Monday, August 1, 2011

24-Layer Crêpe Cake

IMG_9408e Do you ever see a recipe or a gorgeous food picture and though you would love to try it you just click away thinking, "Seriously, I'm never going to actually make that."   Well that's exactly what happened with this recipe on Katherine Martinelli’s blog. Katherine had guest blogger Jayne Georgette from Chocolates & Figs share her 23-Layer Crêpe Cake and the cake looked gorgeous and the back story about the cake was interesting but the recipe at first glance seemed long and involved and because it was a dessert, which we really don’t eat that often, I clicked away.  Had it been what I call a “practical” recipe, something that I could make and put on the table for dinner I probably wouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss it.  The picture haunted me though and I kept thinking about the cake.  So I went back, actually read instead of just scanning the recipe and realized that though the cake looked oh-so-fancy it was really nothing more than I've done many times in the past and even if it was something new I wouldn’t have had a problem as Jayne’s directions and pictures took me step-by-step though the entire recipe.  I make crêpes all.the.time…shoot I even have a pan, so I left a comment saying that the cake looked wonderful and that *maybe* I would attempt to make it. 

IMG_9406aAfter actually reading the recipe I knew that there were a few changes that I wanted to make but for the most part I stayed true to the original recipe.  I used all three fillings as suggested, the almond, chocolate and the apricot but the original recipe had a bittersweet chocolate ganache which I changed.  I don’t particularly care for ganache and Eammon doesn’t enjoy bittersweet or dark chocolate so I instead made a milk chocolate glaze which worked wonderfully as it wasn’t too thick or overbearing and it set just enough to give the cake a shiny and polished finished look.

IMG_9403eThe flavors of the cake were wonderful, not very sweet but a beautiful mix of the almond, apricot and chocolate fillings with the vanilla bean and citrus coming through from the crêpe.  After making this cake once, I would definitely make it again as it really was simple to make all the components and layering and finishing took no time at all.  A very impressive, fancy looking and delicious cake, perfect for any occasion. 

Oh and why 24 layers?  Because that’s how many crêpes I ended up with (after Maisie and I taste-tested a couple topped with butter, lemon juice & powdered sugar) so I went with what I had.

IMG_9417e 24-Layer Crêpe Cake (Adapted from here)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 TBS sugar
4 TBS sweet butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
Zest from 2 whole lemons

For the Crêpes:
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and process until thoroughly blended. You can do it by hand using a whisk, or even a fork. Strain the batter.

Transfer the strained batter into a pitcher and cover with a plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the better.  Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Heat a 7-inch skillet over medium heat and lightly brush it with butter.  After the pan is hot, take the skillet off the heat and pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet.  Immediately start tilting and rotating the pan in order to coat the entire bottom. (If the batter sets before the entire skillet is coated, reduce the heat slightly for the next crêpe.

Return the skillet to the burner and cook the crêpe until just set, when little bubbles appear on the surface and it appears golden around the edges, about 30 seconds. With an offset spatula loosen the edge of crêpe and then flip it over carefully. Cook until the underside is set, about 15 seconds.

IMG_9363eTransfer the crêpe to a plate. Brush the skillet with more butter and make another crêpe in the same manner and continue until you finish the batter.

IMG_9369eI layered the cooled crêpes one on top of another, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.  I allowed them to “warm up” for 30 minutes the next day before I started assembling the cake and the crêpes separate easily.  The original recipe states that you could also separate crêpes with sheets of parchment, wax paper, or foil. (Crêpes can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container, separated by sheets of parchment, wax paper, or foil for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or at least 1 month in the freezer.)

IMG_9378eGather together the three fillings: 

  1. 3 tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  2. 4 tablespoons almond four mixed with 4 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  3. Jam – your preference. I used apricot, heated slightly in the microwave to make it easier to spread

Preheat the oven to 325F. (I layered my cake on a plate but next time I will do it directly on a baking sheet.)  Place the crêpes one by one on the baking sheet, alternating the fillings on top of each crêpe.  Brush a bit of butter on those crêpes that are topped with either the cocoa powder or the ground nuts (not on the ones brushed with a jam) to assure that the cake will not be dry.

