Crêpe Cake

October 15, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: The recipe for these crêpes comes straight from my Parisian friend's family. You'll notice that it includes a bit of leavening which isn't often found in crêpes, but the original recipe calls for Alsa (a French baking powder), which gives these crêpes a light and fluffy texture -- I substituted a bit of baking powder in its place. The cream is made from a simple pastry cream, lightened with whipped cream and a bit of rum. Feel free to substitute another liquor for the rum if you like.Yossy Arefi

Serves: 10 to 12


For the crêpes:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil

For the filling and assembly:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon rum
In This Recipe


For the crêpes:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl or measuring cup, thoroughly whisk together the milk, eggs, oil, and lemon juice and zest.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is well combined and no lumps remain. Let the batter rest for about an hour while you prepare the filling.
  4. When you are ready to cook the crêpes, heat 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. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, then flip and cook for another 20 seconds or so. Flip the crêpe onto a baking sheet or countertop lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you've used all of the batter. This recipe should make between 20 and 30 crêpes. You'll need about 20 crêpes for the cake.

For the filling and assembly:

  1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Add it and the milk to a medium saucepan and heat until just below a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the cream infuse for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt. It will stick together in a big clump at first, but keep whisking until it is light yellow and well combined.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and squeeze all of the seeds into the milk. Rinse off the pod and reserve it for another use. Return the pan to the stove and heat the milk to just below a simmer.
  4. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture until well combined. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat while whisking constantly. Once the mixture begins to bubble, continue to whisk vigorously and cook for one more minute.
  5. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and cool completely.
  6. Whip the cream to almost stiff peaks, then whisk it into the cool pastry cream. Whisk in the rum.
  7. To complete the cake, place one crêpe on a serving plate, then spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pastry cream on top. Layer another crêpe on top and repeat the process until all of the pastry cream and crêpes are used. Make sure to save a nice looking crêpe for the top! Chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight before slicing and serving. If you like, dust the top with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|Crêpe|Bean|Cheese|Milk/Cream|Rum|Serves a Crowd|Fall|Spring|Summer|Winter|Dessert

Reviews (7) Questions (1)

7 Reviews

Jaime B. July 12, 2018
Hi! If I don't have easy access to a vanilla bean, how would I incorporate vanilla extract?
Wm F. July 9, 2016
Where are the weight measurements?
Katy H. March 21, 2018
American recipes!
Cassie K. March 29, 2015
Made this into a rainbow cake for my sons birthday. Divided the filling into 4 bowls and added blue, red, yellow and green food colour to each bowl. He was so happy to see his rainbow cake! Only problem I had was the batter needed to be thinned out with about 1/3 cup of milk. Still turned out great!
Trudy F. January 26, 2015
This looks deelish and sure to delight my girls. Just wonder if you are left with a heavy, doughy, sugary after taste - considering all the layers of crepe?
Celia January 13, 2015
Can you make the pastry cream ahead of time? Like 24 hours? Thanks
Author Comment
Yossy A. January 21, 2015
Yes, definitely. Just whip it until smooth before you add the whipped cream.