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Original recipe for the Parker House Boston Cream Pie

The Original Boston Cream Pie Recipe

This is the first Boston Cream Pie recipe. Attributed to the Parker House Hotel, like so many other menu mainstays, the BCP was the first time chocolate was used for something other than a beverage. The year of its invention is unknown, but occurred sometime between 1865-1881, when Chef Anezin was in charge of the kitchen (he died in 1881). I thought you'd like to see the original recipe. Image: Boston Cream Pie, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.


Sponge Cake Recipe

  • 7 Large Eggs Separated
  • 8 Ounces Sugar
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Ounce Butter Melted

Pastry Cream Recipe

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Cups Light Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Dark Rum

Icing Recipe

  • 5 Ounces Fondant for White Icing
  • 6 Ounces Fondant for Chocolate Icing
  • 3 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Melted

White and Chocolate Icing Substitution for White and Chocolate Fondant Icing

    Chocolate Icing

    • 6 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Melted
    • 2 Ounce Warm Water

    White Icing

    • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
    • 1 teaspoon Corn Syrup
    • 1 teaspoon Water


    Make the Cake

    • 350* oven.
    • Grease a 10" cake pan with Baker's Joy, Pam with Flour, or your favorite method. Set aside.
    • Separate the eggs, dividing the yolks and whites between two bowls and add 1/2 cup sugar to each bowl. Beat contents of each bowl (and until egg whites are stiff).
    • Fold stiff whites into the yolk.
    • Slowly add the flour and mix with a wooden spatula and a light hand (no beating the heck out of the batter!).
    • Add in the butter and mix just until combined.
    • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-30 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
    • Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

    Make the Pastry Cream

    • In a heavy, medium saucepan, bring butter, milk, and light cream to a boil.
    • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and eggs. Whip together until ribbons form (the mixture should feel thicker, but lightened in color. Lift up the whisk and the mixture that falls off onto the top of the mixture resembles a ribbon, before it disappears). At this stage, the mixture should be fuller, with significant expansion, and almost foam-like.
    • When the cream mixture starts to boil, whisk in the egg mixture, and return to a boil, boiling for one minute.
    • Pour into a chilled bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming or, like me, just stir the skin back into the custard before using.
    • Chill overnight when possible. Otherwise, chill well and then, using a whisk, mix in the dark rum.

    Assemble the Cake

    • Slice the cake in half horizontally with a large, sharp serrated knife. Set the top cake half aside. Spread almost all of the chilled pastry cream over the top of the bottom layer, cut-side up. Spread pastry cream almost to the edges. The weight of the second layer will finish the job. Top with the second layer. Spread the remaining pastry cream around the sides to give the almonds a place to stick.

    Make the Chocolate and White Fondant Icing

    • For the chocolate fondant: Warm 6 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Add melted chocolate. Thin to a spreading consistency with water. For the white fondant: Warm 5 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Thin with water if necessary. Place in a piping bag with a 1/8-inch tip.
    • Alternate approach to Step 4: Melt the chocolate. Combine with warm water. Combine ingredients and warm to approximately 105 degrees. Adjust the consistency with water. It should flow freely from the pastry bag.
    • Step 5: Spread a thin layer of chocolate fondant icing on the top of the cake. Follow immediately with spiral lines starting from the center of the cake, using the white fondant in the pastry bag. Score the white lines with the point of a paring knife, starting at the center and pulling outward to the edge. Spread sides of cake with a thin coating of the reserved pastry cream. Press on toasted almonds for the final step of our classic Boston Cream Pie recipe.