Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake Recipe

This vanilla mille crepe cake has twenty layers of delicate sweet crepes and silky vanilla bean pastry cream. It’s a French crepe cake to make for celebrating Christmas, Mother’s Day, or any special occasion. While this cake looks incredibly impressive, it’s actually quite easy to make.

And the best part? You can make each part of this dessert ahead of time, and assemble it later.

vanilla mille crepe cake on a wood cake stand with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, with a black backdrop

What is a Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake?

A vanilla mille crepe cake is a combination of thin French crepes, vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream, and an optional raspberry sauce that’s to die for!

Once all elements are prepped, assembly takes 15-20 minutes, making it really easy to put together at the last minute.

Ingredients for Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake

For the Crepe Batter

Ingredients for the crepe batter: flour, eggs, milk, sugar, water, vanilla and melted butter. It’s best to add the melted butter right at the end of the mixing process, but more on that below.

Pastry Cream

Pastry cream ingredients: eggs, egg yolks, sugar, milk, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla bean paste.

Opt for high-quality vanilla bean paste, such as this one. A little goes a long way, and it’s easier than storing whole vanilla beans at home. To finish, fold in whipped cream with the pastry cream. This essentially makes diplomat cream, but the difference is that true diplomat cream has gelatin as well.

Raspberry Sauce

Raspberry sauce ingredients: frozen raspberries, granulated sugar, and water. Frozen raspberries work best because they naturally produce more juice and break down easier than fresh raspberries, but you can use fresh if you can’t find frozen.

Garnish with Whipped Cream & Raspberries

Whipped cream ingredients: heavy cream and granulated sugar. Be sure to sweeten the whipped cream that goes on top so it’s the perfect finish. Top with raspberries or other berries of your choice, along with the raspberry sauce to finish.

vanilla mille crepe cake with slides missing to show the interior on a wooden cake stand, with raspberry sauce dripping down the front

How to Make this Mille Crepe Cake

  1. Make the crepes. Blend the batter in a blender, chill for 30 minutes, then make the crepes.
  2. Make the pastry cream. Once the pastry cream is done, chill it in a covered container for at least 4 hours so it sets and cools completely.
  3. Whip the heavy cream ingredients and fold into the pastry cream.
  4. Assemble the cake. Add a tablespoon of pastry cream on the center of the cake stand, and add a crepe. Portion 1/3 cup of vanilla pastry cream onto the center of the crepe and spread close to the edge with an offset spatula. Repeat this process until there are 20 layers of crepes and vanilla pastry cream. You’ll end with a crepe (no pastry cream on top) before adding the finishing touches.
  5. Lightly cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving.
  6. Optional: Make raspberry sauce in a small pot on the stove. Strain to remove seeds, then chill.
  7. Garnish the mille crepe cake with fresh whipped cream, raspberries, and raspberry sauce before serving.

Essential Baking Tools

This dessert requires very few baking tools, but there are a few essentials you need to make a vanilla mille crepe cake.

Other Filling Options

I’ve chosen a very classic flavor profile for this cake, but you can add other flavors if desired.

Other mille crepe cake fillings include chocolate pastry cream, lemon curd, nutella and banana, chocolate and strawberry, or coconut and tropical fruit. There are endless possibilities for flavors with this cake, but vanilla will always be a classic option that is easy to pair with other flavors.

vanilla mille crepe cake

4 Tips for Making the Perfect Crepe Cake

1. Make Thin Crepes

One of the most impressive things about this cake is the layers of delicate, thin crepes. If your crepes are thick, it will look heavier, the layers will feel thicker when cutting and eating, and it won’t have as delicate of a look.

Follow my directions of portioning 1/4 – 1/3 of a cup of batter for each crepe. This ensures that the crepes stay thin and delicate.

I use a 10.5 inch pan for this recipe, and it’s the perfect size for the crepes. You can make smaller crepes, but you will need to use less batter so the crepes are still thin.

