April 3rd, 2012

Banana Boston Cream Pie


Bill claims he doesn’t have a sweet tooth,
because in reality he has Sweet Teeth.
The man has an undeniable weakness for a range of creamy confections.

You have to watch him.

He has the best of intentions.
He means to exert willpower.
He makes bold pronouncements about his indulgence.

“Just a small piece for me, please.”


And that’s how it starts. The gateway bite. A slippery slope. A cycle of eternal returns.

You know the thinking.

“That wasn’t a very big serving. Maybe I’ll have one more. A sliver. And that’s it.”

Or, “I’m just going to even up the edges. Clean it up. The cake looks ragged.”

I try to remove temptation. I’ll wrap up the remaining cake, and tuck it into the back of the fridge, out of sight.


To no avail.

Because what occurs are the man’s repeated surreptitious visitations to the refrigerator, knife in hand, a steady whittling away of the dessert.

The next day, I’ll find that half of a cake or pie reduced to a mere wedge.

But very neat.


This routine is predictable, especially when it comes to my Banana Boston Cream Pie.

For Bill, whose fondness for bananas equals–or exceeds—his fondness for sweets, this dessert presents the double-whammy of temptations. Knowing this penchant, I years ago started adding layers of sliced bananas to this classic.

That unexpected element makes it one of his absolute favorites.

There’s another surprise: a hint of citrus—grapefruit zest—in the pastry cream. As the bananas and creamy filling merge and meld into the softening cake, the resulting subtle tang becomes especially alluring.

That secondary fruit note gives him yet another reason to carve “just another little piece.”

Who can blame him?



Grapefruit-Scented Pastry Cream
1/2 c. Sugar
1 T. Butter
3 T. All -purpose Flour
2 c. Milk
1 t. Vanilla
1 1/2 t. Grapefruit zest
3 Eggs

In a medium non-reactive saucepan on low heat, melt butter, and mix in sugar and flour. Add half of the milk (one cup) Stir in vanilla and zest.

Whisk eggs with remaining milk until well homogenized–no streaks of yolk.

Pour into the saucepan and stir well. Increase heat to medium. Cook until thickened.

Cool; cover and refrigerate.


4 Eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. Sugar
8 T. (one stick) soft Butter
1 cup Cake Flour, sifted
2 t. Baking Powder
1/4 t. Salt
1/2 c. Milk
1 T. Vanilla

Using a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar and softened butter together on medium high speed, until the mixture becomes thick, creamy, and light-lemon colored. Beat for a 5-7 minutes.

Sift flour baking powder, and salt together. Beat into the egg mixture.

Beat in milk and vanilla.

Pour into 1 parchment lined, buttered 8″ or 9″ cake pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Test for doneness.

Remove and allow to cool on racks.

Note: To make an extra big cake, double the recipe and use 10″ cake pans. You can make it a triple or quadruple layer.

1 1/2 c. Heavy Cream
12 oz. chopped Bittersweet Chocolate (or combination of bitter and semi-sweets)
2 T. Vanilla

In a heavy duty saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Add chopped chocolate and stir until melted throughout. Turn down heat. Add vanilla. Stir and continue cook until chocolate ganache is thick, smooth, and shiny.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring over the layered cake.

3-5 Bananas
Split Cake in half. (thirds, if you want to get really fancy-rich)
Spread with pastry cream
Cover with sliced bananas
Top with next cake layer
Repeat–if split into thirds

Pour cooled ganache over the layers

Garnish with pecan halves—optional

It’s fine to refrigerate–to let the ganache really set up.

When serving, keep a glass of warm water handy to clean the knife between cuts. This will insure neat-easy slicing.


Posted in Desserts, Recipes

25 Responses to “Banana Boston Cream Pie”
  1. Magda | My Little Expat Kitchen Says:

    Oh Nancy, this is my kind of dessert. I’ve heard of it but never actually tasted it. I love the grapefruit-scented pastry cream. I’m in a citrus fruit kick these past couple of weeks.

    I cannot blame him one bit!!

