Cake Napoleon was one of the two favorite cakes of my childhood. When I decided to give up dairy products, I mentally said “goodbye forever” to all the goodies like ice cream, cakes, and all kinds of creams. Who would have thought that all of this could be replicated using plant-based products!
Baking Napoleon cake without animal products turned out to be even easier than the traditional way. Fewer ingredients and no need to drive butter into cream for fear of curdling. Of course, you can’t call this cake a healthy dish, but if you don’t eat cakes every day, then why not? In addition, if desired, it can be made low-fat, and not so sweet…. it’s all a matter of taste.
The sweeter the better?
This is the original recipe that was shared with me by my sister a few years ago. Since then I baked vegan Napoleon more than once and managed to modify it a little, in accordance with my tastes – with less sugar and less oil. It feels like when you eat healthy food for some time the taste, whether salty or sweet, becomes brighter and no longer needs to be amplified. It is very difficult to explain, and at first I could not understand this phenomenon myself.
I used to cook special, delicious things (to my taste) and go to treat my colleagues or acquaintances – but they were not impressed. And I could not understand whether they didn’t want to admit sweets to be delicious because they knew it was vegan, or whether there was something wrong with me and in reality I was that bad at cooking. But when I returned to the original recipe and added more sugar and oil, their reactions changed positively. Things went even better if I didn’t mention that the cake was vegan 😀 Now, when I cook desserts for someone else than me and my hubby, I strive to make sweets sweeter and it works well.
Vegan Layered Cake "Napoleon"
- High Speed Blender
For the dough:
- 1 cup Sparkling water
- 1 cup Vegetable oil (coconut oil is the best option, reduce to 1/4 cup for low-fat option)
- 0.5 tsp. Salt
- 3 cups Flour
- 120 g Almonds
- 1 l Water
- 1 cup Sugar (replace with 0.5 cup *Erythritol for low-calorie/sugar-free option)
- 1 cup Semolina
- 2 tbsp. Lemon zest
- 4 tbsp. Lemon juice
- 0.25 tsp Vanilla
- Mix all ingredients for the dough together in order to receive a soft and fatty dough.
- Divide it into 8-10 pieces and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. By the way: it’s no big deal if you would like to use half as much oil as in the recipe. For instance I strive to use as less oils as possible, so from my experience, the layering and crispness of a dough will be the same if you use less oil.
- Soak almonds in hot (boiling) water for about 10 minutes. After that you can easily peel it.
- Blend peeled nuts together with water and sugar in a blender. (I use 3/4 cup of sugar and it's enough for us. But if you want to impress a purchased cakes-lover use a full cup of sugar).
- As a result you will get sweet almond “milk”. Pour it into a sauce pan (no need to filter). Gradually add semolina and stir constantly.
- Bring it to boil and cook semolina till it's ready.
- Let this "porridge" to cool down.
- Divide the cream in 2 portions (even if you have a super powerful blender). Put 1 portion into the blender, add 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest. Blend well. Repeat the same with the second portion using the rest of ingredients (again, 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest) Cream is ready!
- Roll out the dough pieces (size about 40x30 cm, standard baking sheet).
- Place it in a preheated oven (180'C) and bake until it's ready (about 5 min for the first layer and 2-3 min for next ones, depending on the oven).
- When crusts are ready and cooled down you can design your cake. Spread evenly cream on each layer.
- The last crust is traditionally broken into crumbs and sprinkled on top.
NotesDecoration. You can decorate your layer cake in a different way. One day I tried to mix half of cream with frozen raspberries in a blender (I had about a cup or less of it). And I decorated the top with strawberries. It turned out very nice! *Sweetener. Nowadays many people try to avoid sugar, and I find it very reasonable. If you are also looking for alternatives, I advise you to watch this short video on different substitutes. Maybe it will help you with decidion! My husband and I have tried Erythritol and so far we like it, but we also want to try xylit - it also has good characteristics.
You don’t have an oven? No big deal!
The cake you see in the pictures down below is the one I baked without an oven. It turned out that I had no oven at the time. So, I had to improvise! I didn’t expect that the crust would be equally crunchy and layered from the frying pan as from the oven.
My technology was as follows: I heated a frying pan with a thin bottom with some coconut oil in it, then turned down the gas to the minimum, placed a rolled out layer of dough in the pan and covered the pan with a lid. A few minutes later, the crust was already bubbly. I turned it upside down and closed the lid again for a couple of minutes. When I removed the crust from the fire, it was a bit soft, but when it cooled down it acquired the necessary structure. It even turned out roasted. If I had had an electric stove, it would probably have been even better. Surely, the oven is the easiest and the best instrument here! I hope you have one!
Do you like this recipe?
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