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Every Dutch person knows it: the tompouce or tompoes . Who wouldn't love this striking pastry, with its unmistakable layer of pink fondant between two crispy slices of puff pastry, filled with a creamy pastry cream?! But how did this sweet treat come about, and what makes it so special? Move over crompouce, the tompouce is here to stay.

The origin of the tompouce

Although many consider the tompouce to be a traditional Dutch pastry, its origins lie in France. It is named after the English dwarf Charles Stratton, who gained fame in the PT Barnum circus under the stage name "General Tom Thumb". While touring Europe in the 19th century, Stratton inspired French pastry chefs to name a pastry after him: the 'tompouce'. Because 'pouce' is thumb in French, et voila! These early versions probably differed in appearance and taste from the tompouce as we know it today.

The first tompouce

The introduction of the tompouce in the Netherlands took place sometime in the 19th century, but the precise moment when the pastry took its Dutch form is not entirely clear. Interestingly, the traditional pink top layer is often replaced by orange icing during King's Day and important football events, a truly Dutch adaptation.

Why is the tompouce so popular?

Many people like tompouce because of the unique combination of texture and taste. The combination of crispy puff pastry and soft cream is irresistible, but the pink (or orange) top also completes the picture.

Scientific research into taste experience and color perception has shown that the color of what we eat influences our taste perception. The cheerful pink color of the tompouce can therefore contribute to the positive taste experience.

Moreover, tradition plays a major role in the popularity of the tompouce. The pastry is a permanent fixture on festive occasions such as birthdays, holidays and of course King's Day. These traditions contribute to the nostalgic feeling that many Dutch people experience with the tompouce.

Tompouce Valhalla Hema

And then the most famous place to get tompouces in the Netherlands is HEMA. In addition to the regular, classic HEMA tompouce, you will also find many variants: the mini tompouce with photo, luxurious tompouce pie, tom puffs, but also often the nicest products such as sponges, suitcases, Easter eggs and even beer.

From left to right: tompouce suitcase, tom puffs, tompouce pie, the tompouce, tompouce scouring pads and mini tompouce with photo, you can order them all here at HEMA

Have you felt like making your own tompouce or do you have a special memory of this pastry? I understand. Share your comment below, get a box or... get started yourself

Tompouce recipe

As you have seen, there are many types and sizes of tompouces. For some, a tompouce is only real if it comes from HEMA, for others from the pastry chef with only whipped cream. And this recipe is from PY's Kitchen , with a handy how-to video!


Quantity: 8 tompouces
Preparation time: about an hour

1 pack of puff pastry

For the glaze

  • 200 grams of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of warm water
  • pink food coloring (optional)

For the pastry cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 130 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 40 grams of flour
  • 30 grams cornstarch
  • 700 milliliters of milk

The preperation

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