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Boston Cream Layer Cake

This three layer Boston Cream Layer Cake pays homage to the most delicious Boston cream pie. The waterfall of chocolate ganache poured over the top is the perfect finish for this special dessert that’s suitable for holidays and special gatherings.

Boston Cream Layer Cake

Easy Boston Cream Layer Cake Recipe

I really love Boston cream pie. I especially love that it’s really a chocolate covered cake filled with pastry cream. My love for that famous cream pie inspired this three layer cake. What’s not to love, right?  You can buy ready-made desserts anywhere and everywhere, but to make them from scratch really shows the love.  This  three layer cake is how I enjoy making it to get the full fledged Boston cream pie extravaganza experience.

Boston Cream Layer Cake

How to Make the Best Boston Cream Layer Cake Recipe

This homemade layer cake is unapologetically indulgent. It’s a special cake for a special occasion, so go ahead and enjoy every drop of the chocolate ganache waterfall poured over the top.

  • What is a Boston Cream Cake? This cake is a riff on Boston cream pie featuring three made from scratch yellow cake layers sandwiched together with a vanilla pudding pastry cream filling then drizzled with warm chocolate ganache.
  • How do you make a layer cake? For starters, you’ll need to make my recipe for Old Fashioned Butter Cake to make the layers for this Boston Cream Layer Cake.
  • Could you adapt this Boston Cream Layer Cake recipe using a cake mix? You could if that’s your preference. A golden butter cake mix or yellow cake mix could work. Please note, cake mix won’t have the same volume as a scratch made cake batter recipe and will result in thinner layers.
  • To save time, the vanilla pastry cream can be made in advance. When doing so, place it into an airtight container and chilled until you’re ready to assemble the cake. When chilling, whip it with a whisk before spreading onto the cake layers.
  • How do you make a chocolate ganache? There are several techniques. One way, it to heat the cream in a saucepan bringing it to a light boil. Remove it from the heat and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. You can also melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. The trick with the ganache is to make it then let it sit just a few minutes until it thickens a little. This will keep it from running off the cake and pooling onto the rim of the cake platter.
  • How do you store Boston Cream Cake? Due to the very nature of this recipe it’s best to store this cake covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Allow this cake to stand at room temperature for 10-20 minutes prior to serving to allow the ganache to slightly soften for easier cutting.
  • Another easy recipe that’s a riff on Boston cream pie to try, is my recipe for Boston Cream Doughnut Trifle which requires no baking at all.

Boston Cream Layer Cake

More Southern Style Layer Cakes to Make

Don’t wait until a special occasion to bake a cake for the family. Add these timeless favorite cake recipes to the menu soon:


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Helpful Kitchen Items: 

Boston Cream Layer Cake

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Cooling time for cake layers1 hour
Total Time2 hours
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boston-cream-cake, boston-cream-layer-cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 823kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • For the cake:
  • 1 recipe Old Fashioned Butter Cake
  • For the custard:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cup half & half
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream


  • To make the cake: Follow the recipe for the Old Fashioned Butter Cake. This can be done a day or two in advance of assembling your Boston Cream Layer Cake. Wrap cooled layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • To make the custard: In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  • Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Reserve the egg whites for another recipe or freeze.
  • Whip the egg yolks together then into the sugar mixture.
  • Add the half and half and butter to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the butter has melted.
  • Whisk the sugar-egg mixture into the hot half and half and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
  • Pour into a bowl, and press plastic wrap on top. Chill completely.
  • To assemble the cake: Remove the custard from the fridge and use a fork or whisk to mix until creamy and smooth.
  • Center one cake round on a serving plate. Top with 1/2 of the pastry cream.
  • Place the second round on top of the pastry cream and repeat.
  • Place the final round on top.
  • Chill the cake until set.
  • To frost: Melt the chocolate chips together with the cream until smooth. Melt in a double boiler, or in the microwave in 20 second increments stopping to stir each time. Cool until slightly warm to the touch and the thickness of a pourable pudding.
  • Carefully pour over the cake.
  • Store chilled.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 823kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 660IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. That looks & sounds really good. I’ll be making that for sure. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hi Connie, I am delighted you chose this cake for such a special occasion and that it was enjoyed by all of you. It’s my pleasure, thanks so much for visiting. Send my best birthday wishes to your niece!

  3. Baked this for my neices birthday and there are only two pieces left! Your recipes always challange me and push me into trying things iv’e never tried before. Thanks for all your great cake and dessert ideas Melissa!

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