Chef John's Boston Cream Pie

Chef John's Boston Cream Pie

Chef John 15822

"This is my quick and easy version of Boston's Parker House Hotel's famous cake."

Ingredients 5 h 10 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 695 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 695 kcal
  • 35%
  • Fat:
  • 41 g
  • 63%
  • Carbs:
  • 72.4g
  • 23%
  • Protein:
  • 10.3 g
  • 21%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 199 mg
  • 66%
  • Sodium:
  • 514 mg
  • 21%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spray 2 (8-inch) cake pans with cooking spray.
  3. Stir yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, water, and vegetable oil in a bowl until moistened. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  4. Divide cake batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until cakes have risen and are lightly golden brown, 33 to 38 minutes. Check for doneness after 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes should come out clean. Allow cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool cakes completely, about 40 minutes.
  6. Whisk 3 eggs, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl until well mixed and lemon colored, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  7. Heat 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil.
  8. Reduce heat to low; pour egg mixture into cream mixture and whisk until thick, about 1 minute.
  9. Pour egg and cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard any chunks.
  10. Whisk vanilla and salt into the egg and cream mixture until combined. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap pressed against the surface. Chill in refrigerator to form a pastry cream texture, 3 to 4 hours.
  11. Place chocolate in a large bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside until cooled, but still pourable, about 20 minutes.
  12. Place one cake layer on a plate, flat side up. Spread pastry cream to within 1-inch of the edge of cake. Place second cake layer on top, rounded side up. Press gently to push pastry cream to the edge. Pour chocolate mixture over top of the cake and spread so it drips over the edge.
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Reviews 35

  1. 39 Ratings


For those of you who said the filling came out runny, watch his video, even though in the written instructions and on the video he says to turn it to low when you add the egg and cornstarch combination, DON'T. Keep your heat on medium and then it will thicken in 1 minute as he states, otherwise, if you put it on low it will take more like 5 minutes to thicken so quickly. You also need to make sure you chill your filling for 3-4 hours before you put it between your cake layers. The custard came out wonderfully after I made sure it thickened in the pan before I put it in the fridge for 3- 4 hours.


I made this according to the directions/recipe on a related link with a video, and it ended up tasting great. The only reason I give it 4 stars is because the filling and the ganache did not firm up as much as they should have. I may not have had the filling at a rapid enough boil, so even after chilling it for several hours it was pretty runny. I firmed it up a bit by adding some plain gelatin (dissolved in a small amount of hot water). I also used 7 tbsp of sugar in the filling, since a note on the original recipe said it could be between 6 and 8 tbsp. The original recipe I used called for "cream" in the ganache. Not knowing what that meant specifically, I used a mixture of half & half and heavy whipping cream. The recipe listed here notes it should be heavy whipping cream, so maybe using only that would make it a little firmer. Ultimately I had to freeze the cake to get it to stay together, especially since I had to transport it by car, and even though it tasted great it looked a little sloppy. I will make this again someday and try these adjustments, hopefully with better results.


Excellent! The pastry cream took approximately 8 minutes to thicken up and I had to turn the heat up higher, and keep stirring. We were not disappointed.