If you are a beginner at making crepes, start with 1/3 of a cup for a 10 or 10.5 inch pan because having a little more batter to work with is easier than using less batter.

2. Always Chill the Pastry Cream

Trying to use pastry cream before it’s fully cooled and set is a mistake you don’t want to make with this cake!

If the pastry cream isn’t fully chilled and set, it’s going to be runnier and harder to work with. Also, the heat from the pastry cream can cause the whipped cream to deflate during the folding process, which could be a real problem.

Very cold pastry cream works best, so make it far enough ahead so it can chill before assembling the vanilla mille crepe cake.

3. Don’t Overwhip the Whipped Cream

While you don’t want soft and runny whipped cream, you also don’t want overwhipped whipped cream. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, and then stop. At this point, mix it in with the pastry cream.

For the additional whipped cream used to garnish the cake, whip it to either medium or stiff peaks.

Pro Tip: If the whipped cream is whipped to medium peaks, it’s easier to billow and create a pretty design on top of the cake.

4. Chill the Cake

While you might be tempted to serve this cake as soon as it’s assembled, wait! Once you layer the vanilla mille crepe cake, chill it for 3-4 hours or longer.

Chilling allows the pastry cream layers to set again so the cream isn’t soft and slippery to cut through. You’ll get a much cleaner slice with a chilled cake than with a freshly made cake (I speak from experience!).

Troubleshooting Mille Crepe Cake Problems

Here are some of the most common problems people have when making a vanilla mille crepe cake, plus how to troubleshoot each problem.

Crepes are Too Thick

If you follow the directions and use no more than 1/3 cup crepe batter for each crepe, they will not be too thick. Spread the crepe batter to the edge of the pan (not up the sides of the pan, though). This ensures that the crepes are thin.

Crepes are Sticking to the Pan

I’ve definitely experienced this. There are two reasons why this happens.

One, the pan isn’t hot enough and you try to lift the crepe too early, and then it won’t release.

To prevent this, make sure the pan is very hot. Sometimes, my first crepe is a throwaway crepe because I’m impatient to let the pan heat up all the way.

Second, the pan needs butter, nonstick spray, or a little oil first before pouring each crepe. You only need a small amount, but it makes a difference in how easy it is to flip and remove the crepes from the pan.

Pastry Cream Won’t Thicken

This is an easy problem to fix. If your pastry cream isn’t thickening on the stove while stirring, turn the heat up a little and stir for a few minutes longer.

However, this shouldn’t be an issue with the addition of cornstarch because cornstarch is a thickening agent. With the combination of cornstarch and eggs, the pastry cream will thicken as long as it’s heated properly.

a close up of the crepe cake layers

Can This Cake Be Made Ahead?

This cake can be made and assembled 1-2 days ahead of serving.

If you want to prep the individual elements further ahead, here’s how. Make the crepes ahead and store them between layers of parchment in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Better yet, make the crepes and freeze them in an airtight bag for up to a month.

Thaw the crepes at room temperature before assembling.

You can also make the pastry cream 3-4 days in advance. Combine it with the whipped cream right before assembling for the best results.

The raspberry sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance, or it can be made and frozen for up to 3 months.

How to Store Your Mille Crepe Cake

Storing a vanilla mille crepe cake is pretty straightforward. Once assembled, cover and store in the refrigerator. This cake is best eaten within 3-4 days.

Wait to add the whipped cream, raspberry sauce, and fresh raspberries until it’s time to serve so that the top layer of the cake doesn’t absorb the raspberry sauce. The top crepe layer cake absorbs the raspberry sauce as it sits in the fridge for several hours, and it doesn’t look as pretty.

