Why is it called Boston Cream PIE?

Today happens to be National Boston Cream Pie Day, in case you didn’t already know. I love Boston Cream Pie, and all the different modern forms in which it’s crafted: cupcakes, donuts, mini cakes, etc.


boston cream pie, why is it called boston cream pie
Photo: bettycrocker.com

From chocolate ganache as a frosting and the simple yellow sponge cake layers, to the creamy vanilla custard filling, what’s not to love? My parents are big fans too, and Boston Cream Pie happens to be their wedding cake – a memory that’s extra special since this year marks 40 years of marriage for them!

why is it called boston cream pie
Photo: perryvillebuzz.com


Why is it called Boston Cream PIE?

The question I’ve always had in the back of my mind every time I order a slice of Boston Cream Pie is this:

Why is it called Boston Cream PIE?

I mean, we’re talking about a dessert that is essentially a simple layered cake with custard spread in the middle. Nothing about that screams “PIE!” It doesn’t even look like a pie. It’s totally a cake. And for someone like me who shudders at the thought of a thick slathering of icing, this ganache-covered beauty is perfection.

And the custard, pudding, creamy vanilla-y inside?

Is it dessert time yet?

A brief and potentially inaccurate history lesson.

I decided to browse good ol’ Google to see if I could glean why this fabulous cake concoction has forever been branded a pie, and here some speculations I found – who knows if they’re true, but it’s better than nothing!

  • In the olden days (think New England colonies), families only used pie tins to bake. When this dessert was first crafted – as a pudding pie cake – it was made in a pie tin.
  • A New York newspaper first ran the recipe as Pudding Pie Cake back in 1855.
  • Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian was credited for creating the first Boston Cream Pie in 1856 at the Parker House Hotel.

Of the three, I’m inclined to believe the last one to be most true. Or at least most believable. Oh, who knows.

Why do YOU think it’s called Boston Cream PIE?


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