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Boston Cream Poke Cake



If you know much about Boston, Massachusetts, you will probably have heard of the Parker House Hotel. It’s a glorious old hotel right in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of the Common, the State House, the Freedom Trail and many other Boston landmarks. It’s a destination unto itself, and it’s quite a foodie institution too. The Parker Restaurant is well-known as one of the finest in the country and has a few prominent inventions to its name. Such as the Parker House Roll. And the well-loved Boston Cream Pie.

Boston Cream Pie isn’t, of course, actually pie at all. It’s most definitely a cake…two layers of sponge cake with a filling of vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. But once you take a mouthful, you hardly care what it’s called, you just know that you want more…more…more!

The concept of “Boston Cream” has seen many permutations. Boston cream doughnuts are especially popular. The whole idea also lends itself extremely well to a poke cake. Just poke large holes into a vanilla cake, pour the warm pastry cream over, let it set and top with chocolate ganache. It’s easier to make than the original but just as delicious. And now that it’s sugar-free, you can eat more…more…more!



  • 3 cups almond flour
  • ⅓ cup whey protein powder
  • 2 tsp grain-free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond or cashew milk, unsweetened

Pastry Cream

  • 1¼ cups whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into two pieces
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum

Chocolate Ganache

  • ⅔ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener
  • 2½ ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then beat in nut milk. Beat in the remaining almond flour mixture until well combined. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and the top is just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool in pan. Once cool, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.

Pastry Cream

  1. Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sweetener and salt.
  2. Slowly whisk about half of the hot cream into the yolks to temper, then return the yolk/cream mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes more, whisking constantly. Watch it carefully and do not let it curdle.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Sprinkle surface with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Let cool about 10 minutes, then pour all over cake and tap pan firmly on counter to allow pastry cream to sink into holes.
  4. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, until pastry cream is mostly set.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and sweetener. Whisk until sweetener is dissolved and cream comes to just a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract. Let sit 5 minutes to melt chocolate and then whisk to combine. Pour over chilled cake and refrigerate another 20 to 30 minutes, until set.

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