Sometimes the simplest ingredients make the most decadent recipes. This puff pastry custard whipped cream cake is one of those incredibly simple recipes that are rich, decadent, and ideal for serving to guests. Despite it having such ordinary ingredients, the combination is powerful. You have the delicate pastry filled with rich vanilla custard and homemade whipped cream that makes this melt in your mouth delicious.
Decadent Homemade Puff Pastry Whipped Cream Cake
One of the hidden secrets every home chef should always have on hand is puff pastry. While you can make this from scratch, the frozen puff pastry is easy to find, affordable, and works just as well as homemade without the time spent in the kitchen. Honestly, since I found just how good it is, I haven't made homemade again. Instead, I keep a package in my freezer at all times. That way, I can whip up something like this in minutes!
This recipe features two simple recipes that everyone should have under their belt. A simple homemade vanilla custard and the classic homemade whipped cream. These two individually and combined are all you need to create a dessert that is sure to please anyone at your table. With simple additions, they both become entirely new recipes!
What Other Fillings Can I Add to This Cake?
It is so easy to add another layer of flavor to this recipe. There are tons of mix in's you could include in this cake that will elevate the flavors. Below are a few that immediately come to mind. Don't worry though, it is absolutely perfect just as listed.
- Spread a thin layer of this lavender lemon curd recipe on the first layer of pastry before adding the whipped cream.
- Substitute lemon, banana, or even mint extract in the custard in place of vanilla for a different filling flavor.
- Fold in shaved chocolate with the whipped cream.
- Whip in ¼ teaspoon cinnamon with a drop of honey into the whipped cream.
- Spread the bottom pastry with chocolate fudge, caramel, or strawberry spread.
- Mix in chopped pistachios into the custard and cream mixture.
What Can I Use to Top This Puff Pastry Cake?
I like to sprinkle the top with just a bit of powdered sugar. It completes the flavor and looks nice. You can also sprinkle on a bit of cocoa powder, a mixture of espresso and cocoa powder for a tiramisu style flavor, or even a drizzle of honey. Other ideas are to top with fresh berries or any berry syrup you prefer when serving.
Can I Freeze This Cake?
You can definitely freeze this for later! However, once frozen, the whipped cream will change just a bit in texture. You can serve it thawed or frozen and both ways it is sure to taste amazing. When frozen, it will have a texture a bit closer to an ice cream. That makes it similar to an ice cream sandwich. In fact, this is my favorite way to make an ice cream sandwich. It's a bit more upscale than others and yet still an easy choice.
How do I Temper Eggs?
One of the important parts of making a custard is that it thickens and develops richness from the eggs. However, adding eggs over heat can scramble them rather than incorporating into the recipe. That is where tempering your eggs is important. If you've never done that before, I am here to give you a few tips that have helped me along the way.
One of the best ways to temper eggs is to whisk them first with other wet ingredients until they are beaten nicely. Then, you will want to add a small amount of hot liquid at a time. Rather than just dumping the eggs into a hot pan, you'll mix them together in a bowl with the hot milk before cooking over medium heat. I do this by heating the milk in a pan first, then pouring in ¼ cup at a time and whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle or scramble but are incorporated instead. Take this slowly and if possible, have someone else help you along the way by adding in the hot liquid slowly while you concentrate on whisking the mixture together.
Can I Use Cool Whip Instead of Whipped Cream?
If you are short on time and don't want to make homemade whipped cream, you can definitely use a whipped topping like Cool Whip. It will not be as tasty, but will have the same texture and overall result you are looking for in this recipe. I do recommend you take the time to make homemade whipped cream if at all possible. It's a simple process that results in much better flavor and texture overall.
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Whipped cream (I use the Food Network recipe to make mine)
- Puff pastry
How to Make a Puff Pastry Whipped Cream Cake
If making homemade whipped cream, do that before you begin anything else so it is ready and chilled.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out both puff pastry sheets slightly to make a rectangle around 28x12 cm. Score each sheet with a knife, making squire shapes on the surface.
Transfer onto a baking sheet, cover with a sheet of parchment and another baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool down.
Heat milk until almost boiling.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with salt, sugar, and starch.
Start slowly pouring hot milk into the yolk mixture, while whisking vigorously.
Pour the mixture back into the pan when the milk used to be and return on the stove then stir in the vanilla extract.
Cook, whisking, for 3-4 minutes or until thick.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic tightly. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cooled completely.
Fold whipped cream into the cold custard.
Spread a thick layer of cream on top of one puff pastry layer and cover it with another one.
Slice into squares using a serrated knife. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.
When making homemade whipped cream, one of the best investments I ever made was to pick up a stainless steel bowl. You can place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes prior to making your whipped cream and it makes it much easier to get those nice peaks faster. This ability to chill the bowl so easily is handy in many instances, but especially when making whipped cream.
More Decadent Dessert Recipes
If you want more delicious and decadent desserts, we have tons to share with you. Below are a few of my favorites that I know you too will love adding to your menu. Make one or all of these to wow your family at dessert!
- The Perfect New York Style Cheesecake Recipe
- Chai Spiced Baked Apples with Vanilla Bean Gelato
- Roasted Blueberry Cheesecake with Candied Meyer Lemon
- Caramelized Banana Pudding
- No Bake Chocolate Caramel Pie
- Chewy Butter Pecan Bars
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 20 oz whipped cream
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- If making homemade whipped cream, do that before you begin anything else so it is ready and chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out both puff pastry sheets slightly to make a rectangle around 28x12 cm. Score each sheet with a knife, making squire shapes on the surface.
- Transfer onto a baking sheet, cover with a sheet of parchment and another baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool down.
- Heat milk until almost boiling.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with salt, sugar, and starch.
- Start slowly pouring hot milk into the yolk mixture, while whisking vigorously.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan when the milk used to be and return on the stove then stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cook, whisking, for 3-4 minutes or until thick.
- Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic tightly. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cooled completely.
- Fold whipped cream into the cold custard.
- Spread a thick layer of cream on top of one puff pastry layer and cover it with another one.
- Slice into squares using a serrated knife. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.
Top this with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 5g