Karpatka, also known as “Karakterka,” is a popular Polish dessert that is typically made with layers of crispy puff pastry filled with sweet vanilla or custard cream. The cake is usually finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and sometimes topped with whipped cream or fresh fruit.

Karpatka is believed to have originated in the Carpathian Mountains region of Poland, which is how it got its name. It has since become a beloved dessert throughout Poland and is often served on special occasions or as a sweet treat with coffee or tea.

To make Karpatka, the puff pastry dough is baked until crispy. The cream filling is made by cooking a mixture of milk, sugar, and flour until it thickens, then adding egg yolks and vanilla extract. The cream is then spread between the layers of puff pastry and chilled before serving.

It’s a lot like Choux pastry with Creme Patissiere. So if think a whole cake is a little too much for you, you can try these two recipes.

Overall, Karpatka is a delicious and classic Polish dessert that is sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth!

Is karpatka recipe difficult to make?

The difficulty level of making this recipe can vary depending on your experience and skill level in the kitchen. Making the puff pastry from scratch can be a bit challenging and time-consuming, so some people may opt to use store-bought puff pastry instead. However, the cream filling is relatively easy to make and assemble.

If you are comfortable working with pastry dough and have some experience making cream fillings, then Karpatka may not be too difficult for you to make. However, if you’re new to baking or don’t have much experience with pastry dough, you may find it to be a bit challenging.

Overall, Karpatka is a relatively simple dessert to make, but it does require some patience and attention to detail. With a little practice and some careful attention to the recipe, anyone can make a delicious Karpatka!

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (125g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

Choux pastry dough preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Add the flour and stir vigorously until a smooth dough forms. Remove from heat and let cool for a good few minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition, until the dough is smooth and shiny.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe it onto the prepared baking dish in a thin layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.

Cream Ingredients

  • 3 (750ml) cups of milk
  • 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (16g) or seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1.5 Tbsp (20g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups (350g) of butter – room temperature
  • additional 2.5 Tbsp (30g) confectioner’s sugar (caster sugar)
  • icing sugar for dusting

Cream instruction

  1. To make the filling, bring 2 cups (500mlm) of milk, sugar, and vanilla to a boil.
  2. In a blender, mix the remaining cup of milk, egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and flour until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the mixture into the boiling milk while stirring constantly. Keep stirring and cooking until the mixture thickens into a pudding consistency, making sure to avoid any lumps.
  4. Once thickened, put it aside and cover it with plastic wrap, pushing it directly onto the surface of the custard to avoid the formation of the skin. You should let to cool custard down at room temperature.
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and extra sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the pudding to the butter mixture in small amounts, mixing well after each addition until fully combined.
  6. To assemble the cake, spread the butter-pudding mixture on top of one layer of baked pastry, and then place the other layer on top. It’s best to use the same baking dish in which the pastry was baked.
  7. Cool karpatka overnight or for at least several hours and when it is time to serve, sprinkle the top with icing sugar.

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What’s the preparation time?

The preparation time for Karpatka can vary depending on whether you make pastry from scratch or use store-bought. If you make the choux pastry from scratch, the preparation time can be longer.

Once the pastry dough is made, assembling the Karpatka is relatively quick and easy. The cream filling can be made in about 15-20 minutes, and assembling the cake can take another 15-20 minutes. After assembly, the cake needs to be chilled for at least a few hours to allow the cream to set before it can be sliced and served.

The preparation time for making Karpatka with choux pastry can vary depending on your experience and skill level in the kitchen. Here’s an estimate of the time it may take to make this recipe:

  • Making the choux pastry dough and baking it: 40-45 minutes
  • Making the custard filling: 20-25 minutes
  • Assembling the Karpatka: 10-15 minutes
  • Chilling the Karpatka: 2-3 hours

Overall, the total preparation time for this recipe can range from around 3-4 hours, including the chilling time. However, keep in mind that this is just an estimate and may vary depending on your individual cooking speed and experience.