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4.59 from 17 votes

Homemade Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie made from scratch in your own kitchen! Step by step instructions on how to make vanilla custard, easy single layer cake and smooth, rich chocolate ganache for this classic Boston Cream Pie recipe. Layer it all together and you've got a show stopping dessert that tastes incredible. 
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time35 minutes
1 hour
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Cake, Dessert
Servings: 16


Custard Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP butter


How to make Homemade Vanilla Custard

  • Separate the egg yolks from the rest of the egg. You can get a fancy tool, however it's simple just to use your hand. Beat the egg yolks until smooth and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt and slowly heat over medium heat. Whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth. Once milk mixture just barely begins simmering, remove about 1/2 cup from the pan and slowly stir into the egg yolk mixture. Then slowly pour that combined egg yolk/ milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk. Whisk continuously until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in  vanilla.
  • Pour custard into a bowl and press plastic wrap on surface of filling to prevent a tough layer from forming on top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until set.

How to make the cake for Boston Cream Pie

  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray just the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick baking spray. You can also cut out a round of parchment paper and place it on the bottom of your cake pan or use a springform cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, stopping frequently to scrape batter from side and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape bowl. Pour batter into the pan; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl, spread batter evenly in pan and smooth top of batter.
  • Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a cooling rack 20 minutes, then remove onto cooling rack to finish cooling completely, about 1 hour.

How to make Easy Chocolate Ganache

  • Microwave heavy cream and butter in a small glass or ceramic bowl for 1 minute 20 seconds.
  • Pour in chocolate chips and cover with a plate to trap in the heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  • Let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour, so that ganache cools and thickens slightly.

How to assemble Boston Cream Pie

  • To split cake horizontally in half, I first put the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Having the cake be a little hard makes it easier to cut.
  • Insert a long, thin knife into the middle of the cake and begin cutting horizontally, working around the entire cake until you can remove the top half. You can inset toothpicks around the cake to use as a guide, or just wing it!
  • Place the bottom layer of the cake on a serving plate with the cut side up. Spread custard over bottom layer. Place top level of cake with the cut side down, on top of the custard.
  • Pour ganache over top of cake, tilting the cake slightly to guide it and letting some glaze drizzle down side of cake. If you begin topping cake with the ganache and most is sliding down off the cake, stop and let both cool another hour. Then continue with pouring cooler ganache on top of cake.
  • Refrigerate uncovered until serving. Store any remaining cake covered in the refrigerator.



  • ~~Boston Cream Pie has 3 main parts- the cake, the custard filling and the chocolate topping. I highly recommend making all parts in advance! You can make the custard and the chocolate topping up to a week beforehand and the cake 2-3 days in advance. Then, just assemble the entire cake the day before you want to serve it. 
  • ~~To anyone wondering, yes, you can cheat and use a box cake mix and instant pudding. However, try making it all from scratch at least once! It really does taste different. The cake is has a different consistency than a cake mix and freshly made custard is so wonderful! 
  • ~~If you really want to use a cake mix, use melted butter in place of the oil, milk in place of the water and add 1 additional egg. Bake the cake in round cake pans and plan on freezing one of the two, since you only need 1 in this recipe.