North End Boston Cream Pie

North End Boston Cream Pie

This healthier take on the classic dessert replaces pastry cream filling with a lighter ricotta cream Tweet this — a nod to the Italian pastries of Boston’s North End.

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Developed by Ashley Mason, MS


  • Canola oil nonstick cooking spray
  • [80 grams] ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) liquid egg whites
  • [150 grams] ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • [4 grams] 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) pure vanilla extract
  • [140 grams] 1 cup unbleached enriched cake flour
  • [60 grams] ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • [8 grams] 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • [3 grams] ½ teaspoon iodized salt
  • [180 grams] ¾ cup (180 milliliters) low-fat milk
  • [80 grams] 5 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce


  • [370 grams] 1½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • [50 grams] 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • [2 grams] ½ teaspoon (2 milliliters) pure vanilla extract


  • [230 grams] 2 4-ounce bars semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • [120 grams] ½ cup (120 milliliters) whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Mist bottom and sides of a 9-inch round nonstick cake pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk liquid egg whites and granulated sugar until thick, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until combined. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk cake flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
  2. Pour dry ingredients into egg mixture and stir with a spatula until a sticky dough forms, about 1 minute. Add milk and applesauce and stir until batter is smooth, about 90 seconds. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake on the middle oven rack for 40 minutes, until the top turns a light golden brown and the sides are a medium golden brown and pull away from the side of the pan. Let cool completely in pan.
  3. While cake cools, make filling by mixing together ricotta cheese, powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl using a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  4. Once cake has cooled, prepare chocolate ganache. Break chocolate bars into small pieces and place in a small glass bowl. Heat chocolate in the microwave until melted, about 2½ minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula every 30 seconds to prevent burning. In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally until milk begins to boil. Remove milk from heat and stir in melted chocolate until combined. Bring pot back to stove and heat over medium-low heat for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened and is completely smooth.
  5. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of the cake on a sturdy plate. Use a spatula to spread ricotta filling on the bottom half of the cake, then top with the other half of the cake.
  6. Pour ganache over the cake and smooth evenly with a spatula. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Serves 10.

Cooking Note

  • Chocolate can be melted using a double boiler instead of the microwave. To create a double boiler, simmer water in a saucepan and place a heatproof glass or metal mixing bowl on top so that it fits snugly but doesn’t rest in the water. Add chocolate to the bowl and stir continuously until melted.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice (120 grams)

CALORIES 335; TOTAL FAT 11g; SAT. FAT 6g; CHOL. 14mg; SODIUM 267mg; CARB. 55g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 35g; PROTEIN 9g; POTASSIUM 230mg; PHOSPHORUS 178mg

Ashley Mason on Blogger
Ashley Mason
Ashley Mason, MS, is a Stone Soup blogger and director of a WIC program in northeastern Massachusetts.