Savor the simplicity and bliss of our 4 ingredient vanilla slice. With puff pastry, vanilla sugar, heavy cream, and a touch of magic, this recipe delivers a heavenly dessert that’s quick and easy to make. Get ready to indulge in a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more.
If you’re craving a sweet treat that’s easy to make and packed with vanilla goodness, you’ve come to the right place.
Picture this: flaky layers of golden puff pastry embracing a luscious, creamy vanilla filling. Are you drooling yet? Because I sure am!
Now, before we dive into the recipe, let me reassure you that creating this delectable delight is a breeze.
All you need to do is pop two sheets of puff pastry into the oven, and while they bake to perfection, prepare the dreamy vanilla cream.
Four simple ingredients work together to create a dessert that will leave you in sheer bliss.
As we embark on this culinary journey, I promise to guide you every step of the way. We’ll whip up the vanilla cream, assemble the slices with finesse, and give them a little time to rest, allowing the flavors to mingle and intensify.
Trust me, it’s worth the wait. Patience, my friends, patience.
So, grab your apron, unleash your inner pastry chef, and let’s create a magical symphony of flavors. In just a few easy steps, you’ll have a Vanilla Slice that will impress even the toughest dessert critics.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- With just four simple ingredients and straightforward steps, this recipe is a breeze to make. No complicated techniques or lengthy ingredient lists here! It’s perfect for both beginner bakers and those seeking a quick, no-fuss dessert.
- The combination of flaky puff pastry, aromatic vanilla sugar, and creamy filling creates an explosion of flavors in every bite. The rich and indulgent taste will leave you and your loved ones craving more.
- In a fast-paced world, finding a dessert that is both delicious and time-efficient can be a game-changer. With this recipe, you’ll have a delightful Vanilla Slice ready in no time. The baking time for the puff pastry coincides perfectly with preparing the vanilla cream, making the process seamless.
- While this recipe is fantastic as is, it also provides a canvas for your creativity. Feel free to experiment by adding your own twists, such as a sprinkle of chocolate shavings, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or fresh fruit on top. The possibilities are endless!
- The Vanilla Slice’s beautiful layers and golden exterior make it an eye-catching dessert. Whether you’re serving it to guests or indulging in it yourself, it’s guaranteed to impress with its elegant and inviting appearance.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Puff Pastry serves as the delicious, flaky base for our Vanilla Slice. If you don’t have puff pastry on hand, you can try substituting it with store-bought or homemade shortcrust pastry for a slightly different texture.
- Vanilla Sugar adds a wonderful aroma and sweet vanilla flavor to the dessert. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, you can easily make your own by combining regular granulated sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Alternatively, you can use plain granulated sugar and increase the amount of vanilla extract in the cream filling for a bolder vanilla flavor.
- Heavy Cream provides the rich and velvety texture to our Vanilla Slice. I used heavy cream of 18% fat, but if you prefer a lighter option, you can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of cream. However, keep in mind that the resulting texture and richness may vary.
- Starch such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder, is used to thicken the vanilla cream filling. If you don’t have starch on hand, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour in the same quantity.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
Roll out the dough into a thin layer and cut two pieces of 9×12 inches each. Arrange the dough slices on baking paper right away to make it easier to handle them without losing their shape.
Leave one piece of dough whole but prick it all over with a fork to avoid puffing up during baking.
For the second piece, cut it into strips of about 2×4.5 inches so that it will be easier to slice the cake at the end.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle both layers with a little sugar to add a hint of caramelized flavor and a beautiful golden color to the crust.
To prevent the dough from losing its shape, we need to use the blind-baking technique to stop the dough from growing during the baking.
For that, we need to cover the dough with a piece of baking paper, then place a baking tray on top which will act as a weight to maintain the dough’s shape during baking.
Quick Note: If you don’t have a second backing tray that you will put on top of the dough, you can use dried beans that you will pour over the dough that you just covered with parchment paper.
