This past Thursday I neglected to celebrate National Pie Day. I am confessing this just in case this holiday somehow slipped your mind too. We can be guilty together. I am not a major pie enthusiast because I generally don’t like crust. As far as my taste buds are concerned, graham cracker or Oreo crusts are a step up from pastry crusts but not good enough to induce cravings. However, many food bloggers did celebrate National Pie Day, posting so many wonderful looking desserts that I couldn’t help but have pie on my mind. Crust aside, there are dozens of pie flavors that sound delicious to me. Ultimately, I would probably be happiest with a bowl of pie filling and a spoon unless we are talking about Boston Cream Pie. Then I would savor the whole thing.
Boston Cream pie is a cake masquerading as a pie. Two layers of vanilla sponge cake are filled with vanilla custard and topped with a chocolate glaze, creating a wondrous combination of flavors and textures. At first, I pushed my pie daydreams to the back of my head. Mailing most pies is very difficult at best and Boston Cream Pie is completely unsuited for care package travel. Then I thought of turning Boston Cream Pie into a completely mailable box of ingredients for 3-2-1 Boston Cream Pie Cake. You will be amazed at how close this magic microwave delight is to the “real thing”!
Anyone with access to a microwave can enjoy the fluffy sponge cake, creamy vanilla filling, and melted dark chocolate topping in 1 microwave minute with 3-2-1 Boston Cream Pie Cake. This version of 3-2-1 mug cake is made with the magic mixture of one box of vanilla cake mix plus one box of angel food cake mix. To make an individual cake, three tablespoons of this cake mixture is combined with two tablespoons of water. Toss in two squares of dark chocolate and a tablespoon of shelf-safe vanilla pudding. In less than one minute in the microwave, your 3-2-1 Boston Cream Pie Cake is ready to impress! Allow the cake to cool slightly (to avoid burning your mouth on the hot pudding) or completely (if you are extremely patient).
3-2-1 Boston Cream Pie Cake is best eaten right from the mug or paper cup in which it is cooked. It can be turned out onto a plate, but doesn’t always hold together. If cooking in a mug, spraying with cooking spray before adding the ingredients makes removing the cake possible and clean-up much easier.
For care package use, pour the two cake mixes into a gallon-size zip lock bag labeled with directions, add a bag of chocolate squares, snack packs of shelf-safe vanilla pudding, a measuring spoon and a package of microwave safe paper cups or a can of non-stick spray. Please note that aerosol cans are not allowed in international care packages. To mail internationally and/or for no clean-up, I highly recommend adding microwave safe paper cups to your military or college care packages.
An important baking note: Every other 3-2-1 cake I have made adheres faithfully to the 1 minute cooking time. This cake takes less than 1 minute to cook. I found repeatedly that if this cake is cooked for a full minute, the pudding overheats. The steam from the boiling pudding pushes the cake above it causing the cake to pop. Sometimes the whole top popped off, attaching itself to the top of the microwave. Not a good thing. Even putting a small plate as a cover on top of the cup did not help. The cake pushed the plate right off! In 40 seconds on high power, my 3-2-1 Boston Cream Pie Cakes were cooked to perfection.
- 1 box Angel Food Cake mix
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- Non-stick spray
- Chocolate squares (2 per mug) (I used Dove Promises dark chocolate)
- Shelf-safe (non-refrigerated) vanilla pudding (1 individual snack pack container per 3 mugs)
- In a gallon sized ziplock bag, combine the two boxes of cake mix. Shake the bag to mix thoroughly.
- If using a microwaveable mug, lightly coat the inside with non-stick spray (without the spray the cake will not transfer out of the mug.) or use a microwave safe paper cup.
- (Here comes the 3-2-1 part) Into the prepared mug or paper cup, stir together 3 tablespoons of cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water. Drop two chocolate squares, then 1 tablespoon of pudding, into the center of the batter.
- Microwave on high for 40 seconds- 1 minute. (The pudding heats quickly and can cause the mug cake to pop. In my microwave 40 seconds cooked the cake, any longer and the cake popped.)
- The cake can be eaten right out of the mug/paper cup. If you want to transfer the cake onto a plate, run a knife between the cake and the mug to loosen, then dump out onto a plate. The melted chocolate can be spread with a knife across the top of the cake, to resemble a Boston Cream Pie.
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