This matcha crepe cake recipe layers thin gluten-free matcha almond flour crepes with fluffy matcha whipped white chocolate ganache. With sponge-like crepes and pillows of whipped ganache sealing the layers together, this playful cake has it all: texture, earthy sweet flavor, and a rustically ruffled edge.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, a year-long partner of Snixy Kitchen
With this layered matcha crepe cake in my back pocket, I’m fully prepared to make my own birthday cake this weekend. When Zoella told me she was going to make me a chocolate and vanilla rainbow cake, Lucas’s eyes nearly doubled in size and he asked in panic, “Do I have to make you a cake this year?”
I’ve decided that he’s off the hook. I’ll make my own cake – there’s too much at stake. If Zoella doesn’t get to sing to me while I blow out candles, she might not recover this time.
Last time was a near disaster. We tried to celebrate my birthday a week early while out to dinner on our trip to Monterey last Saturday. Instead, I ended up blowing out a candle nestled into a scoop of complimentary vanilla ice cream while sitting by myself. Neither kid had gotten a long enough nap and they were slowly falling apart as dinner arrived. Fortunately, we were at the hotel restaurant, so as soon as we’d finished eating, Lucas swooped both kids upstairs to start bedtime while I waited for the check.
Except instead of the check, the waitress showed up with a candle-topped ice cream, ready to wish me a happy birthday. I sent Lucas a picture and he FaceTimed me to show Zoella. He expected her to want to sing, but instead she melted down because she’d missed the birthday wishes. She didn’t even care that she’d missed ice cream – this girl just loves birthday celebrations.
The waitress felt bad I had to eat birthday dessert alone, but you know what? She gave me an extra 5 minutes to eat ice cream in peace, and for that, I am grateful.
For my actual birthday, I’ll make the cake. Perhaps this gluten-free matcha crepe cake with matcha whipped white chocolate ganache.
Matcha Crepe Cake
This thinly layered matcha crepe cake is the second recipe in a year-long partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. Last month I made homemade gluten-free pop tarts with strawberry jam. As a gluten-free baker, I have an entire pantry shelf dedicated to Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flours. For these gluten-free matcha crepes, I’ve used a simple combination of almond flour and sweet rice flour.
Until you start baking gluten-free regularly, it can feel overwhelming to buy multiple bags of gluten-free flours. Rest assured, you can use my recipe filter to sort recipes by gluten-free flour type to use up whatever bag of Bob’s Red Mill flour you’ve got in your pantry for a sweet treat!
What is a Crepe Cake?
This “Gâteau Mille Crêpes” or “thousand crepe cake” is a classic French cake made by layering a (figurative) thousand crepes with pastry cream between them into a cake. If left natural, the result is a playful cake with a whimsical ruffled edge made entirely on the stove top. Slicing into the cake reveals the effort of the “baker” – sheets of cake with a near 50/50 ratio to cream.
Now, I made my 5½ inch tall crepe cake with just 18 crepes. I’ve done the math. If I really made this crepe cake with a thousand crepes, it’d be nearly 25½ feet tall or 7¾ meters. And it would take approximately 50 hours to flip all the crepes with a single pan.
I’ve riffed on that traditional cake making a gluten-fee version with almond flour matcha crepes and swapped out the pastry cream for something a little simpler, matcha whipped white chocolate ganache.
What to use as crepe cake filling?
Classic French crepe cakes get layered up with pastry cream, or “creme patissiere” – a creamy custard thickened with egg yolks. I knew if I was spending my time flipping crepes, I wanted a more approachable simpler filling.
I’ve seen many quick versions filled with whipped cream or chocolate ganache. My friend Amanda filled her chocolate crepe cake with a cocoa hazelnut cream.
For my version, I wanted something sweet to balance the earthy matcha, but stable that wouldn’t weep in the fridge. Enter whipped white chocolate ganache with a bit of matcha folded in. Much of the time I find white chocolate cloyingly sweet. Almost the exact opposite of my choice dark chocolate. Against the vegetal grassy notes of matcha, though, the sweetness of white chocolate is just right.
Almond Flour Crepes: How to make gluten-free crepes?
Last year I partnered with Bob’s Red Mill to make gluten-free buckwheat crepes. That recipe took the classic French savory crepe and paired it with a sweet cherry and chocolate filling that accentuated the warm and toasty nuttiness of buckwheat flour.
For this matcha crepe cake, I wanted a more subtle flour that would let the matcha flavor and color shine. Matcha’s sweet nutty notes become even more distinct with almond flour as the base – a time-tested pairing I’ve use for matcha macarons and almond matcha olive oil cake.
Used alone, almond flour is a bit more delicate and brittle. The crepes are more likely to tear. To help with that, I’ve added a bit of sticky sweet rice flour to make the crepes pliable and sturdy. This flexibility helps with flipping the crepes and gives them the little bit of chew and spring you get from traditional wheat flour crepes. With these two flours, the crepes have the texture and flavor of standard crepes. If you’d like, you can even replace the matcha with more sweet rice flour to make a plain crepe and it’ll work just the same!
When you make a matcha crepe cake, you want the green color to pop. It’s important to start with a high-quality matcha that is bright green (and hasn’t oxidized to a muddy brown green color). Use my Ultimate Guide to Matcha to help navigate the various types and brands of matcha with dozens more matcha recipes.
Once you master pouring and flipping crepes, crepes are really pretty simple to make. Throw all the ingredients in a blender and give it a whirl for 30 seconds.
How to pour and flip crepes?
In testing this crepe cake, I’ve now made close to a thousand crepes (ok that’s an exaggeration, but it feels that way). Here’s what I’ve learned.
Cook low and slow
Most crepe recipes ask for medium heat, For these almond flour crepes, you want low heat (or medium low heat if you’re using a small burner). The crepes need to cook almost all the way through before you flip them to ensure they’re sturdy enough and won’t tear. Cooking them for longer on low heat lets them cook through without the bottom getting too dark. A bonus if you’re making green matcha crepes!
The exact temperature of your stove depends on your pan and burner strength. Use these signs to adjust accordingly:
If your pan gets too hot while cooking, your crepe batter will cook as soon as it hits the pan and you’ll struggle to get a thin even crepe. Lift the pan off the stove and wave it back and forth a few times to cool it off.
If you pan isn’t hot enough, your crepe batter will slide around in the pan, settling a little more in the center with a very thin layer around the outside that will brown and crisp up too much before the rest of the crepe is ready.
Not too thin
These almond flour crepes will be just a little thicker than traditional crepes to make them sturdy and thick enough to flip without tears. This also keeps the edges from getting too crisp while the crepe cooks.
Pour and Swirl
The pour and swirl is the art of crepe making. With the crepe pan tilted in one hand and a measuring cup of batter in the other, start pouring from the upward tilted edge of the pan and rotate where you pour in the pan while also rotating and shuffling the pan.
This sounds more complicated than it is, and once you’ve made one or two crepes, you’ll figure out your groove.
Lift the edges before flipping
Use a thin rubber spatula to gently run around the very edge of the crepe before flipping. This will make sure that a crisp edge won’t stick to the pan when you go to flip.
I prefer to use my hands to flip the crepe because I feel like I’ve got more control. But, crepes are hot. Take the spatula to lift one edge of the crepe about an inch high so you have enough to grab. This edge will begin to cool while it’s not touching the pan so you’ll be able to flip with your fingers.
Matcha Whipped White Chocolate Ganache*
Gluten-Free Matcha Almond Flour Crepes