Air Fryer Mini Boston Cream Pie — Do you love Boston Cream Pie? That’s why I decided to try making a mini version in my air fryer, and it turned out great!
This is it if you’re looking for an easy dessert recipe that will impress your guests. Plus, using an air fryer means there’s hardly any cleanup required. Give it a try!
What Is A Boston Cream Pie?
Boston Cream Pie is a classic American dessert that, despite its name, is more akin to a cake than a pie. Here’s a brief overview:
- Boston Cream Pie consists of two layers of sponge or yellow butter cake.
- Between the cake layers is a thick vanilla custard or cream filling.
- The cake is then topped with a chocolate glaze or ganache, often dripping down the sides.
- The dessert is believed to have been created by a French chef, Sanzian, at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in the mid-19th century.
- The name “pie” is likely a nod to when cakes and pies were baked in the same type of pan, and the names were used interchangeably.
- Due to its rich flavor and delightful combination of textures, Boston Cream Pie has remained popular over the years.
- It’s so beloved in its home state that in 1996, Massachusetts declared the Boston Cream Pie its official state dessert.
- Over time, many variations of the classic Boston Cream Pie have emerged, including cupcakes, doughnuts, and even pancakes, all drawing inspiration from the iconic cream-filled, chocolate-topped cake.
Why You Will Love This Recipe!
- Simplicity: While it looks and tastes gourmet, the steps are straightforward, making it achievable even for novice bakers.
- Rich Flavor Profile: The combination of soft sponge cake, creamy vanilla custard, and rich chocolate ganache offers a delightful symphony of flavors in every bite.
- Texture Diversity: Experience the contrast between the moist cake, smooth custard, and glossy chocolate topping, creating a multi-textural treat.
- Elegant Presentation: Its classic look, with the shiny chocolate glaze dripping down the sides, makes it a showstopper for any occasion.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Mini Boston Cream Pie
Whip up a delightful treat with the simplicity of an air fryer! Here’s what you’ll need to make a scrumptious Mini Boston Cream Pie.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card, at the bottom of the post, as the nutritional information.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for the best flavor.
- Granulated Sugar: Regular sugar best works for this recipe.
- Eggs: Use room-temperature eggs.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: I recommend pure vanilla rather than imitation vanilla extract.
- Heavy Cream: For the best flavor, use heavy cream.
- Self-Rising Flour: You can also make your own if you don’t have self-rising flour. Here is an easy recipe.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken up the pastry cream
- Milk: Use either whole, skim, or fat-free.
- Chocolate Chips: YOu can use either mini or regular chocolate chips.
How To Cook Boston Cream Pie In Air Fryer
There are three parts to making this mini Boston cream pie: the filling, the cake, and the chocolate ganache:
To Make The Pastry Cream:
Start by whisking the egg until frothy. Into a small saucepan, add granulated sugar. Cornstarch and milk into a small saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Bring a slight simmer over low to medium heat until the pastry cream thickens. Slowly add one teaspoon of the hot mixture into the whisked eggs, slow so the egg does not curdle. Add one teaspoon until the eggs are combined with the sugar mixture.
Then simmer the pastry cream for a minute and slowly stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth, remove, and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
To Make The Cake:
Add the butter, sugar, and egg whites to a large bowl and mix until smooth. Slowly mix the pure vanilla extract, self-rising flour, and cream until smooth.
Grease your ramekins, and pour the batter in. Set the ramekins into the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 320 degrees F. Using the air fryer setting, cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool before removing them from the ramekins.
To Make The Chocolate Ganache
Add the heavy cream into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then repeat, stirring between intervals until the cream is hot.
Fold in the chocolate chips, wait 2 to 3 minutes, and whisk until the chocolate mixture is smooth.
To Assemble The Cake:
Place one cake on a plate, spread the pastry cream, and then top with the other cake. Drizzle the chocolate ganache on top.
Let firm up in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Pro Tips For Making Boston Cream Pie In Air Fryer
Crafting a Boston Cream Pie in an air fryer using ramekins requires a touch of finesse. Here are some pro tips to ensure perfection:
- Even Distribution: Ensure the batter is evenly distributed among the ramekins to promote consistent cooking.
- Preheat the Air Fryer: Just like a conventional oven, preheating your air fryer can significantly affect the result. It ensures a consistent temperature from the start of the baking process.
- Space Out Ramekins: Place the ramekins in the air fryer basket, ensuring enough space between them. This allows for better air circulation, ensuring even cooking.
- Monitor Cooking Time: Since air fryers can cook faster than traditional ovens, it’s crucial to check your pies to prevent overbaking regularly. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when it’s done.
