Typically, having any amount of leftover cake means you threw a party and preemptively planned to get your guests excessively sugar high. I look forward to those days. Of late, leftover cake more likely means you wrapped yet another successful stress-baking session and are lacking sufficient audience numbers. Maybe you’ve got a stack of scraps from trimming your yellow cake layers into perfectly leveled tiers, or you missed the boat on how to remove your bundt from its pan without breaking it into pieces (here’s how to avoid that biggie mistake). Whatever the circumstances, here are a few delicious ways to breathe new life into your leftover cake.
Homemade trifle is as impressive and delicious as it is forgiving. Simply combine bite-sized bits of leftover cake with layers of custard, whipped cream, fresh fruit, pudding, jam, sprinkles, and so on. Make one large trifle in a clear bowl with straight sides, or assemble individual ones in mason jars. Match the flavor of your cake with the other ingredients you choose: layer rich chocolate cake with pitted cherries, chocolate chunks, and whipped cream; key lime pie with coconut flakes and fresh mango; or banana cake with cream cheese frosting, walnuts, and chunks of fresh banana.
This is a great use for leftover cake with a layer of frosting on it. Remember the glory days of cake pops? You can make your own by crumbling your icing-coated cake and pressing it into balls using your hands. Spear each one with a lollypop stick, then lay them on a nonstick or greased cookie sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. Once they’ve hardened, melt a bar or two of chocolate (dark, milk, white = all fair game) and dunk the pops into it one by one; drip dry. Coat them in additional toppings—crushed almonds, candy, sprinkles, more cake crumbs—before freezing them again to allow the chocolate to harden. If you don’t have lollypop sticks, don’t sweat it. You’ll have cake truffles instead of pops.
Ice Cream Topping
I don’t have to describe the mutually beneficial relationship between cake and ice cream to you. You’ve known since grade school (shoutout to pre-K grade friend Rachel and her Baskin Robbins birthday parties). However, sprinkling *homemade* cake atop your scoop of rum raisin or cookie dough will really change things. Crisping your crumbs up in the oven first will make it next-level.
Make Cake Shakes
Why not? Give your leftover cake a whirl in the blender with ice cream and milk. Better yet, make it boozy—add a splash of rum, apple brandy, or coffee liqueur. Do it in the name of curtailing food waste!