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Birthdays are always fun. I love a day that’s all about me, where friends and family pamper me with attention and, best of all, birthday cake! That alone is reason enough for me to get excited about my birthday. I do a lot of baking and people often ask if I’d like to give myself a break and have one made fore me. But honestly, I can make a much better cake than most bakeries. It’s not because I think of myself as a superior baker (which I’m certainly not), it’s just that everything tastes better when it’s homemade.

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So for my birthday this year I made my own cake, which I often do. It’s actually a lot of fun because I can make exactly what I want. I don’t have to worry about others’ tastes and preferences, just my own. I’ve known for quite a while that this year I wanted a crepe cake. I first heard about the crepe cake from my family. They had made one for some occasion and couldn’t stop raving about it- how simple it was, yet so very delicious. And then I started noticing them in cookbooks and on food blogs and I knew I had to make one. I mean, come on, a cake made from crepes and pastry cream piled together? Sign me up!

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I love crepes. The best crepe I ever had was from a street vendor in Paris and came with nutella and bananas. It was the stuff dreams are made of. The crepes in this recipe come the closest to those Parisian crepes as any I’ve ever tasted. As I was making them it was very difficult to not devour them all right then and there. The crepes are very thin and delicate and my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t have twenty intact crepes to make a cake out of, but I only had one tear on me and the rest held up beautifully.

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The crepe cake does take some time to make because some elements need to be prepared and chilled, but it really wasn’t that complicated or difficult to put together. If you have a stove top, you can make this cake. The finished product looked absolutely stunning and tasted divine. I had two large slices and would have had more (it was my birthday after all) but it was too rich to go on. If you’re planning on making a crepe cake of your own, and I suggest that you do, I would highly recommend using this recipe. However, you could probably make one with any crepe recipe and filling of your choice.

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The Crepe Cake
Adapted from Cream Puffs in Venice
Makes one 9 inch cake

For the crepes batter:
6 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups whole milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt

Cook the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns a light brown color. Set aside. In another pan heat the milk over medium high heat until steaming (do not bring to a boil). Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer mix together the flour, sugar, eggs, and salt. Slowly add the hot milk and the brown butter while mixing. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

To make the crepes, bring the batter to room temperature. Place a non-stick or seasoned 9 inch saute pan over medium heat. Brush with oil or melted butter. Add 3 tablespoons batter and swirl it around until it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Cook until the edges turn light brown, loosen with a spatula and flip over. Cook the other side for only 10 seconds. Flip out onto a plate lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you have 20 crepes, or run out of batter (I had batter for about 19 crepes, but a few of mine were thicker than needed).

For the pastry cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoon butter

Bring the milk just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan combine the egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch. Slowly add all of the hot milk, whisking continuously. Place the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, still continuing to whisk. The mixture will thicken in 1-2 minutes. Once it is thick, immediately remove from heat, and stir in butter. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until chilled (can be chilled overnight along with the batter).

Sweetened whipped cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

When ready to assemble the cake, make sweetened whipped cream. Beat the heavy whipping cream at high speed for several minutes until stiff. Add the sugar and vanilla. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream and mix until smooth and incorporated.

To assemble the cake, begin by placing a crepe down on your display plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of the pastry cream onto the crepe. Cover with a crepe and repeat with all twenty crepes, ending with the prettiest crepe on top. Chill for at least 2 hours. Bring the cake back up to room temperature slightly before slicing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with berries, if desired.

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14 Responses to Crepe Cake

  1. Sam & Jen Chesnut says:

    Annalise, you seriously never cease to amaze me. My husband LOVES crepes, so I will totally have to do this for him!

  2. Sam & Jen Chesnut says:

    Annalise, you seriously never cease to amaze me. My husband LOVES crepes, so I will totally have to do this for him!

  3. Sam & Jen Chesnut says:

    Annalise, you seriously never cease to amaze me. My husband LOVES crepes, so I will totally have to do this for him!

  4. Sam & Jen Chesnut says:

    Annalise, you seriously never cease to amaze me. My husband LOVES crepes, so I will totally have to do this for him!

  5. Sam & Jen Chesnut says:

    Annalise, you seriously never cease to amaze me. My husband LOVES crepes, so I will totally have to do this for him!

  6. Elissa says:

    This cake looks so incredible! I've wanted to make a crepe cake for a long time and this is really giving me the final push. It's so beautiful. I always make my own birthday cake too. People are surprised when they find out, saying that the birthday person shouldn't make their own cake, but, well, I'm like you. Homemade trumps all, and I know exactly what I want :) Happy birthday!

  7. shewhisks says:

    Happy belated birthday! :-) This crepe cake looks really good and then u started talking about creme patisserie and got me drooling! Gonna have to try this soon. Its appearance is a bit like a Goan Bibinca which i came across on a food channel once. X

  8. chris says:

    I was wondering if the 3 1/2 T sugar is confectioners sugar or is that added to the pastry cream?

    thanks I have already made the crepe batter and will be having this to celebrate my birthday and my sons birthday. Also how long can it be assembled before you eat it? Is it good leftovers? Like their be any…ha ha.

    thanks again, Chris

    • Annalise says:

      Chris,

      Thank you so much for your comment. The 3 1/2 tablespoons I referred to in the pastry cream recipe is actually for butter, not sugar. I’ve since corrected in my post, and I apologize for not noticing the error earlier.

      The crepe cake will taste best the day it is made, as the pastry cream can make the crepes soggy over time, but it can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

  9. chris says:

    oh crepe.. mine wont have the butter. oh well. thanks for responding. im sure it will be delish anyway.

    chris

    • chris says:

      it was delicious! the family loved it. i also made a raspberry sauce for those who wanted it.
      i will most definitely be making this again.

      thanks,
      chris

  10. Summer says:

    Hello! Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for a baby shower last week and it was wonderful! I will definitely be making it again! THANK YOU!

  11. Melodi says:

    I think I’m gonna make this for my birthday this Wednesday!

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