Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Classic Napoleon

This delicious, traditional pastry is assembled using Classic Puff Pastry, Diplomat Cream, Pastry Cream, Apricot Glaze, and Simple Syrup.

Source: The Culinary Institute of America food enthusiast kitchens

CIA's Classic Napoleon recipe



Makes 8 Napoleons (2 by 3 1/4 by 1 1/2 inches)


  1. Roll the puff pastry into a rectangle that measure about 9 by 15 inches (about the same dimensions as a standard baking sheet) and about ⅛ inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Dock the entire surface of the puff pastry generously with the tines of a table fork and top the pastry with a second parchment sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue to bake until golden brown and dry throughout, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool the puff pastry to room temperature.
  4. Trim the edges of the pastry using a serrated knife and cut lengthwise into three strips. Spread half of the diplomat cream in an even layer on one strip, cover with a second strip, and gently spread the remaining cream over the puff pastry. Top with the third strip (it should be upside down, so smooth the sides to remove any excess diplomat cream). Wrap the napoleon and freeze overnight.
  5. The next day, unwrap the napoleon and set it on a cooling rack to thaw for 10 to 15 minutes. (Place the cooling rack on a baking sheet to catch any drips of the glaze or fondant.)
  6. Warm the apricot glaze until it is thin enough to brush, and lightly coat the top of the napoleon.
  7. Gently warm the fondant over a double boiler to 100 degrees F. Add simple syrup to the melted fondant to thin it enough to flow easily. Pour the fondant onto the center of the napoleon and spread the fondant onto a thin layer over the entire pastry.
  8. Pour the melted chocolate into a parchment paper cone and pipe thin lines of chocolate lengthwise along the pastry about ¼ inch apart. Drag the tip of a paring knife horizontally across the chocolate lines in alternating directions. Let the fondant set completely before slicing. To slice the pastry into individual napoleons, use a serrated knife. Warm the blade of the knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting the slices. The napoleons are ready to serve now, or you may keep them in a storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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