I’m not one to go looking for no-bake desserts but sometimes they just fall into your lap and you can’t help yourself. I came across this No Bake Boston Creme Pie Strata on Pinterest and as soon as I read the recipe I realized that it wasn’t your average no-bake dessert. There are definitely some more involved components to this dish that take some time, such as making the custard from scratch, but it is so worth it. The graham crackers soften within the layers of vanilla custard and then the chocolate frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness and texture.
This makes a very large amount of dessert so be prepared to either eat it for several days or make it for a crowd. I’ll be honest, we didn’t share this with anyone and we are the entire pan. 😉
No-Bake Boston Creme Pie Strata Ingredients
- About 20 ounces (4 sleeves) graham crackers
For the custard:
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 2 tsp. vanilla
For the chocolate frosting:
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Line the bottom of a baking pan (I use a 9 x 13-inch one) or cake pan with a quarter of broken graham crackers. Set aside.
To make the custard:
- In one small bowl place the cornstarch and set it aside.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk egg yolks and eggs. Set aside.
- In a deep saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar at medium heat.
- Mix in salt and half-and-half and cook at medium heat until you’ll see bubbles around the edges. Do not let it boil. Turn off the heat.
- Pour a ladleful of the hot half-and-half mixture into the small bowl with cornstarch and whisk carefully to combine. To remove any lumps, add a little more liquid and whisk. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the beaten eggs. Whisk to combine.
- Into the pot cook the egg mixture at medium heat, whisking continuously, for 5-8 min or until the custard gets thick consistency and starts to boil. Don’t forget to work all the angles of the pot and scrape the bottom. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour 1/3 of the custard over the prepared graham crackers and spread evenly. Top with a second layer of graham crackers and spread half of the remaining custard over the second crackers layer. Add a third layer of graham crackers and custard. Cover with a final layer of graham crackers. Set aside.
To make the frosting:
- In a small saucepan melt the butter with the cocoa powder, simmering at medium-low heat and let it bubble for about 1 min.
- While the mixture is still bubbling, add milk and whisk it in. Cook for 3 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Add sugar and beat it in until it’s smooth, then add vanilla.
- While the frosting is still hot, pour it over the top layer of graham crackers and smooth with a knife or spatula dipped in hot water.
- To store the pie in the fridge, cover it with a foil lid, without letting the foil touch the dessert. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before serving. Serve chilled.