Other Cakes You’ll Love

Print

Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake Recipe

vanilla mille crepe cake with slides missing to show the interior on a wooden cake stand, with raspberry sauce dripping down the front

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 7 hours
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Crepes

  • 790 ml whole milk
  • 160 ml water
  • 6 large eggs
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 tsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

For the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

  • 710 ml whole milk
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 38 g cornstarch (or cornflour)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 42 g unsalted butter (3 Tbs)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 250 ml heavy cream, very cold (to be whipped and added after pastry cream cools)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (to add to heavy cream)

For the Raspberry Sauce

  • 150 g frozen raspberries
  • 40 g granulated sugar
  • 10 ml water

To Finish

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • Fresh raspberries or other berries

Instructions

To Make the Crepe Batter

  1. Place all of the batter ingredients (except melted butter) in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the jar if needed.
  2. With the blender turned on, drizzle the melted butter into the batter through the small opening in the top of the lid. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the gluten in the batter has time to relax. You can cover and refrigerate the batter overnight as well.
  3. Lightly oil your crepe pan if using a cast iron pan. If using a different type of crepe pan or crepe maker, follow the included directions. Place cast iron pan or nonstick pan over medium heat, and let the pan heat up for 5-7 minutes. Wipe away excess oil with a paper towel (oil is for cast iron pan only).
  4. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the pan with melted butter and pour **1/4 – 1/3 cup crepe batter in the center of the pan. Use a crepe spreader to spread the batter around in a circular motion. If you don’t have a crepe spreader. The handle of your crepe pan will get quite hot, so cover the handle to protect your hands.
  5. Repeat this with all of the batter until you have at least 20 crepes. It’s best to make a few extras so you can pick the most uniformly shaped crepes. This batter makes 25-30 crepes.
  6. Allow the crepes to cool before assembling the cake. The crepes can be made ahead and stored for 1-2 days at room temp or make ahead and freeze for up to a month.
  7. Allow the crepes to cool before assembling the cake.

To Make the Pastry Cream

  1. Combine the milk and half of the sugar in a medium pot. Cook on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. 
  2. While the milk comes to a simmer, combine the remaining sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  3. Once the milk is simmering, slowly pour half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly so that the eggs don’t scramble.
  4. Return the pastry cream to the pot and place on medium heat, whisking quickly so the cream doesn’t burn. After a minute or two, the pastry cream will boil and thicken to a consistency similar to pudding. Continue to stir for one minute after it begins to boil so the cornstarch flavor disappears.
  5. Remove from the stove and add butter and vanilla, or vanilla bean paste. Stir until the butter melts and blends in.
  6. Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no egg bits.
  7. Transfer the pastry cream to a heat-proof storage container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream so it does not form a “skin.” The cover the entire bowl with plastic wrap or a lid. Chill the pastry cream for at least 4 hours. The pastry cream may be made up to 3 days in advance.
  8. Before assembling the cake, remove the pastry cream from the fridge and whisk until smooth. 
  9. Whip the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form, and fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream until smooth.

Raspberry Sauce (optional)

  1. Combine all raspberry sauce ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove the pot from the stove and press the raspberries through a fine mesh strainer to leave the seeds behind. 
  2. Refrigerate the sauce for at least 1 hour before serving with the cake. 

To Assemble the Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake

  1. Place a tablespoon of pastry cream on your cake stand, and then place the first crepe on the stand. Portion a scant 1/3 cup of pastry cream in the center of the crepe and spread almost to the edge with an offset spatula.
  2. Add the next crepe, another scant 1/3 cup of pastry cream, and spread. Repeat this process until you have 20 layers of crepes. Do not add pastry cream on top of the cake. Leave plain until you are ready to garnish and serve the cake. 
  3. Cover and store the ungarnished cake in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. This cake is best eaten within 3-4 days. As a note, the cake will naturally settle after a few hours. The pastry cream will also set up between the layers of the crepes, making it easy for you to cut cleanly through the cake. 
  4. To serve, add fresh whipped cream, raspberry sauce, and fresh raspberries or other fruit of your choice. Dust with powdered sugar with a fine mesh strainer if desired.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

*