Boston cream pie

Boston cream pie
A Boston cream pie
Course Dessert
Place of origin United States
Region or state Boston, Massachusetts
Serving temperature Room temperature or chilled
Main ingredients Sponge cake, custard or cream, chocolate glaze
Cookbook: Boston cream pie  Media: Boston cream pie

A Boston cream pie is a yellow butter cake that is filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate glaze.[1]

The dessert acquired its name when cakes and pies were cooked in the same pans, and the words were used interchangeably.[2] In the latter part of the 19th century, this type of cake was variously called a "cream pie", a "chocolate cream pie", or a "custard cake".[2]


Owners of the Parker House Hotel in Boston claim that the Boston cream pie was first created at the hotel by renowned French chef Augustine Francois Anezin, who led the hotel's culinary staff from 1865-81. A direct descendant of earlier cakes known as American Pudding-Cake Pie and Washington Pie, the dessert was referred to as Chocolate Cream Pie, Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie, and finally Boston Cream Pie on Parker's menus. The cake consisted of two layers of French butter sponge cake filled with crème pâtissière and brushed with a rum syrup, its side coated with crème pâtissière overlain with toasted sliced almonds, and the top coated with chocolate fondant.[3] While other custard cakes may have existed at this time baking chocolate as a coating was a new process, making it unique and a popular choice on the menu.[2]

The name Chocolate Cream Pie first appeared in the 1872 Methodist Almanac.[2] Another early printed use of the term "Boston cream pie" occurred in the Granite Iron Ware Cook Book, printed in 1878.[4] The earliest known recipe of the modern variant was printed in Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion in 1887 as "Chocolate Cream Pie".[4]

The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts, declared as such on 12 December 1996.[5]

Other form

A Boston cream doughnut is a name for a Berliner filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière and topped with icing made from chocolate.

See also



  • Byrn, Anne (2016). American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind more than 125 of our Best-Loved Cakes. Rodale. p. 46. ISBN 9781623365431. OCLC 934884678. 
  • Goldstein, Darra; Krondl, Michael; Heinzelmann, Ursula; Mason, Laura; Quinzio, Geraldine; Rath, Eric, eds. (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199313624. 
  • Patent, Greg (2002). Baking in America: Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780618048311. 
  • Stradley, Linda. "Boston Cream Pie Recipe and History". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  • "Massachusetts Facts". Citizen Information Service, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  • "Boston Cream Pie". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 

Further reading

  • Forbes, Esther, and Arthur Griffin. The Boston Book. Houghton Mifflin Company: 1947.
  • Morrisey, Louise Lane, and Marion Lane Sweeney. An Odd Volume of Cookery. Houghton Mifflin Company: 1949.
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