Miniature Seven-Layer Crêpe Cakes

Editor’s Note: This recipe was provided to us by Cheryl Wakerhauser from her book Petite Patisserie. Making them bite-sized is a fun twist on the increasingly popular crêpe cake, and they are made much in the same fashion.

Crêpes are easy to make and can be filled with a variety of things. Instead of filling our crêpes, we will layer them, over and over, with chocolate pastry cream, and spike them with orange liqueur. Cut circles out of them with a round pastry cutter and you have mini layer cakes!

For this recipe you will need a 3-centimeter (1.2-in) round pastry cutter that is at least the same height as its diameter, and a nonstick skillet measuring 20 centimeters (8 in) on the bottom. If you do not have a nonstick skillet it is recommended to rub the pan with a stick of butter before cooking each crêpe and note the cooking time in the pan may vary.

Makes 24 mini layer cakes



  • 1 cup (250 grams) whole milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (3 grams) orange zest, finely zested
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (37 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ eggs (75 grams)
  • 1 cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons (125 grams) pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (20 grams) sugar
  • Dash (2 grams) of salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (20 grams) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier

Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • ¾ cup (190 grams) whole milk
  • 2 (40 grams) egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
  • Scant 1 tablespoon (12 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Caramelized Pistachios

  • ½ cup (50 grams) pistachios
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • Scant 1 tablespoon (12 grams) water


  • 24 whole, shelled pistachios
  • Gold luster dust, as desired


Make the Crêpes:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and orange zest to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Pour the mixture into a small, narrow container such as a 1-liter (1-quart) plastic deli container or liquid measuring cup.
  1. Add the remaining ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until combined. Refrigerate the batter for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours, maximum 2 days.
  1. Blend the cold batter with an immersion blender for 10 seconds to make it more fluid and easier to work with. Place 2 half sheet pans lined with parchment next to the stove.
  1. Heat a 20-centimeter (8-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour 65 grams (¼ cup) of the batter directly into the center of the skillet while it is flat. Immediately tilt the skillet and let the batter come just to the edge of the flat surface, before turning it in a circular motion to coat the entire bottom of the skillet without going up the sides.
  1. Cook until the top of the crêpe is barely wet and the edges are just starting to brown, about 10 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to lift up the edge and use your fingers to flip it over. Continue to cook the other side until set and you are able to lift the crêpe out of the pan, about another 10 seconds. Your first side will always be browner than the second because the pan heats up between crêpes.
  1. Transfer the crêpe to the sheet pan to cool. Continue to cook until you have 7 crêpes. If one doesn’t work out well (usually the first!) you should have enough batter to make one extra crêpe. Spread the crêpes over the sheet pans as you go, even hanging over the edge of the pans, to cool completely. Stack the cooled crêpes with parchment in between each one. If not using immediately, wrap the stack in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Prepare the Pastry Cream:

  1. Place the milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and butter into a 1-liter (1-quart) plastic deli container or other narrow container of similar size, such as a liquid measuring cup. Blend the ingredients with an immersion blender (it is fine if the butter remains in chunks) and then place the container in the microwave. Cook on high until the pastry cream looks curdled on top and jiggles when you shake the container, about 2 minutes. (If you are using a glass container, check the cream at 1 1/2 minutes).
  1. Blend the cream again with the immersion blender until smooth, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the container as you mix. The hot pastry cream will have the consistency of a thick soup and coat the back of a spoon. If it does not, place it back in the microwave for 30 more seconds and blend again. The pastry cream will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in the chocolate and let sit 1 minute to melt before blending again. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream and refrigerate.

Caramelize the Pistachios:

  1. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. Chop the pistachios by hand into tiny pieces, slightly smaller than the size of a lentil.
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat the sugar until it reaches 240°F (116°C). Add the pistachio pieces and stir with a wooden spoon to coat. Continue to cook over medium heat, slowly stirring. The sugar will seize up and crystallize. When that happens, remove the saucepan from the heat and break up the pistachio pieces with the spoon.
  1. Return to the heat, stirring constantly. The sugar will melt and then start to caramelize. The pieces will begin to look brown but that is the caramel forming, not the nuts burning. Once the nuts are fragrant and covered in a deep brown caramel, remove from the heat and pour the nuts onto the silicone mat. Spread out into a single layer and allow to cool.

Assemble the Crêpe Cake:

  1. Transfer the cold pastry cream to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  1. Place 1 crêpe on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread 40 grams of pastry cream evenly over the entire surface of the crepe. Top with a second crêpe and spread another 40 grams of cream over the surface. Continue to layer until you have 6 layers of cream and 7 layers of crêpes. Spread a thinner layer of 25 grams of pastry cream over the top. Freeze completely. If the center is not initially frozen the layers will not cut as evenly.
  1. Remove the crêpes from the freezer and allow them to soften just enough so you can barely cut through them with a pastry cutter, about 20 minutes at room temperature. Using a 3-centimeter (1.2-in) round pastry cutter of at least the same height, cut a circle out of the crêpe layer cake, pushing the cutter all the way through the bottom crêpe and using your finger to push the layers up and through the top of the cutter. It helps to use a hard, sturdy secondary object to push the cutter down, such as a coffee mug. Continue cutting circles, as close together as possible so there is little to no waste, until you have 24 in total.
  1. Break up the caramelized pistachio pieces with your fingers or using the bottom of the coffee mug and push them onto the top layer of cream to cover the surface. Brush the whole pistachios with a damp pastry brush dipped in gold luster dust. Place a gold pistachio on top of each mini layer cake. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator and serve, chilled, then same day. Once assembled, the crêpes can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer, before or after cutting, until desired.


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Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!

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