Mini Boston Cream Pie For Two is a 4 inch small sponge cake filled with custard then topped with a melted chocolate ganache.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m working on bringing you your favorite classic recipes in small batch sizes.
Next up is this Mini Boston Cream Pie For Two, which is a 4 inch small sponge cake filled with vanilla custard then covered with a melted chocolate glaze.
This mini cake for two recipe is actually one I published way back in 2008. However, the recipe needed to be updated and the photos reshot.
I forgot how much I loved Boston cream pie until I started making it again.
I made the sponge cake layers in two 4-inch springform pans. That way you can make a 2 layer cake without having to cut anything in half.
This mini Boston cream pie does take some time to prep because you need to chill the custard at least an hour, but that also means you can make each component ahead of time.
Make the sponge cakes and custard on one day, then the next day assemble and make the chocolate ganache.
It’s the perfect dessert for two, whether you’re celebrating someone’s birthday or just hungry for cake in general.
What is Boston cream pie?
Boston cream pie is not an actual pie but rather it’s a buttery sponge cake filled with a vanilla custard then topped with a chocolate glaze.
Boston cream pie, as the name implies, originated in Boston at the Omni Parker House.
It’s called a pie because back in the day, bakers would make it in a pie plate instead of a cake pan.
What is in Boston cream?
Boston cream is made up of 3 components: buttery sponge cake, vanilla custard, and a chocolate ganache.
How many does a 4 inch cake serve?
You can get 4 slices out of a 4 inch cake, so that translates into 2-4 servings. I say it’s dessert for two because each person gets 2 slices – one for dessert, one for breakfast.
Where To Buy 4 Inch Cake Pan
For this recipe, I used 4 inch mini springform pans, which I bought at Target a long, LONG time ago.
However, with the internet these days you can buy 4 inch springform pans on Amazon (affiliate link).
How do you make Boston cream pie from scratch?
First start with the small sponge cakes.
Beat together melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until pale and yellow.
Starting with the dry ingredients, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions.
Transfer the batter to two 4-inch springform pans then bake at 350F for 20-23 minutes.
How to make custard for Boston cream pie
Next, work on the vanilla custard filling. Warm the milk in a saucepan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Then slowly whisk in some of the warm milk.
This is called tempering the eggs where you gradually bring the temperature of the egg to the same temperature as the warm milk.
If you added the egg yolk immediately without tempering, you’d have a higher chance of cooking the egg, leaving your custard lumpy with scrambled egg.
Place everything back in the saucepan then cook until thickened. Remove from the heat then whisk in the butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 1 hour before using.
Since you only need 1 egg yolk for the custard, here are some recipes using leftover egg whites.
How to make chocolate ganache
Ganache is a chocolate glaze made from chocolate and heavy cream. Depending on the ratio of chocolate to cream, it can be used for truffles, fillings, and frostings.
Here we’re using it as a glaze on top of the mini Boston cream pie.
I wrote a separate guide on how to make ganache complete with step by step photos.
Does Boston cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, Boston cream pie needs to be refrigerated after assembling due to the perishable custard filling. Let the cake sit out at room temperature about 15-30 minutes before serving to get rid of the chill.
If you’re making the cake components ahead of time, the sponge cake wrapped in plastic wrap can sit out at room temperature.
The custard will still need to be refrigerated on its own.
The chocolate ganache is best made right before assembling, but if you find yourself needing to make it ahead of time, refrigerate it then rewarm until melted again before using.
How long does Boston cream pie last?
Because of the custard, Boston cream pie doesn’t last as long as normal cakes. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze Boston cream pie?
You cannot freeze an assembled Boston cream pie due to the cornstarch in the custard filling.
However, you can freeze the sponge cakes on their own then make the custard later when ready to serve.
More Boston Cream Pie Recipes
Here are some more Boston cream pie recipes:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 4-inch springform pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until pale yellow and smooth, about 1 minute.
- On the lowest speed possible, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour and two additions of milk. Scrape down the bowl.
- Transfer the batter to the two pans (roughly 1/2 cup batter per pan). Bake 20-23 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely then remove from the cake pans.
- For the custard: In a large saucepan, warm the milk until hot but not boiling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until smooth. Whisk some of the hot milk into the egg mixture then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook until boiling, whisking constantly. Once boiling whisk for another 60 seconds or until the custard thickens.
- Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top with the custard. If the custard is too cold to spread, you can warm it back up with some milk until spreadable.
- Top with the remaining cake layer. The cake should be fully assembled before making and adding the ganache.
- For the ganache: Add the chopped chocolate to a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, corn syrup, and vanilla until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute. Stir together until completely smooth.
- Immediately spread the chocolate ganache on top of the cake. Let the chocolate firm before serving.
Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving.
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