Each member of my family has that one very favorite dessert that they always wish for on their special day; Shirini Napoleoni or Napoleons has to be my husband’s. I have to say that Shirini Napoleoni, like most of my Persian desserts, was created after many cravings for the desserts in Iran. I remember there was a pastry shop near Parvin High School in Tabriz called Akbari Ghannadi and they had the best Napoleons in town. It was always a treat to go there with my friends on our way back home at the end of the school day. The first time you bite into one of these heavenly pastries you will know you have never had anything like it. This is where all the best of the pastry world come together. Layers of light flaky pastry is filled with delicate homemade pastry cream and then it is topped with a cloud of whipped cream. It is a perfect dessert for any occasion from casual dinner with friends to elaborate fancy gatherings.
Make my homemade pastry cream 2-3 hours or up to 2 days in advance
Leave a puff pastry sheet at room temperature until it easily unfolds
Cut it into 3 strips along the fold lines
Cut each strip into 3 equal squares
Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 F oven
When they are nicely puffed and golden brown take them out of the oven and cool completely
Use your fingertips to crush two of the baked pastries into big flakes
Mix with powdered sugar and set aside
Whip the heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Take out the chilled homemade pastry cream and stir it until very smooth
Split the remaining 7 pastries in half with a serrated knife and spoon equal amounts of pastry cream on each bottom half
Cover the pastry cream with the top squares
Cover the tops with equal amounts of whipped cream without smoothing it out
Sprinkle the pastry flakes on top. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 2 hours
Enjoy this gorgeous and delicate Shirini Napoleoni (Napoleons) for your special occasions, with a cup of tea or coffee!
- One batch homemade pastry cream
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed at room temperature for 30 minutes
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ½ TBSP granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- FOR THE FLAKY TOPPING
- 2 baked pastries
- 1 TBSP powdered sugar
- TO BAKE THE PUFF PASTRY SQUARES
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Thaw one puff pastry sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes until soft.
- Unfold the sheet and cut it into 3 strips along the fold lines. Cut each strip into 3 equal squares for a total of 9 squares.
- Bake the squares on the prepared baking sheet in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave in the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the pastries to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM
- Whip heavy cream in the chilled bowl of a mixer with sugar and vanilla on medium speed until it starts to thicken and forms soft peaks.
- Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE NAPOLEONS
- In a medium bowl crush two baked pastries with your fingertips into large flakes and mix with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Set aside.
- Split the remaining 7 baked pastries in half with a serrated knife. You will have total of 14 squares.
- Using a wooden spoon stir the chilled pastry cream until very smooth.
- Spoon equal amounts of pastry cream on the 7 bottom halves. You will use all of the pastry cream.
- Place the tops on the filling and spoon the whipped cream evenly on them without smoothing it out.
- Sprinkle the flaky topping on the whipped cream.
- Refrigerate and serve within two hours.
Homa Jaan, I just finished making these delights…..Oh WOW….So good and easy to make. Had a half a one for lunch with a cup of tea! Great memories of back home, became alive.
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and posting it on your blog.
Ferryal jan, You are so welcome. Thank you, that is wonderful, I am very happy to hear that! Nooshe Joon!
Found you while searching for puff pastry sweets.. (we are old folks and love our sweet treats.. ;o) )
This will be put together soon… :O)
Welcome to my blog, lovely to have you here! I hope you make this recipe, enjoy it greatly, and then you write me all about it. Thank you for your comment!
Hanne Godiksen says
Hi Homa! Your shirini Napoleoni looks so much like the Danish Napoleon cakes (“Napoleonskager” in Danish). The only difference is that we use a small layer of raspberry jam under the cream and the amount of whipped cream used in the recipes. Do you know the history behind the cake?
Hi Hanne, thanks for sharing the name of the Danish version of this pastry. I remember making it in the past with blackberry jam and pastry cream with royal icing topping. All I know about the history is that the Napoleon pastry probably originated in Naples, Italy. The puff pastry is called khamir hezar la in Farsi, meaning a thousand layers!
melissa hashemian says
Thank you, this is my husbands favorite and his birthday is coming up!! Im going to surprise him!! Please put me on your email list for recipes. thanks!!!
Hello Melissa, welcome! I’ve made this for my husband’s birthday several times; it is also his favorite 🙂 I just subscribed you to the mailing list, please check your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you so much for your comment and happy birthday to your hubby!
Yuksel Kilicturgay says
What about miyanpul, dry fruit stuffed with ground almond, sugar, ginger? The dry fruit would be pear, Hulu,abricot. They used to offer them as gifts especially for nowruz
So delicious!!! A perfect dessert recipe.
Dear Mitra glad you like this recipe. Thanks very much for writing to me. Please keep in touch and have a great week 🙂
this looks so good! cant wait to try it out!! thank you for this!
It is my pleasure dear Melika! Enjoy it. Please keep in touch 🙂
I will be making this for my father-in-law’s birthday. My in-laws are from Esfahan and this is one of their favorite desserts! I didnt know it could be so easy! Thank you for your recipe!
Hi Caitlin, this pastry is amazing, and yes, it is that easy! Happy birthday to your father in law who is a lucky man to have you as his aroos. I would love to hear back from you with a feedback and your in laws reaction! Take care and keep in touch 🙂
Made this tonight, kids went crazy. Wish you could have seen their happy faces (with whipped cream on noses). Preschooler: “Can you make this more often? I love you so much.” ?
Awww, next time take a picture! I would love to see those faces 🙂
I’m so glad all of you have enjoyed this dessert. Thank goodness, it is easy enough that you can make it again and again! I really appreciate your comment. Please take care of yourself and your lovely family!
Okay, this time I got a picture of my 3.5 year-old’s face eating this. Emailing you. This is a *really* good recipe.
Hi Allison, so glad you like this recipe. I absolutely love that happy face, thanks for sharing the picture. Take care, Happy Spring