Decadent Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Crepe Cake
I’ve received a few requests for the recipe for this super chocolatey gluten free crepe cake. I wasn’t quite sure what to call it, but as it is comprised of chocolate crepes, chocolate cream and chocolate ganache, triple chocolate seemed like an apt enough descriptor.
One thing I will say before we get into things - this is honestly really easy to make. It may look fancy and it does require a few steps, but don’t feel intimidated, if you can make a crepe or a pancake, you’ve got this. If you can’t make a one - give me a call or message me and I will talk you through it until you are making crepes like you are Delia Smith. Crepe Empowerment.
Also, I’ve made the executive decision to name these “crepes” rather than “pancakes”, as, although in England we use the term “pancake’ for basically anything we make in a pan, I wanted to use the most accurate terminology I could. Because I give a crepe about this sort of thing.
I’ll admit, before I started playing with the recipe I was a little worried about whether the gluten free crepes might go a little dry (you know how gluten free flour can be). Thankfully, that turned out to not be a problem At. All. We make crepes in this household on a weekly basis and I 100% believe that gluten free flour happens to make better crepes than normal glutenous flour. However, have you ever made too many gluten free crepes and left them in the fridge overnight? Well, if you do this they tend to turn into frisbees, hence my concern that the not-instantly-consumed gluten free crepes would not fare well in this cake. However, the chocolate cream and the ganache kept the crepes Super Soft and heavenly, I couldn’t imagine a better crepe.
So, Why Make a Crepe Cake?
I don’t think you’ll need much convincing here. If you like chocolate, you’ll love this. If you like crepes, you’ll love this. If you like cakes, you’ll love this. If you do need a little more convincing though, read on!
One of the great things about crepe cakes is that you don’t need to do any baking, at all! You just need a frying pan, and, if you are choosing to use whipped cream, some kind of whisk. How great is that?!
You’ll pretty much always have the ingredients needed to make crepes in the house: flour, eggs and milk. So simple.
Assembling this cake can be done in one day, or in simple stages over a few days (though, I do recommend if you are making gluten free crepes that you make them on the day you assemble the cake.)
The ratio of “cake” to filling is pretty much 50/50, making this super moist and yummy. No dry sponges here!
It’s really easy to add your own twist. Want to add jam into some layers? Why not! Sprinkle some nuts throughout? Go for it! How about a layer of fresh fruit? The possibilities are endless.
It’s just really fun and tasty, and I don’t think you need more reason than that!
How To Do It
The first thing you need to do when making crepes, is make sure that you have a good, nonstick pan and a heat resistant spatula. You don’t want your crepes sticking or your spatula melting, no sir.
Next, you need to prep your ingredients. Measure out the gluten free plain flour, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder and salt. After you’ve done this, mix the dry ingredients together. It is recommended that you sieve the flour and cocoa, although I have to say I tend not to bother sieving gluten free flour and it’s never done me any harm!
Now, beat the eggs into the milk, and then pour a little of the mixture into your dry ingredients. Using a hand held whisk, mix the ingredients until you have a thick, smooth paste. Once you’ve mixed it well enough to encorporate all of the dry ingredients, slowly add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing all the while.
Then, let the crepe batter stand for 30 minutes. (Now could be a good time to make your chocolate cream or your ganache, or, if you’d rather, have a nice sit down and have a cup of tea after all that hard work.)
I would advise transferring your crepe batter to a pourable jug for the next part, it makes things much easier! As well as this, prepare a plate ready for your cooked crepes. Using kitchen towel or baking paper, cover the bottom of the plate, and have enough so that you can cover over the top of crepes while they rest.
Heat up your nonstick pan, once it’s hot melt a small chunk of butter and then pour just enough of the crepe batter from the jug into the pan that it covers the bottom with a little help. You’ll need to tip the pan from side to side to move the batter around and make sure you get a nice, even spread. Figuring out how much batter you need can take a little practice. I know, for instance, that I use about 1/6 cup of crepe batter to make a crepe in my go-to pan here.
Crepes don’t take long to cook at all, so keep a close eye on your pan. After 30 seconds, use your spatula to see if the edges are firm and whether you can lift the crepe. It might need a little more time, but, if it’s holding together firmly, if the bottom looks as though it’s turning golden, or if you can slide the crepe around in the pan, it’s time to get flipping! You can either (sensibly) use the spatula to do this, by sliding it under the crepe and turning it over, or, you can have fun and attempt a smooth flip!
Cook the crepe on the other side for a few seconds (it really doesn’t need long) and then transfer to your prepared plate.
Repeat this until you’ve used all your crepe mix. You might not need to add more butter to the pan for each crepes, I tend to add a little more butter every two or three crepes I make.
Ganache is the super fancy and daunting name given to chocolate and cream melted together. That’s it!The trick with ganache is simply to warm the cream and then add chopped chocolate to the cream, stirring it until it’s all melted and glossy.
For cakes, cake drips etc, you generally want a 1:1 ratio of double cream (or heavy cream) and chocolate, this should give you a good consistency that sets well but isn’t too firm. (You can also use ganache as a base for truffles, but you’ll need a little more chocolate to cream for that.)
For this recipe I’ve added a little butter as well. This just makes the ganache more glossy and rich - feel free to omit it, if, for some reason, you don’t want it there or you don’t have much butter in the house.
So, to make the ganache, first you’ll want to break or chop up your chocolate into small chunks and put them into a bowl large enough to add the cream once it is warm.
You can either warm the cream in the microwave or on a hob. Either way, you want to make sure it is hot but not boiling because it could burn the chocolate if it is too hot, and we don’t want that! Once the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate in the bowl and start stirring. The chocolate will slowly melt. Once the chocolate has melted and you have a nice thick chocolate ganache, add the tablespoon of butter and keep stirring until it is combined.
