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What Is Boston Cream: A Decadent Dessert Delight

What Is Boston Cream?

Boston cream is a type of dessert that originated as a cake but has since been adapted into a doughnut as well.

The Boston cream pie, created in 1856 by Armenian-French chef Mossburg Sanzian, consists of two layers of French butter sponge cake filled with thick custard.

It is then brushed with rum syrup, coated with the same custard, and topped with toasted sliced almonds.

The cake is finished off with a coating of chocolate fondant.

This unique combination of flavors and textures, particularly the use of baking chocolate as a coating, made it popular and gained it the name “chocolate cream pie”.

The term “Boston cream pie” was later used in the Granite Iron Ware Cook Book in 1878 and the modern recipe variant was printed in Miss Parloa’s Kitchen Companion in 1887.

It is now the official dessert of Massachusetts.

The Boston cream doughnut is a notable variation of the pie, featuring a yeast-risen doughnut filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière and topped with chocolate frosting.

This doughnut adaptation is popular in Massachusetts, the United States, and Canada, and was designated the official doughnut of Massachusetts in 2003.

Quick Tips and Facts:

1. Boston Cream is not actually a type of cream, but rather a delicious dessert. It consists of a soft, golden cake filled with vanilla custard and topped with a layer of smooth chocolate glaze.

2. Contrary to its name, Boston Cream does not originate from Boston, but is believed to have been created by a chef at the world-famous Parker House Hotel in Boston around the mid-19th century.

3. The original name of the Boston Cream was “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie.” It became so popular that it eventually gained the name “Boston Cream Pie” and is now known simply as “Boston Cream.”

4. The Boston Cream donut, or Boston cream-filled donut, is a variation of the Boston Cream dessert and is one of the most popular donuts in the United States. It typically consists of a yeast donut filled with custard and topped with chocolate icing.

5. In the state of Massachusetts, the Boston Cream Pie was declared the official state dessert in 1996. This recognition highlights its cultural and culinary significance in the region, and the love for this delectable treat by the people of Massachusetts.

Introduction: The Origins Of Boston Cream Pie

The Boston cream pie is a delectable dessert that has become synonymous with the city of Boston and is loved by dessert enthusiasts around the world. This exquisite cake features a delightful combination of flavors and textures that create a truly indulgent experience.

The origins of the Boston cream pie can be traced back to the year 1856 when it was created by the esteemed Armenian-French chef, Mossburg Sanzian. This culinary mastermind envisioned a cake that would be a perfect blend of elegance and deliciousness. Little did he know that his creation would go on to become an iconic dessert loved by generations to come.

The Traditional Recipe: Layers Of Butter Sponge Cake And Custard

The traditional Boston cream pie recipe features two layers of delicate French butter sponge cake filled with a luscious, thick custard. The sponge cake is incredibly light and airy, providing the perfect base for the rich custard filling. The combination of the tender cake and the creamy custard creates a harmonious balance of flavors and textures that is simply irresistible.

Each layer of the cake is lovingly spread with the homemade custard, ensuring that every bite is filled with velvety goodness. The custard is made using a secret recipe passed down through generations, ensuring that the Boston cream pie retains its signature taste and authenticity.

The Unique Touch: Rum Syrup And Toasted Almonds

To enhance the indulgence of the Boston cream pie, we elevate it with a generous brushing of rum syrup. This infusion of rum adds a subtle boozy note, enhancing the interplay between the creamy custard and delicate sponge cake.

But we don’t stop there. We take the cake to a new level by coating it again with the same custard, this time adorned with a tantalizing layer of toasted sliced almonds. The almonds not only lend a delightful crunch but also impart a delightful nutty flavor, bringing an extra dimension to this already divine dessert.


  • The cake is brushed with a generous amount of rum syrup.
  • The custard is layered on top, followed by a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds.

A Delicious Coating: Chocolate Fondant

The pièce de résistance of the Boston cream pie is the luxurious chocolate fondant coating that crowns the cake. The top of the cake is generously coated with a velvety smooth layer of rich chocolate fondant, which adds a touch of decadence to the dessert.

At the time of its creation in the 19th century, coating a cake with baking chocolate was a new and innovative process. This unique feature made the Boston cream pie stand out among other desserts of the era, cementing its popularity and ensuring its place in culinary history.