  2. Nancy Says:

    As a fellow “just a bite” person who then proceeds to eat a big fat slice, I got many giggles out of this post. But really, who could resist this creamy banana goodness? It would not last long in my kitchen, even tucked away at the back of the fridge. Bravo! :)

  3. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    I have never tried this before? WHAT DID I JUST SAY? I just exposed myself! I really haven’t though.In the south we have a chocolate pie sort of like this but not to the extent of all that yummy goodness with the crust and filling and banana! I am in LOVE!

  4. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    “I’m just going to even up the edges.” — been there, and I know I’d be there with this beauty of a pie in my kitchen. Bill is a lucky guy.

  5. beti Says:

    you really created a monster, I will become addicted to ir for sure

  6. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Oh sensational! Sensational! I can’t blame Bill, if you have cakes these beautiful tempting all senses how could anyone resist? I would reduce a cake to mere wedges too.

  7. Barbara Says:

    That is one divine dessert, Nancy. No wonder pieces kept “disappearing”! :) Love the idea of grapefruit pastry cream…very unusual. It wouldn’t last a day in my fridge either. I don’t know why we always think one little wedge at a time won’t be noticed…and the next thing you know, all gone!

  8. Teresa/foodonfifth.com Says:

    I understand Bill completely. I just cannot have a fabulous dessert like your Banana-Boston Cream Pie sitting around my house. I start out eating a little piece, then a bit more, another bite, maybe just a wee taste today…the next thing know it is almost gone and Wouter has only had one piece! So whenever I make a dessert I eat a piece and then give it away, lest my little bites turn into eating the whole thing…but very neatly!
    Wonderful post and story Nance. The cake/pie looks so beautiful.

  9. Maggie Says:

    Love the story, Nance! Who could blame Bill a bit; the cake sounds divine!!!

  10. Wendy Says:

    I was lucky enough to have a slice of this beautiful cake—you can’t blame Bill. It is soooo DELICIOUS!

  11. fluffy Says:

    I am noting some very strong resemblances here…….

  12. Barbara Says:

    OMG!!! This looks so good. Since surgery my appetite has been very poor, but, alas, I think a slice of this would be just the thing to perk me right back up again!! Well done. Would you make one for me?! I am whining right now……….:)

  13. Michele / Cooking At Home Says:

    Lucky Bill to have this creamy beauty to nibble away at. Go Bill.

  14. Nic@diningwithastud Says:

    Hahahaha I can relate. There’s no way I would have any will power around this cake ;)

  15. JP & Lynn Evans Says:

    We want to meet Bill!

  16. amelia from z tasty life Says:

    I love it: The gateway bite… Bill sounds like my husband. How decadent!

  17. Nicole Says:

    Awwww….you gotta love him for it! I love the idea of the grapefruit scented filling!!

  18. Mary Says:

    oh heavens! This looks AMAZING! I love Boston cream pies and I’ve had them on my list of things I should make for ages now. This is over the top delicious looking though!

    P.S. I am confessing now that I am the “whittler” in our family. I can do some serious damage to a cake if it is left within my reach for too long. ;)

  19. Tammy Says:

    Wow, grapefruit scented! That’s something that I’ve never heard of before. I love that you make things like this. I never do but today I’ll throw some fruit in the blender for sorbet.

  20. FOODESSA Says:

    It’s amazing how many desserts my sweet tooth hasn’t tried…mummm…and this one seems so promising.
    The grapefruit pastry cream alone has me intrigued.

    Have a wonderful Easter celebration Nancy.

    Ciao for now,

  21. Faith Says:

    My hubby is a banana fiend too…and no doubt he would go crazy for this cake! Love the grapefruit-scented pastry cream too.

  22. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    I think I would be right there with Bill, wanting another slice of your delicious sounding dessert.

  23. Juliana Says:

    So creative this Boston Cream Pie with banana…my husband will enjoy so much this cake…beautiful cake Nancy.
    Thank you for this delicious recipe and have a great week :)

  24. Simply Life Says:

    wow! I am SO impressed that you made this! it looks perfect and so professional!

  25. Dana D Cummings Says:

    I may even attempt to make this – there is nothing as satisfying as a good custard. As for Bill – tell him every time he goes to have a slice to say out loud “Oh, I really shouldn’t” – worked like a charm for my mom her entire life – and she never had to give up a thang…

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