Pro Tip: If you’re baking often, then I highly recommend buying ceramic reusable pie weights. They have the same role as dried beans, but you can use them multiple times.
Repeat the same procedure with both strips of dough and bake them at 375°F (approximately 390°C) for about 20 minutes or until they turn golden.
In the meantime, let’s prepare the cream for our vanilla slice.
For that, take a deep saucepan and put the sugar and starch in it. Add a little heavy cream on top and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
Once the mixture is smooth, add the rest of the heavy cream. Place the saucepan on low heat and cook, stirring continuously until the mixture begins to boil and thicken.
Quick Note: Once it has started boiling, continue cooking for about one more minute to ensure the starch is fully cooked and won’t leave an unpleasant taste in the cake.
When the cream is ready, cover the saucepan with a piece of baking paper and let the cream cool completely.
After baking, the dough will have a golden color and will be very fine and crisp.
Once the cream and the layers have completely cooled, it is time to assemble the cake.
Carefully move the bottom dough into a tray or onto a flat surface that will be convenient for you to put in the refrigerator.
Pour all the cream on top and spread it into a uniform layer across the entire surface.
After that, cover the cream with the top layer (that is sliced).
In the end, cover the entire cake with a piece of baking paper and refrigerate it for about 2-3 hours, after which you can serve it.
Portion the cake by cutting along the lines of the top crust.
I suggest you sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and with a few fruits or berries for a contrast of tastes and textures.
As a result, you will get a dessert consisting of a fine and creamy filling perfectly framed between two crumbly and crispy layers, ideal for warm days when you want to indulge in something sweet but at the same time light and refined.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
- Create a beautiful platter showcasing an array of dessert delights. Arrange slices of vanilla slice alongside other sweet treats like fresh berries, mini meringues, and chocolate truffles. Add a sprig of mint for a touch of freshness. This abundant display will make your guests’ eyes widen with delight, and their taste buds will thank you for the sweet symphony of flavors.
- Transform your vanilla slice into elegant parfaits that will make jaws drop. Simply layer bite-sized pieces of the slice with dollops of whipped cream in individual glass jars or dessert glasses. Add a sprinkle of crushed pistachios or grated dark chocolate between the layers for extra indulgence. The result? A dreamy, layered dessert that will make your guests swoon.
- Embrace the seasonal bounty and pair your vanilla slice with a medley of fresh summer berries. Arrange a generous heap of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries atop each slice. Drizzle a luscious raspberry coulis or a tangy citrus syrup over the berries for a burst of flavor. The combination of the creamy vanilla filling and the vibrant berries will transport your taste buds to sunny fields of bliss.
- For those with a weakness for caramel, let’s take it up a notch. Warm a decadent caramel sauce and generously pour it over each slice. Watch as it cascades down the sides, creating a tantalizing caramel waterfall. Top it off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to balance the sweetness. This enchanting combination of caramel and vanilla will leave your guests in a state of caramel-induced euphoria.
- Indulge the chocoholics among us by incorporating their beloved ingredient. Melt some dark or milk chocolate and drizzle it artfully over each slice. Let it set until it forms a tempting chocolate drizzle. Serve it alongside a scoop of velvety vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert extravaganza. The marriage of chocolate and vanilla will leave your guests weak in the knees.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- When baking the puff pastry sheets, keep a watchful eye to achieve that desirable golden hue. The color is key, indicating the ideal level of crispness and flakiness. You want a delightful crunch without any soggy bottoms, my friends.
- As you prepare the vanilla cream filling, be sure to whisk away any lumps or clumps. We’re aiming for a smooth and velvety texture here. Take your time, whisking with love and patience, until the mixture is silky and seductive.
- Once you’ve assembled your Vanilla Slice, give it a well-deserved rest in the refrigerator. Trust me, this step is crucial for achieving the perfect set and intensifying the flavors. The slice needs a little time to mingle and become even more heavenly. So resist the temptation, my dears, and let it chill to its heart’s content.
