Boston Cream Pancakes

October 5th, 2013

As part of a nostalgia trip, I have decided to share some of my oldie but goodies posts.  I have been at this blogging business for many years and have even surprised myself with some of the recipes I have posted.  I need to make these delicious Boston Cream Pancakes again!  Enjoy.

Do any of you remember Long Johns?  No, not the underwear version.  I am talking about the doughnuts. When I was young, my Father would always go to the local bakery on Sunday mornings and come home with a bag of doughnuts.  There would be cinnamon twists, elephant ears, round jelly filled doughnuts and, my favorite, long johns.

Long Johns are a cake-like doughnut with a pastry cream filling and chocolate ganache smeared on top.  I adored them.  Recently I got a request from a family member who was going to be here for the Labor Day Weekend.  He asked if I would please, please make a recipe for Boston Cream Pancakes that he had seen online on the Country Cleaver website.  The pancakes are based on the Boston cream pie which was created by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856.

I made them for breakfast one morning during the Labor Day weekend but never got a picture because they were devoured so quickly.  All I could think of when I ate them were those wonderful long johns that I had eaten as a child.  The fluffy pancakes, the smooth pastry cream and the decadent chocolate ganache all conspired to bring the flood of memories back.  I tucked the leftover ganache and pastry cream in the freezer because I knew that they would be making a repeat performance in my kitchen.

We had them for breakfast again on this beautiful Saturday morning, a day after my birthday. They were a welcome indulgence.  Sometimes you just have to eat like you are a kid again and stop worrying about calories, fat and sugar and how old you really are.  The pancakes themselves are an easy combination of yellow cake mix and Bisquick.  They are light and fluffy.  The pastry cream can be made way in advance and the chocolate ganache is easy.  I would recommend these pancakes to you for any special occasion, whether it be for a birthday or just because  it is a sunny day.  Indulge!

BOSTON CREAM PANCAKES (Country Cleaver Website)


Pancakes: Makes about 12 pancakes
1 cup Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup Dry Pancake Mix such as Bisquick
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
2 whole Eggs

Pastry Cream:
1/3 cup Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 cup Milk
1 cup Half-n-Half
1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract)
1 Tbsp Butter

Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz. Chocolate
1 cup Heavy Cream



Pastry Cream: Make up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate until 1 hour prior to use.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Temper the eggs by whisking in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk slowly.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove any curdled bits and remove husk of vanilla bean. Cover strained pastry cream with plastic wrap, and press the plastic wrap on top of the pastry cream to make sure it doesn’t form a skin. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve

Chocolate Ganache:

In small saucepan, heat heavy cream. Stir in chocolate and whisk until melted and the two are completely combined. Remove from heat and set aside.


In large bowl, whisk together pancake mix and cake mix. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Heat a large griddle or large pan over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan or griddle and allow to cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Gingerly flip pancake over and continue to cook until the other side has turned golden brown – about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from griddle/pan and allow to cool.

To assemble – stack pancakes and layer with prepared pastry cream between each pancake. Pour chocolate ganache over the top and promptly devour.

Printable recipe

9 responses to “Boston Cream Pancakes”

  1. Pondside says:

    Oh my goodness, Penny, but these look delicious. This would be a great Christmas or Thanksgiving weekend breakfast when the kids are here.

  2. Karen says:

    I *love* Boston Cream Pie, so I know these would be good!

  3. Marcia Smith says:

    Happy Birthday a little late!! These look fabulous! I am a native Bostonian so Boston Cream is a fav!! Will have to try this.

  4. Larry says:

    I remember that pastry but not what we called them. The pancakes look awesome and what a great way to recreate a favorite treat.

  5. Darla says:

    We remember those pancakes. Dave was so excited that you made them. They were delicious. It’s nice to indulge, sometimes. I had to take a break from intermittent fasting due to my stomach issues, the past 2 weeks, but had lost 8 lbs prior to that and have kept it off, so far. Dave has lost more, but doesn’t like to discuss it. A few of my colleagues at work are also participating and our nutritionist said it is an excellent way to lose weight and improve your heath. The scales and waistline are indicative of that. My waist is 2 inches smaller and I’m back in my old clothes. Sorry to go on & on about this. Can you tell I am enthusiastic? Hope you had a wonderful birthday & enjoyed your time with the grandkids!

  6. Sam Hoffer says:

    Glad to hear you had a nice birthday Penny. My philosophy about birthdays is to eat all of your favorite things and celebrate all week. Those pancakes are to die for. I can see why they were devoured.

  7. Cathy at Wives with Knives says:

    Chocolate eclairs are one of my favorite desserts and these decadent pancakes remind me of them.Love this idea, Penny, and will file it away for a special occasion.

  8. Chris says:

    OMG, I used to LOVE long johns. When I was a kid we would get them from the Albertson’s down the street on Saturdays. These pancakes are a genius idea, simply fantastic. I love the detail you went to for the picture, like cutting the pancake wedges first and then icing so it was all clean cut and not smashed down edges with chocolate smears on the inside edges. Great execution of the shot!

    • Penny Klett says:

      You get it Chris! David had to wait while I sliced those wedges, but I knew what I was doing because we had eaten the pancakes before. We actually shared that stack. So darn good!

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