Decadent Boston Cream Pie

In the pantheon of desserts, Boston cream pie is sumptuous, mouth-watering and, one might say, decadent. It's an over-the-top blend of chocolate, cream, and cake more than delicious enough to satisfy even the most demanding of sweet tooths. Recipe developer Jessica Morone, though, has managed to take the Boston cream pie to yet another level.

"There are two special ingredients here, brandy and orange juice," explains Morone. "These add a tremendous amount of flavor to the cake and make it so delectable." 

Though the origin of the Boston cream pie and its name is still clouded in some mystery, one thing is for sure: if you want to serve your guests an absolutely perfect dessert that will live on in the pantheons of dinner party stories, you can't do much better than this decadent version of this classic cream pie.

Gathering the ingredients for decadent Boston cream pie

This dessert has a pretty long list of ingredients, but they're all readily available at your local grocery store. You'll need to pick eggs, milk, heavy cream, and a stick of butter, which equals half a cup). For your dry ingredients, gather sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, flour, salt, and a bar or two of semi-sweet chocolate (at least 4 ounces worth). Finish off with vanilla extract, corn syrup, orange juice, and a bottle of brandy. When you've got all that on hand, you're ready to start cooking.

Scald the milk and beat your egg yolk and sugar mixture

Combine 6 egg yolks and ¾ cup of sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar and eggs together so the mixture lightens, and thickens until you can add in the cornstarch. Keep mixing this all so it's well-combined. 

Once combined, scald 2 cups of milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear on the pan walls. Then remove it from the heat.

"Scalding the milk for the pastry cream is a necessary step because it helps to melt the granulated sugar," explains Morone. "Otherwise the pastry cream would be grainy. Adding it to the egg mixture before heating it back in the pot also helps to temper the mixture, so your pastry cream doesn't just become a clumpy mess of scrambled eggs."

Make your Boston pastry cream

Whisk about ¼ of the hot milk into the egg mixture to combine it, then whisk in the rest of it. Pour it all back into the saucepan and cook the concoction on medium-low until it starts to boil. Whisk it constantly, and continue whisking for about a minute after boiling until it gets a pudding-like consistency. That's when you take the pan off the stove to stir in a tablespoon of butter. Add a teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the brandy, continuing to stir it thoroughly. 

"For stirring in the butter, vanilla extract, and brandy I just used a rubber spatula though you could also use a wooden spoon," says Morone. 

After it chills for 15 minutes, cover it with plastic wrap and press that against the mixture so it doesn't form a skin. While the pan shouldn't be hot by that point, if you're worried about the plastic melt pour your mixture into another bowl. Put it in the refrigerator and turn on your oven to 350 F as you move on to making your cake.

Use a stand mixer to make your wet cake mix

Grease two 8-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and set it aside. Now move on to the final bowl: in a stand mixer, beat 3 eggs and the last 1½ cups of granulated sugar until it's pale and fluffy. Once you've done that, melt your final 7 tablespoons of butter and pour that in as well. 

"For melting the butter, I just put it in a microwave-safe bowl and put that in the microwave for about 30 seconds," Morone explains. 

Add the remaining ½ cup of milk, ⅓ cup of orange juice, and 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract. Now you can make it complete with another tablespoon of brandy and beat until everything is well-combined.

Finish and bake your cake

Now you can slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl in the stand mixture, beating until just combined. "I added it in 3 parts, mixing between each time I added more," explains Morone. "You could also continuously add it in slowly while the mixer is running."

Now you have a finished batter you can split between the two baking pans. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. You'll know it's ready when you can put a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.

Create your chocolate ganache

Pour the heavy cream and corn syrup into a small, microwave-safe bowl, topping it with the chopped chocolate. "For a ganache you will want to use a chocolate bar rather than chocolate chips," explains Morone. "Chocolate chips are more likely to burn and become clumpy." 

Heat this mixture carefully in the microwave. You can accomplish that by putting the mixture in for 30 seconds, then pulling it out to stir. Keep doing so until the mixture is smooth. Now you have your ganache.

Assemble your decadent Boston Cream Pie

Once the ganache is done, it's time to put on your construction cap. Place one of the cakes flat on a larger plate. Next spread the chilled pastry cream on top of it, like mortar. Place the second cake on top of the cream. Finally, pour that chocolate mixture on top and spread it to the edges, letting it run down the sides. You can either leave it in drips or use a knife to smooth out the sides. Put the finished Boston cream pie in the refrigerator, and let it set for at least an hour. 

After your creation has chilled, feel free to dig in, and watch your guests smile in total bliss at the decadence of the dessert you made from scratch.

Decadent Boston Cream Pie
5 from 44 ratings
If Boston cream pies weren't sumptuous and decadent enough, this version adds brandy and orange juice to pack even more flavor into this delectable dessert.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Decadent Boston cream pie finished
Total time: 2 hours
  • For the pastry cream
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • For the cake
  • 1½ cups flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • For the chocolate ganache
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  1. In a large bowl add the egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture becomes lighter in color and thicker. Add in the cornstarch and continue to mix until well combined.
  2. Meanwhile, add 2 cups of milk to a medium saucepan. Scald it by heating it on medium heat until small bubbles start appearing around the walls of the saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat at that point.
  3. Whisk ¼ cup of the scalded milk into the bowl with the egg mixture until combined, then whisk in the remaining scalded milk. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it starts to boil. Continue whisking it for about a minute after it begins boiling until it becomes as thick as a pudding.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon brandy. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface so a skin doesn't form. Chill in the refrigerator while you bake the cake.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8-inch round pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
  6. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the 3 eggs and remaining 1½ cups granulated sugar. Beat until pale and fluffy. Melt the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter in the microwave, then add that to the bowl. Add in the remaining ½ cup milk, ⅓ cup orange juice, 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon brandy. Beat until combined.
  8. Slowly add the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients, beat until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl add the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup. Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  10. To assemble, place one cake flat on a plate, spread the chilled pastry cream over the top of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the pastry cream. Pour the ganache over the top of the second cake, spread it to the edges and allow it to drip over the sides of the cake. Leave the drips down the side of the cake, or for a more polished look run a knife around the edges of the cake so the ganache covers the sides of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge and allow it to set for at least an hour before cutting and serving it.
Calories per Serving 539
Total Fat 22.5 g
Saturated Fat 12.8 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 179.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 77.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 58.9 g
Sodium 345.4 mg
Protein 7.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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