Napoleon cake

Flip it!

Here is a recipe for Ukrainian-style Napoleon cake, which is a variation of the classic French Mille-feuille. It has 10 thin and crispy layers of pastry, filled with a creamy custard. It is best to refrigerate the cake overnight to let the layers soften and absorb the cream. Here are the full ingredients and directions:


  • For the pastry:
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
    • 1 cup sour cream
  • For the custard:
    • 4 cups milk
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened


  • To make the pastry, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or a knife until crumbly. Add the sour cream and mix well. Form the dough into 10 equal balls, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • To make the custard, heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming, but not boiling. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot milk to temper the egg mixture. Then, whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
  • To assemble the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a thin circle, about 8 inches in diameter. Prick the dough all over with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • To finish the cake, place one pastry layer on a large platter and spread about 1/3 cup of the custard evenly over it. Repeat with the remaining pastry layers and custard, ending with a pastry layer on top. Reserve some custard for the sides of the cake. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, spread the remaining custard over the sides of the cake and decorate as desired. You can sprinkle some powdered sugar, chopped nuts, or chocolate shavings on top, or use fresh berries for a burst of color and flavor. Enjoy your Ukrainian-style Napoleon cake!

Some tips and hacks for storing and using leftover Napoleon cake are:

  • To store the cake, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months, but make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.
  • To use leftover cake, you can cut it into small pieces and make a trifle with whipped cream, fruit, and custard. You can also crumble the cake and mix it with cream cheese, then roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate for a decadent treat. Or, you can simply enjoy the cake as it is, with a cup of tea or coffee. 🍰

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