Only true cake bakers know how wasteful making a cake can be. Sometimes the recipe can be too large and you end up with way too much batter. Other times, you find yourself throwing away the tops of the cake after leveling it to be decorated.
And if you have ever carved a cake into a complex shape, you know how much cake ends up in the trash. There has got to be a more efficient way to make cake that doesn’t involve disposing of perfectly good cake or batter. Well, there is!
As a professional cake decorator and pastry chef, I am very well versed in ways to use cake batter and cake trimmings and am excited to share a few tips and tricks with you.
After reading this article, you will never waste cake again!
What to do with Leftover Cake Batter
First, let’s take a look at what to do when you make a batch of cake batter but have way more than you need.
Here’s a hint- you can never have too much cake batter!
1 – Freeze it
A lot of cake batters freeze very well and can easily be pulled out of the freezer a month later, thawed and baked into beautiful cake.
As a general rule, any cake that uses the creaming method of mixing (blending sugar and butter or oil together at the beginning of the recipe) can be frozen.
If a cake batter has whipped eggs folded into it, such as a chiffon cake, this batter will not freeze well.
So wrap up your cake batter, put a label on it and store it in the freezer for a rainy day!
2 – Bake it
Baking the extra batter makes logical sense! While I say you can never have too much cake on hand, you can always wrap and freeze the extra baked cake.
Having a cake already made and ready to decorate is great for last minute birthdays, dinner parties or for just whenever you feel like having cake.
Don’t trash that extra cake batter, just bake another cake!
3 – Make Cupcakes
If you only have a little bit of extra cake batter, scoop it into some paper liners and make a few cupcakes. Extra cupcakes are great to display around your cake, perfect to give guests to take home and great to hand out to kids.
I also like to bake a few cupcakes with extra batter so I can give the cake a try before decorating and serving it. Think of the extra cupcakes as cake samples just for the chef!
4 – Cake Waffles
This might be my favorite way to use extra cake batter and certainly makes for a fantastic breakfast treat. Simply pour your extra cake batter into a waffle iron and bake just as you would a regular waffle. Voila! Cake waffles!! Add some maple syrup and you will be a true breakfast hero!
Take a look at the delicious looking cake waffles in the video below:
5 – Cake Batter Milkshake
Now this use for extra cake batter does involve consuming raw eggs so if you are wary of that, skip this option. However, it is so delicious so it is worth a try!
Pour your extra cake batter into a blender along with some milk, a few scoops of ice cream and a banana to make your milkshake thicker. Blend the mix together and pour into a glass. Serve with some sprinkles and your cake batter will have a whole new life!
What to Do with Leftover Cake Trimmings
Once you get into decorating cakes, you will realize how much cake gets wasted.
Typically, you cut the tops off of the baked cakes in order to ensure the cakes are level and flat in order to ice them perfectly. These cake tops often end up in the trash.
The same goes for carving shaped cakes. As you cut away, creating that perfect shape, all of the excess cake is just wasted.
This will go on no longer! Time to implement one of the many things you can do with extra cake trimmings.
6 – Cake Pops
Making cake pops with cake trimmings is the perfect way to turn scraps into a highly desired treat.
Place the cake scraps in a mixer with a paddle attachment and add a small bit of frosting. Mix until the cake and frosting is blended together.
Scoop the smashed cake with a small ice cream scooper and then use your hands to roll the scoops into nice balls. Stick lollipop sticks into each ball and then freeze for at least an hour.
Remove the cake pops from the freezer and dip into melted candy coating chips. Let the candy coating set and then enjoy your cake pops!
Here’s a quick video showing the process:
7 – Cake Shooters
Make adorable cake shooters with any kind of cake scraps. Buy plastic shot glasses or just use any small containers you may have at home (mason jars work great as well for a larger version of these treats).
Crumble some cake scraps in the bottom of the container and then add some fresh fruit followed by a scoop of frosting.
Add another layer of cake pieces, fruit and frosting. Repeat until the containers are full! Store in the fridge until you are ready to eat!
8 – Ice Cream Topping
What better topping for ice cream than cake! Crumble those cake trimmings over a bowl of ice cream and you’ll have a dessert worth drooling over. This is a simple way to use cake scrapes with an amazing result.
9 – Cake Bread Pudding
If you have a good amount of cake scraps, using them in bread pudding is a creative way to turn them into something fantastic. Use any bread pudding recipe you have and just replace the bread with cake pieces!
The bread pudding may come out a little sweeter than you are use to so you may want to cut back on the sugar a little.
10 – Cake Milkshake
Just like using cake batter in a milkshake, you can use cake pieces in a milkshake too. Blend pieces of cake with milk and ice cream and you will have a cake shake in no time!
I do like to add some rainbow sprinkles for a funfetti effect.
11 – Petit Fours
If you have big, whole pieces of cake scraps, grab a small circle cookie cutter and cut out a few small cakes.
Make ganache using 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips. Whisk the mix together and then pour it over your cake circles.
Let the ganache harden and then serve your perfect little petit fours. You just took potential cake garbage and made a fancy dessert!
Now, you are fully equipped with multiple tricks to use your excess cake batter and cake trimmings in ways that are delicious and efficient. You will probably now want to make extra cake batter and trim your cake even more just so you can try these ideas!!
So, have you tried any of these ideas? Do you have any ideas of your own that I didn’t list? Let us know in the comments below!
For more cake hacks, check out our post about boxed cake mix hacks.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.