A sweet, fruity take on the flaky dessert, these Caramel Apple Napoleons are bursting with fall flavors! Caramel pudding-based cream and thinly sliced apples, layered between sheets of puff pastry are the fall treat you didn’t know you needed!
I’m slightly afraid of pastry.
And no, not because it causes my backside to exponentially grow with every bite of its flaky goodness.
I mean, that’s a whole other fear, but whatever.
Pastry dough has always been intimidating to me. I’ve worked with it at my job, and I’ve made it at home (laminating dough is definitely a vacation project), but it’s versatility overwhelms me.
No worries – I won’t ask you to spend two days rolling butter into dough for these incredible Caramel Apple Napoleons, since I took the easy road. Trusty, frozen pastry sheets have never done me wrong, and they work beautifully in this recipe.
(And no one has to know how you cheated!)
JUST TAKE ME TO THE CARAMEL APPLE NAPOLEONS ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy apple napoleon recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
Fall is officially here, guys, and you have no idea how very happy that makes me!!!
OK, you might have a bit of a clue. It’s not like I haven’t expressed myself on the issue in the past.
All those pumpkin spice coffees and pumpkin beers and spiced desserts I’ve been (creating and) consuming for the past few weeks…they’re finally socially acceptable!
I’m not really sure when I decided that I was in love with autumn. Living in Florida, we never actually get most of the classic fall benefits – leaves changing and falling, warm nights turning cooler by the day, the ability to wear boots and sweaters before late November.
We just get all the damn migrating birds who like to crap on my car, instead.
Though I’m a native of the South, my family hails from upstate New York, so I suppose it’s just programmed in my genes. I’ve always felt like I was living in the wrong place, but it’s really hard convincing Mr. Crumby (who loves cold!) that we should move to a place where the humidity doesn’t melt your face off.
Until that day comes, I’ll have to settle for cranking down the AC, scattering decorative gourds everywhere, and making the house smell like all things brown sugar and spice.
This week, my friends at #SundaySupper were challenged to share their favorite fall flavors, and by the looks of the list of recipes, I’m not the only one who loves the taste of cooler weather food. We came out in force, making everything from sweet potato breakfast treats to savory apple proteins to (my favorite) pumpkin-packed sweets.
I chose to use apples in my recipe today, only because I’ll be overloading you with pumpkin things all week, starting Monday.
I don’t know whether to apologize, or say you’re welcome.
These Napoleons are a first for me in the kitchen. I’ve made the classic version at work multiple times, but never attempted them at home. Turns out they’re unbelievably simple, and the flavors are totally rewarding considering the little amount of work that’s put into them.
The most labor-intensive part is the homemade caramel pudding that becomes the filling, and even that is easy – it just takes a bit of patience.
The irony in my making this dessert is that…I’m not even a fan of caramel apples, aside from their stunning look. Too much jaw work for the same result as dipping slices in caramel sauce.
I’d much rather enjoy one of these lovely Napoleons.
Love these Caramel Apple Napoleons? Check out these other puff pastry desserts!
Join in on the fun in our Facebook group! Feel free to share YOUR favorite recipes, ask questions, help out your fellow home cooks, and see what’s new with The Crumby Kitchen (so that you never miss a new recipe)! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #crumbykitchen so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you never miss a delicious recipe again!
Caramel Apple Napoleons
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
- ½ Granny Smith apple thinly sliced
- ½ Honeycrisp apple thinly sliced
- 1 cup caramel pudding
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Caramel sauce for garnish
- Powdered sugar for garnish
- 2 cups milk divided
- 3 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- Allow the sheet of pastry to thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Unfold the pastry sheet on to a lightly floured parchment. Cut the sheet into strips following the two folds, then each strip into thirds. Set them on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack for 10 minutes, then split each in half. Set aside.
- While pastries are baking, make the pudding. Whisk ¼ cup of milk with the cornstarch, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce to medium heat. Allow to cook undisturbed for 7-8 minutes until amber in color.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in remaining milk, ¼ cup at a time. Some of the caramel may clump as you do this - that's OK.
- Return saucepan to heat, whisking to dissolve the caramel clumps, then allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture darkens and thickens.
- Gradually whisk in cornstarch mix, and continue to whisk over medium heat until it thickens to pudding-like consistency.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- When ready to assemble, whip heavy whipping cream to medium peaks, then fold into pudding. Spoon into a pastry bag.
