Is this cake easy? Not really, admits chef Gavin Kaysen of Bellecour Bakery in the Twin Cities. But will it blow people away with its many layers, luscious creaminess and subtle vanilla flavor? Absolutely. (And every component can be made ahead.) You can even purchase a step-by-step video tutorial at

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Kelsey Hansen

Recipe Summary

1 hr 5 mins
10 hrs 35 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • For pastry cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch. In a medium saucepan, stir together milk, vanilla and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Slowly drizzle milk mixture in a thin stream into egg yolk mixture while constantly whisking to prevent curdling the eggs. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring constantly to prevent scorching and curdling, until mixture just comes to a boil and thickens to a pudding-like consistency, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Remove from heat. Strain pastry cream into a heat-proof container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least six hours or overnight.

  • For chantilly cream: Place ¼ cup heavy cream in a small saucepan; sprinkle gelatin on top. Do not stir. Set aside to allow gelatin to bloom (hydrate), 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1¾ cups cream with a mixer on medium. Slowly add sugar while beating just until stiff peaks form, no longer.

  • Once the gelatin has bloomed, heat mixture over medium, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until gelatin is melted and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly drizzle hot mixture into the whipped cream while beating with a mixer on medium just until incorporated. (This should not take longer than 30 seconds; be careful not to overmix.) Add the chilled pastry cream to the mixture and beat on medium until just combined. Cover and chill up to 3 days.

  • For crepes: In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium, stirring constantly, until light brown and nutty-smelling. Immediately pour browned butter into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking; let cool 3 to 5 minutes.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla until combined. Sift flour mixture into milk mixture. Whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk in browned butter. If desired, strain batter through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps. (Batter can be covered and chilled overnight. Whisk batter until smooth before making crepes.)

  • Coat a 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Using a ladle or ¼-cup measuring cup, pour ¼ cup batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt skillet in a circular motion to cover the bottom of skillet with batter. Return to heat and cook until crepe has browned underneath and the top is no longer liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Using a rubber spatula, flip crepe and cook briefly to set the other side, about 10 seconds. Transfer crepe to a wire rack. Repeat until all batter has been used. (The recipe yields more crepes than needed for the cake, so it's OK if you mess up a few at first.) Cooled crepes can be stacked on a plate, covered in plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

  • To assemble: Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Excess paper should hang out of the bottom once collar is locked into place. If needed, trim crepes to fit inside of the pan. Center one crepe in the bottom of pan. Spread three heaping tablespoons of the chilled cream evenly over the crepe using an offset spatula.

  • Repeat layering crepes and cream until all of the cream is used. Top with a crepe for the final layer. Cover and chill cake at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • To serve: Remove sides of springform pan and slide cake off parchment paper onto a serving platter or cake stand. Garnish with raspberries and, if using, edible gold leaf or powdered sugar. Use a hot knife to cut cake into slices.

Nutrition Facts

686 calories; fat 42g; cholesterol 338mg; saturated fat 24g; carbohydrates 63g; mono fat 11g; poly fat 3g; trans fatty acid 1g; insoluble fiber 3g; sugars 41g; protein 17g; vitamin a 1733.5IU; vitamin c 8.4mg; thiamin 0.3mg; riboflavin 0.7mg; niacin equivalents 1.8mg; vitamin b6 0.2mg; folate 89.8mcg; vitamin b12 1.3mcg; sodium 509mg; potassium 402mg; calcium 260mg; iron 2.4mg.