Sugared Cranberry Crepe Cake

Although I bake what feels like constantly (especially around this time of year), I’m still nowhere near completing my “to bake” list. This never-ending list is made up of recipes on Pinterest boards, liked Bloglovin’ posts, word documents, magazine scraps, and in the far reaches of my brain. There are so many things I want to try and share with you here, but not nearly enough time! Today I’m sharing this crepe cake that has been on my list for years. Years! The concept is so simple, just crepes stacked on top of each other with thin layers of pastry cream in between, but the thought of making crepes at home intimidated me for so long that the cake just stayed on my list (this particular list was actually stored in a powerpoint – I’m weird, I know). But when my Mom’s birthday came around this year I decided to tackle this cake in her honor, and I’m so, so glad I did – just look at it!

Crepe cake 2521 copy

Turns out making crepes isn’t quite as scary as I made it out to be in my head. Maybe I made a subconscious decision a few years ago to just let the street vendors of Paris do their thing while studying abroad there, but now I’m happy to make as many crepes banane-chocolat at home as I’d like! Or crepe cakes, because turns out those are pretty fantastic as well. Although I threw some sugared cranberries on top to add holiday flair, I really wanted this cake to be simple in flavors and presentation. I could have trashed it up with peanut butter or Nutella as I tend to do, but I kept things basic for once and I’m glad I did. The flavor of the crepes and pastry cream shine through, and just as my family loved this fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream, they loved this one as well. But I have to admit, the addition of the sugared cranberries was pretty great, and they’re now a new obsession of mine – just like natural sweet/sour candy! Next time I make a crepe cake I’ll definitely trash it up thoroughly now that I’ve attempted the classic, I’m thinking raspberry sauce or Nutella mousse would make great additions. What would you add??

Crepe cake 2538 copy 2

The fact that the cake is made of 21 layers makes it visually impressive without any kind of intricate frosting technique. Crepes are fancy by themselves, but I love the rustic unfrosted look that makes the cake look a little rough. Well, ignoring the fact that I cut each crepe individually after making them to get them all the same exact size. But I’m crazy, and that’s totally not necessary. I read a lot of crepe recipes and instructions before tackling them my own, and I agree with Deb’s advice that you should just accept the fact that your first crepe is going to be horribly ugly and thrown in the trash. It’s the truth, but before you know it you’ll be flipping out beautiful crepes one after the other.

Crepe cake 2532 copy

I realize you’re all probably sick of baking after weeks of holiday gatherings and tomorrow’s big dinner, but please add this recipe to your “to-bake” list ASAP! And just don’t wait as long as I did to knock if off the list :) And make sure you plan ahead – the crepe batter and pastry cream both need to chill overnight. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Belated Mom!!

Print Recipe
Save Recipe

Crepe Cake

Recipe adapted from Cream Puffs in Venice


for the crepes:

6 tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
7 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

for the pastry cream:

2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3-1/2 tbsp butter

for the sugared cranberries:

3 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tbsp water


for the crepes:

Brown the butter in a saucepan by heating it over medium heat until the butter turns a light brown color. Set aside. In another pan heat the milk until steaming (not boiling) and remove from heat and let cool for ten minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat mix together the flour, sugar, eggs, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the milk and brown butter until well incorporated. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight in the fridge.

To make the crepes, allow the batter to sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to come to room temperature. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and brush with melted butter. Add 3 tbsp of crepe batter and swirl it around until batter covers the entire pan. Cook just until the edges start to turn brown, then flip with a spatula (I used 2 spatulas to flip) and cook the other side for just about 10 seconds. Keep in mind your first few crepes might not be pretty, but it gets better I promise! Place finished crepes on a plate and repeat until all of your batter is used.

Before assembly, I decided to trim each crepe to be approximately the same size by using a large bowl as a measure and trimming the ends. This yields a more polished looking cake but can definitely be skipped if you don't have the time/patience!

for the pastry cream:

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and let stand for 10 minutes. In another medium saucepan combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Slowly pour in the hot milk while whisking continuously. Place the pan on high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing the whisk until thickened. The mixture should thicken within 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a shallow dish and refrigerate over night.

for the sugared cranberries:

Add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, and then bring mixture to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Set aside for a few minutes, then dunk the cranberries into the mixture. Place the remaining sugar on a shallow dish and roll the cranberries in the sugar one at a time. Place sugared cranberries on a wire rack or baking sheet until sugar is set.

for assembly:

Begin by placing one crepe down on your cake stand or plate. Spread a thin layer of pastry cream onto the crepe and cover with another crepe. Repeat with all crepes, ending with the prettiest looking crepe on top. Spread a bit of pastry cream on top and place the sugared cranberries as desired. Chill for 2 hours, and bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Cream Puffs in Venice

Crepe cake 2568 copy

    Pin It

5 Responses to “Sugared Cranberry Crepe Cake”

  1. #
    Sheryl — December 25, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Merry Crepe-mas!!!! These look deliciously creative!

  2. #
    Marta — December 27, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh gosh. THAT is delicious! I LOVE IT! I always wanted to make a crepes cake, but…I always forget it :D thank you for remind me it!
    And sorry for my english, maybe it’s not have a devoted italian reader :)
    Kisses, Marta

  3. #
    karina — December 30, 2013 @ 3:40 am

    It looks amazing! I will be attempting to make it very soon! Thanks for sharing!

  4. #
    Julia @ Chic To Do — December 31, 2013 @ 3:41 am

    Ooh, these look delicious! I’ve never made crepes, but I will definitely be giving them a shot now, seems much easier than I thought!

  5. #
    GoodLiving — January 14, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

    What a great idea! Never thought of doing that! Thank you for it. I will definitely try it!
    http://www.goodliving-happylife com

Leave a Comment