- When it’s time to reveal the beauty of your creation, make sure you wield a sharp knife. A dull blade can ruin the clean lines and lead to messy slices. So, take a moment to sharpen your knife and approach the task with finesse. Trust me, precision pays off in both aesthetics and presentation.
- When it’s time to present your Vanilla Slice, don’t be afraid to add some pizzazz. A dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or a sprinkle of toasted almonds can elevate your dessert to new heights. Let your creativity shine through and give your masterpiece the final touch it deserves.
🤔 Answering Your Questions:
Can I Use Frozen Puff Pastry Instead of Fresh?
Absolutely! Frozen puff pastry works perfectly fine for this recipe. Just make sure to follow the thawing instructions on the package before using it.
Can I Make the Vanilla Cream Filling Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare the vanilla cream filling ahead of time. Simply cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap touches the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Store it in the refrigerator and give it a good whisk before assembling the Vanilla Slice.
Can I Use Other Flavors Instead of Vanilla?
Definitely! While vanilla is the star of this recipe, you can experiment with other flavors to suit your preferences. Try using almond extract, a hint of citrus zest, or even a dash of espresso powder to add a unique twist to your Vanilla Slice.
Can I Freeze the Vanilla Slice?
While it’s best to enjoy the Vanilla Slice fresh, you can freeze it if needed. Assemble the slices without any toppings or garnishes, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and store them in the freezer. Thaw the slices in the refrigerator before serving. However, keep in mind that the texture may be slightly affected after freezing.
How Long Can I Store the Vanilla Slice?
The Vanilla Slice is best enjoyed within 1-2 days of assembly when stored in the refrigerator. The puff pastry may lose some of its crispness over time, so it’s best to consume it fresh for the ultimate experience.
📋 Recipe Card:
4 Ingredients Vanilla Slice
- 2 sheets Puff Pastry 9×12"
- ½ cup Vanilla sugar
- 2 cups Heavy Cream 18%
- 3 tablespoon Starch
- Roll out the dough into two thin strips of 12×9 inches. Prick one with a fork and cut the other into pieces of 4.5×2 inches.2 sheets Puff Pastry
- Sprinkle sugar on both pieces of dough.
- Bake the layers in a roll at 375°F (approximately 190°C) for about 20 minutes, using the blind-bake technique to avoid losing shape during cooking.
- While the layers are baking, prepare the cream. Put the sugar, starch, and a little heavy cream into a saucepan. Stir until you get a homogenous mixture, this will help avoid forming lumps.½ cup Vanilla sugar, 3 tablespoon Starch, 2 cups Heavy Cream
- Add the rest of the heavy cream and stir until the composition is uniform.
- Put it on low heat and cook, stirring continuously until it starts to boil. Continue cooking for about one more minute to ensure the starch is fully cooked.
- Remove the cream from the heat and cover with a cling wrap, let it cool down.
- Once all the ingredients are completely cool, we can start assembling the cake. Place the whole crust on a tray, pour the cream over it, and spread it into an even layer. Cover it with the second crust that was cut from the beginning.
- Cover the entire cake with cling wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Cut into portions and serve decorated with powdered sugar and a few fruits or berries.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Ensure the puff pastry is properly thawed before baking, following the instructions on the package. This will help achieve a golden, flaky crust.
- When preparing the vanilla cream filling, whisk continuously to avoid any lumps and achieve a smooth, silky texture.
- Allow the assembled Vanilla Slice to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.
- For a creative twist, feel free to add your own personal touch to the Vanilla Slice. Consider topping it with fresh fruit, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or a sprinkle of toasted nuts for added texture and flavor.
- This recipe can be easily doubled or halved to suit your needs. Adjust the quantities accordingly while maintaining the same ratios for best results.
- Serve the Vanilla Slice fresh for optimal taste and texture. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but note that the puff pastry may lose some of its crispness over time.