Russian cake “Napoleon”

Russian cake “Napoleon”

The "Napoleon" cake belongs to the peak achievements of the Russian art of making pastries. Accordingly, its preparation is quite complicated and can be daunting for beginners. But those daring to accomplish the complex recipe will be rewarded - with an excellent piece of cake that melts on the tongue.


For the cake layers:

  • 450 g of flour
  • 250 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 150 ml of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar 6%
  • 1 tsp salt

For the classic creme patissiere:

  • 1 l of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 60 g of corn starch
  • 100 g of butter
  • 10 g of vanilla sugar


First recipes of similar puff pastry pies already existed in Western Europe around 1733. Today, the layer cake "Napoleon" is one of the most popular desserts in Russia and is often served on special festive occasions. At weddings, big birthday parties or the New Year, this cake decorates the splendid table.

In France and Italy, similar desserts are called "millefeuille", which means "a thousand layers". In fact, "Napoleon" is made from many thin layers of puff pastry crusted with delicious cream. The layers take their time to completely absorb the cream - at least 12 hours.

A little tip: To make the "Napoleon" preparation somewhat easier, you are welcome to take ready-made puff pastry from the supermarket.

Russian cake “Napoleon”, detailed photo recipe


1. Mix ice cold water with vinegar and egg.

2. Beat with a fork.

3. Roughly grate cold butter.

4. Mix with flour.

5. Add eggs.

6. Mix dough and divide into 19 equal parts of approximately 45 g each.

7. Place the dough balls in the freezer for 1 hour, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8. Crake open eggs for creme patissiere.

9. Add corn starch and sugar.

10. Mix everything well.

11. Boil milk and let it cool down to 90 °C.

12. Add milk to egg mixture.

13. While adding milk stir continuously.

14. Return to flame until little bubbles form.

15. Add butter and mix to a cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

16. Roll out dough to thin circles. Pierce with a fork.

17. Bake each cake layer at 200 °C for 6 minutes.

18. Cover the cake dish with cream and place the first cake layer on top ot it.

19. Brush cake layer with cream and cover with another cake layer. Use 16 pieces in this way. Keep the remaining 3 cake layers for crumbs.

20. Refrigerate cake for at least 12 hours.

21. Cover the rested cake with creme patissiere.

22. Cover also the sides with creme patissiere.

23. Crumble the remaining cake layers and decorate the cake with them.

24. Serve at room temperature

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