This easy chocolate crepe cake recipe is one of the most impressive cakes you'll ever make! Made with delicious layers of soft, paper-thin crepes and whipped chocolate cream topped with silky-smooth chocolate ganache.
Mille crepe cake, also known as gâteau de crêpes in French, is a perfect cake to make ahead of time, and it also provides a great no-bake alternative to more traditional bakes.
If there is one cake to impress your loved ones with, it is THIS crepe cake. It may look super intimidating, but don't let the looks fool you!
It is actually really easy to make, as it consist of only two basic components, crepes and the chocolate cream.
The fact that this crepe cake is made with only two basic components, plus the fact that you don't need any special equipment other than a frying pan make this cake a perfect option for any novice or less experienced bakers.
Let's look at the ingredients for this chocolate mille crepe cake. They can be split into 3 groups:
- Crepes - To make the crepes you will need plain/ all purpose flour, eggs, melted butter or mild oil and milk. There are couple of extra ingredients: sugar and vanilla to enhance the flavour, but they are optional. You can also use butter or mild vegetable oil for frying the crepes.
- Chocolate cream filling - This consist of double/ heavy cream, icing/ powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
- Chocolate ganache - Is made with milk or dark chocolate, double/ heavy cream and salted or unsalted butter.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
It is best to start this recipe a day ahead. Prepare the crepe batter and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it as it helps to make the most delicate, soft and melt-in-your-mouth crepes.
When ready, start cooking the crepes. Make sure the pan is really hot and greased lightly with melted butter or oil. I normally pour a small amount of oil into the pan, then use a paper kitchen towel to wipe off any excess.
Use a ladle spoon or a ¼ measuring cup to pour the batter into the hot and lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
Swirl the pan around gently, so the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with the batter.
Cook the crepe for about 45 secs - 1 minute on one side until it is golden.
Using a spatula, palette knife or a skewer, flip it over and cook for another 30 secs or until it 'freckles'.
Hint: Always do the first pancake test! Make sure that you only use enough batter to create a thin, delicate and lacy pancake. If you pour too much batter, the crepe will be to thick and will taste rubbery and dense.
Tips on making perfect crepes
- Mix all the ingredients well - You can whisk the batter by hand, or use an electric blender for the smoothest and silkiest consistency of your crepe batter. Simply place all of the ingredients into the blender and pulse until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps of flour in your batter mixture.
- Cook the crepes on medium-low heat - Prevent the pancakes from burning and drying out by frying them on a lower heat. Flip the crepe over as soon as it no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan and its surface is matte.
- Measure the batter for each crepe - To make sure all of your crepes are the same thickness. Use the ladle spoon, a measuring cup or a jug when pouring the batter into the pan. I always use the ¼ measuring cup, as it is a perfect fit for my frying pan. Test few first pancakes with different measuring utensils to see what will work best for your pan.
- Use a good non-stick frying pan - This is essential for any crepe or pancake recipe. Heavy bottomed stainless steel pan or a special crepe pan will also work really well.
The cake assembly
Once your crepes and the filling are ready, you can start to assemble the cake. Firstly, ensure that you have a cake board or plate that you will be serving the cake on ready. The nature of this cake will make it difficult to move once it has been assembled.
Using the cake turntable will make the assembly process much easier, but it is not necessary to have one.
Spread a small amount of chocolate cream on your cake board or serving plate, then place the first crepe on top of it. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the first crepe.
Place the second crepe on top of the first one and top it with whipped cream. Repeat this process until you have used all of the crepes.
Hint: Make sure to spread the chocolate cream filling all the way to the edge of the crepe. This way, your crepe layer cake will remain even and uniformed once it is fully assembled.
Depending on your pan/ skillet size, you should have at least 20 crepes/ layers. Leave the top crepe without chocolate cream on top. Chill the cake.
Pour over chocolate ganache and return to the fridge for at least an hour.
Hint: Allow the assembled cake to chill for at least a couple of hours. This way, the cream filling will have a chance to set properly and the crepes will have some time to absorb any extra moisture from the cream. It will also help to prevent the filling oozing out when slicing the cake.
- Flour - Swap the all-purpose flour for wholemeal or gluten-free flour if you'd like. You can also use a blend of both, plain and wholemeal flour.
- Milk - I always use full-fat milk in this recipe, but you can choose semi-skimmed milk too. Dairy-free milk alternatives will also work!
- Eggs - If you need to replace the eggs, use my Vegan French Crepes recipe instead.
Different flavour crepes - You can change the flavour of the crepes by adding/ swapping some ingredients. Here are few ideas for you:
- Swap couple of tablespoons of flour for cocoa powder for chocolate crepes.
- Replace a portion of milk with same amount of orange or lemon juice for citrus flavoured pancakes.
- Add a dash of Amaretto or Cointreau to the batter.
- Spice it up! Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon or a generous pinch of nutmeg to the crepe batter.
Change the filling - Crepe cakes can be made with variety of different fillings. Instead of chocolate whipped cream you may want to try hazelnut spread, biscoff spread, creme patissiere, or, like in my Strawberry Crepe Cake, a vanilla flavoured cream.
Gluten- free chocolate crepe cake recipe - Use a good quality gluten- free flour instead of the all-purpose flour for a gluten free version.
Vegan chocolate crepe cake - Use my Vegan French Crepes recipe instead, and plant-based, dairy-free substitutes for the filling and the ganache. You can also check out this Vegan Chocolate Ganache recipe from Nora Cooks blog.
