Sunday, January 2, 2011

Vegan Russian Napoleon Cake

So...don't ask your Russian boyfriend what kind of cake he wants for his birthday. Just make him a chocolate cake or something and be done with it. Otherwise, he might tell you he really wants a "Napoleon Cake" like he used to have as a kid...which can be challenging if you've never eaten such a thing and it sounds pretty tough to veganize.

But, love makes us do crazy things, so today I made a vegan Napoleon cake.

Internet research informed me that the Napoleon cake basically consists of layers of puff pastry and cream filling. Further internet research informed me that Pepperidge Farm's frozen puff pastry is one of those accidentally vegan (but nowhere near accidentally healthy) junk foods. Like Oreos! So I ventured away from my safe and familiar Whole Foods, and went to a Normal Grocery Store (eek!) to purchase the puff pastry.

The cream filling was more of a challenge. The boyfriend described it as being similar to the filling in an eclair. I ended up making this recipe for coconut milk whipped cream, and also a package of vegan vanilla pudding (made with soy milk), and mixed the two together in my stand mixer. I thought it could be a bit sweeter, so I added some powdered sugar. The resulting cream was OMGyum.

Then all I needed to do was assemble it. The top has crumbs of puff pastry on it. This crappy cell phone pic (sorry, real camera's battery died) actually depicts an additional mini cake I made, because I had extra pastry and cream. I suppose I could have trimmed the edges to make them neater, but I'd rather have more cake than prettier cake.

I will report on the Russian's reaction later :)


  1. Hello--I just discovered your post now (wish you had left a trackback or pingback so I would have known sooner!) and wow, does your napoleon look delicious. I've combined the whipped cream with my own version of pudding in the past and loved the resulting mousse-like dessert (which I ate on its own--no layers required). Hope the boyfriend loved it--and happy (extremely belated) birthday to him. :)

  2. Thanks! He devoured it and declared it very similar to what he used to eat back in the USSR, although he said the Russian version had more layers (mine had 5, I'm not sure how many I'd want to attempt)!