Dessert or breakfast? They are crepes, but it's a cake... it's an excuse to eat cake for breakfast and breakfast for dessert!
What mom wouldn't love to eat cake for breakfast on Mother's Day?
I love crepes and created a recipe that had all the wonderful classic ingredients along with some of my favorite flavors. Brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla are three flavors that just make me melt. The best part about this is that the crepes aren't overpowered by these flavors. They all complement each other very well. Brown sugar adds a nice earthy-but-sweet molasses flavor, cinnamon adds warmth and the vanilla adds a rich gourmet sweetness. These flavors, paired with the classic French crepe that is paper thin but still eggy and creamy, piled high with strawberry jam and cream... there is literally nothing bad that can happen in your day if you eat this.
Crepes are tricky little things. A word of caution... don't freak out when the first one... or 4... don't turn out well. The trick is that you don't need much else besides a hot non-stick pan. If you add too much oil the batter won't stick to create that paper-thin crepe. Start with good ingredients and mix them up in the blender. This creates a really light batter. Then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. You can do this ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge.
Once you are ready, heat your pan to a medium-high heat and pour in a small amount of batter (about 1/4 cup depending on the size of your pan) and swirl the pan around to create a round shape. If you have a crepe maker... then by all means use it, but don't worry if you don't. These can be made and eaten with a number of items from eggs to Nutella or you can take the time to cook them all up, let them cool and create the cutest cake ever. I will say that this can take a good amount of time, but it's totally worth it. I layered mine with strawberry jam and homemade whipped cream. You can use any combinations you like! If you feel ambitious you can make a pastry cream or chocolate mousse. Just look how beautiful this is!
Brown sugar crepe cake with strawberries and cream
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- 8 ounces heavy cream, cold
- 1 jar good quality strawberry jelly or jam
- Whisk together the eggs and milk.
- Place them into a blender (I've done this with an immersion blender as well). Add in the flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Blend until smooth and light. If you don't have a blender you can still do this by whisking very very well.
- Allow the batter to sit for at least 15 minutes; if you want you can make this ahead of time and allow the batter to sit in the fridge even the day before making them.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium/high heat; around 9 inches or whatever size you like.
- When the skillet is hot, add in about 1/4 cup of batter and swirl the pan around until the batter has coated the bottom in a very thin layer. The edges will look thin and lacy. Use a small spatula to assist in lifting the edges of the crepe up. When they are bubbly and slightly golden, you can use your fingers to lift and flip the crepe over to cook on the other side for a much shorter time, just until it's lightly golden. Don't worry if your first couple don't turn out... it takes a couple times to get the feel of it!
- Set aside and allow to cool.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter and allow the crepes to cool completely; if making ahead of time you can then put them in the fridge for later use.
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), begin to whip the heavy cream and a teaspoon of vanilla on medium. As it starts to thicken, raise the speed a bit until the cream is thick and holds soft peaks; careful, if you over-whip it will be too thick.
- Slice the strawberries into thin slices.
- Start assembling the cake on a cake stand or wherever you want it to be displayed, because you will not be able to transfer it once it's together.
- Start by placing one crepe on the cake stand. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of jelly onto the crepe and smooth it out with a knife (I like using an offset spatula), leaving about 1/2 inch border.
- Top that with a tablespoon of the whipped cream and spread it out with the knife, leaving about a 1/2 inch border. Leaving that 1/2 inch border creates a pretty frilled look on the outside of the cake.
- Repeat with all of the crepes.
- Top with whipped cream and the sliced berries.
- Allow to set up in the fridge for at least an hour.
Slice like a cake and serve!