Crêpe Suzette Cake

oranges

I think I’ve done the Crêpe Cake thing to death on this blog. Yet every time I’m faced with a cake decision for a birthday or other celebration I find myself exploring different options for stacking crêpes between some sort of delicious, creamy goodness and topped with something unique.

candied oranges

This time, occasion called for a lighter, fruitier crêpe cake than the chocolate, hazelnut, kahlua and black forest stacks of recent times. This cake is based on the traditional French dessert, Crêpe Suzette, just without the flambé. Simple crêpes layered with Crême Diplomat and orange butter, topped with drizzled orange butter and candied oranges.

orange

Crème Diplomat is a lighter version of Crème Pâtissière. Well, actually, it is just Crème Pâtissière with whipped cream folded through. Crème Pâtissière is my nemesis. The danger lies in its ease of making – from ingredients always stored in the pantry – and I have an unashamed weakness to it; thick, sweet and custardy, studded with vanilla seeds and turning slightly gluggy as it cools. Mmm..

creme patisierre becomes diplomat

The orange butter is a straightforward mix of freshly squeezed orange juice, butter, sugar and Grand Marnier. It thickens as it cools, making it perfectly spreadable between every 4th or 5th crêpe in the stack, then slightly warmed and drizzled over the final cake…

orange butter

orange butter

assembly - crepe, pastry creme, crepe pastry creme, orange butter!

Crêpe Suzette
Recipe based on The Little White Kitchen

Crêpes
Makes 20

5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups milk
1 cup water
4 cups flour
85g melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large blender (or whisk by hand), ensuring there are no lumps. If batter is too thick, add water, 1/4 cup at a time until thin and runny. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Batter will thicken. Add more water as necessary to return batter to a pourable consistency. Heat a large pan (or crêpe pan) over medium heat. Pour on approximately 1/4 cup batter, swirling pan to coat evenly – batter should be thin enough to spread without holes. Cook until bubbles appear – flip and cook the other side. Transfer to wire rack to cool and continue until all batter is used.

Crème Pâtissière
From Little & Friday Celebrations Cookbook
Makes 2 cups

500ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
¼ cup cornflour

In a saucepan, combine milk, vanilla and ¼ cup caster sugar, and bring to the boil. In a bowl, beat together remaining caster sugar, egg yolks and cornflour until mixture is pale and thick.

Whisking constantly at low speed, slowly pour half the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Return remaining milk to the heat and quickly add egg yolk mixture to milk, beating constantly. It is a real workout, but if you don’t beat it vigorously enough the Crème Pâtissière will be lumpy. Keep beating the mixture over the heat until it comes back to the boil and thickens drastically. Remove from the heat, whisking until smooth, transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film. Let cool.

To make Crème Diplomat, whip 250ml whipping cream until firm. Whisk the cooled Crème Pâtissière (it will have turned firm and gluggy on cooling) until smooth, then add the whipped cream. Fold together until thoroughly combined.

Orange Butter
200g butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 oranges, squeezed
1 lemon, juiced
4 teaspoons orange zest
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Combine the butter, sugar, citrus juices, and zest to a small saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes until it reaches 180-200F, or until is slightly caramelizes. It should be a golden color. 
Remove from heat, add the Grand Marnier, return to the heat and continue to whisk and simmer for another 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

a drizzle of the orange stuff

Candied oranges are far more simple than I imagined, having always bought commercial packs of it for Christmas mince pies and truffles. No longer – sliced and simmered in sugar syrup, candied oranges are super simple and satisfying to make from scratch. Simply heat 1 1/2 cups water in a large skilled. Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Slice two oranges into thin slices and carefully place in the simmering sugar syrup. Let simmer over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a think syrup; the oranges will also become slightly translucent, about 20 minutes. Remove the orange slices from the syrup and place on a cool rack. Once cool, sprinkle with granulated sugar and allow to set. 
Orange slices can be kept sealed in the fridge for up to a week.

ready to assemble

alll the crepesTo assemble, lay one crêpe on a cake stand. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of Crème Diplomat and spread over evenly. Make sure it isn’t thick at the edges or it will ooze out (it will likely ooze out regardless but this will reduce it). Place over a second crêpe and repeat. Every so often (after every 5th crêpe), spread a layer of orange butter over and top with the Crème Diplomat. Continue until all crêpes are used, finishing with a crêpe. At this point you can refrigerate the stack until it is needed – this helps the crêpes soften and allows the flavours to meld.

When ready to serve, warm the remaining orange butter and drizzle over the stacked crêpes. Arrange the candied oranges over top and sprinkle with icing sugar. Refrigerate any leftovers.

crepe suzette stack

Some more Crêpe Cakes on De La Casa

Black Forest Crepe Cake
black forest crepe cake

Chocolate Kahlua Crepe Cake
kahlua crepe cake

Banana Nutella Crepe Cake
banana nutella crepe cake

Bruleed Mocha Crepe Cake
bruleed mocha crêpe cake

5 thoughts

  1. I’m a little concerned – I made the crepes last night and tried to make the orange slices, and neither turned out quite right. Are you sure that’s the right amount of sugar for the candied oranges? Epicurious uses 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, which seems like maybe it would have worked better. This morning my orange slices are still floppy and I think I’m going to have to do them again. Meanwhile my crepes are a bit on the chewy side, but I’m going to press on regardless…. hoping the Creme Diplomat turns out!

    • Hi there – thanks for writing in! It sounds to me like you have done fine! Indeed, the oranges are not crisp like commercial candied oranges – the idea is that they are soft and sweet, so you can bite right into them on the cake. You will find most recipes cook them similarly (the Epicurious recipes I’ve seen all use the 3:1 ratio so unsure about which one you are referring to.) The trick to good crepes is a super thin batter and a quick, high-temperature cooking to avoid the infamous ‘rubber crepe’. Using a blender helps, and ensuring it is well watered down that it barely covers the surface of the pan. I like to use a crepe pan and a wooden ‘spreader’ to ensure they are thin, resulting in less chewy crepes. The pan should be hot enough that it cooks within only a minute or so. Hope your Creme Diplomat turns out – I have used that one many times!

  2. Could you please let me know how far in advance you can make the crepe cake? I am having a dinner party and was hoping to be able to prepare it a little ahead if possible. I read that you can make crepes a few days ahead and place wax paper between them and store them in a zip lock until ready for use. Do you agree with this as well?

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