Bavarian Cream Donut Vs Boston Cream (4 Key Differences)

Do you know what is a Bavarian cream? How about a Boston Cream? Often than not, many use these terms interchangeably when in fact these two are actually different from each other. But fret not because we will differentiate the two in detail.

In this comparison guide, you’ll have an idea of the key similarities as well as the major differences between these popular sweet delights. So, let’s start the battle―bavarian cream donut vs Boston cream!

1. What is Bavarian cream?

What is Bavarian cream

Bavarian cream, also known as crème bavarois or crème bavaroise is a rich, sweet filling that generally tastes like vanilla custard. It has a thicker and creamier consistency. And if you’re wondering what are the key ingredients of this famous filling and how it is crafted, well, you’re right on track.

Bavarian cream is made from whipped cream, sugar, egg yolk, whole milk, unflavored gelatin, salt, and vanilla beans. While the ingredients are pretty simple, the process may demand extra effort and time. The preparation starts by adding gelatin to a cup of cold water and then setting it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until it is well mixed. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the milk and bring it to a boil. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the boiling milk slowly. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it gets to 195 degrees.

Make sure there aren’t lumps before adding the gelatin mix. Continue stirring and then remove from heat and let it cool. Combine the whipped cream and vanilla beans until it is airy in texture. Stir the cream mixture into the egg and milk mixture by and by, carefully folding the cream until everything is combined.

2. What is Boston cream?

What is Boston cream

Boston cream, on the other hand, is a yeast-risen pastry that comes with a vanilla filling and chocolate icing. It is also called a Boston cream pie doughnut or Boston cream pie donut. Its main ingredients include egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, milk, vanilla, and salt.

The process of making its filling is typically the same as creating a Bavarian cream. All the ingredients are combined, whisked, and cooked over medium heat. When cooking the cream, you have to stir constantly to avoid bumps. Mix until it transforms into a thick cream, and then cool completely.

3. What is the difference between Bavarian creme and Boston creme?

To further understand the difference between the two popular cream fillings, let’s have a comparison of four categories―texture, ingredients, usage, and history.

1. Texture 

One of the major differences between the two is consistency. Bavarian cream has a much firmer and creamy nature because of the use of whipped cream. In comparison, Boston cream filling is runnier and smoother.

However, there’s only a fine line between the two. The Bavarian cream should stay at a normal temperature so that it retains its texture. Otherwise, it becomes gooey like the Boston cream filling if placed at a hot temperature.

2. Unique ingredients

Aside from the texture, there are also distinct ingredients for each cream filling. The Bavarian cream uses gelatin and whipped cream to create a more solid and creamy consistency.

On contrary, Boston cream utilizes cornstarch as its setting agent, generating a custard-like feel. Some may also use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch.

3. Main use

Bavarian cream is both a dessert and a filling, which means it can be served separately or together with other pastries like cream puffs and bread pudding. This delectable whipped cream is also added as a filling for classic Bavarian Kreme Dunkin donuts.

Meanwhile, Boston cream is generally considered a dessert itself, though it can refer to the cream filling as well. The Boston cream pie or the Boston cream cake, in particular, is a butter cake filled with cream and topped with chocolate glaze.

As a filling, Boston cream can be used for pastries, pies, and even donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts even has its own Boston Kreme Donut.

4. Origin

As to the origin, Bavarian cream is assumed to have started during the 17th or 18th century in the free state of Bavaria. This small territory is an hour’s trip from the busy city of Munich, in the southern section of Germany.

The creation of the cream was associated with the French chefs cooking for a German clan, the Wittelsbach princes, who ruled the state during those periods. Because of the mention of French chefs, the history of Bavarian cream is interconnected with both Germany and France.

In contrast, the timeless Boston cream pie can be dated back to the 18th century. It was initially introduced at the grand opening of the illustrious Boston’s Parker House, which is now called the Omni Parker House.

And remarkably, this historical hotel is still in full operation even after many centuries! In fact, it serves as the longest operating hotel in the United States and the first ever accommodation in the state to offer elevator service and running water.


Now that you know more about Bavarian cream and Boston cream, you won’t have a hard time distinguishing the two. Having an in-depth understanding of these famous desserts can be helpful along the way.

On top of that, it even makes you more knowledgeable when it comes to choosing the perfect cream for your needs. So, go over the guide above in case you need to go through the key differences as well as the process of making one.


1. Is a Boston cream donut the same as a Bavarian cream donut?

No, they are not the same. If we use Dunkin’s Boston Kreme and Bavarian Kreme as references, they are clearly different―in terms of the cream filling and the toppings.

2. Is Bavarian cream the same as pastry cream?

No, Bavarian cream is different from pastry cream. When comparing them, pastry cream uses milk and cornstarch instead of gelatin. In addition, it incorporates butter into the mixture.

3. Is Bavarian cream like custard?

While these two are often used interchangeably, they are actually not similar. Bavarian cream comes with a whipped cream and gelatin mixture while custard primarily uses eggs and cream or just milk. Moreover, the color is way different―custard is light yellow while Bavarian cream is white with a hint of yellow.

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