Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. Weddings. Baby showers. Think of all the occasions that are accompanied by a big, moist cake. How many can you count? I’ll give you a hint, it’s an awful lot! Which, in turn, means that the amount of leftover cake you have on any given month can be quite a bit!
If you’re anything like me, or the others in my household, once that cake turns even the least bit dry, it becomes an unappetizing lump, taunting me anytime I catch sight of it sitting snuggly in my fridge. Taking up a ton of space, by the way. So much work went into that frosting topped, cake-filled monster; hand stirring, machine mixing, eggs, (and you know how expensive those are lately,) icing, frosting, and if you’re fancy, maybe even some hand-placed fondant too! The point is, is that it’s now past its prime and too stale to eat, yet you just can’t throw it away. You’ll be happy to know that there are a ton of recipes you can use to turn that old cake into a fresh, new dessert! Read on for the frosting covered tips!
Cake pops are widely popular these days, and if you can conjure up some in your own cozy kitchen, then sign me up! The recipe for these is very simple, you’ll be pleased to discover.
Also see: My easy cake pop recipe
First, cut your leftover cake into medium-sized chunks and place into a large bowl. Mash the cake with a fork or spatula. Add in any leftover frosting you may have as well. Or, if you’re similar to my toddler, and scrape off just the frosting to eat, so you have absolutely none left, (which is clearly the best part, so no shame here,) then you can toss in some cream cheese instead!
Next, line a baking sheet with wax paper, or tin foil, if you’d rather. Roll the cake and frosting mixture into cake balls, about the size of a teaspoon or so. Use cake pop sticks and insert them into the middle of the balls. Line the baking pan with these, and then, when it’s full, pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so.
After this, you can melt a little chocolate. White or dark, whatever you prefer. Dip the cake pops in the melted chocolate, and if you’re feeling especially festive, you can roll the pops in some sprinkles or even some crusted sugar. Then place them back in the fridge to cool and enjoy a bit later.
Cake French Toast
French toast is just about the only reason I’ll skip hitting the snooze button and hop out of bed energetically in the morning. I love French toast! And when I found this twist on the original French toast, I just about lost it with excitement.
You can make this recipe with different types of leftover cake, to be sure, but my favorite is to make it with leftover pound cake. It has easy, simple steps, and it’s really versatile. Cut your pound cake into slices. Make sure to keep the slices about 1 to 2 inches thick. Soak each side of the cake in a mixture of egg, milk, and cinnamon, just like you would for regular French toast.
For this recipe, I like to use non-stick spray on my pan. But you can also use butter if it works better for you. Cook your cake on both sides. As soon as it’s cooked, remove from the pan and start to layer on your toppings! Some of my favorites are good, old maple syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, or even ice cream, if you’re feeling a little decedent.
This one was new to my recipe box, but it is very quickly becoming a favorite in my household. I think it will in yours too! This one is a quick fix for your stale cake. And you can be sure that it won’t be stale anymore. It’s very similar to a milkshake, but you get an incredibly thick texture that you’ll love.
All you need is any type of leftover cake, (my favorite is any type of birthday cake or chocolate cake to make a chocolate cake shake,) and chilled milk. Any type of milk will work, so lactose intolerant friends, no need to worry! Cut your cake into large chunks, stack the chunks in the blender, add your cold milk, or ice cream if you like, and blend away. The texture is magnificent, and the fact that there is no need to heat, or bake is a winner in my book!
Cake Crumb Pudding
Cake crumb pudding, sometimes called cake bread pudding, is another winner. Other than the cake, (and my favorite cake flavor to use for this one is vanilla,) there’ll be a few extra ingredients involved with this one to bring it to its full and tasty flavored fruition.
You’ll need 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of salted butter, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar. You’ll also need some flavor. Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, as well as a pinch of salt.
You can start by cubing the cake into about 1-inch squares, and even though it’s extremely delicious, we don’t need the frosting for this one, so make sure you scrape it off! Place the cubes into a large mixing bowl. Take the large egg and place it in a smallish bowl filled with warm water to bring it to room temperature quickly.
Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan until the butter is thoroughly melted. (The milk should be steamy, but not boiling.) You can set aside this custard-like mixture when it’s done. Next, combine the sugar, vanilla and egg with an egg whisk. You can stir a couple of tablespoons of the milk mixture into this mix. Then slowly sprinkle in the nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. (It only takes a pinch of salt, and you can add it to taste if you like.)
Pour the mix onto the dry cake cubes in the mixing bowl. Let everything sit and soak together for about 20 to 25 minutes for maximum absorption. After this, you can spread a layer of butter onto an 8×8 baking dish and pour in the delightfully soaked batter-like mixture.
Let it bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Be sure not to overbake, or it will become dry. A toothpick pushed into the center, and pulled out clean should tell you if it’s cooked perfectly. Once done, garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and perhaps a cherry to top it off. Trust me, you’ll never be the same!
Cake Crumb Cookies
Have an exorbitant amount of cake crumbs just sitting around? Gather up those dry crumbs and turn them into cake crumb cookies! As with most of our creative cake recipes, you can use any type of leftover cake, however, this one really shines if you use leftover chocolate cake.
These are a sister dessert to brownies, but with a more unique cake like texture that is very addicting. You’ll need 5-7 cups of chocolate cake crumbs. 1/2 cup margarine, melted. About 2/3 cup of brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon oats, and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. (You can also add some chocolate chips if you’re feeling like extra chocolate.)
To start with, crush the crumbs either by hand, or with a food processor if you prefer. Beat the eggs and milk until creamy, and then add the cake crumbs. Let that stand and soak for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the vanilla, margarine, and sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, you can shift together the spices, salt, baking powder, flour, and baking soda into the sugar mixture. You can fold in the rest of the ingredients.
Using a tablespoon, place rolled balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10- 15 minutes until the bottoms turn a beautiful liquid gold color. Let cool, and then enjoy the new lease on life these cake crumbs have received!
“Out of the Box,” Ideas for Leftover Cake
As tasty as these creative desserts are, if you’re low on time to bake, we’ve got you covered as well. Here’s a few out-of-the-box ideas, (pun intended, especially if you like cake box mixes like I do,) that you can use for your leftover cake!
Take leftover cake scraps and ground them up really fine. Then sprinkle them on top of any type of dessert, like you would with regular sprinkles. This idea works very well on cupcakes, especially if they have rich, thick frosting piled on, which will make the cake scrap crumbs stick very solidly to the cupcake. Depending on the flavor of the cupcakes, another yummy tip is to shred up a little coconut and add it to your ground-up cake crumb sprinkles before dropping them delicately onto the top of your cupcakes.
Another really unique idea is to add finely chopped leftover cake crumbs as a topping for a casserole. (I know this one is a bit unusual, but stay with me, and you won’t regret it, I promise!) This trick works really well if you have a savory, hot dish or casserole.
If you have leftover cake, specifically cake scraps of rum, raisin, or spiced cake, with no frosting, grind up the scraps and crumbs really fine and sprinkle them over your casserole as soon as it comes out of the oven. This will give your dish a little bit of that sweet and salty thing going on, which, in my opinion, is almost impossible to resist!
I hope you’ve found at least one or two of your new favorite desserts from this list of leftover cake recipes. You really can’t go wrong with any of these ideas. So, the next time you see that large, dry cake looming in front of you as soon as you open the fridge, don’t despair, my friend. Use one of these recipes to bring fresh, new, and moist life back into your leftover cake. Grab your fork, straw, or spatula, and let’s all eat some cake!