Spring is in the Air?


Spring is the time for fresh fruit, BBQ on the charcoal grill, and, most of all, Boston cream pie.

I'm a proud Midwestern girl. If you also live in flyover country, or have seen a weather forecast for mid-America the past month, you must be wondering what happened to our spring? I could not be more exhausted by my winter wardrobe, my high monthly heating bill, and the comfort food my body still craves, even though the calendar says winter is over! I have been daydreaming of vacations and longing for the days of spring breaks past.

Even if the weather won’t cooperate, though, I'm forcing my stomach to move into spring. I want fresh fruit, BBQ on the charcoal grill and, most of all, Boston cream pie. My recipe for Boston cream pie is the perfect spring dessert for the baker-on-the-go. It's a semi-homemade dessert that can be made quickly and affordably but looks like it came from the bakery. Creamy custard mix is sandwiched between fluffy cake layers and topped with a decadent chocolate sauce. If I can't have my fresh fruit and BBQ yet, I can at least bake myself a Boston cream pie.

Sharing this recipe also gives me the chance to recognize one of my dear friends. As you know, I see baking as a way to help form and maintain friendships and bonds with other people and patients. Nothing brings a smile to someone's face like remembering the cupcake you made for them on their birthday or the time you gave them a warm chocolate chip cookie. As my friend and Boston native Rebecca prepares to run her first marathon—the Boston Marathon!—I want to encourage her to find her passion on the road just as I have in the kitchen. I can only hope that after those 26-plus miles, she will take the time to enjoy a well-deserved treat—an amazing piece of Boston cream pie.


For the cake:

  • 1 yellow cake mix (and ingredients called for on the package)


  • 1 cup cold skim milk
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding (sugar-free variety can be used if you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip (lite or fat-free variety can be used if you prefer)

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons skim milk


  • Preheat oven and prepare cake mix according to package directions. Line 2 9-inch round pans with parchment paper or spray thoroughly with cooking spray. Bake cake according to package directions, until golden brown and center passes the toothpick test. Once done, let cakes cool and invert on a wire rack to cool further.
  • Beat 1 cup of skim milk and pudding with a whisk for 2 minutes. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Let stand 5 minutes. Stack cake layers on serving plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers.
  • For the glaze: Microwave chocolate and butter on high for 1 minute in a small microwave-safe bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add powdered sugar and skim milk; mix well until smooth. Spread or pour over the top of the cake immediately, letting drip down the sides. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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