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The sun is shining; it’s a beautiful day!  And I finally made these Mini Boston Cream Pies that I’ve been eyeing for months at Design Sponge.   A Brooklyn Pastry Chef, Penny Stankiewicz, submitted this magnificent dessert recipe.

A photo of three Mini Boston Cream Pie desserts served on white dessert plates.

I love to entertain and I am always on the look out for extra special desserts to serve my guests.  When I spotted this one I knew I wanted to add it to my collection.  Why?  Because I enjoy all of the individual elements of the dessert especially the dreamy pastry cream and the decadent chocolate glaze.

A photo of four Boston Cream desserts.

But I think it is important to do a test run on the recipe ahead of time.  No point in stressing the day of a dinner party wondering if your dessert is going to come together or if it’s going to deliver in flavour.

A photo of two Mini Boston Cream Pies desserts shown along side 2 coffee cups with saucers and glass cream filled jug and sugar bowl.

Plus doing a trial run gives you the chance to get the feel for a recipe and also gives you the opportunity to make changes, for example, adding a garnish or reducing the amount of sugar. And most importantly tasting the dessert will help you to choose the perfect complement, perhaps a dessert wine or a specialty coffee.

A photo of four mini Boston Cream cakes displayed on a white cake stand.

Remember, dessert is the last thing your guests will enjoy, the pièce de résistance. You want the dessert to leave a lasting impression, one they’ll be gushing about the next day at the water cooler.   I guarantee you even if you burn the filet and your vegetables were mushy, all will be forgotten when you serve an extraordinary dessert.

A photo of four Mini Boston Cream Pie cakes served on white dessert dishes with a black background.

And these Mini Boston Cream Pies are the epitome of a “real show stopper dessert”.  The light Vanilla Sponge, velvety custard capped with a luscious chocolate ganache will have your guests praying for another invite.  Thank you Penny!

A photo of a Mini Boston Cream Pie on a white dessert dish.

Months ago I shared a more casual version of this dessert, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.  Who knew it was going to be one of my more popular posts.  I realized quickly that I should never have lined those cupcakes with paper liners. Looking back I realize how far I have come in my “Sweet Journey” and also how much I have learned in a very short time.

A photo of Boston Cream pies served in mini form on white dessert dishes shown with a glass creamer and glass sugar bowl.

And I must also share yet another take on this popular dessert, Boston Cream Pie Donuts.

What’s baking in your kitchen this weekend?

Mini Boston Cream Pies

(Recipe from Penny Stankiewicz-Sugar Couture via Design Sponge)

Makes 6 7.62-cm (3-inch) cakes

  • Chocolate Glaze
  • Pastry Cream
  • Vanilla Sponge Cake

A photo of three Boston Cream desserts displayed in a row on white dessert dishes with a black background.

**Special Notes – Prepare components of the recipe as listed.  The chocolate glaze needs time to set and the pastry cream needs time to cool.  If you do not have individual 7.62-cm (3-inch) cake pans you can spread the batter on a 28-cm X 43-cm (11-inch X 17-inch) sheet pan and bake; the rounds can be cut with a cookie cutter or appropriate sized clean can once the cake has cooled completely.  This recipe has a few components, it is best to prepare and measure your ingredients before beginning.  Also for best results make sure all ingredients are brought to room temperature unless otherwise noted.

Chocolate Glaze

A photo of a bar of Dark Chocolate, one of the ingredients in the recipe for Chocolate Glaze.

  • 151 g (5 ounces) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 177 ml (6 ounces) heavy cream
  • 57 g (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  1. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small-sized saucepan, set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil.  Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Gently shake the bowl to make sure the chocolate is completely covered with cream.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk until the chocolate mixture is smooth and glossy.
  4. Add the butter a couple of cubes at-a-time, whisking well after each addition.
  5. Add the corn syrup and whisk to well combine.
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate glaze to prevent a skin from forming.  Set aside, at room temperature, to cool until ready to assemble the cakes.

Pastry Cream

  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 237 ml (1 cup or 8 ounces) whole milk, divided, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped and seeds removed or 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 57 g (½ stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened
  1. In a small-sized bowl dissolve the cornstarch in ½-cup cold milk.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk, whisk to combine.
  3. In a small-sized saucepan, set over medium heat, bring the remainder of the milk and the sugar, and if using the vanilla bean seeds to a boil, whisking to combine.
  4. Remove from heat and slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  When the egg mixture becomes more comfortable with the hot temperature, add the hot milk more quickly, continue to whisk constantly.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan; cook, over medium heat, whisking constantly until the cream starts to come together.  It could take a while but once it starts to come together it will thicken quickly.  Cook, whisking constantly until thick and smooth and until one to two large bubbles pop from the cream, making sure to cook out the chalky texture of the cornstarch.
  6. Remove from heat.  Transfer pastry cream to a small-sized clean bowl.  Add the butter, a couple of cubes at-a-time, stirring well after each addition.  If using vanilla extract add once you’ve stirred in the last of the butter; stir to well combine.
  7. Place a piece of plastic directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Vanilla Sponge Cake

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 167 g (6 ounces or 1 2/3 cups) cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 113.40 g (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 118 ml (4 ounces or ½-cup) whole milk
  • 225 g (1 cup) caster (superfine granules) sugar, divided
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped and seeds removed or 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180° c (350° F).  Grease individual baking tins or sheet pan with softened butter. Coat with a light dusting of flour.
  2. Separate the eggs when they are cold; place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.  Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
  3. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt, holding the sieve nice and high above the bowl to get plenty of air in the flour as it goes down into the bowl, set aside.
  4. To melt butter, cut the butter into 1.27-cm (½-inch) thick pieces.  Place the butter and milk into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel. Turn the microwave on for 15 to 20 seconds, check to see if butter has melted and stir.  Microwave for another 5 to 10 seconds and check and stir again. Continue to do this until the butter has melted and then set aside to cool.
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, whisk the egg whites, gradually streaming in one half of the sugar, one-tablespoon at-a-time.  Whisk until stiff peaks form, set aside.
  6. Using an electric hand mixer beat the egg yolks while slowly streaming in the remaining sugar until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage (When the beaters are lifted, the batter will stream from the beaters forming a ribbon).
  7. With the mixer on, in a slow steady stream, gradually pour the butter mixture into the egg yolk mixture and beat to combine.
  8. Add the vanilla seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat to just combine.
  9. Using a large rubber spatula, in three additions, gently fold in the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture.
  10. Using a large spatula, in two additions, gently fold in the egg white mixture until just combined.
  11. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking tins (no more than half-full).  If using the sheet pan, evenly spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  12. Bake until light golden brown and top springs back when touched, 14 to 18 minutes.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in tins for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove cakes from tins and return to wire rack to cool completely.

Assembling Mini Boston Cream Pies

  1. Using a serrated knife cut off any domed tops from the cakes.  Cut each cake in half, or alternately cut out 7.62-cm (3-inch) rounds with a cookie cutter or clean can.
  2. Transfer pastry cream to a large piping bag fitted with a 1.27-cm (½-inch) plain or decorative tip. Working with one cake at-a-time, pipe pastry cream in a spiral on the bottom half of the cake round.  If you prefer, you can also forego the pastry bag and spoon and smooth (using back of small spoon or a small offset spatula) the pastry cream on the bottom half of the cake round.
  3. Top cakes with the top cake rounds.
  4. Working with one cake at-a-time, using a small offset spatula spread the chocolate glaze on the top round.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to four hours.
  6. Enjoy!