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Delicious Side View of Pumpkin Cream Napoleans
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5 from 1 review

Pumpkin Pudding Napoleon Pastries

Think of these Pumpkin Pudding Napoleon Pastries like a deconstructed pumpkin pie, only fancier!  The pastry sheets are actually super flaky pie dough that bakes just like puff pastry.   And the pumpkin pudding is a smooth and creamy custard that is the perfect balance to the crispy cinnamon pastry sheets. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Chill2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 42 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Layered Dessert, Pastry, Pudding, Pumpkin, Small Batch
Servings: 4 Napoleons
Author: Erin Cernich


Pastry Sheets

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten for brushing pastry sheets

Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Pudding

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons pure canned pumpkin room temperature

Whipped Coconut Cream - for topping


    Pastry Sheets

    • The dough can be made the night before.
    • Note -The butter needs to be cold. Before you begin making the dough, cut the butter into cubes, and place in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time.
    • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter cubes to the flour and press the butter cubes into small flat, flaky discs (about the size of a nickel) – making sure they are all coated with flour.
    • Fill a small liquid measuring cup with ice water – as long as you have at least 1/2 cup of water. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of ice water to the well. Using a fork or spatula, stir the flour around the water, and continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you start to get larger clumps of dough. To check if you have added enough water, grab some of the dough in your hand and squeeze it. If it sticks together without crumbling apart, you have added enough water. If it still crumbles apart, add another tablespoon of water, and check again. Note – The dough is supposed to be rough and not overly moist. Adding too much water will likely result in a tough dough. So will overmixing the dough. Work the dough gently when mixing in the water.
    • Note – Weather and humidity can impact how much water you need to bring the dough together. You may find that you need more water than the recipe states.
    • Pour the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a ball, then flatten into a small disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

    Pumpkin Pudding

    • The pudding can be made the night before.
    • In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the milk and maple syrup. Heat the milk until it is scalding (just below boiling - small bubbles will form around the side of the saucepan) - do not boil. Remove from the heat.
    • While the milk is heating, in a medium bowl add the cream, egg yolk, and corn starch. Whisk until the corn starch dissolves.
    • Slowly drizzle in about half of the heated milk into the corn starch mixture, whisking constantly. This tempers the egg yolk so it does not scramble. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and return to medium heat. Gently whisk constantly until the pudding just starts to thicken - about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    • To the pudding, add the vanilla extract, butter, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon. Whisk until fully incorporated.
    • Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl - be sure to scrape the bottom of the strainer to get all of the pudding! Cover the pudding with plastic wrap set directly on top of the pudding - this keeps a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours - or overnight.
    • Baking and Assembling - Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
    • Remove the cooled chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Trim off any rough edges - these an be used to make decorative cut-outs.
    • Cut the dough into 3-inch x 4-inch rectangles - this will yield 4 Napoleons with 3 pastry sheet layers. You can also cut the dough into any sizes you like - depending on how many Napoleons and how many layers you prefer.
    • Transfer the dough rectangles to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each lightly with the beaten egg, then sprinkle a healthy amount of cinnamon and sugar on the top.
    • Bake the pastry sheets for 22-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheet set on a wire rack.
    • Assembling the Napoleons - place a large dollop (you can also pipe on the pudding if you like) of the chilled Pumpkin Pudding on top of 4 pastry sheets, Top each with another pastry sheet and repeat with the remaining pudding. Finish off with the last pastry sheet and garnish with Whipped Coconut Cream. The Napoleons are best enjoyed the day they are made!


    • Pumpkin – Depending on the brand, canned pumpkin can have different names, but is the same thing:  Pumpkin Puree, Pure Pumpkin, 100% Pumpkin, Organic Pure Pumpkin.  Just be sure it is not Pumpkin Pie Filling
    • Preparation - The dough and pudding can be made the night before.  Which is what I do (and recommend).  This allows the pudding to set firm and the dough to relax.