IMG_9380eCover the crêpe cake with aluminum foil and place it in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. While the crêpe cake is baking prepare the chocolate glaze.

For the Glaze:
3 1/2 oz. milk chocolate (I used a Godiva bar because it’s what I had in the house)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon light corn syrup

In a microwave safe measuring cup heat the cream.  Add the chocolate and corn syrup and stir to mix until smooth. 

IMG_9383eAllow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and then transfer the cake to your serving plate on which you have placed strips of parchment paper around the edge (so that the parchment can be removed later so to leave a clean plate and edge.)  Pour the warm glaze over the warm cake keeping the top smooth and trying to coat the sides of the cake.   Place the cake in the refrigerator to allow the glaze to set and harden. 

IMG_9386e Once the glaze has set up and hardened, carefully slide the strips of parchment out from the cake. 

IMG_9400eSlice, serve and impress!



  1. Wow, it looks awesome. I love the uniformity of the crepes and great color.
    Great job!!

  2. How beautiful! You did such a great job, I don't think I'd have that kind of patience to make all those thin layers :) It looks delicious.

    If you'd like, I wanted to invite you to share your best recipes over at my new party, Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands. I'm going to be featuring my favorite submissions during the week and I'd love it if you'd join in the fun. :O)

  3. Oops - I messed up my own link! haha. Jam Hands

    Sorry about that. That will teach me for not using the preview option :)

  4. Wow. Simply, wow. I am amazed and impressed. Considering how often you amaze and impress me, this was OVER THE TOP amaze and impress. :)

  5. I've got several recipes for crepe cakes from various magazines that I've pulled out. I've always wanted to make them because I love crepes. You've given me inspiration to go ahead and make one.

  6. Beautiful!! I love crepes, I am sure this is such a delicious cake.

  7. That looks awesome! I love crepes...and cake...and chocolate:)

  8. Looks amazing! Love how you conquered the layers of crepes! I think I'd be afraid of it all toppling over! Good job.

  9. I'm impressed, this is beautiful. We love crepes and I make them often. I think I need to make this--soon!

  10. Very impressive! I don't know how I could make all those crepes and not want to eat them up immediately though!

  11. Wow, Lisa this looks absolutely amazing!!! I am so glad you made it and even better that it turned out well!! And thanks for visiting my blog :-)

  12. This looks amazing. If this cake was on a dessert menu at a restaurant with that photo I would order a slice of it. You did such a great job with this cake. Yummy!

  13. This is totally gorgeous!!! Now you have me wanting to try it too. I've never actually made crepes though so I'm not sure if I would have as much success as you!! It does look good enough to put the effort toward trying though.


  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Hi Lisa,

    I apologize for the delay, but I am a bit overwhelmed with various ongoing projects associated with my blog.

    First, I wanted to thank you for correcting the text to include the references for the origination of the recipe.

    With respect to the cake, I already told you that I love the improvised glazing. I believe it most likely made the cake lighter, as well.

    I did want to ask you about the almond flour. What manufacturer you used? This is the first time I see someone replacing ground almonds with flour. Why did you do that? Don't you think that it may effect the taste?

    Another thing I wanted to ask you is, what made you think at first glance that this is a complicated recipe, when in fact you saw that it is made with crepes and according to your statement, you made crepes a million times?

    Second, what made you going back to re-read it?

    I am asking these questions to learn from the experience and how to write recipes appear to be "less complicated"

    Thank you very much for your response; I truly appreciate it.

    Jayne Georgette

  16. I'm so glad to see that you linked up this up!
    Thank you so much for sharing this at Recipe Sharing Monday. I hope to see you back next week!

  17. Wow, your crepe layer cake looks wonderful as well. I love that you used lemon zest in there! Definitely love the flavor from it! Thanks for stopping by my blog and let me know your creation. I'm going to explore more on you site. :)



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