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Chilean Thousand Layers Cake

  • Author: Pilar Hernandez
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Chilean


The traditional cake of Chile. Layers of thin, crunchy dough and dulce de leche and jam.



For the dough,

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 250 grams/ 8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolk, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum or pisco
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the filling,

  • 3 cups of dulce de leche or caramel (available in Latin supermarkets, I like La Lechera brand sold in cans, usually right next to the condensed milk)
  • 2 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter in chunks, egg yolks, milk and liquor, work to form a dough of medium consistency. Do not work with your hands, use a fork or 2 knives or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. The important thing is not to use your hands because the body heat will melt the butter and bits of butter remaining in the dough are what gives its crispness. Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand in the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
  3. Divide the dough into 14 equal portions. Roll each piece on a floured counter until very thin, using a paring knife cut circles of 9″ of diameter. I usually use a plate as a guide, piercing the circle of dough with a fork across almost the entire surface and bake over an ungreased baking or cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes until golden. Let cool.
  4. Assemble the cake filling in between each layer with dulce de leche. Every three layers, add ground walnuts also, saving 1 cup for decoration. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of dulce de leche and sprinkle with a mixture of walnuts, powdered sugar, and crumbs.
  5. Let it rest well, covered in the fridge. Serve at room temperature.

Keywords: mil hojas, thousand layer cake, chilean cuisine