From Chocolate Cream Pie To Boston Cream Pie: Name Evolution

Though the name “chocolate cream pie” first appeared in the 1872 Methodist Almanac, it was not until 1878 that the term “Boston cream pie” was officially printed in the Granite Iron Ware Cook Book. This marked the beginning of the dessert’s association with the city of Boston.

The modern variant of the Boston cream pie recipe was featured in Miss Parloa’s Kitchen Companion in 1887, solidifying its place as a beloved dessert enjoyed by many. Today, the Boston cream pie stands as the official dessert of Massachusetts, further emphasizing its cultural significance and the pride the state takes in this delectable creation.

  • Boston cream pie is a beloved dessert enjoyed by many.
  • The name “chocolate cream pie” first appeared in the 1872 Methodist Almanac.
  • The term “Boston cream pie” was officially printed in the Granite Iron Ware Cook Book in 1878.
  • Miss Parloa’s Kitchen Companion featured the modern variant of the Boston cream pie recipe in 1887.
  • Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts.

Beyond The Pie: The Rise Of The Boston Cream Doughnut

The popularity of the Boston cream pie paved the way for the rise of its delightful spin-off, the Boston cream doughnut. This delectable doughnut variation features a round, solid, yeast-risen doughnut base that is lovingly slathered with a thick layer of chocolate frosting.

But what truly sets the Boston cream doughnut apart is its luscious filling. The traditional filling consists of vanilla custard or crème pâtissière, which adds a creamy and luxurious contrast to the fluffy texture of the doughnut. The Boston cream doughnut has become a favorite in Massachusetts, as well as across the United States and Canada.

In 2003, the Boston cream doughnut was even designated the official doughnut of Massachusetts, highlighting its widespread popularity and cultural significance. It stands alongside the beignet as one of only two official state doughnuts, further solidifying its fame and adoration.

In conclusion, the Boston cream pie and its doughnut adaptation are exquisite treats that have rightfully earned their place in both culinary history and the hearts of dessert enthusiasts worldwide. With layers of delicate sponge cake, rich custard filling, a hint of rum, toasted almonds, and a decadent coating of chocolate fondant, these desserts deliver a truly indulgent experience. Whether you prefer the elegance of the pie or the simplicity of the doughnut, these Boston cream creations will undoubtedly leave you craving more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Boston cream filling made of?

Boston cream filling is a delectable mixture that combines the richness of custard and the smoothness of pudding. Created using a delightful blend of milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla, this traditional filling boasts a velvety texture that simply melts in your mouth. To ensure a stable consistency, cornstarch is added to the mix, allowing it to be effortlessly cooked on the stovetop. With its simple yet heavenly combination of ingredients, Boston cream filling is an easy recipe that never fails to tantalize the taste buds.

What flavor is Boston cream?

Boston cream is a delectable combination of flavors that tickle the taste buds with every bite. The creamy vanilla custard nestled between layers of soft sponge cake creates a perfect balance of sweetness and lightness. Topped with a rich, velvety chocolate glaze, this beloved treat from Massachusetts is a harmonious marriage of flavors that leaves a lasting impression on all who indulge in its irresistible charm.

What is the difference between Boston cream and regular cream?

The distinction between Boston cream and regular cream lies in their ingredients and resulting textures. Boston cream, which includes milk and eggs as its main components, creates a custard-like consistency when combined with cornstarch. On the other hand, regular cream, known as Bavarian cream, is made using heavy cream and whipped cream, resulting in a more solid texture. While both creams incorporate different ingredients and possess distinct textures, they both offer delightful variations for those seeking creamy indulgences.

What makes it Boston cream?

What makes it Boston cream? The distinction lies in the luxurious combination of a golden two-layer cake filled with a velvety pastry cream and topped with a decadent chocolate icing. While chocolate was primarily enjoyed as a beverage or in puddings during the 1800s, the Boston cream pie revolutionized the usage of chocolate by incorporating it into a cake, creating a delectable and indulgent treat that continues to capture the hearts and taste buds of dessert enthusiasts. Its unique combination of flavors and textures sets it apart, earning the rightful distinction of being a timeless classic.

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