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Crispy tender, creamy and heavenly delicious taste these Russian Napoleon tarts. They are a simplified version of the classic Napoleon cake that is much faster to make, but no less delicious. If you already have puff pastry at home, you only need two more ingredients to bring this dessert to the table. You can find a detailed Napoleon tart recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.
Tarts made with 3 main ingredients
For these Napoleon tarts you need puff pastry. You can make it yourself beforehand, for example like the pastry for the classic Napoleon cake, and freeze it. Alternatively, you can get puff pastry from the supermarket. For the tart cream you then only need butter, sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla. If you already have the ingredients at home, you can start making the Napoleon tarts right away.
Quick alternative to the Russian Napoleon cake
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to make the classic Napoleon cake yourself, this Napoleon tart recipe is just what you need. You should only have the puff pastry in stock in the freezer. Unlike the cake, which requires you to roll out and bake many round cake layers, you only need four large cake layers for the tarts. If you have homemade puff pastry, simply divide it into four pieces, roll each piece out into a square, and bake the four cake layers one at a time. If you use store-bought puff pastry, you’ll need four rolls of it. You don’t have to roll them out, because they are already rolled out, but you can thaw them according to the package instructions and bake them. You don’t have to cook the cream for these Napoleon tarts, as you do for the cake. You just have to whip butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla briefly. After that, all you have to do is assemble everything into one big cake, which you cut into tarts after cooling.
Vegan Napoleon tarts
By the way, you can easily make these Russian Napoleon tarts vegan. You can make the vegan puff pastry with vegan margarine instead of butter. Alternatively, you can buy vegan puff pastry. Many supermarkets offer it. You can find it either in the refrigerated section or in the freezer. Make sure that the puff pastry is labeled as vegan. For the tart cream, make your own vegan sweetened condensed milk. And then you take vegan margarine instead of butter for the cream. You have everything you need to make vegan Napoleon tarts.
How to serve and store the Napoleon tarts?
The Napoleon tarts, just like the cake, taste best the next day. So leave them in the fridge overnight and serve them only after that. Since the tarts can be made very quickly, they are ideal for dessert during the week or on the weekend. But they are also perfect for a party because they are incredibly delicious, very convenient to serve, and an eye-catcher on the dining table to boot.
Store the Napoleon tarts in the refrigerator. You can store them for about 3 – 4 days. You should not pack them airtight, otherwise the puff pastry will soak and no longer taste crispy.
These Napoleon tarts are
- crispy tender,
- very tasty,
- quick alternative to the classic Napoleon cake,
- easy to make yourself from three main ingredients, if puff pastry is already available,
- ideal for dessert with coffee or tea,
- perfect for a party.
Napoleon tart recipe
You can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions for making Napoleon tarts yourself in the box recipe below.
For the recipe you only need homemade or store-bought puff pastry, sweetened condensed milk, soft butter and vanilla, for example vanilla sugar.
How to make Napoleon tarts: this is how it works
- Roll out the homemade puff pastry into four large squares or thaw the four purchased pastry rolls from the freezer according to package directions. Bake the four cake layers individually at 220 °C for about 7 minutes each and let them cool down. Cut a thin edge off each cake layer and crumble.
- For the cream, whip the sweetened condensed milk, butter and vanilla until creamy.
- Spread the cream on the four large cake layers and stack on top of each other. Sprinkle the crumbs over the large cake and refrigerate for about 8 hours. Then cut into tarts and sprinkle each tart with powdered sugar, if desired. Done!
How to make Napoleon tarts: tips and tricks
- You can use homemade or store-bought puff pastry for the recipe.
- Both butter and sweetened condensed milk for the cream need to be room warm and both need to be about the same temperature when whipped together to make the cream, so they can combine well.
- You can make your own sweetened condensed milk for the cream.
- Vanilla for the cream can be vanilla sugar, vanilla powder, vanilla extract or vanilla bean scraped out.
- With vegan margarine and homemade sweetened condensed milk in vegan variant for the cream and with vegan puff pastry you get vegan Napoleon tarts.
- The puff pastry tastes best the next day. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days.
Did you make the Napoleon tarts yourself using this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment here below, how you succeeded and tasted the sweet puff pastry.
Got an appetite for more delicious tarts? Try them too:
- Slices “Shkolnoe” – popular Russian shortbread jam bars
- Mini Pavlova – recipe for the world favorite summer dessert
- Korzinochki – popular Soviet shortbread tarts with meringue filling
- How to make eclairs – recipe for world-famous French choux pastry
- “Little stairs” – Soviet sponge tarts with walnut & caramel buttercream
- 1100 g puff pastry (bought or homemade, e.g. according to this recipe for Napoleon cake)
for the cream
- 500 g sweetened condensed milk (room temperature)
- 500 g butter (room temperature)
- powdered sugar
- Roll out four squares of homemade puff pastry about 0.3 cm thick or thaw four purchased puff pastry rolls from the freezer according to package directions.
- Bake the four puff pastry cake layers one after the other on a baking tray lined with baking paper in a preheated oven at 220 °C top and bottom heat for about 7 minutes each and let them cool down.
- Cut off about 0.5 cm of the edge of each of the four cake layers and crumble.
Preparation of the cream
- Beat softened butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla together for about 5 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
Preparation of the tarts
- Spread the cream on the top side of the first cake layer. Turn the remaining three cake layers with the flat side up and spread them with the cream from this side. Stack the three cake layers on top of the first cake layer.
- Sprinkle the top and sides of the large cake with the crumbs and refrigerate for about 8 hours or overnight.
- Cut the cake into 12 tarts in the shape of triangles and dust each tart with powdered sugar.
- Both butter and sweetened condensed milk for the cream need to be room warm, and both need to be about the same temperature when whipped together to make the cream, so they can combine well.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making Napoleon tarts at the top of the post.