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!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
This’s totally not an authentic Napoleon cake. But when you don’t have hours to make an authentic version – which is absolute worth it, by the way – this hits the spot just right!
And the unique look of this cake guarantees to “wow” your guests.
It’s not my genius idea. I was inspired by this post on Instagram and I couldn’t wait to try it! And once I tried it, I couldn’t wait to make it again and share it with you all!
I did make one tiny change to the original version. Instead of sweetened condensed milk, I actually used dulce de leche. And let me tell you, it was an amazing twist!!!
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 fully thaw before you start making the cake.
- Heavy cream – Either heavy cream or heavy 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 setting, which makes it a perfect make-ahead cake!!
1. Prepare puff pastry
First, we’ll cut puff pastry sheets into thin strips. Then we’ll bake them until nice and golden brown. And watch the magic happen: the flat dough will transform into flaky tubes!
2. Make the filling
Whisk cold heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then add dulce de leche and whisk it until smooth.
3. Assemble the cake
Finally, it’s time to assemble the cake!! Reserve a few tubes for decoration.
- Layer about 8 puff pastry tubes on a plastic wrap, then top with generous amount of filling.
- Repeat with layers of puff pastry tubes and filling until you run out of tubes. 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 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 thawed puff pastry sheet over lightly floured surface and gently roll it into 15-inch square. Do the same with the 2nd sheet.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry sheets into 3/4-inch thick strips.
- Arrange the strips on 2-3 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, or silicone mats.
- 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 long overhang on both sides. Reserve 3-4 puff pastry sticks for topping.
- Arrange 8-9 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 reserve puff pastry into fine flakes and sprinkle all over the cake.
- Drizzle the cake with more dulce de leche, if desired, 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.