Russian Napoleon Cake

by Myles

Not all of us are aware that Russia is home to many mouth-watering desserts that also come with a fascinating history. But, yes, Russian desserts are very interesting and, of course, delicious! If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely the place to be.

Aside from Sharlotka, Syrniki, Zefir, Baked Apples, and Tula Pryanik, Napoleon Cake is something that you should try out. It was actually invented in France in the 18th century then brought to Russia later on. It has become one of the most favorite desserts in the country. Be it a holiday feast or a regular day, it certainly is the first choice in restaurants and homes.

So, what is so special about Napoleon Cake? This treat is multi-layered, and each layer is soft and moist as they absorb the frosting. You can just imagine having a bite of it. The flavorful thin layers will surely be like heaven!

As Thanksgiving and the Yuletide season is fast approaching, I am pretty sure that you are now thinking about what you are going to make. Well, for dessert, the Russian Napoleon Cake would be an excellent choice. As long as you have the patience, and you don’t cut it too early, you will have a fantastic treat!

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Russian Napoleon Cake

  • Author: Myles
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes + cooling time
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x


Being a national dessert, this Russian Napoleon Cake will absolutely bring excitement to your dinner table, be it a regular day or a special occasion. With its 10 delicious, thin layers, it sure is a soul-satisfying dessert!



Pastry layers:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)

1 tbsp. sugar

2 large egg whites (stiffly beaten, room temperature)

1 c. sour cream (room temperature)

1 tbsp. vodka

1 pinch salt

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Custard filling:

5 c. whole milk

1 large egg white (room temperature)

10 large egg yolks (room temperature)

2 1/2 c. sugar

6 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

16 tbsp. unsalted butter


Pastry layers:

  1. Combine 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl and beat until creamy.
  2. Add 2 egg whites (stiffly beaten), vodka, salt, and sour cream.
  3. Slowly fold in the flour, one spoonful at a time until the dough is soft. Wrap in plastic and chill for a couple of hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a baking sheet.
  5. Make about 10 pieces out of the pastry dough. Roll each one out on the baking sheet into very thin circles (about 8-inch).
  6. Bake the pastry for up to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven as each one gets cooked and cool on a wire rack.

Custard filling:

  1. Heat the milk in a large saucepan, but be careful not to let it boil.
  2. Beat egg yolks together with 1 egg white and 2 1/2 cups of sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add about 6 tablespoons of flour and mix well. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the milk on low heat. Stir constantly until smooth, thick, and creamy.
  3. Add the vanilla and unsalted butter. Stir until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat but stir frequently as it cools.


  1. Put one cooked dough in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and cover with a layer of the custard filling. Repeat this step with 8 more cooked dough.
  2. Crumble the last cooked dough and layer over the top of the torte. Keep in the fridge for about 5 to 6 hours.
  3. To remove the cake from the springform pan, run a butter knife around the edges of the cake. Use a cake lifter or spatulas to transfer it to a serving platter.
  4. Slice using an electric knife and serve.


When making the pastry layers, you might not need all of the flour.


  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

To make your Russian Napoleon Cake more presentable, you can top it with berries and other tiny fruits.

Making this dessert may be a bit time-consuming, but I can guarantee you that it’s going to be worth it. Enjoy! 🙂

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