Raspberry Napoleon Cake
This Napoleon cake is a true symphony of puff pastry and sweet vanilla cream. You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make! This recipe will make you a fan of the light and crispy texture of phyllo cakes. Raspberries and cream add sweetness to this classic flaky layered cake.
I personally think a Napoleon tastes best on the next day when the puff pastry has absorbed the custard. But if you don’t really like super moist cakes, eat it the day you make it.
History of the cake
Napoleon cake is a recipe that dates back to the mid-19th century. You might be surprised to know that this cake has many names and interesting stories. Originally, the Napoleon cake was a 3 layer puff pastry dessert lined with custard. The filling was occasionally switched with whipped cream. Millefeuille, meaning a thousand layers, is what the French and Italians called this cake. This, of course, suggests to the several layers of puff pastry lined with cream that goes into making the cake. Napoleon cake is the name popularized by the people of US and Russia. In the United States, the term “Napoleon” stands for the city of Naples and hence forth the name. Russians have their own tale to tell. Russians believe that, the cake came into existence in 1912. It was prepared in Moscow for the first time to celebrate Napoleon’s defeat. The crumb coat denotes the snow that played a vital role in defeating the Napoleonic La Grande Armée spirit.
All in all, you can choose the any story you like, and the creamy Napoleon cake can be as unique as you choose it to be. Here I’m sharing with you the easiest and the fastest recipe!
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
4 oz cool whip thawed
3 1lb packages puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Make the custard on the stovetop:
In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar using an electric mixer.
Add the flour to the eggs, then blend in 1/2 cup milk. Add 3 cups of milk into a saucepan and bring to a slight simmer, but don't let it boil. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk.
Transfer the saucepan back to the burner and heat over low heat. Make sure to constantly stir until the custard thickens. Remove the custard from the heat and let it cool completely.
Thaw out each sheet of puff pastry and place onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each sheet out to a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.
Using the rolling pin, transfer the puff pastry sheet onto a baking sheet. Then generously puncture the puff pastry with a fork.
Bake in a 400 F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Add remaining ingredients to pastry cream. Once the custard has cooled completely add in the vanilla and thawed cool whip. Lastly, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer and blend it into the custard.
Assemble the Napoleon cake: Divide the cream amongst 5 layered puff pastry sheets and reserve the 6th sheet. Crumble the reserved puff pastry sheet and coat the top and sides of the cake with it. At this point, you can either leave the cake as is or decorate it with fresh berries. Cut into slices to serve.
How long will it last in the fridge?
If refrigerated and kept in an airtight container, a Napoleon cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you choose to freeze it, this will keep it for about a year. Just thaw the Napoleon cake overnight when you are ready to eat it.
Chocolate Strawberry Napoleon: Replace the raspberries with sliced strawberries and the whipped cream with Chocolate Pastry Cream.
Peaches and Cream Napoleon: Make honey syrup by stirring together 1/4 cup clover honey and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 40 seconds. Brush the top of the phyllo cakes with the honey syrup before baking. Replace the raspberries with 6 peeled, pitted, and sliced fresh peaches.