What is a mille crepe cake?
A mille crepe cake (a.k.a. mille feuille crepe cake, or 20-layer crepe cake) is a unique crepe dessert made up of 20 layers of thin crepes, each separated with a thin layer of pastry cream. “Mille feuille” is French for “a thousand leaves” describing the many layers of crepes.
While crepes were invented in France, this crepe-stacked cake was invented in Japan in the early 2000s by Emy Wada, a Japanese pastry chef since the 1970s. It was popularized by the bakery which she founded, Lady M. It is the predecessor of the antithetical fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes.
Where can I get it?
You can find the mille crepe cake at select specialty dessert places such as these…
Las Vegas, NV: Suzuya Pastries and Crepes
New York, NY: Lady M Cake Boutique
Providence, RI (Barrington): Crepelicious
San Diego, CA: Cake de Partie
Seattle, WA: Crepes & Bakes
Looking for more places that serve mille crepe cakes? You can find them on Glutto right here.
How can I make it?
There are plenty of recipes that describe how to make mille crepe cakes from scratch. Here’s a simple recipe with a time-saving alternative using pre-made crepes and pastry cream so you can have your cake and eat it right away too.
- Crepe maker (optional)
- 20 pre-made crepes (recommend a 20-pack Crepini Naked Crepes), or these ingredients to make 20 crepes:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 8 teaspoons sugar (optional – based on your sweet tooth)
- pre-made pastry cream filling, or these ingredients to make pastry cream filling:
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon hot water
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (whipped)
- powdered confectioner’s sugar
- First, if you have pre-made pastry filling skip this step. If you don’t have pre-made pastry cream filling, then make it:
- Mix the egg, flour, sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
- Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan using low heat. Once simmering, whisk milk into the egg mixture and thicken in the saucepan for 4-5 mins.
- Remove saucepan from the heat to mix in vanilla extract and hot water. Set aside to cool and firm, then combine with whipped cream and refrigerate 1-2 hours to continue firming. (Can be refrigerated overnight, then brought to room temperature.)
- Second, if you have pre-made crepes, skip this step. If you don’t have pre-made crepes, then make them:
- Whisk the flour and eggs in a large bowl. Mix in milk and water until smooth. Mix salt, butter and sugar until smooth.
- Oil pan (or crepe maker) and turn heat to medium high. Pour 1/8 cup batter on pan and use a spreading tool or spatula to spread batter thinly & evenly.
- Heat crepe for about 1 to 2 minutes until cooked and light brown. Flip crepe over with a spatula and cook for another 5 seconds, or until light brown, then set aside. Keep making crepes until you have used all of the batter.
- Third, assemble the mille crepe cake.
- Place one crepe on a large cake plate and use a spatula to spread a thin layer of pastry cream. Stack another crepe directly on top and repeat this process until all crepes are stacked and covered with cream, except the top crepe.
- Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm.
- Let cake sit for 20-30 mins at room temperature, then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.