THIS. Banana Pudding Crepe Cake – just…..YES.
I have so much to say about this crepe cake – it’s hard to organize my thoughts and tell you just how wonderful, amazing, fantastic, stupendous, and heavenly it really is. This cake is rocking my world right now, friends, and I dare to say it’s one of the top 5 favorite desserts I’ve ever made. Really and truly!
You must know that every step of the conception, creation, and consumption (like my alliteration???) of this cake was delightfully sublime. The idea for it stems from my deep and long-time love for banana pudding. Not just any banana pudding, however, only the banana pudding my mom would make especially for me when I was growing up. This was different from the kind she made for the rest of our family – this was “Whitney’s banana pudding.”
You see, I’ve had a lifetime aversion to foods with a foam texture or consistency. This includes and is not limited to marshmallows, meringue, whipped cream, Cool Whip, Redi Whip – anything whipped, foamed, or frothed, basically. You won’t find anything like that on my blog or in my recipes. I just. can’t. even. Toothpaste foam even gags me every now and then. Weird, I know.
Anyway, my mom knew all about this and even accepted the fact that if I learned that anything “whipped” was in a recipe, I wouldn’t eat it. So you know how most banana pudding recipes call for you to fold Cool Whip into the pudding mixture? My dear, sweet, thoughtful and caring mother would always reserve me a small portion of pudding WITHOUT the Cool Whip folded into it, and then make me a bowl of pudding layered with cookies and bananas that was separate from the larger bowl she would make for my family. Isn’t that so NICE??? She really is the greatest.
Banana Pudding was always a favorite “spring time” dessert for my family; and with Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I thought a Whitney-fied version of our treasured dessert ought to be created in my mom’s honor! Hence this crepe cake. I’ve always wanted to make a crepe cake – they are unique, unexpected, and so lovely to look at. This version features tender, buttery crepes piled 12 layers high with creamy, homemade vanilla pudding (no mixes here!), fresh banana slices, and crumbles of vanilla wafer cookies. The banana pudding everyone knows and loves is still here – just in crepe cake form!
Please let me just go ahead and give you a few reasons why you should not be intimidated to make this cake:
- The crepe batter recipe makes enough for a few extra crepes than you what you will need for the cake. This is good, because the first few crepes anyone makes are usually not very pretty. So there’s room for practice here – even if it’s your first time making crepes, you will be just fine.
- The pudding recipe has a safety net built in – if this is your first time making homemade pudding, or if you are trying to multi-task while you make the pudding, there will inevitably be some lumps in the finished product. This is ok, because we are going to strain the pudding before it sets. Lumps be gone!
- If the process of making this from start to finish in one day is daunting, you can make it over two days. I highly recommend making the crepe batter and vanilla pudding on day 1. Refrigerate the crepe batter and let the pudding chill overnight. On day 2, make your crepes and assemble the cake. You’ll enjoy the experience more if you don’t feel rushed, trust me!
Are you convinced that you CAN and SHOULD make this cake now? Mother’s Day is just 2 weeks away – that’s your excuse and perfect occasion to make it. It would be a lovely accompaniment to a brunch or served for dessert. You’ve got this, my friend!
P.S. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to take a peek at the kitchen tools I own and find essential to making this recipe a success – along with some dreamy cake pedestals for presentation points!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus more for pan
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 medium bananas
- 1 cup Nilla wafer cookies crushed, plus more for garnish
Melt the butter in the pan you intend to cook the crepes in. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a blender, combine the flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Blend to combine. Scrape down the sides of blender and add the butter. Blend again until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Refrigerate the batter in the blender jar for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Remove blender from refrigerator and blend slightly again to remove any lumps. Heat a 6’’ nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Lightly coat the pan with a dab of butter. Using a small cookie dough scoop, add about 2 tablespoons of the batter to the bottom of pan. Use your hand to gently tilt the skillet in a circular motion to ensure the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Cook the crepe until the edges begin to turn golden and the center looks dry (you don’t want to see any wet batter on top). The top of the crepe may start to show tiny bubbles - that is good! Use a rubber spatula to gently flip the crepe over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Transfer the crepe to a baking sheet to cool completely.
Continue this process with the remaining batter and lay the crepes on baking sheets to cool (it’s ok if part of a crepe overlaps a part of another when you lay them out; just don’t stack them or they will sweat).
Prepare for the pudding by placing a large fine mesh sieve over a medium, heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt by stirring with whisk. Gradually add the milk, whisking until combined and all the cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in the egg yolks.
Place the saucepan over medium heat (about a number 5 or 6). Whisking constantly (and I mean constantly!), cook the pudding until it thickens to the point that it coats the back of a wooden spoon. When you see the first bubble in the pudding, reduce the heat to low, stir and cook a minute more. The total cook time will be about 20 minutes. It’s ok if it takes longer to get it thick enough though!
Pour the pudding through the fine mesh sieve and into a heat proof bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the top of the pudding surface and refrigerate for 4-6 hours until chilled or overnight.
Line a cake pedestal with a 6’’ round of parchment paper. Slice 4 bananas into thin, ¼’’ thick coins. Have your sliced bananas, crepes, chilled pudding, and crushed Nilla wafers all within arms reach.
Place a dab of pudding in the center of the parchment round. Anchor the first crepe to the cake stand by placing it directly on top of the pudding dab. Using an offset spatula, evenly spread about 2 tablespoons of pudding on top of the first crepe. Place 7-8 banana slices on top, followed by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of the Nilla wafer crumbs on top of the banana. Place a crepe on top and repeat this process for the next 11 layers of cake. You should have 12 layers total, ending with pudding and crushed Nilla wafers on the very top. Place a few whole Nilla wafers on the very top to garnish. Refrigerated the cake for 1 hour and up to 6 hours to let it set before slicing. Slice the cake using a serrated knife.
Lightly cover any leftover cake and refrigerate. Enjoy for up to 1 additional day (the bananas may brown a little but it still tastes delicious!
Recipe notes: The crepe batter makes enough for 14-15 crepes, which means you will have a few extra ones in case the first few that you cook don’t turn out too pretty! This is always the case with mine - the first 2-3 crepes are always the cook’s sample since they don’t look too great 🙂 You will also have a little extra pudding leftover, which means lots of sampling of the warm pudding before you chill it OR filling the ugly crepes with a little pudding for a snack. Either way, you win! Just make sure you reserve 2 cups of pudding for assembling the cake!
Did you make this recipe? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment bellow or upload a picture of your masterpiece to Twitter or Instagram and tag @sweetcayenne5 – it’s always fun to connect with you!
Shop my kitchen: