Boston Dreams

11 months ago


The delicious history behind Massachusetts’ official state dessert



Words by Kevyn Tapnio

Photographed by Yukie Sarto of Studio 100


For most Filipinos, their first awareness of Boston cream came in the form a cream-filled chocolate-glazed round donut called Boston Kreme. However, this popular donut never would have come to existence if it weren’t for the classic confection that is the Boston Cream Pie.

Despite its name, the Bostom Cream Pie isn’t actually a pie. During the mid-nineteenth century, pie tins were more commonly used than cake tins, and most cakes were probably baked in the round pie plates.

It was in 1856 when an Armenian-French chef named M. Sanzian made the cake for Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House) located in Boston Massachusetts. The dessert was first served as the Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie. It became so popular that people would come to Boston in the hopes of getting a slice or two of the cake. It was later renamed Boston Cream Pie after the city where it was invented.

A typical Boston Cream Pie is made of two layers of light sponge cake filled with crème pâtissière or thick custard cream in between, then simply glazed on top with a chocolate ganache. It is not overly sweet or heavy, which might be the reason why it has become a favorite meal-ender in diners all over America. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made and should not be placed in the freezer so that the texture of the sponge cake remains light and fluffy.

In 1996, the Boston Cream Pie was declared as the official state dessert of Massachusetts. Several Boston Cream Pie-inspired variations have also been made over the years. The donuts remain to be easy crowd-pleasers, but there are also recipes for cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, and even beverages in several cookbooks as well as online, all of which contain the cake’s signature flavors.

Despite the new and innovative desserts taking over the market in recent years, all the different variations we have of the Boston Cream Pie can attest to this classic diner dessert’s timeless charm.

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