Boston Cream Pie Recipe

Boston Cream Pie Recipe with Sweet Vanilla Pudding topped with Chocolate Sauce.

Old fashioned Recipe, Boston Cream Pie has a Vanilla Custard Filling, and is topped with Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce, served hot or cold.

I first tasted this luscious dessert in 1953 in a restaurant a few doors from F.W. Woolworth's dime store, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

It was called Hot Fudge Cake.

The waiter served a wedge of warm yellow cake filled with cold pastry cream or vanilla pudding.

Then he poured Hot Fudge Sauce from a teapot over the cake.

In 1963, I made a Boston Cream Pie from a new recipe in my new cookbook.

It was yummy!

It tasted just like that Hot Fudge Cake I had enjoyed so many years ago.

Here is my delicious recipe.

I hope you enjoy this classic dessert.

Boston Cream Pie

  • 1 layer of basic yellow Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • Vanilla Custard Cream Filling

  • Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce, recipes below

Vanilla Custard Filling Recipe

  • 2 eggs

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons butter

Mix and microwave per instructions
Coconut Cream Pie except this usually needs only a few minutes to cook because it is a pudding instead of a pie.

Cool and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before filling cake.

Filling may be cooked in saucepan on top of stove.

Mix together all ingredients except vanilla flavoring  in medium size saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

As soon as you see the first bubbles it should be cooked enough.

This filling should be soft and not as thick as a pie filling, but thick enough not to run.

It will get thicker as it chills in the refrigerator before assembly.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 1 stick butter

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

  • 2/3 cup powdered cocoa

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put butter, milk, corn syrup, and cocoa in a small saucepan or skillet.

Place on low heat and stir constantly until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.

Continue cooking and stirring until mixture just comes to a boil.

Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Add powdered sugar a little at a time stirring after each addition until smooth and no lumps remain.

Serve warm spooned over warm cake.

Assembly Instructions for
Boston Cream Pie

Assemble as soon as cake is done and removed from the pan. 

If cake has been allowed to cool, reheat in microwave about 25-30 seconds.

Split cake layer making two layers.

Place bottom of cake layer on serving plate with cut side up.

Top with the cold pudding.

Place second layer on top of pudding with cut side down.

Pour or spoon Hot Fudge Sauce on top. Cut in wedges and serve.

Note: Cake can be cooled at room temperature and refrigerated to serve cold, if preferred.

Cake can also be cut into wedges and individual slices be assembled as needed.

Chocolate Filling Variation

Chocolate Filling Recipe variation.

I have not tried this variation because I think the contrast of the cold vanilla filling with hot chocolate flavor is what makes this classic cake so delicious.

In the Vanilla Custard Filling Recipe above, increase the sugar from 2/3 cup sugar to 1 cup.

Add 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces, to mixture before cooking.

A Little History For You

M. Sanzian, a French chef who was working at Boston's Parker House Hotel is credited with creating the recipe in 1856.

A similar recipe for a Pudding Pie Cake that was topped with powdered sugar had appeared in the New York Herald newspaper in 1855.

Sanzian had added a Chocolate Glaze on top.

Original Boston Cream Pie

The following recipe is the original Boston Cream Pie Recipe printed in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merrit Farmer Eighth Edition, 1947 for which I have a copy.

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs, well beaten

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 3/4 cups flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Measure all ingredients. Sift flour before measuring out sugar called for in the recipe.

Reserve 1 tablespoon full for each egg white used. Have eggs at room temperature.

Take butter from the refrigerator long enough in advance so that it is easy to work but not melted.

Work with wooden spoon until soft and creamy. Add remaining sugar gradually, beating until light.

If eggs are to be added whole, beat thoroughly and add reserved sugar.

If eggs are to be separated, beat eggs until stiff but not dry, beat in sugar reserved for the purpose and set aside; beat eggs thoroughly with same beater.

Adding eggs whole makes a fine textured cake  and adding the whites last makes a very light cake.

Add beaten eggs or yolks to butter and sugar mixture. 

Add dry ingredients and liquid alternately. Beat thoroughly but do not stir. 

Fold in egg whites if eggs were separated. 

Pour into two 8" cake baking pans and bake at 350F. for 20-25 minutes until tests done. 

Cool cake on cooling rack and put together with cold Vanilla Custard Filling recipe listed above.

Sprinkle top with sifted powdered sugar or cover with Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce, recipe also listed above.

This cake was named the official Massachusetts State Dessert in 1996.

Related Pages

Chocolate Dirt Cake Recipe

Cocoa Cake Recipe

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Wacky Cake Recipe

Return to Old Fashioned Cakes


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