Karpatka, a delightful Polish dessert, is a true masterpiece that combines layers of delicate choux pastry with a rich and creamy Mousseline filling. This Polish cake originates from the Carpathian Mountains; this pastry has won the hearts of dessert enthusiasts around the world.

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Karpatka cake

Karpatka cake, a beloved Polish dessert, is a culinary masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of indulgence and tradition. This Polish Carpathian mountain cream cake is a delightful pastry that features light and airy layers of choux pastry, creating a delicate yet substantial texture. What truly elevates the Karpatka experience is its luscious crème mousseline filling, a velvety custard that adds a rich and creamy dimension to each bite. It’s like a giant Choux A La Creme.

The uneven layers of the choux pastry represent the rugged top peaks of the Carpathian mountains, so think of this recipe as a very economical, educational, and delicious culinary trip to central Europe.


Before diving into the baking process, assembling all the necessary ingredients is crucial. Here’s what you’ll need:

The complete measurements and ingredients list are below on the recipe card.

For the Choux Pastry

This Carpathian cake puffs when the water in the eggs steams and lifts the dough, so there is no need for baking powder. For more information, check out my ultimate guide for How To Make Choux pastry (cream puffs dough).

  • Milk or water.
  • Unsalted butter, cut into one-inch pieces. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole eggs at room temperature. 
  • Pinch of Salt

For the Mousseline Filling

  • Egg yolks
  • Cornstarch, or potato starch
  • Half and half. Or, use equal cups of whole milk and cream. 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter softened and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Ingredients to make polish mountain cake

How to Make Karpatka

Make the Mousseline

Since the custard cream needs time to set, plan ahead and make it first, but keep in mind its 3-4 days shelf life. Check out my post on how to make Mousseline Creme.

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks and cornstarch, then mix in 1/4 cup of the liquids.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the liquids and sugar to a boil. Drizzle 4-6 tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while stirring.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened. Pour the cream into a container and place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface.
  4. Once the custard cooled to room temperature, place it in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and gradually add the butter.
how to make filling for cream Polish puff cake
Filling for polish mountain cake

Make The Choux Pastry

  1.  In a saucepan, combine water, butter, and salt. Bring it to a boil, and then add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball. 
  2. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and let it cool slightly. Using the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the dough is smooth.
  3. Divide the dough between two eight-inch pans lined with parchment paper and bake.
how to make cream puff cake


Even though the cakes puff and can easily be sliced and filled, much like puff pastries, it is best to use two layers because of the thick layer of creamy vanilla custard filling. If the choux pastry layers are too thin, the whole cake might get soggy.

  1. Place one cake over a serving plate, a removable bottom pan, or a springform pan lined with a wide (4-5 inch) strip of parchment paper around the sides of the pan.
  2. Evenly spread the creme mousselin on top of the cake.
  3. Place the second layer on top and gently press. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or until ready to serve. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. 
how to assemble Karpatka cake


  • DO NOT open the oven door during baking. It will deflate the cakes.
  • Ensure the choux pastry is evenly spread in the baking dish for a uniform texture.
  • Creme mousseline is a great option because it is thick and tasty, but you can also use pastry cream, Crema Paticciera, Creme Legere, or even homemade plain Stabilized Whipped Cream. The filling should be thinner so it won’t oz out and collapse the cake, so use two 9-inch pans.
  • Top the cream with fresh fruits or berries for extra flavor before topping with the second layer.


Karpatka can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover it with plastic wrap to maintain freshness.


Can I freeze Karpatka?

Yes, you can freeze Karpatka for up to a month. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

Can I use puff pastry instead of the pâte à choux?

Yes. But you will be making kremówka. 

Can I use a different filling?

While the classic Mousseline is traditional, feel free to experiment with custards or creams of your choice.

Can I freeze Karpatka cake?

Unfortunately, freezing the cake will change its texture.

inside look of Karpatka cake

More Custard Desserts

Torta Della Nonna, Strawberry Tart, Italian Cream Donuts

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a five-star review below the recipe. Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. I would love to see your creations!

Karpatka Cake

Two layers of choux pastry filled with creamy thickened pastry cream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Keyword Karpatka cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author Dikla


  • 1 Cup Water or milk (240ml)
  • 1 Cup Unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces (113g)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • pinch Salt
  • 1 Cup Bread flour (113g)
  • 4 Large Eggs at room temperature



Make The Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C), and line two eight-inch pans with parchment paper.

  2. Pour the water into a medium saucepan. Add the butter, salt, and sugar and cook over medium heat until the butter has melted and the water is boiling.

  3. Add the flour into the water mixture and, over medium heat, use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until you have a smooth dough ball. About 2-3 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and transfer the dough into a stand mixer bowl. (or a large mixing bowl). Use the paddle attachment to mix the dough on medium-low and cool it down to room temperature.

  5. When the dough has cooled down, on high speed, add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each egg to incorporate before adding the next.

    It will look very messy at first, but keep mixing until it is smooth.

  6. Divide the dough between the two prepared pans (about 315g each), and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

    Turn the oven off and let the cake cool inside the oven, door shut, for 10-15 minutes.

  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before filling.


  1. Line the sides of one eight-inch springform pan or a pan with a removable bottom with a 5-inch wide piece of parchment.

  2. Line one cake layer at the bottom of the pan.

  3. Evenly spread the mousseline cream then top it with the second layer.

  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour and allow it to set.

  5. When ready to serve, invert the cake onto your serving plate and serve.

Recipe Notes

    • Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to two days. 
    • DO NOT open the oven door during baking. It will deflate the cakes.
    • Use two 9-inch baking pans for a larger cake with a thinner filling.
    • Fill the cake with your favorite filling, but make sure it is thick enough to hold its shape and not collapse when you slice the cake.
    • Top the cream with fresh fruits or berries for extra flavor before topping with the second layer.


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