Celebrating the Feast of Saint John Paul II - Polish Papal Creme Cake

Happy feast of Blessed SAINT John Paul II!

Last year was the first time we got to celebrate the feast day of our beloved JPII and we did so with a Polish feast and Polish Papal Cream Cake.  This year we're just going to do the awesome and super easy cake.  I apologize to all of Poland.  You make some awesome rockin' saints but I am just not down with your food.  Instead, tonight we'll let our little JPII namesake pick out dinner and thankfully, he'll probably pick pizza.  I'm sure John Paul II liked pizza.  Maybe we'll put some Polish sausage on it or something - Kabam.  Polish Pizza.

This cake was renamed kremowka papieska after it was learned that it was a favorite of the then Karol Wojtyla when he lived in Wadowice.  Rumor has it, he would come in to the local bakery several times a week for this cake.  You know why?  Because whether it was Theology or desserts, the man knew what was up

I changed it a tad.  I used phyllo sheets rather than puff pastry (because that's what I had on hand), but really they're sort of the same thing.  Because of that I brushed on a coating of melted butter in between eight sheets of phyllo to get that light layered crispiness going on.  I did that twice and used those to sandwich the pastry creme.

Here, why don't I just write out the recipe, eh?

JPII's Polish Papal Creme Cake
(Serves 9.  Or one.  You decide.)


16 sheets phyllo dough (You can use puff pastry which is much simpler.  Just make according to directions and able to fit your pan)
5 tbsp. melted butter (approx.)
1-2 tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350.  Roll out a layer of your phyllo dough in the size of your 13x9 pan and brush with the melted butter.  Lightly place the next sheet on top and repeat the butter.  

Repeat with six more sheets and a last brushing of butter so that you have eight sheets layered.  Do this again with a different eight sheets for the top layer of your cake.  Bake both for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.
Place the bottom layer into a 13x9 baking pan and begin your filling!


2 cups milk
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp. cornstarch
6 egg yolks

(If this intimidates you, you could also use a vanilla pudding mix, though I would use less milk than called for or possibly add some cornstarch so that it's not too runny for the cake.)

Prepare an ice bath for your pan in the sink or a larger pot that can hold the smaller one.  Whisk together all ingredients in a pan and bring to simmer on stove.  

Turn down the heat but continue to boil for one minute whisking constantly.  Immediately put pan into the ice bath.  Cool for a minute or so then pour warm creme over the bottom layer in the 13x9 pan.  Top with the other phyllo layer and dust with powdered sugar.  Refrigerate until set, about several hours.

Cut into squares and enjoy the sweet Polish goodness.

And then go skiing or mountain climbing or hiking like the Great JPII to work it all off.

Mmmm...you like it, no?

Yes, Papa, we love it.  And I just cannot wait to get to heaven and hug you so tight.  
Please pray for us left here on earth!

(Today's read aloud)


  1. I have to remind my JP that it's his feast day today!!! Although between school, soccer and basketball practice today, we won't have much time! Maybe he'll settle for an ice cream cone for this busy and tired momma?!?!

    1. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that ice cream was JPII's second favorite dessert, right? And all those sports seem appropriate for this feast so great job on the liturgical planning! ;)

  2. Oh thank you for the reminder! We a a more cake like recipe for the polish cream cake because I had so much trouble working with the pastry puffs. I'm probably only one to have trouble lol.

  3. Mary, I need to reintroduce you to some amazing Polish dishes!! There are many.. Pierogis, kapusta, kielbasa, tons of fish dishes and then of course, all the sweets! And the vodka and beer....

    1. I know! Maybe I just haven't had authentic cuisines…you'll have to school me :)

  4. Ahhh pierogis! Eat all the pierogis!

  5. Okay, it's chilling in the fridge now. Thanks for giving me the guts to try phyllo - it's always seemed so intimidating.


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