Although it is completely possible to make this layered crepe cake without any equipment other than a frying pan, it will make it much easier to have the following items:
- Measuring cups/ jugs or a ladle spoon.
- Palette knife or an offset spatula.
- Cake turntable.
I used a non-stick frying pan that is 23cm in diameter and 17cm diameter in it's cooking surface.
Storage and freezing
Store any leftovers of this cake in the airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. It is fine to leave the cake out during the service, for 2-3 hours, but I will recommend to place it back in the fridge after that.
Assembled cake is suitable for freezing. To freeze, I recommend to chill the cake well first (at least a couple of hours so the ganache is firm and well set), then wrap it in a double layer of clingfilm and place in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Crepes can be made up to two days in advance. Wrap them in some kitchen foil to prevent them from drying out and store in the fridge.
You can also freeze the cooked crepes for up to three months. Place a square of waxed paper between each crepe to separate them easily later. Transfer them to a zip lock style bag or wrap tightly in clingfilm before placing them in the freezer.
Do I have to let the crepe batter rest before I can use it?
You don't have to, but allowing the batter to rest will produce fluffier, lighter and much more delicate crepes. It allows the flour to fully absorb the liquid and gives the gluten chance to relax. I recommend resting the batter at room temperature for at least an hour, or refrigerate it overnight.
Why is my crepe cake hard?
If you overcook your crepes, they will become hard and rubbery. It only takes about a couple of minutes to cook the crepe, so be sure not to overdo it. Use the medium-low heat and follow all the instructions and tips from the recipe card below to ensure your crepes turn just right!
Why are my crepes sticking to the pan?
Firstly, make sure the frying pan is really hot before pouring any batter over it. If the temperature of the pan is too low, the crepes will more likely stick to it. Secondly, make sure to use a pastry brush or a paper kitchen towel to coat the pan very lightly with melted butter or cooking oil. Using too much melted butter or oil will result in greasy crepes.
How do you get neat edges on the crepe cake?
Use a round object that is slightly smaller in diameter than your crepes (like a cake board, a bowl or a plate) and place it on top of the cake. With sharp serrated knife, trim the edges of the crepes, going all the way around the cake until you have clean, neat circle.
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on the photos above.
If you try this recipe, or any other recipe on Anna Banana, please take a moment to rate the recipe and/ or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you, but it also helps other readers who are thinking of making the recipe.
Chocolate Crepe Cake
- kitchen blender optional
- Non- stick frying pan
- measuring cup or a ladle spoon
- palette knife or a spatula
- cake turntable optional
For crepe batter:
- 4 large eggs
- 800 ml full-fat milk
- 80 g sugar granulated or caster
- 305 g plain/ all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 25 g melted butter or sunflower oil plus extra for cooking
For the chocolate cream:
- 625 ml double cream
- 120 g icing sugar
- 60 g cocoa
For the chocolate ganache:
- 250 g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids) finely chopped
- 250 ml double cream
To make crepe batter:
- Add all of the batter ingredients into a kitchen blender (or whisk by hand until smooth and lump-free) and mix until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender if needed. Let the batter sit for at least an hour at room temperature or refrigerate it overnight (if refrigerating overnight, bring it back to room temperature and whisk it again before using it).
- Place your non-stick frying pan over medium- low heat, allow it to heat up and brush it lightly with melted butter or sunflower oil (use a pastry brush or a paper kitchen towel).
- Using a ladle spoon or a measuring cup (¼ cup is a good size for 8 or 9 inch size pan), pour the batter onto the frying pan, gently tilting it until the crepe batter coats the entire bottom of the frying pan (if possible, try to avoid the batter coating the sides of the pan, you only want to cover the bottom, to ensure the even size of the crepes).
- Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, or until lightly golden, then flip over using the spatula, palette knife or a skewer to the other side and cook for further 30 seconds (or until very lightly golden). Remove from the pan into a large plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.
To make the chocolate whipped cream:
- Using a hand or an electric whisk, whip the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, then fold until fully incorporated into the whipped cream. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the chocolate ganache:
- Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it is hot, but not boiling, then pour in a slow, steady stream over the chopped chocolate. Leave it to stand for a couple of minutes, then stir gently until melted, smooth and glossy.
- Leave the ganache to cool and thicken just slightly, then stir it gently, but do not overbeat it or it will separate. Pour the still liquid ganache over the top of the cake.
To assemble the cake:
- Spread a thin layer of whipped chocolate cream on a cake board or large serving plate. Lay down your first crepe and top it up with a thin layer of chocolate cream. Use a small ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoon measure to make sure you are spreading equal amount of chocolate cream on all layers. Spread thin, even layer of chocolate cream to the very edge of your crepe, then place a second crepe on top, gently pressing it down.
- Repeat with the rest of the crepes and chocolate cream, leaving the last crepe on top without chocolate cream spread. Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour, allowing it to firm up.
- Remove cake from the fridge and pour the ganache over the top of the cake. Place the cake back in the fridge to allow the ganache to set before serving the cake. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Depending on the size of your frying pan, you should get about 20- 25 individual crepes. The more crepes, the more layers, the more impressive the cake will look!
- Brush your frying pan lightly with melted butter or sunflower oil. You don't want to use too much, just a light, very thin layer will do the trick!
- Use an ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon for equal amounts of the chocolate cream between the layers.
This recipe was originally published in January 2020. It has been updated with the new photos, video, revised recipe and tips in August 2022.