Vegan Napoleon Dessert Recipe (2024)

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Easy vegan Napoleon dessert or custard puff pastry made with rich coconut and cashew milk, vanilla extract and thickened with cornstarch or tapioca. Dairy-free and naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

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Vegan Napoleon Dessert

I meant to post this dairy-free custard dessert last Christmas but it clearly didn’t make it to the blog on time, so now you have it ready for Valentine’s and Easter with plenty of Tim etc do a practice run ahead. Let’s do this!

“Mille Feuille” also known as a “Napoleon” a classic Neapolitan pastry dessert of ancient origins filled with a rich and thick vanilla custard orcrème pâtissière– pretty much a dessert sandwich!

Why is it called a Napoleon?

The dessert’s original name was a “napolitain or millefoglie” meaning a “thousand leaves” referring to the many flaky layers surrounding the custard. So a sweet treat in the style of Naples not France, yup that’s Napoli from Italy!

It is thanks to the French pastry chef Creme who made the dessert popular that France is taking credit for the Napoleons. Wowza for culinary history, right?!

How to Make Dairy Free Custard Cream Filling

  1. It’s as simple as whisking together some plant milk with cornstarch or tapioca and simmering until thick. Sweeten with maple syrup and infuse with some good vanilla extract for the best, most decadent plant-based custard.
  2. You can let it cool and enjoy it as a pudding topped with your favorite fruit or preserves, use it in a trifle, to fill a tart, a pie, a cake or to make some lovely Italian pastry desserts like yours truly.

Is Puff Pastry Vegan?

Believe it or not there is vegan puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store. Just make sure to check the ingredient list on the back of the box unless it is labeled as plant based or features the V symbol on the package already.

Can You Make Custard with Almond Milk?

Sure, you can replace all the plant mil in the recipe with almond, just know that the result won’t be quite as lusciously rich as it is with the higher fat content from coconut or cashew milk.

You’ll Love this Napoleon Dessert! It’s:


Super Easy to Make



Crisp & Creamy

Egg & Dairy Free

Sweet & Salty

Kind to the animals!

Fan Favorite Desserts

  • No Bake Vegan Cookies
  • Best Baklava
  • Lemon Olive Oil Cake
  • Vegan Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate Sheet Cake
  • Apple Pie Filling.

Vegan Napoleon Dessert Recipe (8)

4.89 from 9 votes

Vegan Napoleon Dessert

Easy vegan custard puff pastry Napoleon made with rich coconut and cashew milk, vanilla extract and thickened up with tapioca. Dairy-free and naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

Print Recipe

Prep Time:5 minutes mins

Cook Time:20 minutes mins

Defrosting Puff Pastry:35 minutes mins

Total Time:25 minutes mins


  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch (or 4 tbsp tapioca)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional for color)
  • 1 sheet vegan puff pastry (9x9)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar for dusting

US Customary - Metric


  • Defrost the puff pastry according to the instructions on the box, usually 30-40 minutes at room temperature.

  • Preheat your oven to 400”F.

  • Roll out the pastry sheet on a parchment lined cookie sheet, pierce with a fork and cut it in half lengthwise.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.

Make the Custard:

  • In a medium sauce pan over medium flame whisk together the cashew and coconut milk, maple syrup and tapioca or cornstarch. Bring to a simmer and continue whisking for a good 5 to 10 minutes on medium-low flame until the custard has thickened. Whisk in the vanilla extract or seeds and allow to cool off. (If you wish to give your custard a more yellowish tone make sure to whisk in the turmeric as well. Start with 1/8 tsp and up to 1/4 tsp so you don't overdo it. It won’t affect the flavor just the color).

Assemble the Napoleons:

  • Carefully separate the top and bottom part of the puff pastry, it should easily come apart. Place the bottom parts in a small baking dish lined with parchment paper.

  • Spread the vanilla custard on top and cover with the top layer of puff pastry.

  • Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until set. Use a serrated knife and cut into 10 rectangles or 8 squares to your liking. Dust with powder sugar and serve!


  • If using turmeric make sure to start with a tiny pinch 1/8 teaspoon and work your way up to 1/4 teaspoon. The more turmeric the more golden your custard will be.
  • Some people don't like the texture of tapioca, if you are those people please use cornstarch instead.


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 126mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Vegan Custard, vegan recipes

Servings: 8 people

Calories: 316kcal

Author: Florentina

Vegan Desserts:

Vegan Napoleon Dessert Recipe (2024)


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