- Temperature Check: Air fryers can sometimes be hotter than their settings suggest. If you have an oven thermometer, place it inside to double-check the actual temperature.
- Cooling is Key: Once cooked, let the mini pies cool in the ramekins for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. This helps set the structure and makes filling them easier.
- Piping the Cream: When it’s time to add the cream, a piping bag will give you more control and a neater finish.
Enjoy your air-fried Boston Cream Pie with all its luscious layers!
What is a Boston Cream Pie?
It’s a classic American dessert consisting of a yellow or sponge cake filled with custard or cream and topped with a chocolate glaze. Despite its name, it’s more of a cake than a pie.
Why is it called a Boston Cream Pie?
The dessert originated in Boston, Massachusetts, and was originally baked in pie tins before the widespread use of cake pans. The name has stuck ever since.
Is there a difference between Boston Cream Pie and Boston Cream Donuts?
While both have similar flavors, the main difference lies in the form. Boston Cream Pie is a cake, while a Boston Cream Donut is a filled doughnut with a similar custard or cream center and chocolate topping.
How should I store my Boston Cream Pie?
Due to its cream filling, it’s best to store Boston Cream Pie in the refrigerator. Keep it covered to prevent it from absorbing other flavors or odors from the fridge.
Can I freeze Boston Cream Pie?
Yes, you can. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container before freezing. For the best flavor and texture, consume within a month.
Is the custard filling in Boston Cream Pie the same as pudding?
While they’re similar, custard typically has a richer flavor and smoother texture due to the inclusion of egg yolks. Pudding can be made without eggs and often has a thicker, more gelatinous texture.
Can I make a Boston Cream Pie with alternative dietary ingredients?
Absolutely! There are many recipes available for gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan versions of Boston Cream Pie.
Why is my chocolate glaze too thick or thin?
The consistency of the chocolate glaze can be affected by the ratio of chocolate to cream and the type of chocolate used. You can thin a thick glaze by adding a bit more cream or thicken a runny glaze by adding more chocolate.
Can I use store-bought cake mix for the cake layers?
Yes, if you’re short on time or prefer the convenience, a store-bought cake mix can be a suitable substitute for homemade cake layers.
What if I don’t have an air fryer or ramekins, as mentioned in previous discussions?
No worries! Boston Cream Pie is traditionally made in a regular oven using cake pans. Simply follow a traditional recipe and baking instructions for your chosen method.
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Air Fryer Boston Cream Pie
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup whole milk, or almond milk
- ½ tablespoon butter, salted
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup self-rising flour,
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Start by whisking the egg until frothy.
- Into a small saucepan, add granulated sugar. Cornstarch and milk into a small saucepan, and whisk until smooth.
- Bring a slight simmer over low to medium heat until the pastry cream thickens.
- Slowly add one teaspoon of the hot mixture into the whisked eggs, slow so the egg doe snot curdle. Continue to add one teaspoon add a time until the eggs are combined into the sugar mixture.
- Then simmer the pastry cream for a minute, and then slowly stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth, remove and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
- Add the butter, sugar, and egg whites to a large bowl and mix until smooth. Slowly mix the pure vanilla extract, self-rising flour, and cream until smooth.
- Grease your ramekins, and pour the batter in. Set the ramekins into the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 320 degrees F. Using the air fryer setting, cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool before removing them from the ramekins.
- Add the heavy cream into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then repeat, stirring between intervals until the cream is hot.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, wait 2 to 3 minutes, and whisk until the chocolate mixture is smooth.
To Assemble The Cake:
- Place one cake on a plate, spread the pastry cream on top, and then top with the other cake. Drizzle the chocolate ganache on top.
- Let firm up in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Ramekins, any size, or small-oven safe pan
- Keep the Boston Cream Pie in a cake carrier or cover it with a cake dome to prevent it from drying out. Store in the refrigerator due to the cream filling. Consume within 3-4 days.
Reheating:It’s best to enjoy Boston Cream Pie at room temperature or slightly chilled from the refrigerator. If you wish to have it a bit warmer:
- Slice the portion you’d like to warm.
- Place it on a microwave-safe plate.
- Heat in the microwave on a low setting for about 10-20 seconds, ensuring you don’t melt the chocolate or make the custard runny.
- If you’re freezing the whole pie, place it in the freezer for a few hours uncovered until it’s firm.
- Once firm, wrap the Boston Cream Pie tightly in plastic wrap.
- Next, wrap it in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container.
- Label the container or wrapping with the date and content.
- Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Transfer the pie (or slice) to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. For a quicker method, you can also thaw it at room temperature for several hours.