Leave the ganache to sit out in the kitchen and cool. You don’t want it to be set hard, so don’t put it in the fridge, just make sure it is at room temperature before building your crepe cake. It should be a lovely, spreadable consistency.
The Chocolate Cream
For the chocolate cream you’ll need double cream or whipping cream. Using a whisk (I use my Kenwood mixer with the whisk attachment, but an electric whisk or even a handheld whisk and a strong arm will do the trick!) whisk up the cream until its firm and forms stiff peaks. Fold in the cocoa powder and icing sugar until combined. Then, store in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Super simple!
Assembling the Crepe Cake
To assemble the crepe cake you’ll want a flat bottomed plate or a cake board. To keep the cake in place, it’s a good idea to start off with a thin layer of chocolate cream on the plate/board and put a crepe on top of that. Then, spread a thin, even layer of either chocolate cream or ganache on your crepe and place another on top. Continue to do this, alternating the cream and the ganache on each layer, until you’ve used up your crepes. Ta-da! Crepe cake is complete, now feel free to pat yourself on the back.
I find that with this recipe I end up with a surplus of chocolate ganache, which makes an ideal topping for the crepe cake. You can warm it slightly in the microwave if it’s quite thick, and then just pour it over the top, like I did. Alternately, you can just top the pancake cake with a simple dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder. Or, if you are feeling extra decadent, a huge heap of whipped cream in the middle. I had some chopped hazelnuts left over so I thought I would sprinkle one of those on the top of this one, but really, use your imagination and go wild! If you are making this cake for a special occasion, you could add some festive sprinkles, or if you want to create a more elegant look, some strategically placed fresh fruit would look lovely. Get creative, and then show me your creations - I’d love to see!
When layering the crepes, cream and ganache, try to spread the cream and ganache as evenly as you can across the crepes, as far to the edge as you dare, so that the cake stays nice and flat. If you load it up in the middle but don’t spread the cream or ganache to the edges, you’ll end up with a wonky shaped cake and most probably rather dry crepe edges.
You can trim the edges of the cake if you want to be all fancy and neat, though, personally I like the more rustic look with the crepe edges because it adds nice texture.
This is really important: you MUST wait for the crepes and the ganache to cool properly before building your crepe cake, else it will end up a slippery sloppy mess and we don’t want that!
Storage: as the crepe cake contains fresh cream, it will need to be stored in the fridge and ideally eaten within 3 days.
So, hands up, who's ready to get cooking?!
Decadent Triple Chocolate Crepe Cake Recipe
Serves: 8-12 portions
Total time: about 4 hours (including cooling time)
100g plain gluten free flour
30g cocoa powder
55g caster sugar
2 large eggs
300ml milk (or your choice of substitute, I use almond milk)
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g dark chocolate, chopped up
150g double cream
1 tbsp butter (20g?)
300ml double cream
60g icing sugar
For the Crepes
1.) Add the dry ingredients in a bowl: combine the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, caster sugar, baking powder and salt.
2.) Beat the eggs into the milk, then pour a little of the mixture into your dry ingredients. Using a hand held whisk, mix the ingredients until you have a thick, smooth paste. Once all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, slowly add the rest of the milk and egg mixture until combined.
3.) Let the crepe batter stand for 30 minutes.
4.) Prepare a plate for your crepes, use some kitchen towel or baking paper on the base of the plate and keep enough to cover the crepes as well. Put the crepe batter into a jug - this makes it easier to pour into the pan.
4.) Heat a frying pan on medium-high and when it is hot, add a small knob of the butter to add lubrication. Pour a small amount of the batter into the pan, moving the pan from side to side to completely cover the base with the batter.
5.) Leave on the heat, and, using a heatproof spatula, check the base of the crepe after 30 seconds or so. If the edges are firm, the bottom looks as though its colouring and the crepe can slide around the pan, it’s ready for flipping. Do this by sliding the spatula under the crepe and turning it, or, if you are feeling particularly brave, have a go at flipping it in the pan!
6.) Cook the crepe on the other side for a few seconds, then transfer to your prepared plate.
7.) Repeat this until you’ve used all of your crepe mix, adding more butter to the pan every couple of crepes you make.
For the Ganache
1.) Chop or break up your chocolate into small chunks and put them in a bowl.
2.) Warm the double cream, either by pouring into a saucepan and heating on the hob, or in the microwave in a microwave safe jug. Make sure the cream is hot but not boiling.
3.) Pour the cream over the chocolate in the bowl, and then stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
4.) Add the butter and keep stirring until that is combined and the ganache is nice and glossy.
5.) Leave the ganache to sit out in the kitchen and cool. Once it is room temperature it will be ready for use.
For the Chocolate Cream
1.) Using a whisk, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
2.) Sieve in the cocoa powder and icing sugar, and then fold into the cream until combined.
3.) Store in the fridge until ready for use.
For the Crepe Cake Assembly
1.) Using a flat plate or a cake board, first spread a small amount of chocolate cream on the base and then place a crepe on top (this is to hold the cake in place.)
2.) Spread a thin layer of either chocolate cream or ganache onto your base crepe, making sure that it is spread evenly and across the whole crepe, and then place another on top. Continue to do this, alternating between the cream and the ganache on each layer, until all the crepes are used.
3.) To top, you can warm the leftover ganache slightly and then pour it over the top. Or, if you would like, dust with a little extra cocoa powder or icing sugar.
Serve with extra cream for added decadence!
Store in the fridge and consume within 3 days.
If you want to print the recipe for your own use, here is a helpful printout for you: