3-Ingredient Napoleon Cake
This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.
This stunning puff pastry cake is a simplified version of classic Napoleon cake. It’s super easy to make with just 3 ingredients! No baking skills required!
This’s not an authentic Napoleon cake by any means. But when you don’t have hours to make an authentic version – which is absolutely worth it, by the way – this log cake hits the spot just right!
It’s not a new concept. It’s a popular log cake in Russia. There’re many variations of this cake with different fillings.
I love filling my cake with Dulce de leche whipped cream, and it’s simply irresistible!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
This cake is like magic. So many reasons to love it
- Ease: With just 3 ingredients, making this cake incredibly easy!
- Presentation: The unique look of this cake guarantees to “wow” your guests.
- Make-ahead: This cake is a perfect make-ahead dessert, as it only gets better with time. The filling softens and flavors the buttery puff pastry layers over 12+ hours.
- Flavor: This log cake is as delicious as it looks!!! So rich, buttery, nutty, creamy, and flakey!!
As mentioned, you need only 3 ingredients, which means each ingredient plays a vital role.
- Puff pastry – I use frozen puff pastry sheets. Allow it to thaw completely before you start making the cake.
- Heavy cream – Heavy or whipping cream will work for this recipe. You want it to be at least 33% fat content.
- Dulce de leche – I use homemade dulce de leche, but store-bought one will works just fine.
How to make this cake:
It’s extremely easy to make this cake, but you do need some ample time for the cake to set, which makes it a perfect make-ahead cake!!
1. Prepare puff pastry
- Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll each pastry sheet into 11×14-inch rectangles.
- Then slice it into long ½-inch wide strips. You should get a total of 44 strips from both puff pastry sheets.
- Arrange the puff pastry strips on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes at 375°F. Cool completely.
2. Make the filling
- Whisk cold heavy cream until hard peaks form.
- Then add dulce de leche and whisk it until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Be sure to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks before adding the Dulce de leche.
Also, don’t whip too long after you add the Dulce de leche, or your filling will get runny.
3. Assemble the cake
Finally, it’s time to assemble the cake!! Reserve a few puff pastry strips for decoration.
- Lay out a long strip of plastic wrap on the counter.
- And layer about a few puff pastry sticks on the plastic wrap, then top with a generous amount of filling.
- Repeat with layers of puff pastry and filling until you run out of puff pastry sticks. Cover the entire cake with the remaining filling.
- And then tightly wrap the entire cake with a plastic wrap, gently squeezing and forming it into a log.
4. Rest and serve
Now, refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours. This resting allows the filling to seep into the puff pastry layers, transforming the cake into a cohesive medley of flavor and texture!
Before serving, crush the reserved puff pastry sticks and sprinkle all over the cake. And enjoy!
It’s easier to slice this cake with this bread knife, or any serrated knife.
- This cake is a perfect make-ahead cake. It can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge, covered.
- Refrigerate leftover cake for up to 5 days.
- This puff pastry cake doesn’t freeze well.
Hope you’ll try this indulgent dessert soon! Let me know what you think if you do.
3-Ingredient Napoleon Cake
- 1 box (1lb/500g) puff pastry sheets Note 1
- 1 can (14oz/400g) dulce de leche Note 2
- 2 cups (500ml) heavy whipping cream
To prepare the puff pastry:
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and gently roll it into an 11×14-inch rectangle. Do the same with the 2nd sheet.
- Cut the pastry sheets into ½-inch wide strips using a knife or pizza cutter. (You should get about 44 strips from both sheets.)
- Arrange the strips on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the puff pastry strips for 15 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. (Note: You can bake one sheet at a time. Or bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating the sheets half way.) Cool completely.
To make the filling:
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream over until soft peaks form, gradually increasing the speed to medium high.
- Add dulce de leche and beat until well combined on medium high speed, about 1 minute.
To assemble the cake:
- Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap with a long overhang on both sides. Reserve 4 puff pastry sticks for topping.
- Arrange 8 puff pastry sticks on the prepared baking sheet. Smear a generous amount of filling over the puff pastry and then arrange another layer of puff pastry sticks followed by the filling. Continue until you run out of the puff pastry sticks. Smear the remaining filling all over the cake.
- Tightly wrap the entire cake with a plastic wrap, squeezing it lightly and shaping it into a log.
- Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. (It's absolutely essential to set the cake for that long, so that puff pastry can soak up all the delicious filling!)
- Crush the reserved puff pastry into fine flakes and sprinkle it over the cake. And serve! (TIP: It's easier to slice the cake with a serrated knife.)
Tips & Notes
– This cake is a perfect make-ahead cake. It can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge, covered.
– Refrigerate leftover for up to 5 days.