Napoleon Cake

This is one of my all time favorite cakes. It’s a Napoleon Cake (Наполеон), a popular Russian cake made with puff pastry and smooth buttery creamy filling.

Napoleon Cake |  from #cake

This is a very popular Russian cake and I remember my mom used to make if when I was little. She didn’t make it too often because it was a huge pain to make it (the way she puts it). You see, back when my mom was in culinary school and a young chef, they didn’t have the privilege of having frozen puff pastry like we do now. Any time they wanted puff pastry, they had to make it from scratch. As great as it is and as much as I love things to be homemade, it really is a pain to spend two days making a small pastry cake. This is exactly why I always thought this cake was so special.

To this day, my mom makes this cake for me on my birthday. Well, almost every birthday; I usually choose if I want this Napoleon Cake or a different cake (that I may share sometime soon).

Napoleon cake that you will find now, is usually made with a custard like filling. It is a more recent way of making this cake. I wanted to make a cake that my mom used to make when I was little. I called and asked her how she used to make this cake in Russia. She told me that back then, they used to make it with butter/condensed milk filling. It’s a little different from the way it is made now but it’s super delicious. Since I wanted to recreate a childhood favorite, I made the cake  the same way that she made it twenty years ago.

Ahhh, heavenly!

Napoleon Cake 2 from #cake

Napoleon Cake

Napoleon Cake

This is a small cake but you can make a full size cake by using 2 boxes of puff pastry and not cutting it in half. This will give you 4 square sheets of pastry. Double the recipe for frosting too.


  • 1 box of puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • 1/2 cup of butter, unsalted and at room temperature
  • 1/4 of 14 oz can of condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 400, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray it with some baking spray.
  2. Defrost the puff pastry and cut each square in half. This will give you four layers. Using a fork, poke some holes evenly through the pastry (about 3 times on each rectangle: top, middle, bottom).
  3. Place the puff pastry carefully on the cookie sheet and bake it for about 14-15 minutes.
  4. Cool the sheets of baked pastry completely.
  5. While the pastry is cooling, make the frosting.
  6. In a bowl of an electric mixer, with a whisk attachment, combine butter, condensed milk and vanilla extract. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the whisk attachment. Beat for about another 2 minutes. The frosting will be very smooth, light and creamy.
  7. Collect all the crumbs from the puff pastry and press it in a few spots to get some extra crumbs. You will use those crumbs for the topping of the cake.
  8. Spread the frosting on top of each pastry layer, even on the top one. Spread the crumbs that you collected evenly over the top layer.


Recipe from Lyuba @ All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Napoleon Cake 1 from #cake


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More Cakes To Love:

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Tiramisu Poke Cake

Шарлотка, Sharlotka Russian Apple Cake 3 from

Шарлотка, Sharlotka: Russian Apple Cake

Boston Cream Crepe Cake 3 (c)

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  1. Oh that looks so good and rich. I remember when I was a little girl my mamma tried to make something similar to this. She did not follow recipes so she tried to duplicate what she had tasted when we lived in Italy. I don’t remember what she called it. It is definitely something I will put on my cooking roster when I get back north. As always, love the photos. I’m still working with mine and I must say I’ve got a loooong way to go.

  2. OMG, I didn’t know this is a Russian cake! We have a very similar dessert in my hometown which we call “Napoleones”…you can Google it for pictures, it has a white glazing on top though. It must have been inspired by this cake, but I never thought before that that yummy dessert has Russian origins. I learned something new today. :-)

    • I think it is a version of a French pastry cake and there is an Italian version too. This one has been a favorite in Russia for ages though. Thank you, Mareeyah!

  3. Oh – for real??!!! WOW this looks sooooooo good. I would sit & eat the whole thing by myself.

  4. This looks DELIGHTFUL! I love puff pastry! Yeah I made puff pastry for the first time last year…I don’t plan on making it again; while it was so delicious it wasn’t worth the time and effort. I love the beauty and simplicity of this cake!

  5. My husband would love this. He is a sucker for anything with sweetened condensed milk, beyond that this just looks amazing. But major kudos to your momma who made this without premade puff pastry. That would definitely take a while, but I’m sure she did it in love for you guys! :) Pinned!

    • I think that she did it so much at work, that it she was used to it. Although, I can imagine how happy she was that puff pastry can be bought frozen :)
      Thank you, Krista!

  6. It’s one delicious and super-tempting looking cake!!

  7. What a neat story about your momma. I sure do love the frozen puff pastry we have now a days! Love this easy simply (and delicious) cake!

  8. What an awesome birthday cake! I can see why you love it so much Lyuba, it looks delicious. :)

  9. That. Looks. Amazing. :)

  10. oh my my…this looks so delicious and simple! What a great recipe to have on hand :) Thanks for sharing!

  11. This looks like it would be hard to make from the picture, but yet it is easy. Can’t wait to make in for the family.

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