When it comes to leftovers, there is always a way to turn them into fabulous treats.

They do not have to go to waste! When the leftovers are actually cake, there is a million things you can do! What you can’t do, is let those cakes go to waste!!

Top 10 Tips to turn leftover cakes and cake crumbs (the byproduct of cake carving) into scrumptious treats.

 

1. Make A Crumb Cake (recipe on this link)

Crumb Cakes are the most ingenious way to turn potential waste into something fabulous! This is a trick that every bakery utilises to minimise waste! Crumb Cakes are delicious. You will love them. You can even flavour crumb cakes with honey, cinnamon, fruits…etc. The options and varieties are endless!

2. Turn left over cakes into Cake Pops or Cake Balls

Cake Pops and cake balls are so IN right Now!! (not to be confused with chocolate truffles*, Chocolate truffles are very different from pops or balls) They are on every cook’s menu, and are nowadays found on every party menu. They are delicious, and can be made to look fabulous. They can even be themed and used for various occasions.

*Chocolate Truffles are made out of chocolate. Usually containing a soft chocolate or praline filling at the centre and a hard chocolate coating on the outside. Chocolate Truffles can also be left soft without the hard chocolate coating.

The difference between pops and balls, is that pops are mounted on lolly sticks, while balls are left as balls. You can shape the balls then dip them in melted chocolate, you can coat them with nuts, cocoa powder, coconut, edible rose petals, melted chocolate stripes…etc. If you dip them in melted chocolate then let them dry out, you can pipe decorations on top of them if desired for theming or just for the sake of decoration.

leftover cakes used in making cake pops

To Make chocolate Balls, you need to have leftover cake, reduced to crumbs. Mix that with sufficient amount of any kind of cake frosting – you just want to make sure that frosting and cake match in flavour – then mix all until incorporated. The mixture should be able to hold shape when rolled into balls. If you add too much frosting, the mixture will be wet and won’t hold shape. In the same effect too little frosting will also not work. Add a little at a time, and mix, then try to roll the balls, if they hold shape you are good. if not, add more frosting.

Once the balls are rolled, place in the fridge to firm (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile melt the chocolate. Dip the cool balls into melted chocolate to completely coat. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry in room temperature overnight. Your cake balls are now ready. If you want to roll the balls in nuts, it is best to do so as soon as you lift them out of the melted chocolate. The chocolate will work as an adhesive to stick the chopped nuts to the cake balls. (See the video above for a tutorial)

 

Once the balls are rolled, place in the fridge to firm (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile melt the chocolate. Dip the cool balls into melted chocolate to completely coat. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry in room temperature overnight. Your cake balls are now ready. If you want to roll the balls in nuts, it is best to do so as soon as you lift them out of the melted chocolate. The chocolate will work as an adhesive to stick the chopped nuts to the cake balls. (See the video above for a tutorial)

3. Make a variety of Cake balls,

leftover cake, chocolate mousse cheesecake

place them in a nice box and gift them to friends.

Gifts From The kitchen are very thoughtful. There is a lot of effort that goes into baking and cooking, that when gifted, they make for a thoughtful and effort-full gift. You can even top each with a different topping making a beautiful box of scrumptious treats. You can welcome a new neighbour with this box, gift it as a “get well”, “thank you” or any sentiment you like. They will fly in seconds, and will make you a star!

4. Dress the leftover cake differently and it will make a whole new dessert

If you change around with the appearance, or flavours of the leftover cakes, they will feel new and would be willingly had as today’s desserts. Adding fillings and layering, adding fresh fruits, Jams, syrups, chocolate shavings, frostings…etc. will all transform the cake into a new dessert. For example some leftover Vanilla cupcakes sliced in the middle to create two layers, then filled with cream, and topped with strawberry then sprinkled with icing sugar. Which child is going to resist that? While they might just pass on an old plain vanilla cupcake.

