Russian Napoleon Cake – Puff Pastry Cake

The ultimate Napoleon Cake and a relative of the conventional Napoleon Recipe, the Russian Napoleon Cake is constructed of crispy puff pastry layers layered together with creamy and buttery custard.

Napoleon cake made with puff pastry sheets and a sweet custard cream.

Quick Puff Pastry (makes eight 11″ round cake layers)

  • Butter, cold
  • Eggs
  • Water, cold
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vodka/cognac (omit, if can not use)
  • White vinegar
  • Pinch of Salt

Egg Yolk Custard

  • Egg yolks
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour (sifted)
  • Butter


Russian Napoleon cake in a cake platter next to a slice of cake on a plate.

Quick Puff Pastry

  1. Whisk together eggs, salt, cold water, 2 teaspoons vinegar, and 3 tablespoons vodka in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Fill the cup of your food processor with flour. Next, pulse or process the cold, cubed butter until the crumbs are pea size.
  3. Now, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and process until the dough begins to stick to itself but is not yet formed.
  4. Pour the contents of the food processor bowl onto a work surface and, using your hands, begin to collect and stick the dough together as little as possible. Produce a ball and knead it for a few seconds to form a dough. Working with it too much can cause the butter to melt due to the warmth of your hands.
  5. Make a log out of the dough and cut it into four equal pieces. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours after rolling each piece into a ball and wrapping it with plastic wrap.

the frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, adding 50 milliliters of milk to make it simpler.
  2. Whisk in the flour until a smooth, lump-free batter is formed. To make things simpler, add extra 50 milliliters of milk.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the remaining milk until it boils, stirring constantly to avoid burning the bottom.
  4. Fill a bigger saucepan halfway with the egg and flour mixture (about 3 quarts).
  5. Slowly add the heated milk into the egg yolk mixture while mixing to temper it.
  6. Return the mixture to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (!!) to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes after the water has to a boil.
  7. Stir in the vanilla essence. Allow butter to melt before stirring to make a creamy custard.
  8. If your custard has clumps, sift it or pulse it with an immersion blender (handheld) until it is smooth.
  9. Allow for cooling by placing the custard into a jelly roll baking sheet and covering it with plastic wrap (plastic wrap should touch the custard, to keep the skin from forming). Bring to room temperature rather than refrigerating.

Bake the cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the rack in the center.
  2. Roll out 1/2 of 1 dough ball on the back of a jelly roll or a 12-inch baking sheet until it is approximately 12.5 inches in diameter, brushing the surface with flour as required.
  3. To avoid uneven rising, prick all over with a fork. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the tops are gently brown. Repeat with the remaining dough to make a total of 8 layers.
  4. Place an 11-inch plate or lid on top of each cake layer as soon as it comes out of the oven and cut around it, gathering the scraps in a separate bowl and being cautious not to fracture the cake layers.
  5. Cake remnants should be crumbled. Remove from the equation.


  1. On a serving tray, dab a dab of icing. Place the first cake layer on top and push it down to adhere.
  2. Use a cake ring to round the cake layer and attach it with a ribbon or a cake strip. Inside the ring, the rest of the cake will be built.
  3. Spread about 6 heaping spoons of icing all over the cake. Continue with the remaining icing and cake. (You may do this while baking the cake, so the cake layers are only slightly cool when you start assembling the cake.) The absorption of warm cake layers is accelerated). Top the cake with a couple of teaspoons of shredded crumbs.
  4. Between the cake and the ring, run a knife. Remove the ring. Fill the palm of your hand with crumbled bits and push them on the sides of the cake all around. On top of the cake, sprinkle the remaining cake crumbs. The cake crumbs are used to keep skin from developing on the custard as well as for decoration. Chill before serving.

Source: Let The Baking Begin

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