Karpatka cake, the classic Polish cake to make step by step

Karpatka cake, the classic Polish cake to make step by step. The karpatka it’s a typical Polish cake made up of two layers of dough choux that wrap a generous cream filling. Its rough appearance and the fact that it comes sprinkled with icing sugar makes it reminds us of the snowy Carpathians, the mountains of central Europe. And, as you may have already guessed, that’s where it gets its name from.

As for its origin, it is not known precisely when and how it was invented, but it began to be popular from the 50s. Like its cousin the kremówkamade with puff pastry, its inspiration in the French culinary tradition is clear, since in it we find the dough choux and the cream of the filling as basic in its pastry and confectionery.

portion of karpatkaDamian Serrano

Speaking of the filling cream, the most common is that it is a muslin cream, although there are simpler versions with only pastry cream. Maybe you have wondered what is muslin creamWell, that’s why we’re here. It is simply a derivation of the pastry cream where it is mounted with butter, which results in a preparation with a very mild flavor and a silky texture that hooks. Here you will learn how to do it and you will see how simple it is. Go for it!

recipe information

    • Preparation time: 35 minutes
    • cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
    • total time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
    • rations:10
    • Category: desserts
    • type of cuisine: polish
    • Calories per serving (kcal):489

Karpatka pie ingredients

For the pastry cream and mousseline:

    • 750 ml of whole milk
    • 150g of sugar
    • 75g cornstarch
    • 3 medium eggs
    • 1 spoon of vanilla
    • A little butter to spread
    • 200g butter
Ingredients of the karpatka muslin creamDamian Serrano

For the mass choux:

    • 250 ml of milk
    • 100g butter
    • 200 g of wheat flour
    • 4 medium eggs
    • Pinch of salt

For decoration:

Ingredients for the karpatka choux pastryDamian Serrano

Necessary utensils

    • 22 cm round or 20 cm square mold

How to make karpatka pie

We begin the preparation by custard cream which must be cooled well before transforming it into muslin cream. To do this, in a large saucepan, mix 750 ml of whole milk, 150 g of sugar, 75 g of cornstarch or fine cornmeal, 3 medium eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. When it has dissolved well, we heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.

Pastry cream for the karpatkaDamian Serrano

Once the custard has thickened, quickly transfer it to a chilled bowl so it doesn’t continue to cook. Next, we spread a little butter on the surface of the cream to prevent a film from forming and let it cool. We also cut 200 g of butter into cubes and let it temper so that it is very soft when we need to use it.

Rest the pastry cream for the karpatkaDamian Serrano

While the pastry cream cools, we begin to make the mass choux. To do this, we heat 250 ml of milk and 100 g of butter in a saucepan until the butter is completely melted.

Melt the butter for the karpatka choux pastryDamian Serrano

When the butter has melted, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and add 200 g of wheat flour all at once. We mix well. Next, we heat the mixture again for a few minutes, stirring so that it dries and forms a ball of dough.

Add the flour from the karpatka choux pastryDamian Serrano

Now, we also let the dough rest a bit until we can touch it without burning ourselves. This will prevent the eggs from coagulating in the heat if we add them to the very hot dough. When the dough has lost heat, add 4 medium eggs, one by one, mixing well with a wooden spoon and waiting for it to be well incorporated before adding the next one and a pinch of salt. At first it costs a bit and it seems that it is cut, but in the end it always ends up homogenizing the dough.

Add the eggs to the karpatka choux pastryDamian Serrano

with the mass choux ready, preheat the oven to 220 ºC and, while it heats up, take a round mold with a diameter of 22 cm or a square one with a side of 20 cm and line the base with baking paper. Now, we spread half of the dough inside the mold so that it covers the base well, without gaps, although it is not necessary that it be smooth since, as we said at the beginning, we want the peaks that are formed to remind us of the Carpathians.

Spread the karpatka choux pastry in a moldDamian Serrano

We put the mold in the oven, lower the temperature to 180 ºC and bake for 30 minutes or until the surface is well golden. Remove from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes and unmold it carefully so as not to burn ourselves.

Baking the karpatka choux pastryDamian Serrano

Repeat the baking process with the other half of the dough. choux to get the second layer of the cake. Obviously, if we had two identical molds, we could do the baking in one step. If you have them, use them to shorten the overall time. When we have both halves of dough baked, let them cool.

Bake the second choux pastry for the karpatkaDamian Serrano

While the layers of dough choux they cool down, we prepare the mousseline cream with the pastry cream that will already be cold. To do this, first we beat the pastry cream with a few rods so that it softens a bit, then we add the butter that we had reserved in 3 or 4 times, beating vigorously with the rods so that it integrates well. We can use electric rods to minimize the effort.

Mount the muslin cream of the karpatkaDamian Serrano

On the other hand, once both dough layers choux are cold, we fill the karpatka. To do this, we put all the muslin cream on one of the layers and cover it with the other.

ride the karpatkaDamian Serrano

Finally, we finish our cake by sprinkling icing sugar with the help of a sieve so that it is well distributed and it is ready to serve and enjoy.

Sprinkle the karpatka with icing sugarDamian Serrano

Easy preparation summary

    1. Beat all the ingredients for the pastry cream and heat over medium heat, stirring until thick
    1. Transfer to a bowl, butter the surface of the cream and allow to cool
    1. Heat the butter with the milk to make the dough choux
    1. Add the flour at once, mix well and reheat to dry
    1. Add the eggs one by one
    1. Spread half of the dough in a mold lined with baking paper
    1. Bake 20 minutes at 180ºC
    1. Repeat with the other half
    1. Add the butter to the pastry cream
    1. fill in the karpatka with this mixture of cream and butter
    1. Sprinkle with icing sugar