Colombian Milhojas: Custard Puff Pastry with Whipping Cream

Milhojas aus Kolumbien

Sometimes there are recipes that are particularly dear to me. These milhojas from Colombia are one of those. Reason for posting this recipe is the fact that we managed to eat milhojas when we were in Spain. Among the many delicious things I am still dreaming about are these milhojas. Milhojas consist of puff pastry, which is filled with vanilla custard, whipping cream and dulce de leche. Below you will see a picture of the milhojas we ate in the bakery Panetteria de Tirso in Madrid, Spain:

milhojas aus der pannetteria de TirsoMy hubby got so excited as he barely ever managed to eat milhojas outside of Colombia that I felt I had to give them a go. Therefore I was on the lookout for traditional Colombian milhojas. Mil hojas literally means thousand layers, so this already gives you a hint that it is traditionally made with puff pastry. You can either buy prepared puff pastry or make it yourself. It actually is not difficult at all. However, I will give you that it is some work.      Milhojas aus KolumbienAfter that I started asking my Colombian relatives for their favorite recipes. One of the things that really frustrate me is the fact that Colombians don’t write down recipes. Everything is handed down orally, if you do find recipes, it will be Youtube, but even there measurements aren’t that precise. I guess my German precision is seen as a little crazy. All I could do is think about each component and go from there. I already know how to make puff pastry, how to make vanilla custard is not that hard actually, and whipping cream is one of the easiest tasks anyone can do. Dulce de leche is sold in Spain, but in case you need to make it yourself, I give instructions below. So all that was left was to ask my test eaters whether I got each component right and if anything was left to desire. Milhojas aus KolumbienProbably one of the reasons this recipe is so dear to me is the fact that I had to immediately try it in Spain while still on holiday in another kitchen and with a new oven I didn’t know. Plenty of Colombian test eaters were willing to share their opinion. Once I served the milhojas with chocolate whipping cream and Nutella instead of dulce the leche. This version also got raving reviews, however, I decided to go with the traditional version on my blog. In case you try this recipe, please feel free to comment, I am also interested to know how it went.

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Milhojas from Colombia

Serves: 8-10 milhojas with six layers, depending on size
Cooking Time: 3hrs preparation + 15min of baking


  • Puff Pastry (You can of course skip this step and work with store-bought one)
  • 250 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams of cold butter
  • About 100-150 grams of cold water
  • 1 dash of rum (optional)
  • 250 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 10 grams of all-purpose flour

  • Vanilla Custard Layer
  • 300 grams + 100 grams of milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 70 grams of regular sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30 grams of cornstarch

  • Whipping Cream Layer
  • 400 grams of cold cream
  • 90 grams of regular sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own

  • About 100 grams of dulce de leche, see here how to make your own



For the puff pastry place flour in a bowl, cut butter in pieces, add to bowl with 100 grams of water and rum. Work into a ball, if too crumbly, add mor water. Once you have a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for half an hour.


Beat soft butter with flour and using a spoon, create a rectancle on parchment paper, see pictures. Also place in fridge.


Roll out dought to a rectangle larger than the butter rectangle, place the butter inside. I like to brush the edges of the dough with water to seal butter properly. Carefully roll out into a rectangle, try not to put too much pressure. Once you have a rectangle, fold into a business letter, folding three times. Roll out again into a rectangle and fold four times. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in freezer for 15-30min.


Roll out again into rectangle, fold into three pieces like before, roll into rectangle, fold into four piceces, chill again for 15-30min in freezer. If not using immediately, chill in fridge.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough carefully, preferably into a thin and big square or rectangle. I like to cut into 18 squares of 8x8 cm, just to be sure I have enough. Bake for 15min or until golden. Cut into half once cooled off a little. It is easier to cut if still warm. You will need three layers of puff pastry per milhoja.


For the vanilla custard heat 300 grams of milk with one scraped vanilla bean. Place all other ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until you see no lumps. Once the milk boils, slowly add the ingredients. Take from stove, whisking constantly. Put back on heat on low and whisk until the custard thickens. Set aside.


For the whipping cream layer whip all ingredients until stiff, this takes a few minutes. Chill until further use.


Now take one square from the puff pastry and spread custard on it. This works best if the custard is still warm, but not hot. Place a second square on top. Spread whipping cream on top. Before adding the third layer, spread dulce de leche generously on third square and then place on top. Enjoy milhojas immediately.


No idea what to do with the leftover egg whites? Check out see this blog post including how to freeze them properly. Puff pastry tastes best on the first day. If you wish to prepare everything in advance, I recommend to keep everything separate and to assemble last minute. Puff pastry keeps best in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Milhojas aus Kolumbien

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  • Reply
    Saturday August 1st, 2020 at 06:23 PM

    Thank you for sharing this – some friends brought over a “mil hojas” last night, and it was great. I am looking forward to trying your recipe. The one they brought had a kind of chocolate ganache topping, and it was really good. I appreciate your instructions for making puff pastry, but I am probably going to cheat and purchase it – I have a really good source locally. Thinking about it, I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible to make a “mil hojas” using filo dough….

    • Reply
      Saturday August 1st, 2020 at 06:26 PM

      Hi, in which country are you? Milhojas can be different depening on were you are located. The ones I tried in Spain were different from the ones in Colombia.
      I believe filo dough would probably also work. Good luck!

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