Why the "Napoleon" cake is so called: the confusing history of one recipe

Despite the relative proximity of these events to us, the story does not give an accurate answer, why the Napoleon cake is so called. The most popular version indicates that the name appeared as a result of the distortion of the original name of the dessert.

Recipe history and regional features

The cake itself with a recipe, similar to the modern Napoleon cake, existed to Bonaparte, and before the celebrations in honor of the Victory Centers above him. The original name of the dessert is "Mille-Feuille", which can be translated as "yarrow", which hints at the abundance of layers in the treat. Under it cake is known in France and England.

Why the "Napoleon" cake is so called

Recipes of similar desserts can be found in culinary books created in the XVI century. For the first time, the name "Mille-Feuille" can be found in the culinary book created in 1733. Its author who worked in England a French chef Vincent La Chapel. In his recipe instead of cream (as in modern "Napoleon") were marmalade and jam.

Sixteen years later, Mille-Feuille recipe was printed in French. It was one of the culinary books created by a certain connoisseur of the kitchen, hiding from contemporaries and descendants under the pseudonym "Menon".

There are no more mention of this cake in the literature of the XVIII century. But it is known that "Mille-Feuille" could be found in the confectionery epochs of Napoleon Bonaparte. In the culinary literature of the XIX century, recipes of delicacy with jam continued to publish. Only one recipe of 1876 suggested instead of Jema Bavarian cream.

Today in different countries, Napoleon's recipe has its own characteristics:

  • In Lithuania, the cake is served with fruit additives, such as apricots.
  • In Italy, there is a "unstecified" version of the cake. It includes puff pastry with spinach, cheese, pesto or other fillers.
  • In the "sweet" Italian version, the test layers can alternate with the layers of the biscuit.
  • In the UK, two dough layers are used, between which one big layer of the filling is placed.
  • In French Canada, puff pastry is replaced by crackers, and instead of a custard, pudding is used.

    Recipe history and regional features

Name of Napoleon cake

In English-language literature, dessert appears under the name "Mille-Feuille", but the authors do not forget to mention his Russian name, which can be found in 1833 for the first time. The famous writer-prozaik Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky mentions "Sweet Pie" with the same name. But the writer does not give any more information about the dessert, so it cannot be said whether the "Napoleon" mentioned by the famous cake is.

It is assumed that the name "Napoleon" occurred from the French adjective "Napolitain" ("Neapolitan"). In France, the name of the French emperor is called "Mille-FEUILLE" almond paste.

The popularity of the cake in Russia increased after 1912, when the century of victory in the war against Bonaparte was widely celebrated in the Empire. In the year of the celebration, the cake was baked in the form of the tricons of the emperor French. The layers of "Napoleon" symbolized the "Great Army" of the invader, and the cookie, which the cake sprinkled on top, reminded of the Russian winter that made the French. In the USSR "Napoleon" was one of the most popular desserts in the country and remains so now.

The history of culinary recipes and their name gives food for the mind and informs interesting facts about the era. The story about why Napoleon cake is so called, shows how the original name and historical associations provided popularity to one of the most vivid recipes for modern cuisine.

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Did you think about the next piece of the cake of Napoleon, and why is it called exactly that? The great people in world history are more than enough, but why is the cake beloved for us in honor of Bonaparta?

Why this cake called Napoleon. Three versions

Versions, as it turned out quite a few, but I allocated three most believable: So, Theory First , Romantic :-) Once, one of the cool in the evening, Napoleon sat near the fireplace resting. Next to him, a very pretty young girl was located in the hall, allegedly one of his spouses filed. Which, by the way, at the most inopportune moment appeared in the room and found her spouse whispering something on the ear of the young Mademoisel. The sudden appearance of a legitimate spouse did not bother the emperor? And when she demanded an explanation, he said that he told the girl a recipe for a cake, who had just visited his light head. After that, Napoleon called his personal cook, and demanded immediately to create something that he had not eaten earlier. Moved such a special task Cook, hurried into the kitchen, but as it was the case in the evening, he had to invent dessert from what was at that moment in the kitchen. So, if you believe this theory, there was a simple, but at the same time a very tasty cake.

Second theory - French according to this version, one of the little-known cooks so wanted an increase in the worst, which decided to distinguish between his colleagues. He took as the basis of the old French Pie "Royal Gaeth" cake, which was usually preparing for the holiday of the kings, cut it into pieces, and between the layers put a custard, together with whipped cream and strawberry jam. Dessert so much liked all the courtesy that it was decided to call in honor of the emperor himself. So the cook received not only the increase in salary, but also universal recognition.

And finally third In my opinion, the believable theory is Russian-patriotic according to it, Napoleon cake, has nothing to do with France. The fact is that by the anniversary of the expulsion of Napoleon from Moscow, a large number of various delicacies have always been prepared, among which sometimes the most real culinary masterpieces met. Pier on the whole world as they say. This is how it appeared initially puff pastry, triangular shape, rushed with custard. They said that the form symbolizes the tricon of Napoleon. And crunching crude meant Fiasco French, and the fact that our army is all on the teeth. What version to believe, and what is not - to solve you.

But the fact that Napoleon cake is always loved on our tables is an indisputable fact.

