Napoleon Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
This Russian Napoleon Cake is the sweetest taste from my childhood. Buttery, flaky pastry layers generously filled with sweet cream filling - a must try!
This Napoleon cake is simple and incredibly good. It is best served the following day after the cake layers have had a chance to soften from the cream.
Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Medium/ Difficult
Cost to Make: $11-$13
Servings: 8 -10


  • 1 lb package of Puff Pastry Pepperidge Farm brand, thawed according to package instructions.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar or 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 lb 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Whisk eggs and sugar in a medium sauce pan - do not beat, just mix.
  2. Whisk in milk and flour and put the pot on medium-low heat.
  3. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally - (stir more often towards the end so it doesn't get lumpy) until it becomes thick, like pudding (approx 15-17 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Prep the puff pastry in the mean time.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled a little, add softened butter to the cream and beat the mixture on medium/high speed for a few minutes. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla powder. The cream is ready.

How to Make Napoleon Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Roll 1 of the puff pastry sheets onto a large sheet of parchment paper until the dough is double in size and nearly see-through. Thinner is better!
  3. Cut the rolled out sheet into 4 equal squares (about 6"x6" each).
  4. Poke Holes all over the top of the pastry or it will puff up. Make sure to really poke all the way through the dough.
  5. Place the parchment paper with dough onto a large cookie sheet. Bake at 400°F for 12-13 minutes or until tops are golden. These are easy to burn so keep an eye on them! Set pastry aside, and place the same parchment paper on a cool surface. Re-use the paper to roll out and bake the next sheet of pastry.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the second sheet of pastry dough.
  7. Once the frosting is finished, assemble the cake by placing 2 sheets of pastry side by side and spreading a generous amount of cream over the top.
  8. Repeat with all of the pastry. Before glazing the top, gently press down on the cake to make it more compact.
  9. To make the topping, Trim the edges of the cake to make it more uniform. Crumble the cut-off sections and sprinkle over the top. (If cut-off pieces do not crumble easily, you may need to bake them until they are browned). Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts evenly over the top.

Recipe Notes

My photos are for a double size of this cake. This recipe is for a smaller rectangular cake. You can make a larger cake by exactly doubling the ingredients.