- Pipe 9 dollops of caramel cream on the bottom half of the pastry, then drizzle with caramel sauce. Place 2-3 apple slices on top, drizzle with more caramel sauce, then pipe 9 more caramel cream dollops.
- Drizzle once again with caramel sauce, and set the top half of the pastry on. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, drizzle again with caramel sauce, and garnish with slices of apple.
- Repeat with each pastry, serve, and enjoy the fall flavors!
Check out A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper and this week’s recipe collection:
- Apple-Currant Dutch Baby Pancake by The Weekend Gourmet
- Apple Swirled Pumpkin Yeast Bread by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread by Party Food and Entertaining
- Giant Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart by Pies and Plots
- Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Appetizers and Sides
- Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup with Lentils by Monica’s Table
- Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins by Pancake Warriors
- Pumpkin Spice Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Love and Confections
- Roasted Veggie Tart by Books n’ Cooks
- Acorn Squash Stuffed with Roasted Veggies & Couscous by Momma’s Meals
- Butternut Squash Lentil Curry Soup by Food Done Light
- Curry Beef Pies by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Fantasy Rice by The Petit Gourmet
- King Prawns in Red Sauce – Mauritian Style Creole Sauce by Peachy Tales
- Pasta with Creamy Butternut & Bacon by Cooking Chat
- Pork Chops with Apple Dijon Sauce and Arugula Salad by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Pork Chops with Glazed Apples and Vegetables by The Complete Savorist
- Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash by Feeding Big and More
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Bacon/Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich by A Gouda Life
- Salt Roasted Salmon over Roasted Butternut & Yam Soup by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken, Delicata Squash and Olives by Foodie Tots
- Sweet Potato French Bean Lentil Salad by Food Lust People Love
- Sweet Potato Alfredo Sauce by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup by Eating in Instead
- Whole Roasted Chicken with Vegetables by Life Tastes Good
Desserts and Cocktails
- Apfelkuchen by Curious Cuisiniere
- Applesauce Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Swirls by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Apple Gingersnap Refrigerator Dessert by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Autumn Bellini by An Appealing Plan
- Autumn Spice Cookies by Desserts Required
- Caramel Apple Napoleons by The Crumby Cupcake
- Caramel Apple Pie Bundles by The Freshman Cook
- Caramel Apple Streusel Muffins by The Redhead Baker
- Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Muffins by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chestnut and Pear Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream by Caroline’s Cooking
- Dark Chocolate-Espresso Pumpkin Tiramisu by Brunch with Joy
- Dutch Apple Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Drizzle by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Pumpkin Crisp by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake by Flour On My Face
- Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Maple Pears by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Spiced Pear Cake by Simply Healthy Family
- Spiced Pumpkin Bread by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Sweet Apple Skillet Cake by Nosh My Way
What gorgeous autumn napoleons!! That caramel pudding alone is exquisite, but all the yummy layers combined is truly a show stopper.
These are so pretty! I thought they would be super hard to make but they don’t sound too bad! I’m going to have to give them a try!
Bernie~A Gouda Life says
You had me at caramel pudding! Add the rest and this recipe is a home run!
Bernie~A Gouda Life says
You had me at caramel pudding. Adding the rest and this recipe is a home run!
[email protected] says
All you have to say is caramel and I’m all in! These are so pretty!!
Such beautiful photos! Your pastries look absolutely delicious and perfect for autumn.
Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere says
These look absolutely wonderful!
Cindys Recipes and Writings says
That caramel drizzle puts these Napoleons over the top!
Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook says
I agree with you on the caramel apple thing. Your alternative is much better. 🙂
Cool idea, Erica! Love your fall flavored Napoleons!
I have to admit that my most frequent shortcut or “cheat” is ready rolled puff pastry. I always have some in the freezer, just in case the mood strikes.
Sarah E. says
Last fall, we moved from super Upstate NY (Ft. Drum) down to East TN…and honestly, I feel like the South gets more of an enjoyable fall than Ft. Drum. It’s like one week it cools down and the leaves start to change, and then there’s snow. Here you get to enjoy the leaves changing and all that. 🙂 Although I do feel like NY did a lot more fall things. Cider mills and maple everything were big in our area!
These napoleons look incredible – I get nervous with pastry dough too, but I feel like I could make these without messing them up 🙂