This stunning Vanilla Crêpes Cake is an absolute showstopper. Made with ultra-thin and delicate, French crêpes layered with sweetened whipped cream, this cake makes the perfect no-bake, make-ahead cake for any occasion.
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend! Add the flour, sugar and salt into the blender cup first. Then add the eggs, milk, water, melted butter and vanilla bean paste, and blend for a maximum of 30 seconds resulting in a smooth batter. Add a lid to the blender or decant the batter into a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-hour minimum.
Cook the crêpes
Prepare the pan. Heat a crêpes pan or non-stick frying pan/skillet on medium heat on your stovetop for one minute. Lightly grease with melted butter wiping away any excess.
Cook the crêpes one at a time. Remove the batter from the fridge and give it a quick whisk. It can thicken as the flour hydrates, so add a bit of water to loosen it if necessary. Pour 60 ml (¼ cup) of batter into the centre of the pan, and whilst lifting the pan, tilt it so that the batter swirls over the base and coats the pan's surface in an even layer. If there are any gaps, then add a couple of drops to fill them in. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the edges start to dry out and brown and the underside of the crêpe is set and golden.
Flip. Slide a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the crêpes all the way around. Slide the spatula underneath and flip the crêpes over. Cook for another 30-60 seconds until golden, and slide the pancake onto a plate. Cover with a clean tea towel to keep the crêpes warm.
Cook more crêpes. Lightly grease the pan again if need be, cooking the remaining batter. Stack the crêpes on top of one another to keep them warm and soft. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
Make crêpes filling - sweetened whipped cream
Whip the cream. Add the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste into a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks. You can refrigerate this covered with plastic wrap if making the cream ahead of time.
Assemble the crêpes cake
Layer crêpes with cream. Place one crêpe on a serving plate or cake turntable and dollop a ¼ cup worth of whipped cream into the centre. Using an offset spatula, smooth the cream evenly over the surface of the crêpe, leaving a 1cm (½-inch) gap around the edge.Place a second crêpe onto this layer of cream and use your hands to gently press the crêpe onto the cream and smooth out any air bubbles. Use your fingertips to push the cream to the edges of the crêpe. This will help to create a flat cake rather than a domed one.Repeat, layering crêpes, then cream, until the crêpes have been used up, finishing with a crêpe on top. (Save your pretties one for this final layer!)Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-hours to allow the cream to set and the flavours to infuse.
Brûlée the sugar. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the surface of the top crêpe. Use a kitchen blowtorch tome lt the sugar until it dissolves and turns golden brown. It will set hard within a couple of minutes. (Note: only brûlée the sugar before serving as it will soften from the moisture in the crêpes and lose its signature hard crack quality.) Top with fresh flowers or fruit if desired.Use a sharp-bladed knife to slice and serve.
Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.Yield: The recipe makes a 23cm (9-inch) crêpes cake which serves 16-20. Halve the recipe and use a 12cm (5-inch) fry pan for a cake that serves 8-10. To store:
Refrigerate the batter for up to 48 hours before you make the crêpes. Just give the batter a quick stir before making the crepes.
Cooled cooked crêpes, when wrapped in plastic wrap, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
As the sweetened whipped cream is stabilised with powdered icing sugar, it will last up to four days in the refrigerator. Leftovers can be used to serve on top of ice cream or alongside your favourite pie.
The Crêpes cake will last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator if wrapped well in plastic wrap. It's recommended to brûlée the sugar just before serving.
Once assembled, the crêpe cake doesn't freeze well at all. The cream doesn't hold up well in the freezer as it starts seeping moisture. You'd have a pretty soggy affair once thawed.
You can, however, freeze the crêpes once cooked. Place sheets of parchment or wax paper in between crêpes. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to one month. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, whip the cream, and assemble them as per the recipe.
Tips for the crêpes batter:
Why should you refrigerate the batter? This helps the flour hydrate and for the gluten to relax. The result is super tender crepes.
Tips for making the crêpes:
Use a ¼ cup for consistency. This is my biggest tip to achieve consistent layers. A ¼ cup of batter makes the perfect 23cm/9inch crêpe, and a ¼ cup of whipped cream provides the ideal amount between each layer. Using the exact amount will ensure an utterly professional-looking layer cake that looks straight off the counter of your local bakery.
Use two pans to make the crêpes. Speed up making the crêpes by using two pans at a time. You won't be able to leave the stove for a second, but it will halve the time needed to make the crêpes!
Butter the pan only for the first crêpes. Using a good quality non-stick frypan, you'll only need to grease the pan for the first crêpes. There is melted butter in the crêpes batter, which prevents them from sticking.
Don't throw the first crêpes. Often the first crêpes you make won't turn out perfectly as it's the one that essentially seasons the pan. Don't chuck it. Use it as the first layer on your serving plate, and you'll never know that it was less than imperfect.
Tips for assembling:
Cool the crêpes before layering: The crêpes need to all be at room temperature before you start layering them with the cream. You'll end up with a soupy mess otherwise. Not ideal!
Refrigerate the cake: This allows the cream to set in place, thus creating a secure bond and stability between the layers. If you don't refrigerate the cake, you'll find the layers slipping and sliding, making it near impossible to cut neatly. It also helps the flavours infuse together, resulting in a tastier cake.
Clean, neat slices. Nothing is more attractive and appealing than seeing a cleanly cut slice of crêpes layer cake. You can see all the individual layers and count them. Once the cake is cold, run a sharp-bladed knife through hot water, dry it off, then slice. Repeat this process for each slice.