Replies Cooking historian, writer Pavel Sutkin:

- There is a legend that the French emperor was talented in everything and personally put his hand to creating a cake "Napoleon", and then demanded that it is necessary to submit this treat to his table. This is not true. This dessert is a domestic invention, and it was like this: in 1912, the 100th anniversary of the expulsion of Napoleon from Russia was widely noted. Moscow confectioners on this occasion prepared triangular puff cakes with cream, which in shape resembled the hat of the defeated emperor. These "Napoleons", as they were called, had such a success that they were then preparing them throughout Russia. Subsequently, this dessert has grown in its sizes to the cake, but he, unfortunately, has lost its original form.

See also: Why are Pozhars' cutlets so called?


In contrast to the names of many other confectionery products, and in general in the world, at the name of the Napoleon cake, there is no one recognized by all the correct version of origin. There are several versions, and which of them is correct, it is unclear.

The earliest version says that the recipe for the puff pastry, from which the current "Napoleon" consists, was invented in 1645 by the French Claudia Gel. Later in Naples, a certain cook decided to pave the layers with a custard and received a very tasty cake, which was immediately called "Naples" ("Napolitano"). What, of course, did not suit the French, so "Naapolsky" was a redirect to the consonant "Napoleon" already in France itself.

A little strange version, because in modern France and Italy, this cake made of puff pastry is now called "Thousand sheets". And "Napoleon" is called in Russian, English and Scandinavian languages. That is, the French and Italians gave their names to the world, but they themselves do not use them.

According to another version, the name of the "Napoleon" cake was given by the Russians in 1912 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the expulsion of Napoleon from Russia. But initially it was not a cake, but a triangular puff pastry. It is because of the form, similar to the famous tricon of the French commander, a confectionery product and was called "Napoleon". A little later, the cake "Doroslo" to the cake, although it was originally and was a cake, but cut into triangular pieces.

There is also not a very believable version that the Napoleon cake was invented by the commander himself and named in his honor.

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Probably, you have repeatedly been trying to try well-known and adored by many puff dessert having a slightly atypical name. Someone thought about why the Napoleon cake is so called? However, if you never tried to understand this, it's time to fill this space. Today we will present to your attention a few versions of the emergence of such an unusual "name".

The most popular version of the origin of the name of the cake "Napoleon"

The long-line basis for this dessert was invented over many years before its occurrence. Once, one inventive confectioner knew the usual dough and, rolling it, preproduced with the layers of oil. Then she again walked the rolling on him, after laying in several layers. By sending the resulting product in the oven, the confectioner did not really imagine what he would get. However, a very amazing product was obtained from a variety of delicate layers. At the same time, baking perfectly rose.

Napoleon cake

After time, another experimental baker appeared in the neapolitan bakery. And he asked such a product with various delicious creams and jam. According to taste, it was a true culinary masterpiece. Then this cake was called Napolitano - "Neapolitan". He had Italian origin.

After some time, the "Neapolitan" cake began to call "Napoleonic". Renamed him because not every person understood what Naples was. And about the Frenchman's bonaparte heard if not all, then many. That is why the so-called Napoleon cake.

Second interesting version

On the second history, the title "Napoleon" was received due to the fact that there had many different layers in their composition. Some of them were more refined and practically imperceptible. Others, on the contrary, thickening. We asked sweetness too by various ingredients. In addition to the layers, a jam, the dessert was a custard, various jams and even whipped sweet cream.

Napoleon Cakes

It would seem where to communicate? And why is Napoleon cake called so, not otherwise? And the answer is quite banal. It is known that in his army, proudly marching and exciting many countries, Bonaparte acted completely different people. Shoulder to the shoulder in the root and ordinary people were walking, and people from the court nobility. That's where the name of the Cake "Napoleon", according to this version.

Third Option of Origin

This version is no less common. Legend says that a cook served in Napoleon's palace. He very wished to make the emperor noticed him. And once the inventive person turned the royal gallength (a cake from a multi-layer test) to a refined cake.

On the plate

The cook cut a gallery along the layers and each of them was not lazy to miss various types of cream, syrup and other slopes. As a result, it turned out an incredibly tasty confectionery. Of course, the cunning cook called his creation by the name of the emperor. That is why the Napoleon cake is called so if you believe this legend.

Moscow dessert

Century expelling the invader celebrated all Moscow, and not only. In honor of this grand event, confectioners of the city baked an amazing taste of the cake. It consisted of a plurality of layers, since puff pastry was taken as the basis. Each of them confectioners generously smeared with custard. From above, every cupcake showered with a crumb of cookies. Cut on triangles and offered to buyers. The cake in the form of "tri-fingers" is a favorite head of Bonaparte, they liked it for taste.

Triangle cake

Here is what symbolism was invested in it during cooking:

  1. The cakes were very brittle and thin. Although together they made the impression of a very strong cake, with any movement and, especially when biting layers easily broke and turned into the petals of air crumbs. The fragility symbolized the unreliability of the invader's army, which only appeared to seemed strong and unbeatable. But upon closer examination, turned into crumbs.
  2. Cookies symbolized harsh weather conditions in Russia in winter. Especially a year, when Napoleon wished to capture our country. Winter also made a considerable contribution to the liberation of Moscow from the enemy. She was perpetuated in the form of universal crumbs of cookies.
  3. During the celebration, every wishes could eat a piece of "Napoleon", putting his contribution to the victory over the enemy.

People liked the cakes so much that they were praised in one moment. Subsequently, the confectioners of the city did not stop the oven "Napoleon" cake. On the contrary, they began to make a cake along the same recipe and sell it for a swim.


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