I have a major sweet tooth so every now and then I get the itch to bake, and that feeling naturally comes much more frequently after the summer is over and I’m spending more time at home. So the other day I attempted my first ever batch of pumpkin donuts with my donut pan, which I’m sad to say didn’t turn out as good as I’d like :/. It’s not that they were bad at all (in fact most of the donuts were happily eaten!), but they weren’t all that the recipe comments made them out to be. Don’t you hate when that happens? Anyways, I had some leftover pumpkin puree from that recipe and I was determined to make something AMAZING from it – for redemption and for my own satisfaction, really lol. This time I wanted to try something more fancy and, again, something I’ve never tried before, and so I decided to make a crepe layer cake! This cake totally met and exceeded my expectations, and the best part is there is no baking involved.
A crepe cake, also known as mille crepe cake, is a decedent and classic French cake made of many layers of paper thin crepes. (The word mille means “a thousand”, implying the many layers). This type of cake is well known in other parts of the world, but it has only really gained popularity stateside in recent years due to the success of Lady M in New York City, which makes their own version of the French dessert. I’ve never been to Lady M, and in fact, the first time I had a crepe layer cake was at a coffee shop in Hiroshima, Japan earlier this year. It was strawberry flavored, light, creamy and SO good, especially with a good cup of iced coffee on the side 🙂
Photo of that cake, taken from my instagram. From Doutor Coffee in the Hondori Shopping Arcade, Hiroshima, Japan.
I absolutely loved that trip and that memory is what gave me the idea to make this pumpkin crepe layer cake. My favorite part of the strawberry crepe cake I tried in Japan was the tart strawberry syrup which complimented the fluffy crepes and cream filling so well, so the homemade cranberry syrup serves that same purpose here. And besides, crepes are basically pancakes – you can’t have pancakes without syrup!
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup water
(OR, you can substitute 1 cup of milk for the cream and water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
3-4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipped cream topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup frozen cranberries
3/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
-Combine all crepe ingredients (except for the butter) in a mixing bowl and mix well. Place crepe batter aside for 15-30 mins in refrigerator.
-While you wait, make cranberry syrup: combine cranberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until cranberries soften, 6-8 minutes. Stir in orange juice. Strain well through a sieve or mesh strainer.
-When ready to make your crepes, heat a pan / skillet to medium heat. Place a small pad of butter in the pan and tilt pan so that the melted butter coats the bottom of the pan.
-For each crepe, pour about 1/3-1/2 cup of crepe batter in the center of the buttered pan and quickly tilt and turn the pan in a circular motion so that the crepe mix spreads out evenly to form a very flat, thin pancake shape. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges of the crepe start to turn golden and turn upwards. Flip, let cook for another minute on the other side, and then remove from heat and place onto a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat 8-12 times, or until you run out of crepe batter.
As you can see here, my crepes were of varying sizes from large to small, partly so that you could see each individual crepe more easily from the sides, and partly because I wanted a more cozy / rustic look rather than a perfect mille crepe. And of course, I’m no French baker so I wasn’t going for perfect! You can do the same as I did, or make all of your layers uniform 🙂
And finally, to make the crepe layered cake, stack crepes one at a time with a layer of cinnamon mascarpone in between each (which is simply the cinnamon mascarpone ingredients mixed together). Top with additional whipped cream topping (if you’d like) and cranberry syrup.
Enjoy! This cake can serve 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are!
Do your travel memories inspire your cooking?
Thanks for stopping by!