Boston Cream Pie {With Cake Mix}

Classic Boston cream pie cake recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Starts off with cake mix. Yellow cake is filled with vanilla pudding and topped with chocolate ganache.

You might not be surprised to find out that this cake is the official dessert of Massachusetts. However, you won’t need my help to make a Flaky Pie Crust today because this pie is actually a cake! You don’t even have to go to Boston to have a taste of this treat. For a bite-sized version, try these Boston Cream Cupcakes.

Easy Boston Cream Pie With Cake Mix on White Cake Stand

How to make Boston cream pie cake recipe from scratch? 

  1. Mix together wet ingredients– This includes eggs, milk, butter, vanilla.
  2. Add snack pack pudding– And mix until smooth.
  3. Add cake mix- And mix until just combined.
  4. Pour batter– Into greased pans.
  5. Bake- Until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool cakes- Until room temperature.
  7. Prepare pudding and ganache– Please note they will need time to cool.
  8. Trim cakes- This step is optional.
  9. Assemble cake- Place one cake on cake stand. Spread the pudding on top. Cover it with the other cake. Pour ganache on top.

How to fill cake?

The easiest way to do this is by cutting a cake in half and spreading the pudding on top and covering it with the other half of the cake. If you have two separate cakes, you can skip cutting the cake in half. Just spread pudding on top of the cake and place the other cake gently on top.

When filling cake, use a spatula to spread it evenly. Some people like to fill a piping bag with the filling and attach a large tip like Tip 1M to create a cleaner look. This is great for Naked Cakes. Be sure to not overload the filling because it will leak from the sides of the cake.

What is Boston cream filling made of? Is it the same as custard?

The filling is a smooth pastry cream. I use homemade vanilla pudding, which is not the same as custard. Puddings, typically, use more starch and are usually served cold. Custards, on the other hand, are often served warm. 

Variations for Boston creme pie

Make mini cakes- Instead of a large cake, prepare individual cakes, using a 4 inch round cake pan or even cupcake pans.

Add nuts-Spread a thin layer of pudding of frosting on the side of the cake and use your hand to press slivered or chopped nuts to the side, or sprinkle them on top of the ganache. Try any of these nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios.

Add layers- Cut your baked cakes in half and make a four-layer cake. Alternate the pudding and ganache between all the layers. 

Add fruit-Top your cake with a handful of fresh raspberries or strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a mint leaf to make it look especially pretty. Freeze dried fruit can also be used to decorate this cake.

Make a trifle- Cut your cake into cubes and use the pudding and ganache to make a tasty trifle.

Decorate the ganache– Use the back of a spoon to make swirls or any other design you like on top of the cake. 

Add sprinkles or chocolate shavings- These should be tossed on top of the prepared cake and is another way to decorate it.

Make a tiered cake- Double ot triple the recipe to make a taller cake with various tier sizes. Be sure to use dowels for support.

Try other pudding flavors– Obviously this won’t be the classic choice but something fun to try. Check out this Homemade Banana Pudding and this Vegan Chocolate Pudding.

Try another cake flavor- Once again, this would not be the classic choice but give it a shot for a different flavor profile. Try this Moist Triple Chocolate Cake (From Scratch).

Closeup Shot of Boston Creme Pie With One Slice Removed on White Cake Stand

Tips and Techniques for Boston Pie

Why use room temperature ingredients? Because it helps the cake have a fluffier texture and also the ingredients blend together better.

Why did my cake stick to the pans? The pans were probably not greased and floured (or greased and lined with parchment paper) well. 

Why is my cake dry? It was probably over-baked. Always take your cake out as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Why did my cake collapse? You may have over-mixed the cake batter or under-baked your cake. Another reason could be opening the oven door halfway during baking. This should be avoided at all costs because hot air escapes the oven and causes a drastic temperature drop, increasing the chance for the cake to collapse.

Trimming your cake is optional- This might not always be necessary. It’s good to do this if the cake has baked into a dome. Use a serrated knife to evenly slice off the dome. If your cake seems too crumbly to trim, freeze it for a bit and try again. 

To make a level cake– Place the cut side of each cake, face down. This will make the flattest sides of each layer the top and bottom of your cake, which will help it look more level and even. 

Use unsalted butter- Because salted butter will make this dessert very salty.

Don’t replace butter with oil or shortening- Because the texture of the cake will change.

Don’t assemble a warm cake- Because the pudding and ganache will melt and make a mess.

Don’t over-fill the pudding- Because it will leak out from the side of the cake and look very messy. About 1/2 cup of pudding is enough.

Snack pack pudding vs. Instant pudding mix- For this yellow cake, you need to use the prepared Snack pack pudding. The pudding mix cannot be used.

Slice of Boston Cream Pie Cake on Brown Plate


Refrigerate- Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Room temperature- This is not recommended because the filling is perishable.

Freezer- Unfrosted cake and ganache can be stored separately in a sealed container for up to 1 month. However, pudding cannot be frozen since it will not thaw well. When you are ready to enjoy this cake, allow the cake and ganache to thaw in the fridge overnight. Prepare pudding, chill it and then assemble.

Make ahead instructions-The pudding in this cake needs to chill for several hours (or overnight). The chocolate ganache will also need time to set. The cakes will also need to cool completely before assembling. Therefore, start preparing this dessert’s components a day or so ahead.  

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Boston Cream Pie (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chill time/ Assembly: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Classic Boston cream pie cake recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Starts off with cake mix. Yellow cake is filled with vanilla pudding and topped with chocolate ganache.
Yield: 9 Slices



  • 4 Eggs, Large, Room temperature
  • 1 cup Whole milk, Room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted, Unsalted
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 container Vanilla snack pack pudding,  3.25 oz
  • 1 Yellow cake mix



  • 1 cup Chocolate ganache, Use 1:1 ratio (1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup heavy cream)


  • In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add vanilla pudding and mix until smooth.
  • Add cake mix and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter in two greased and floured round cake pans (Dimensions: 8×2).
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let the cakes cool completely.
  • While the cakes and baking and cooling, prepare the pudding and ganache and let them cool and thicken.
  • To assemble, trim the edges and domes of the cake (optional).
  • Place one cake on cake stand.
  • Use a spatula to spread vanilla pudding on top.
  • Place the other cake on top of the pudding.
  • Pour ganache on top and spread it with a spatula so that it starts dripping slightly along the sides of the cake. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 548mg, Potassium: 94mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 465IU, Calcium: 166mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 349
Author: Abeer Rizvi

2 comments on “Boston Cream Pie {With Cake Mix}”

  1. I absolutely cannot wait to try this. My husband’s birthday is coming up, and we loved the Boston cream from a bakery I used to work at. But in the years after I left they became way too pricey. This looks like something that may be better than theirs and I can boast about making it too. Thanks for this recipe !!

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