5. Use the leftover cakes in making a loaf or muffins and use them as sweet breads for breakfast

The thing about loaves & muffins is that the batter is usually lumpy. Which makes it work very well with cake crumbs. Reduce the amount of flour in the recipe by the same amount of cake crumbs and use the crumbs together with the reduced flour in making the batter. Serve these for breakfast as sweet breads. Sweet breads are great with cheeses, butter or jams. Another way is make the loaf or muffin as in recipe, then top with cake crumbs. Kind of like the crumble effect.

6. Use the crumbs as base/topping for cheese cakes or fresh fruit tarts

leftover cakes turned into crumb for cheesecake

You can use cake crumbs like you would cookies to make a shell for no bake cheese cakes or fresh fruit tarts… Just mix them with some butter, spread along the bottom and sides of tin and place in fridge to firm. Delicious, and adds variety to your cheesecakes. Otherwise think crumbles, cookie bar crumb topping, or even to dress the sides of other cakes…etc.

7. Use Cake Crumbs and leftover cakes to make a Trifle, a Parfait and layered desserts in cups like tiramisu…

Trifle is an amazing and very underrated dessert. It is simply delicious! Whenever you have leftover cakes, use them in making a trifle, and you will please everyone in the family. Parfaits and layered dessert cups are another genius way to use any leftover cakes.

8. Use a leftover cake to make cake pudding

Remember the bread pudding? Well who said it can’t be cake pudding? Just slice the cake and carry on as you would a bread pudding. Don’t only stick to the classic, get creative with flavours and combinations.

leftover cakes used to make cake pudding

9. Cut left over cakes with a cookie cutter to make new individual mini cakes

This will also be helpful in adding variety to your desserts buffet, without the extra hours required to bake from scratch. Just cut the cake into individual portions and top with your desired topping and offer as dessert variations. Note that the same cake can make many options if each portion is dressed differently. Mini cake bites are a genius option here.

10. Use Cake crumbs to create a sand effect when decorating Cakes

If you decorate cakes, you can use the crumbs in creating the sand effect, like you would with brown sugar. If you do not decorate cakes, but do food photography, you can use this trick to create the illusion that you are shooting at the beach or over sand.

 

Things to keep in mind when using leftovers of any kind.

Food is to be eaten, therefore make sure it is safe. By that I mean, make sure that it is within shelf life and not expired. Also make sure it is clean, and had been kept in proper safe conditions. If it has been out on the counter while it should have been kept in the fridge, then it is a bad idea to use it! Also consider the expiry date of the new product. When does it expire? If you gift it, make sure to tell the recipient that it has to be consumed within…amount of time.

Think of the overall outcome when planning the use of your leftovers. Think of how the flavours are going to match. Just because it is leftover doesn’t mean the kitchen sink can be used in making it! You can place freshly Leftover/untouched cakes/cupcakes in a nice basket and offer to a neighbour, or a friend…etc. Choose your favourite basket, and fill with treats and ship off 🙂

There is nothing better than minimising waste!

 

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18 responses to “What to do with Leftover Cakes? Top 10 Tips

    1. Took a while but I replied, I have no idea how I missed this comment! lol I too love crumb cake and cake pops are just the best guilt free treat, or maybe very guilty treat, depending how many u have lool

  1. Great $ doesn't grow on trees this saves money and gives great ideas for left over cake. Love this thank you so much for sharing. Haste make waste. MR. From WV

  2. Thank you for these brilliant ideas. Made 10 chocolate cakes loaf tin size – Sunk in the middle (cannot sell) otherwise they are perfect – so needed to find thingd to do besides trifle. Like the crumb cake. How do you do the cake pops??? Many thanks for a brilliant page. PAULA

    1. Hi Paula, thank you so much for your sweet comment. I will dedicate a post for cake pops for sure, however go to my Pistachio cake recipe and check out the tip about making cake pops, that should help you for now 🙂
      I look forward to hearing from you again 😉

  3. Thanks so much, my housemate's daughter came to visit and got a store bought marble cake and then went back to school. Neither of us wanted to eat it, but felt bad throwing it out. Turned it into two whiskey banana crumb cakes instead….so much better 🙂

    1. I like the sounds of Whiskey Banana Crumb Cake, very creative 🙂 I agree a much better way to save a cake 🙂
      Thank you for leaving a comment and let me hear from you again.

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