Because most cakes rise in the middle, you often get a pesky dome that needs to be trimmed off, which creates cake scraps.
Most people I’m assuming just eat that part but imagine working in a bakery that makes hundreds or thousands of cakes daily, how much leftover cake tops accumulate.
As a pastry chef, I have dealt with mountains of cake scraps. Here are some ways to reuse them effectively.
Make Cake Sand
Cake sand is a delightfully crunchy and toasty garnish. It is my favorite way to use cake tops because it smells and tastes so good. It can be used to cover the sides of glazed or frosted cakes. For example the above left cakes are garnished with sugared chocolate cake sand (fine grain) and the Halloween spider cakes on the right are garnished with red velvet cake sand (chunky grain).
Chocolate cake sand can be used as edible ‘dirt.’
Vanilla cake sand is perfect for a beach cake.
or for a swamp thang creature cake.
Cake sand can be used like cookies or graham crackers to make the crust for items like cheesecake. Above is an individual chocolate cherry cheesecake that uses chocolate cake crumbs for the crust.
To make cake sand, break the cake tops up into crumbles and spread them out on parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Toast them gently in a 250° oven for 2-4 hours. The object is to completely dry out the cake without browning it further. While baking, toss the cake crumbles periodically to expose all sides in the oven. Bake until the cake is dry with no more moist chunks. Allow it too cool then run it in a food processor until the desired consistency is achieved.
Store cake sand in a well-sealed bag or container in a cool, dry place like the pantry. Cake sand can last for weeks if stored correctly.
Make Second Generation Cake
Cake tops can be thrown into cake batter and re-baked into newer cakes. The average cake formula can tolerate the addition of 5-10% already-baked cake. Crumble the cake up into very small pieces and throw them into the batter early on. Add a dash of extra liquid (water or milk or buttermilk, whatever the recipe calls for) to balance out the added dry ingredient. For delicate batters, first pass the cake through a sieve to yield a finer texture. This technique is not recommended for chiffon or angel food cake. Remember to account for the added volume of batter in terms of yield.
Make trifle with fresh fruit, cream, and leftover cake tops and leave it in the fridge to surprise your hubby or someone special.
Freeze for Later
Freeze cake tops in zipper bags as they may come in handy for any 3D sculpted cake project that requires an extra slab of cake.
Make Cake Pops
I know a lot of people go out of their way to make cake pops now but originally, the cake pop was designed as a way to use up leftover cake!
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