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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Russian Napoleon Cake "Hаполеон"

Experience true decadence without too much effort when you make this Napoleon Cake. It's unlike other dessert recipes, you'll be begging for more after the first bite. This fantastic 8-layer cake has been our favorite family holiday cake for lot's of years. Don't get scared away by they number of layers. This dough recipe is the best taste and it's easy to make. It's rich flavor and great moist tender texture make it all worthwhile!

 Ingredients for Quick Pastry Puff Dough: (It makes 9 layers of 12 inch circle cake)

4 cups flour
3.5 sticks (400 grams) butter or Imperial margarine ( Optional... Put it in the freezer for 1-2 hrs before making the dough.)
6 oz cold water
1 egg
1 tbs vinegar
If you are using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp salt.

   Ingredients for custard cream:
3 1/2 cups milk
3 1/2 tbs corn starch
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
3 sticks (330 gram) unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 tbs vanilla  

There is a lot of different recipes of cream for Napoleon cake. Like my Easy version Napoleon Cake has a different cream recipe. Other people make it with butter and sweet condensed milk. My favorite way is the custard cream in this recipe:)))  

All ingredients for pastry must be icy cold.

Fluff  eggs in the cup.
Add vinegar and cold water. Put this mixture in the freezer, while you are grating margarine. 
Dip the margarine in the flour and grate it.
In the process of grating the margarine you should always sprinkle it with flour (no kneading). After all frayed margarine, add the remaining flour and mix lightly (don't over mix) it with the flour.
Make like circle with a hole inside for water mixture.
Add water mixture together with margarine-ground flour, gradually pouring liquid in small portions. Working very quickly mix the dough together so it sticks (foods should stay cold). Gather the dough into a large piece  and divide it into 4 parts. Each part put in a separate plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 

Whip eggs until fluffy.
Mix sugar and corn starch in the cooking pot.
Add milk. Bring it almost to a boil. Move it aside from the burner.

Next take a cup of hot milk, mix in the eggs while stirring it. And add another cup again.
Then pour slowly the egg mixture into the hot milk while stirring it. Return the mixture to the burner and heat on med-high until it becomes thicker. Just before it starts to boil. 
Add vanilla. Cool it down completely before mixing it with butter.
While custard is cooling I bake cake layers. Take a piece of aluminum foil sprinkle with flour. Divide dough into 8 pieces. All left overs will make 1 more layer for sprinkling on top of the cake. Roll a piece of dough on the aluminum foil. 
Cut a circle with a pizza cutter. I used my cake baking dish of 12 inch in size.
Then bake it on the aluminum foil. Bake on 375 F for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Bake all the layers then cool em down. Bake the last one more darker than the first ones for topping crumbs.
By this time if the custard is not cooled enough put it in the ice bath to cool down. Whip butter until it becomes creamy.
Add custard by small portions gradually.
 Spread generous amount of cream on each layer. Leave one layer for crumbs. I put my cake in the garage overnight. You can put it in the fridge. Wait at least 6 hours to serve it. Then make crumbs with one layer that you kept (it makes it crunchy on top if you add it before you serve the cake)  


  1. will make it asap!!!!:)))) great for the holidays!!!

    1. Yes, it's perfect for the holidays:) Your family will enjoy it♥¸.•*´¯*♥

  2. One of my favorite cakes!!! I don't mind having a slice right now.great post for upcoming holidays.

    1. This is my husbands favorite cake too:))) I am more birds milk cake fan:) It's our holiday tradition to make Russian traditional cakes:-)
      (¯`*•.¸(¯`´•...Thanks Nadia...•´´¯)¸.•´´¯)

  3. So you mix the eggs with the milk mixture that you heated first, right?

    1. Yes, take a cup of hot milk, mix in the eggs while stirring it. And add another cup again. Then pour slowly the egg mixture into the hot milk while stirring it.

  4. Hey Lea, I tried making this cake for the second time and I can't seem to make the cake part the way you have it in the picture. My rounds are flat and not puffed up like yours appear to be. What is it that I could be doing wrong?


    1. Hi, Julie:) I used Imperial margarine and kept it cold. When I got a different margarine it wasn't as puffy. Dough needs to be in the fridge, take a piece out every time you roll a circle. I usually make the dough the day before, it seems to work out well. I hope these tips helped:))))

  5. the other day i made this Cake and its absolutely gorgeous. Top Class. Thank you Lea for recipe. xx Just wondering do you have a recipe for Cake 'Ryzik'. Thank you

    1. Hi, Sandra:) I haven't made Rizhik in years. I have a few recipes, just need to make em and see which I like more. I will post it.

  6. how much sugar is needed? 1 1/2 what? tablespoons, teaspoons or cups?

  7. A traditional Napoleon is a French dessert made from layers of puff pastry spread with a vanilla custard. The top of the rectangle or triangular shaped sweet is drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Historians say that Napoleon was created by a Danish royal chef in honor of the visit of a French emperor. And the defeat of the Emperor Napoleon at Waterloo was the result of overuse of his now famous bakery of the same name.


  8. Made it few times,very easy,and everybody likes it.thank u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. You are welcome! I am glad you liked it :)


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