; stir in rum and remove from heat.


for original Boston cream pie recipe

  • 8 Ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 Teaspoons butter

Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler over hot water (Not boiling water).

Original Boston Cream Pie RecipeOriginal Boston Cream Pie Recipe


Chocolate Boston Cream Pie RecipeChocolate Boston Cream Pie Recipe

This is a great twist on the traditional recipe; chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate custard and topped with chocolate glaze.


  • 1 Cup sifted flour
  • ¼ Cup cocoa powder
  • 4 Eggs separated
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup sugar divided
  • ¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Chocolate custard (Below)
  • Chocolate glaze (Below)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Sift together sifted flour and cocoa powder; set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Gradually add 1/3 cup of sugar to whites and beat until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl on HIGH speed until thickened.

Beating on LOW speed gradually add 2/3 cup of sugar to the yolks.

INCREASE speed to HIGH and beat few minutes longer until mixture doubles in volume.

Slowly beat into yolk mixture the flour mixture alternating with water.

Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter; pour into an ungreased 10 inch spring form pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Immediately turn pan upside down on wire rack; cool completely.

Remove cake from pan and split into 2 layers.

Place one layer on cake plate and spread with chocolate custard.

Top with remaining layer and spread chocolate glaze over the top and sides.

Chill until serving; keep refrigerated.

Chocolate Custard

  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ Cups milk
  • 2 Ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Beaten egg yolks
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan; stir in milk and chocolate.

Cook and stir until bubbly; cook 2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat and stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks; return mixture to saucepan.

Cook and stir 2 minutes longer; stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into glass bowl; cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Chocolate Glaze
  • 2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¾ Cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 8 Teaspoons hot water

Melt chocolate and butter in small saucepan; remove from heat.

Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla; gradually stir in water until glaze is thin spreading consistency

Chocolate Boston Cream Pie RecipeChocolate Boston Cream Pie Recipe


Orange Flavored Boston Cream PieOrange Flavored Boston Cream Pie


  • 1 ¾ Cup cake flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • Custard filling (Recipe below)
  • Chocolate frosting (Recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk.

Divide batter evenly and spread in two prepared pans; tap pans on counter to remove any air pockets.

Bake cakes for 20 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

Make the custard filling; spread over one cake layer and top with second layer.

Frost top and sides with chocolate frosting.

Orange Custard Filling

  • 1 Cup light cream
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup flour
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Whole egg 
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 2 Teaspoons grated orange rind
  • ¼ Teaspoon orange extract

Scald cream in a small saucepan; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine sugar, flour and salt; pour in the hot cream mixture and stir until smooth.

In top of double boiler beat the eggs together.

Slowly stir in the hot cream flour mixture; cook over boiling water stirring constantly until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in the orange peel and extract; cool and then cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Frosting for orange cake

  • 2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ½ Teaspoon orange extract
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light cream

Melt chocolate over hot water (NOT boiling) in double boiler; remove from heat and cool slightly.

Cream butter and orange extract in a medium bowl; beat in brown sugar a little at a time.

Beat melted chocolate and cream into the butter sugar mixture.

Beat until frosting is stiff enough to spread.

Chill until ready to serve; store in refrigerator.

Orange Flavored Boston Cream PieOrange Flavor Boston Cream Pie


  • 1 Cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 Eggs separated
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter (Cooled)
  • Cream filling (Recipe below)
  • Glossy frosting (Recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Sift together sifted flour, baking powder and salt two times.

Beat egg whites until stiff; gradually beat in half of the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon color; add remaining sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and water.

Fold in melted butter; pour into 1 ½ inch deep 9 inch cake pan lined with wax paper.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes; set on rack in pan to cool completely.

Remove from pan and carefully slice cake in half with a sharp knife.

Fill cake with cream filling and frost with glossy frosting.

Cream Filling

  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 4 Beaten egg yolks
  • 1 Teaspoon rum extract

Combine sugar, flour and salt in the top of a double boiler; gradually stir in milk.

Cook over boiling water until thickened stirring constantly.

Cover and cook 10 minutes longer stirring occasionally.

Stir a little of the hot mixture into the beaten yolks; slowly stir back into hot mixture.

Cook over hot water (NOT boiling) for 2 minutes stirring constantly; chill and add rum.

Glossy Chocolate Frosting
  • 2 Cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Ounce melted unsweetened chocolate

Add hot water to the sugar to make spreading consistency; beat in chocolate and vanilla.

Spread over top of cake and let run down sides.

OPTIONAL: Often dusted powdered sugar would be a substitute for chocolate glaze.