If you are looking for a showstopping spring dessert, look no further than this 12-Layer Banana Pudding Crepe Cake! This cake is made up of 6-inch buttery crepes, creamy banana pudding, freshly sliced banana, and crushed vanilla wafer cookies.
6tablespoonssalted buttermelted and cooled, plus more for pan
For the pudding:
2 1/2cupswhole milk
2tablespoonssalted buttercut into pieces
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
For the cake:
4mediumbananas, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1cupvanilla wafer cookies (like Nilla brand)crushed, plus more for garnish
For the crepes (crepe batter can be made a day ahead):
In a blender, combine the flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Blend on medium speed to combine. Scrape down the sides and add the butter. Blend again until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Refrigerate the batter in the blender jar for at least two hours and up to one day.
Heat a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly coat the pan with a dab of butter. Using a small cookie dough scoop or ladle, 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. 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. Cool crepes to room temperature before assembling the cake.
For the pudding (can be made a day ahead):
Place 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. Whisking 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 should be 10-12 minutes.
Pour the pudding through the fine mesh sieve and into the 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.
For cake assembly:
Line a cake pedestal with a 6-inch round of parchment paper. 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 two tablespoons of pudding on top of the first crepe. Place 7-8 banana slices on top, followed by sprinkling one tablespoon of the cookie crumbs on top of the banana. Place a crepe on top and repeat this process for the next eleven layers of cake. You should have twelve layers total, ending with pudding and crushed cookies on the very top. Refrigerated the cake for one hour and up to six hours to let it set before slicing. Place a few whole vanilla wafer cookies on the very top to garnish. Slice the cake using a serrated knife.
Lightly cover any leftover cake and refrigerate. Enjoy for up to one additional day (the bananas may brown a little but it still tastes delicious!
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!