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Polish Cream Papal Cake Recipe – Kremówka Papieska

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Three squares of pastry with powdered sugar on a wooden board, also known as Polish cream papal cake.

Polish cakes are rather iconic. People love to have them as treats or alongside tea. The Polish cream papal cake however is one of those legendary cakes that has gained popularity over time. This is largely because of Pope John Paul II. 

Apparently, the Polish cream papal cake was associated with him because he mentioned that he ate Polish cream cakes (kremówki) after his final exams in high school. With the Pope recommending this traditional dish, kremówki rose to fame instantly. Everyone had to just try them when they visited. 

In fact, Pope John Paul II was from a small town in Poland called Wadowice. I’ve visited this town myself on multiple occasions. You will find that there are numerous pastry shops across the town where you can buy kremówki. Tasting these Polish cream papal cakes has become one of the must do things in Wadowice and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Polish cream papal cake
Polish cream papal cake

In Poland, people don’t really make kremówki themselves but they buy them at the stores. It’s mostly because making puff pastry from scratch is very difficult and time-consuming. If you really want to make it home without the arduous process of making the pastry, don’t worry. This recipe will take you through the process of making Polish cream papal cake with store-bought puff pastry dough. It is simple, quick, and just as tasty!

Kremówka may be filled with custard or cream, however, the custard is more popular. Intriguingly enough, you will find that kremówka or Polish cream papal cake are just two names for this popular dessert. Other names for this recipe are:

  • napoleonka
  • Polish napoleon cake
  • kremówka
  • kremówka papieska
  • Polish papal cake
  • Polish cream cake
  • Pope’s cake

Another similar cake is karpatka (Polish Carpathian cake. The dough in this recipe is different though.

Polish Cream Papal Cake Recipe – Kremówka Papieska

Part I – Bake Each Puff Pastry

Start off with baking each puff pastry. Follow the instructions on the packet. Note that different brands have different instructions. So if you are using a new brand, review the instructions before use.

Part II – Pour 3 Cups Of Milk Into The Pot

Part III – Add Egg Yolks And Sugar

Add 4 egg yolks and  ¾ cup of sugar to the milk. Whip the mixture together using a hand blender till you get a smooth yellow color. Set the mixture aside.

Part IV – Pour 1 Cup Of Cold Milk Into A Small Bowl

Part V – Add Flour And Starch

Add in ½ cup of all purpose flour and 3 tbsp. of potato or corn starch. Mix it well such that there are no lumps. This will act as a thickener.

Part VI – Heat The Milk, Egg Yolk And Sugar Mixture

Place the pot on the stove on a low fire. Heat the milk, egg yolk mixture while constantly stirring it. When the mixture is just starting to bowl, add the milk and flour mixture (small bowl) to it. Keep stirring. The milk will slowly take the consistency of a pudding. Turn it off when it reaches this consistency. Set aside to cool.

Part VII – Mix The Cold Pudding With Butter

Once the pudding has cooled add in 1 cup of butter. Mix the pudding and the butter till it forms the consistency of a creamy custard..

Part VIII – Spread The Cold Custard On A Baked Pastry

Lay the baked pastry on a flat surface. Layer the top of it with a thick layer of custard. Cover the custard with a second layer such that the custard is sandwiched between the layers. Press it gently. If you press it too hard, the pastry will crack. You need to press it just enough that both the layers stick to the custard filling.

Note how the pastries form a sandwich for the custard.
Cream Pie. Two layers of puff pastry filled with whipped cream.

Part IX – Refrigerate. Serve With Icing Sugar

Refrigerate and serve cold
Refrigerate and serve cold

FAQs About Polish Cream Papal Cake

Is There A Difference Between Mille-feuille And Polish Cream Papal Cake?

While the concept between Mille-feuille and Polish cream papal cake is basically the same, there is one very big difference. Mille-feuille literally translates into a thousand-layer cake. It gets this name because of the numerous layers of pastry that are used in making it. The custard between the layers is a very thin layer. 

Polish cream papal cake on the other hand consists of just two layers of pastry. The custard cream on the other hand forms a very thick layer.

Why Do You Use Potato And Corn Starch In Recipe?

The recipe calls for either potato or cornstarch. Starch acts as a thickening agent. It is the starch that gives the custard its characteristic consistency. Without the starch, the custard would be watery and it would make the pastry moist which would not taste great.

Can Polish Cream Papal Cake Be Stored?

Ideally, you should eat the cake the day that it is made. Sometimes you can’t help it. Leftovers can be stored by wrapping them in cling wrap and placing them in the refrigerator. Note however that over time the pastry can soften and the cake may not taste as great.

Yield: 20 pieces

Polish Cream Papal Cake Recipe - Kremówka Papieska

Three squares of pastry with powdered sugar on a wooden board, also known as Polish cream papal cake.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes


  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 4 cups (1 liter) of milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (150g) of sugar
  • ½ cup (60g) of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsps of potato/corn starch
  • 1 cup (230g) of butter
  • icing sugar


  1. Bake each puff pastry following the instructions on the package.
  2. Pour 3 cups of milk into the pot.
  3. Add egg yolks, sugar, and whip it together until you will get a smooth, yellow color.
  4. Pour 1 cup of cold milk into the small bowl.
  5. Add flour and starch, and mix until dissolved.
  6. Place a pot on the stove, and cook slowly, stirring all the time.
  7. When it nearly boils, add milk with flour and you will get the consistency of pudding. Let it cool down.
  8. Mix the cold pudding with butter until you get the consistency of the creamy custard.
  9. Spread the cold custard on baked puff pastry. Cover with the second pastry and press gently.
  10. Refrigerate for a few hours. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

Did you make this recipe?

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2 Responses

    1. It doesn’t matter. If it’s cold, you need to chop it first. If it’s soft, it’s not necessary.

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