Nutella Crêpe Cake

August 13, 2014

When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.

Today: A 3-ingredient cake -- halfway in between delicate and rustic -- you'll want to work into your regular rotation.

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30 seconds per side. Times 30. That’s 30 whole minutes I am glued to the stove. 

30 minutes during which I can’t scrape the scum out from between the tiles next to the sink. I can’t sweep up the dog hair tumbleweeds that keep sailing across the kitchen floor a whole month after we put him down. I can’t peel and dice an entire onion. I can’t hand-wash my favorite lingerie that has been sitting on my closet floor all summer. I can’t fix my son’s broken sword. I can’t figure out the monstrous remote control situation in order to Tivo the Teen Choice Awards for my daughter. I can’t sit down.

I can, however, in between each flip, sip my coffee, reject a song on Pandora, sink my weight back into the heels of my new black patent leather Birkenstock sandals that embarrass my daughter, inhale deeply and extravagantly, exhale all the air out, and then a little more and a little more.

I can do a squat at the wall.

I can do a handstand.

I can read a very short poem.

I can try to say crêpe cake crêpe cake crêpe cake ten times fast.

And because it is such a loose recipe, I can let my 7-year-old son pull up a stool and make a few crêpes. One peppered with holes. One in the shape of a snowman. One that drips over the edges of the pan and down into the flame.

Then he and I can sit down at the kitchen table and assemble the cake in a leisurely, improvisational manner: One crêpe down on the cake stand, and then, determined by whim, we can pipe Nutella in concentric circles or zig-zaggy lines or big blobs.

We’re halfway done!

He delicately unfolds crêpe number fifteen.

Eight crêpes left, Mom!

He drops one down from way up high. He shakes another out like a comforter.

He pats the cake and says, Just a few more layers and we can eat you. And I am calm and ready for anything, including my son’s very urgent question.

Mooooommmmmmm. Are you a cupcake or a beefcake?

I lick some Nutella off of each finger.

I don’t have the faintest idea. You tell me. 

You’re halfway in between. Delicate like a cupcake and super-duper-kick-butt-superhero-strong like a beefcake. 

I'll cry later. We have a cake to finish.

So. Dash. What you’re saying is: I’m kind of like a Nutella crêpe cake.


Nutella Crêpe Cake

Serves 8

20 to 30 7-inch crêpes, lukewarm or room temperature
One 13-ounce jar of Nutella
tablespoons powdered sugar

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Phyllis Grant

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • btglenn
  • cuceesprouts
  • Shikha Kaiwar
    Shikha Kaiwar
  • Martha Belcher
    Martha Belcher
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.


btglenn August 18, 2014
I have made these using dark chocolate, grated. Takes a little longer, because you need a little oven time to melt the chocolate, but for chocolate lovers, a tastier and more adult dessert, especially when topped with whipped cream. For cooks who consider making the crepes a problem, you can buy ready-mades at some of the supermarkets. I wonder, too, if these would be as tasty if made with flour tortillas?????
Phyllis G. August 21, 2014
love the grated chocolate idea.
cuceesprouts August 13, 2014
I make s similar "Cake" as well. Mine is with the Napoleon-type custard
Shikha K. August 13, 2014
Love this recipe so much. I need to find a good crepe pan though, I think that's my downfall when trying these at home.
Posie (. August 13, 2014
Mine too! This is the one we stock, and use in our test kitchen here in the office:
It's French and the thinness and material both make it good for conducting heat evenly, which I find helps immensely in not burning your crepes and loosening them easily!
Phyllis G. August 21, 2014
Posie. it's true. it's so important to have a good crepe pan. you can buy the lovely one from food52. or, if you're lucky, you can find one a restaurant supply store. or even a garage sale. or you can use a nonstick pan.
Phyllis G. August 21, 2014
was directing my crepe pan comment towards shikha. but listen to posie. she knows of what she speaks! just fun sometimes to find vintage pans.
Martha B. August 13, 2014
This looks amazing and delicious. As an alternative to Nutella, which uses rainforest-destroying palm oil, may I suggest substituting Nocciolata, which is just as delicious but does not include Palm Oil.
Lindsay-Jean H. August 13, 2014
My almost 3-year-old asked for a "chocolate birthday party" -- thank you for so perfectly solving my conundrum of what to serve at a chocolate-themed birthday brunch.
Phyllis G. August 21, 2014
Allyn August 13, 2014
Delicate and super duper kick butt strong. That's pretty much exactly how I want my future children to see me.
I also need to make this cake and work on my handstands.
Phyllis G. August 21, 2014
i must say it was a pretty powerful moment to hear that dash sees that balance within me. we'll see how long it lasts! as for the handstands, do one every hour on the hour. for a day or two. you will get strong very fast.