Karpatka – Polish Carpathian Mountain cream cake




Filling: (or use easy pastry cream)

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted softened butter
  • Garnish:
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  1. Note: Click on the blue underlined words in the instructions below for pictures of the various steps.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper. Or coat and line two smaller pans.
  3. To make the dough: In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. When butter has completely melted, remove from heat and, using a wooden spoon, add flour all at once. Return to stove and stir over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes or until dough cleans sides of pan and forms a ball.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in eggs one at a time, beating well, either by hand or with an electric mixer, after each addition. Batter should be smooth and glossy and cling to the spoon.
  5. Pour dough into prepard pan(s), but don’t smooth it out. You want the finished top to look like a rugged mountain. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pierce the top all over with a skewer and bake another 10 minutes or until top is golden brown and dry. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
  6. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, bring milk, sugar, potato starch and flour to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and continue to cook and stir until thickened like pudding, at least 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Place in an ice water bath to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Make sure filling is completely cool before beatig in 2 1/2 sticks softened butter.
  7. To assemble: Split the cooled dough in half horizontally. Place the bottom half back in the clean baking pan and pour the filling over, spreading evenly. Top with the other half of dough and refrigerate until cold. When ready to serve, cut into rectangles with a serrated knife and dust heavily with confectioners’ sugar to look like snow on a mountain top. Refrigerate leftovers.

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