Because most cakes rise in the middle, you often get a pesky dome that needs to be trimmed off, which creates cake scraps.
#1 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 may also be used to cover the sides of glazed or frosted cakes. It will stick to buttercream frosting, chocolate glaze, or melted chocolate. Below, I used red velvet cake sand to garnish the sides of a Halloween spider cake.
Toasted cake sand may also be used like cookies or graham crackers to make the crust for items like cheesecake.
Above (left) are heart-shaped chocolate cherry cheesecakes and (right) individual chocolate cherry cheesecakes that used chocolate cake crumbs for the crust. You can watch a video about how these cakes were made here: Valentines Day Cake Designs.
Cake Sand Recipe
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.
#2 Make Second Generation Cake
Cake tops may 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.
#3 Make Trifle
Make trifle with fresh fruit, cream, and leftover cake tops.
#4 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.
#5 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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