Gluten Free Napoleon

Since I published this recipe, I made Napoleon pastry several times and made several small changes. The process of making this pastry is easier and the final product is even better. 10.6.2014

Another update on Napoleon cream 27.12.2014


Classic puff pastry is one of the most difficult to make in gluten free version. I have found that the pastry in this recipe gives the taste of Napoleon I remember from childhood, but without the time-consuming procedure for making traditional puff pastry. The original recipe for “quick pastry” Napoleon was given to me by my friend and I only adjusted the quantity and mix of flours to get the right texture of the pastry. The selection of readily available white rice flour and OrgraN gluten free all purpose plain flour makes these ingredients easy to obtain everywhere in the world. I like pastry baked from this dough so much, that I was never tempted to use other gluten free flours.



  • 150 g fine rice flour, I use McKenzie’s brand
  • 270 g Orgran all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 80 g caster sugar (70 g caster sugar and 10 g vanilla sugar)
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 ml full cream cold milk, any milk can be used, but I prefer now to use ultra heated milk
  • pinch of salt

Crème patisserie

  • contents of 2 vanilla pods
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 g corn flour
  • 1 l full cream milk
  • 150 g sugar

Separately butter cream

  • 200 g butter
  • 40 g sugar

27.12.2014 update on Napoleon cream

I had an excess of egg yolks when making Napoleon for Christmas and used different quantities for both crème patisserie and butter cream. It was easier to make and I did not have to be careful not to run out of cream for 10 pastry layers. Butter cream never showed even the hint of spitting and took all crème patisserie. Here is 2 changes to the quantities of ingredients I made this time.

For Crème patisserie: 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg instead of 3 whole eggs.

For butter cream: 250 g of unsalted butter instead of 200g (Lurpak butter gave better results compared to French butter).

The cream mixture was really better, both in taste and its silky texture and resulted in the best ever Napoleon I made.



  • cut butter in 2cm cubes and put them in the freezer for 20 min
  • mix 2 types of flour using whisk, divide the mix in 2 equal portions
  • in food processor mix 1/2 flour with butter to small crumbs size
  • mix both flour portions in a deep bowl


  • lightly beat an egg with both sugars, add milk, mix until sugar is dissolved
  • add wet ingredients to flour mixture


  • mix all ingredients with a knife until combined


  • press a mixture to form a ball


  • knead the dough lightly just to get everything together


  • make 10 separate balls (80-90 g each)


  • use all purpose flour to dust baking paper and pastry


  • roll each piece of the pastry on a baking paper very thin


  • cut the pastry to the necessary shape before baking


  • do not remove rolled pastry from baking paper, place sheet of baking paper with rolled dough on baking tray
  • bake in preheated oven at 180C/170C fan forced oven until golden brown colour
  • you can use 3 trays for simultaneous bake in fan forced oven
  • be careful not to break baked pastry
  • collect baked pastry cut offs separately

Pastry cream

  • beat lightly eggs with sugar
  • add corn flour and mix well until homogenous


  • split vanilla beans and remove vanilla seeds


  • warm milk with vanilla seeds


  • add milk to beaten eggs with sugar and corn flour
  • return mix to the sauce pan and slowly heat, constantly stirring to avoid lumps until the mixture thickens


  • cool the cream to room temperature, cover the top to avoid forming the skin
  • separately beat the butter with sugar until pale
  • gradually incorporate pastry cream into butter cream
  • make a layered cake


  • crush leftover pastry by rolling pin and use it to decorate the top and sides of the cake


The cake will be ready to eat the next day after overnight stay in the fridge. Pastry from this recipe will stay crunchy, will not absorb moisture and the cake will not go too soft and too moist.


I have to mention, that originally I never refrigerated Napoleon pastry, because it was very difficult to roll the pastry cold. I once had to put it in the fridge for an hour, because I had to deal with difficult sauce, and I have discovered that the pastry became actually easier to roll, it needed less flour for dusting, and baked pastry was more flaky and puff. Did it happened because I changed the way I incorporate very cold butter into the flour mix, because I changed the way I mix wet ingredients with sugar first and then add them to dry ingredients, or finally, because I noticed that Orgran gluten free plain all purpose flour is little different now – better in my view, I do not know.

After all these changes I liked the pastry so much, that I started to use it for many other baking products.


I now bake biscuits, plain and rolled, make sweet and savoury (even less sugar in the pastry) tarts, biscuits layered with crèmes and jams.


I love this pastry because it is not very sweet and can be used with delicate fillings without overshadowing their taste. It is perfect for individual vanilla cream tartlets and vanilla cream horns.


This pastry also stays dry forever, it does not adsorb moisture, so I can keep my biscuits or tart cases for  several days or even weeks without losing original taste and crunchiness. It helps me very much when cooking for special occasions by being able to spread different processes for several days.


6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Napoleon

  1. I am going to have to try this recipe. Looks wonderful. I am only a basic cook, so learning along with the GF to make my life interesting.

    1. It will be easier to use another recipe for the pastry which is published under the title multi-purpose pastry, perfect for strudels, as the recipe does not have any gluten free flour mixes, and has only individual gluten free flours. I say this because since the publication of recipe Orgran gluten free plain flour mix changed its ingredients.

  2. I love this cake and since I became gluten free it was one thing that I just could not replicate.
    Then I tried this recipe- OMG! it’s amazing! So delicious! I used all purpose flour though because I didn’t have any other kind in my pantry, but the taste is sooooo good! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’ll be trying more from your blog! I would send you a picture but there is no option to do it here.

    1. Thank you Olga, we love this cake, too. However I have developed different recipes for both the pastry layers and the cream itself, that are better in my opinion. Both these new recipes are available also in video format, though in Russian language. Pastry recipe in based on two gluten free flour mix – rice and buckwheat with no starches, while cream recipe, the one I use now practically in all cakes, is based on thick pastry cream and whipped cream, with no butter. It is amazingly delicious cream. I hope you will discover many more gluten free bakes that taste even better than wheat analogues.

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