Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons are a six ingredient, beautiful, easy, delicious dessert that is a must-make for spring! Yes, you read that right – only six ingredients. This yummy recipe is perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, or anytime! Because it’s so easy, you really don’t need a special occasion to make this stunning dessert. Keep reading to find out the shortcut!
Pastry Cream Shortcut
I was watching Spring Baking Championship on Food Network recently and the contestants were making the most beautiful from-scratch napoleon desserts. I was immediately inspired to make them but with my popular shortcut pastry cream. Typically, pastry cream is made by cooking milk, sugar, egg yolks, etc and while it isn’t hard, it’s time consuming. My shortcut version consists of TWO ingredients – heavy cream and instant Jell-O pudding mix. I’ve used it in these past blog recipes:
Double Chocolate Raspberry Icebox Cake
Blueberry Banana Coconut Trifle
For these Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons, I wanted lots of lime flavor so I added the zest of two limes plus fresh lime juice.
You can also use vanilla flavored pudding mix which is what I recommend. I just had this cheesecake flavor on hand so I tried that. I felt that the cheesecake flavor wasn’t as sweet as the vanilla so I had to add some confectioners sugar to the mix. Make sure to taste and add some to your mixture as well if needed.
Use a stand or hand mixture to whip the heavy cream and pudding mix together until medium peaks form. Add in lime zest and juice then it’s done! So so easy! This holds up well so just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the napoleons.
Baking the Puff Pastry
For the puff pastry, use frozen sheets like these Pepperidge Farm ones. They are easy to find in any grocery store. After thawing them at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes. Lay them out and cut each sheet into six rectangles. If you want to get fancy, you could also try cutting them into triangles.
Lay the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet (I used two) then bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
It’s ok if the pieces puff up so much that they split open. You’re going to split them open anyway.
Let the puff pastry pieces cool completely on a wire rack before assembling the dessert.
Assembling the Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons
The last thing to do before assembling the Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons is to slice up some fresh strawberries. I like to slice them into thicker pieces as shown below.
Split each puff pastry piece into two pieces. You’ll now have 24 pieces. Each napoleon will use 3 pieces which will give you 8 completed napoleons.
Next, add a layer of the lime cream. You do not need to use a pastry bag! I only did it for aesthetic purposes for filming a video. Just layer it on with a knife or spoon.
Next, add a layer of strawberries then a little more cream for “glue.”
Now for the middle piece! Add that then repeat the cream, strawberries, and more cream.
Finally, add the top then dust with confectioners sugar. If you want, dust the sugar between the layers as well.
Serve the Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons right away. They would probably keep in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving but I wouldn’t wait longer than that because the puff pastry will get soggy.
I hope you love this easy, tasty dessert as much as my family did! Make sure to tag me on social media if you make them so I can see your creations!
Strawberry Lime Shortcut Napoleons
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to box directions
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 box (3.4 oz) Jell-O vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 fresh limes (2 zested, 1 juiced)
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 400℉.
- Cut each puff pastry sheet into six rectangles. Place pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. (If using half sheet size, use two.) Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and puffed up.
- Place puff pastry pieces on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add heavy cream and pudding mix then beat until medium peaks form. Add the zest of two limes and the juice of one lime. Mix to combine. Taste the cream and if it isn't sweet enough for your liking, feel free to add 1/4 – 1/3 cup confectioners sugar and mix in well.
- Keep cream refrigerated until you're ready to assemble napoleons.
- Split each piece of puff pastry into two pieces.
- Spread a layer of cream on the top of one piece. Add a layer of strawberries then a little more cream.
- Place another piece of puff pastry on top. Next add more cream, strawberries and more cream.
- Place a "lid" piece on top then dust liberally with confectioners sugar. Enjoy right away!
- Instead of adding confectioners sugar to the cream, you can dust it between each layer for added sweetness.
- You can cut the puff pastry into triangle or even smaller squares if desired.
- Cheesecake flavored pudding mix can be used but additional sugar will most likely need to be added to the cream.
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