Saturday, March 8, 2014

Traditional Boston Cream Pie

Last night we went over to some friends' to have dinner and hang out, and I was tasked with bringing the dessert for the night.  There was really only one thing on my mind to make: Boston Cream.  So I decided to try my hand at traditional Boston Cream Pie.  Which, interestingly enough, is actually a cake.  But it's still called pie.  Hm.  

And since I only needed half of the cake batter for the pie, I used the other half for some sprinkled cupcakes for the kiddos to eat!

I was so happy with how it turned out.  The cake was light and fluffy, and the custard was thick enough to not squish out of the cake.  And I loved the taste of the chocolate icing I used.  I also baked the cake and filled it Thursday night because I wanted the cake to have some time to soak up the custard before we ate it.  Yummy!

It also was not difficult to make because I started with some basic mixes (boxed yellow cake and pudding mix) but altered their recipes a bit to give it more of a made-from-scratch taste.  This recipe is definitely less time consuming than a completely homemade pie. 

Most Boston Cream Pies have a very thin glaze on top.  But you know how much I love my chocolate, so I used one of my go-to chocolate icing recipes that allows you to make a little thicker glaze.  It still flowed down the sides of the cake as it's supposed to, but it firms up pretty quickly so that you get a thicker layer of icing.

Boston Cream Pie
Makes: one 9" pie
***Note: It is easiest to prepare the entire cake mix even though you only need one 9" cake (half of the mix) for this recipe.  I used the whole cake mix and made one 9" round cake and used the rest of the batter for cupcakes.  The ingredients listed below are for making the entire box of cake mix.

For Cake:
1 "Duncan Hines Golden Butter Recipe" boxed cake mix  *See note below to use a different cake mix.
4 large eggs
7 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
For Custard:
1 box vanilla pudding mix (2 oz.)
1 3/4 cups cold milk
For Icing:
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons hot water

  1. Preheat oven as directed on the cake mix box.  Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan.  (Also prepare a cupcake pan for leftover batter.)
  2. Prepare your cake by mixing the cake mix, eggs, softened butter, milk with an electric mixer as directed on the box.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared 9" pan.  Use the rest of the batter for cupcakes or whatever you want!
  4. Bake as directed for a 9" pan.
  5. When the cake is done, remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cake is cooling, prepare the custard by whisking together the pudding mix and the 1 3/4 cups of very cold milk.  Place in the fridge to firm up.
  7. When the cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally.
  8. Separate the two layers.  Spoon the chilled pudding onto the bottom layer of cake, spreading it out almost to the edges.  Then place the top layer of cake lightly on top of the pudding.  *This is where I stopped and let the cake to sit in the fridge overnight to allow the pudding to soak into the cake layers a little bit, but this chill time is not necessary.
  9. Prepare the icing:  Melt the 4 ounces of chopped milk chocolate and 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave in short increments, stirring in between.  Once it is melted, stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  The mixture will form a paste.  Add the HOT water one tablespoon at a time.  Mine usually takes about 4 tablespoons.  You want the icing pretty runny because it will firm up very quickly once it hits the cold cake.
  10. Pour icing carefully onto the cake, spreading it around and encouraging it to drip down the sides.
  11. Store in the fridge.
**To use a different boxed cake mix, make these changes to the directions on the box:  Add an extra egg.  Use softened butter instead of oil.  Use milk instead of water.  This gives your cake a more homemade taste and just takes it to another level.

I hope you enjoy this traditional decadent dessert! We certainly did!

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