Making a crêpe cake requires a bit of time and patience (and now I understand their high prices in retail). But if you break the process up into two days, bringing it all together makes it feel easier. I made the crêpe batter and pastry cream the day before assembling. Part of me dreaded the idea of standing by the stove top making 20 crepes, but once I started, the repetitive routine became almost meditative. There is something about pouring the thin batter into a pan, spreading it gently to the sides, and watching a golden crust form quickly before flipping it over that is calming. Making a crepe takes about three minutes once you have the correct pan temperature and rhythm. The crêpe recipe here is traditional and adapted from Food52. The pastry cream is also classic but I added a hint of orange extract and finished with plenty of orange zest. Though this cake presents as an impressive and decadent dessert, why not try it for a breakfast...after all it is a pile of skinny pancakes?
Orange Cream Crepe Cake
An incredibly decadent and delicious cake make from crêpes piled high between layers of orange perfumed pastry cream.
Satisfying your sweet tooth with soft and creamy layers
Making the crêpes one at a time- there are 18-20 in the recipe, just enough for the cake!
Orange Cream Crepe Cake
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup (52 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups (750ml) milk
- 3 tablespoons oil (canola/rapseed, vegetable)
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2/3 cup (135 grams)sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- to finish: zest of one orange for sprinkling
- 10 inch (25cm) crêpe pan
- wooden crêpe spreader and spatula
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- In another bowl, thoroughly whisk together the milk, eggs, oil, and lemon juice and zest.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is well combined and no lumps remain.
- Allow batter rest for about an hour or overnight in refrigerator.
- To cook the crêpes, use parchment paper to line counter top or to stack on a baking sheet.
- Heat a crêpe pan or a 9-inch pan, lightly greased with oil, over medium heat.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl to cover the bottom completely. Use a crêpe spreader to move batter to edges of pan.
- Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, then flip and cook for another 20 seconds or so.
- You will yield about 20 crêpes. The cake requires 18-20 crêpes.
- In a medium saucepan add milk and place on low heat.
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. With a spoon scrape out the beans and add to milk along with the pod. Bring to a slight simmer.
- Turn off the heat and let the vanilla infuse into milk for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
- In a medium bowl, add together the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt, whisking until light yellow and well combined.
- Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk. Return the pan to the stove and heat the milk to very low simmer.
- Very slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture whisking continuously until well combined.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat while whisking constantly.
- As the mixture begins to bubble, continue and cook for just one more minute. Remove immediately from heat (and burner), pour into a bowl or container and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap (to prevent from any skin forming) and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.
- In bowl of electric mixer, add the heavy cream and orange extract. Whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to assemble cake, fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream until well combined.
- Place one crêpe on a serving plate, then spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pastry cream on top and spread. Layer another crêpe on top and repeat the process until all the crêpes are used. Finish the top with pasty cream.
- Sprinkle with orange zest and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Serve and add some fresh wheels of oranges as a garnish on the side of each serving.
- You can do prepare this cake in stages, try making the crêpes and/or the pastry cream one day ahead of serving to make it easier.
- You need to refrigerate before serving to allow the cake to set.