Go Back
+ servings
Swedish Tusenbladstarta: A pie crust like cinnamon pastry layered with sweet vanilla custard cream. I make this every Christmas! | ethnicspoon.com
5 from 14 votes

Tusenbladstarta - Thousand Leaves Torte Recipe Card

Here is a traditional Swedish Christmas dessert Tusenbladstårta.  This is a light and flakey pastry wafers layered with vanilla custard cream between each.  I like to bake my wafers in advance and freeze them and then I assemble on Christmas Day!  The flakey layers in the pastry give this it's name: Thousand Leaves Torte.  You will love this! 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Swedish
Keyword baking, crispy, custard, layered dessert, torte, whipped cream
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 8 servings
Calories 429 kcal


Cinnamon Pastry

  • ¾ cup butter salted
  • 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 Tbsp water

Cream Filling

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk 2% ok
  • 1 egg large, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup raspberries optional: slivered almonds


Make the cinnamon pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F

  2. In a large mixing bowl cut the butter in to the flour. Add the salt and the cinnamon until the mixture is the texture of small peas. Add the water, 1 Tb. at a time making sure that the liquid coats the flour. When you are finished, the pastry should almost clean the side of the bowl. You might need to add more water if the dough seems dry.

  3. Shape dough into a small log and divide the pastry into equal 6 parts. Roll each piece into a 7" circle (a salad plate is about the right size. There are also baking mats with various circle sizes)

  4. Place circles on cookie sheet, poke each round with fork, and sprinkle with 1-2 tsp. of sugar to cover. Bake for 12- 15 minutes until light golden brown. The sugar will caramelize while baking. Optional: If you have a baking torch you can caramelize the sugar more after baking.

Make the cream filling:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat one egg and set aside.
  2. In a 1 qt sauce pan, mix cornstarch, salt and sugar until well combined. Slowly add the milk and heat on medium, stir to combine thoroughly. Keep stirring until mixture boils. Remove from heat and cool for about 2 minutes.

  3. Slowly add half of the milk mixture to the egg stirring constantly. Return this mixture to the hot mixture in the pan.
  4. Boil and stir for 1 minute Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate until mixture is completely cool. Tip: Pour this into a chilled bowl to speed up the chill process.

  5. In a large mixing bowl beat the whipping cream to the stiff peak stage and slowly fold in the cooled custard mixture.

Assemble the torte:

  1. Place a baked pastry circle on a round serving dish. Top with cream filling and spread with a spatula. Repeat the process until all the circles have been used. The last circle should be topped with cream and topped with either fresh fruit or sliced toasted almonds. Tip: I like to place a small about of cream on the plate to hold the bottom pastry circle in place.

Recipe Notes

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I bake the pastry circles in advance? Yes, I store them in an airtight container in the freezer with wax paper or parchment paper between layers for up to one month. Be sure they have completely cooled before freezing. I don't even thaw them when I assemble the torte. I like to have my pastry rounds made up in advance, so the day I am going to serve the dessert I can just make the cream filling and assemble.
  • Do I have to bake the pastry rounds one at a time? I usually bake each round separately but feel free to bake 2 at time in the oven if you prefer. I like to watch the sprinkled sugar on top through the oven window and see that it is starting to melt.
  • Can I make the cream filling in advance? Well, yes and no. You can make the custard in advance and keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to three days. The whipped cream should be done fresh and then you just fold in the custard before assembling. Be sure to chill the assembled torte in the refrigerator for 2 hours as it helps it set.
Nutrition Facts
Tusenbladstarta - Thousand Leaves Torte Recipe Card
Amount Per Serving
Calories 429 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 113mg38%
Sodium 542mg24%
Potassium 112mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1050IU21%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.