Napoleon Cake

What is a Napoleon Cake?

This classic Russian cake recipe features layers of thin, flaky pastry and creamy, luscious vanilla-flecked pastry cream.

What You'll Need

You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy recipe, so let's round them up and get started!

Make the Crumbs

Place the flour, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed.

Combine the Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, ice water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla paste.

Form the Dough

Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour-butter crumbs and pulse in the food processor until dough forms.

Divide the Dough

Divide dough into 8 portions, roll each into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Roll Out the Dough

Roll chilled dough into thin circles on parchment paper, then use an 8" mold to mark the crust circle.

Prick the Dough

Prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much during baking.


Bake each pastry circle for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Then let them cool completely.

Make the Pastry Crumbs

Remove the outer pastry rings, place them in a ziplock bag, and crush them into crumbs with a rolling pin.

Make the Egg Cream

In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar, adding a little bit of milk as needed to help with mixing.

Whisk in the Flour

Whisk the flour into the egg mixture until you have a uniform, lump-free batter.

Heat the Milk

Heat the remaining milk in a separate saucepan until just boiling.

Temper the Eggs

Very slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs, stirring the whole time.

Cook to Thicken

Return the milk and egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and stir constantly, until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil.

Add Butter and Vanilla Paste

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla paste until smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool completely.


Spread egg yolk cream evenly over baked pastry, then alternate between pastry circles and cream layers until all are used.

Finish the Cake

Spread egg yolk cream over cake top and sides, then gently press crushed pastry crumbs onto the cream.


Refrigerate cake  before serving to allow layers to meld and egg yolk cream to soak into pastry layers and soften them.

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