If you’re the type of baker who finds decorating a cake, piping buttercream and cutting fruit into dainty pieces to be your worst nightmare, this chocolate and salted peanut crepe cake (from Kristina Cho’s new cookbook, Mooncakes and Milk Bread) will be right up your alley. It’s a homemade version of the ones found in many Chinese bakeries, and will be sure to please fans of chocolate peanut butter cups. (Read: everyone.)
“Crepe cakes are deceptively easy to make,” Cho writes, “but look extra impressive with minimal effort because the lacy ruffled edges form naturally! Once you get into the rhythm of cooking the thin crepes, the process starts to feel meditative. This is a great time to put on an episode of your favorite podcast or a playlist of cheerful French bistro music.”
According to Cho, the crepe layers taste just like the leftover milk from a bowl of Cocoa Krispies. “You’ll want to put the salted peanut whipped cream on everything,” she says. “It’s a nice balance of sweet and salty and provides a nutty layer of flavor.”
Dibs on licking the beater.
Excerpted from Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho. Copyright 2021 by Kristina Cho. Photographs copyright Kristina Cho. Used by permission of Harper Horizon, an imprint of HarperCollins Focus LLC.
Raspberry Crepe Cake
2¼ cups (500g) milk
1 cup (227g) water
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons (20g) canola or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups (300g) cake flour (not self-rising)
¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Salted Peanut Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
1. Make the crepes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, water, sugar, eggs, canola oil and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 1 hour (or refrigerate up to overnight).
3. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan, gently swirling it around to evenly coat the surface. Cook until the crepe is set and the edges are crisp and starting to release from the pan, about 2 minutes. Slide a spatula underneath the crepe and flip it. Cook on the other side for about 1 minute. Transfer the crepe to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining crepe batter to make about 25 crepes. It’s OK to slightly lay one crepe over another (like shingles) as they cool.
4. Make the salted peanut whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Start beating on low speed and then increase to medium, until medium peaks form, about 5 minutes. Set aside or cover and chill until ready to assemble the crepe cake (up to 3 days).
5. To assemble the cake, place one crepe on a serving plate or cake board. With an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the crepe. Repeat layering and filling the cake with the remaining crepes and whipped cream. Serve the crepe cake immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 3 days). Leftovers will keep wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: For a shorter 8-inch crepe cake, cook about ⅓ cup of batter at a time in a 10-inch nonstick skillet to make about 18 crepes.