Monday, March 18, 2013

lazy crepe cake

From the first time I saw the recipe for gateau de crepes on Smitten Kitchen I knew this was something I needed to make. A good crepe is hard not to adore, whether it's filled with scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast, hit with just a touch of lemon juice and sugar as a desert, spread thinly with nutella, crepes Suzette, filled with lovely fruits or cinnamon and ice cream. There is just no way to go wrong with a crepe.

Since I have made crepes before I must admit I was somewhat surprised by just how dangerous this cake recipe turned out to be. You see, once I made the lazy crepe cake I just could not be done with it. I forgot how excited Bunny gets for crepes, I forgot how enjoyable the process is, even if it is a little long, I forgot how darn versatile these things are.

Most of all I forgot how making crepes transports me back to childhood. It's a funny story, because no one ever taught me to make crepes as a child. These brought to mind though the "Hungarian Pancakes" my grandmother used to bring over, crepelike pancakes rolled up and filled with jam or cinnamon sugar.

Since making the crepe cake, I have been inundated with a need to remake this. One day I intend to make more cakes: the proper one with custard filling, one filled with sauted apples (because that's my favourite pancake topping) and the idea of layering with a rich chocolate mousse is also appealing. I've also since made another, oh, two or three batches of crepes to be eaten different ways.

The crepes batter I use has been adapted only slightly from the one in the original recipe, as I didn't feel it needed to be as sweet or as eggy. Crepe batter is wonderfully resilient and seems to take well to changes. The filling itself? Well that's why I call this a lazy crepe cake.

Lazy Crepe Cake
adapted just slightly from Smitten Kitchen's gateau de crepe


for the crepe batter:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch salt
for the filling:
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  1. Start by making your crepe batter. Do this early in the day, as the batter needs to rest at least an hour although overnight is good too.
    1. Melt your butter. Use the microwave: remember, this is the lazy crepe cake. Browned butter would not go amiss, but again, not so lazy.
    2. Mix your flour, sugar and salt thoroughly in a medium to large bowl. Add the eggs and beat until a thick paste emerges. This can be done by wooden spoon, electric mixer (or even a KitchenAid or food processor). I found the wooden spoon gave me quickest cleanup and that was the type of lazy I liked.
    3. Add your milk and melted butter and mix until you have a thin batter.
    4. Set aside.
  2. Bring a nonstick pan to medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray (I find this works better than oil, myself).
  3. Pour small amounts of crepe batter, approximately 1/4-1/3 cup at a time, into the pan. Swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads to cover the surface. Cook until the edges begin to lift and the underside of the crepe is lightly browned, about two minutes.
  4. Flip your crepe. If it's your first time I promise the easiest way to do this is with your fingers. The crepe won't be stuck to the pan at all, and if you gently grasp the edges of the crepe you can just turn it over.
  5. Let the other side cook about 15-30 seconds. Remove from pan and stack to the side on a plate. The crepes won't stick, so don't worry.
  6. Continue this process until you have a pile of crepes.
  7. Make your whipped cream. Mix the sugar and vanilla into your whipping cream and, well whip. For me the easiest cleanup route was using my handheld mixer, but again you can use a larger mixer.
  8. Layer your cake.
    1. Put a crepe on the bottom.
    2. Generously spread whipped cream over this layer, at least 1/4 to a 1/2 inch this.
    3. Lay down another crepe, repeat. Keep going until you run out of either crepes or whipped cream.
  9. If you want, you can do something fancy to the top, like brulee it, or pour on caramel sauce or chocolate syrup but let's be honest? The lazy way, with nothing at all on top is perfectly delicious.


  1. This sounds scrumptious. I haven't made crêpes for a very long time.

    1. If you have the time to flip some crepes this is so worth doing. And then it looks and tastes about fifty times more impressive than the effort you put into it, which is always a plus.