May 18 Saint Karol Jozef Wojtyla's Birthday


Saint Karol Jozef Wojtyla was born in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city Near Krakow  When the Nazis occupied Poland,  he worked in a quarry and then in a chemical factory to to avoid being deported to Germany. Karol studied theatre for a short time before he entered the seminary in Krakow and was ordained to the priesthood on November 1, 1946. On January 13, 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967 .The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II.

During his papacy, Pope Jopn Paul II denounced the excesses of capitalism and improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Church.  He was one of the most-travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. He spoke Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Croatian, and Latin as well as his native Polish. He authored five book : Crossing the Threshold of Hope , Gift and Mystery, Roman Triptych, Arise, Let us Be Going, and Memory and Identity.


On  December 19,2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican announced on January 14, 2011 that Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed the miracle involving Sister Marie Simon-Pierre and that he was beatified on  May1, 2 011. It is anticipated that he will be officially declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church within the next few years.

During a visit to his home town of Wadowice in 1999,  Pope John Paul II casually mentioned that he was very fond of the kremówka (cream cake) that, as a child, he and his friends in school would buy from one of the bakers in the town's market after putting their money together.   The next day the entire town was arriving with kremówka, suddenly renamed Kremówka Papieska, (Papal Cream Cake).

So to celebrate his birthday, this is the perfect dessert to honor this respected religious leader .

Kremówka Papieska (Papal Cream Cake)

Custard Cream  Ingredients

2 cups milk 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour A pinch of salt 6 egg yolks Confectioners sugar


Cake Ingredients


8 ounces butter 3 cups flour 3 TB  water 3 egg yolks A pinch of salt breadcrumbs

Custard Instructions

  1. Scald the milk and vanilla.

  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Stir until very well blended .Add milk gradually. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, being careful to scrape bottom of pan.

  3. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Pour cream into a bowl and let cool. Stir occasionally until cold.

Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 º F.

  2. Grease two 8- or 9-inch baking pans  Coat with bread crumbs and set aside.

  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.

  4. Beat the egg yolks into the water: mix into the flour. Mix well. Divide in halves and spread/press each half . to completely cover the bottom of one of the baking pans.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes  Remove and let cool. Remove from pans when cooled.

Assembly Instructions

  1. When the custard cream is cold, spread over one of the layers of baked pastry. 

  2. Top with the second baked layer. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

  3. Cut and serve

© 2011 Gordon Nary and Tyler Stokes

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