A layer cake always wins the prize for presentation. And, with multiple layers of cake and icing, it’s satisfying on every level. A few months ago, I came across a recipe for a German layer cake that looked like a dream dessert to create if you were Martha Stewart … Martha, with a full staff of chefs to help you out! When I saw how complicated and time-consuming this dream cake was, I realized that these cakes would never grace my kitchen. But I couldn’t let the idea go. I started wondering if crepe cakes were such a thing and I found out that: these do exist; they are a thing; people love them. But, crepes are intimidating to many. Do you need to have a special pan? How do you flip them? How do you make sure they don’t burn? Do you spray the pan for each crepe or not (the answer is you actually never spray the pan!)? So many questions … and that’s not the way to feel excited about making a dessert, especially during the holidays when time is the biggest commodity of all.
I was left struggling to come up with a great last-minute holiday dessert, one that anyone would feel empowered to make, that provided plenty of WOW!
With that thought, I was talking through my dessert desires with my neighbor. She’s an ophthalmologist, and a great cook and mom of two, so she gets wanting to have some “in-a-pinch” recipes. I mentioned why I had abandoned my crepe cake idea, and she said, “Liza, those store-bought Melissa crepes are really pretty good. They’ll pass as the real deal in a cake.”
And thus, my perfect no-bake 58-layer cake went from a fantastical desire to the real deal just by hearing those two sentences.
Each Melissa’s package comes with 10 nine-inch crepes, so you’ll need three packages. And, the filling/icing that I make seems to only make enough for 29 crepes … so this is a 58-layer cake (29 crepes and 29 layers of filling). If you make your icing layers a bit thinner, you can likely use all 30 of your crepes and have a 60-layer cake.
For this cake, I made a very easy orange creme cheese filling/icing, made with Kroger pure orange extract and the zest of one navel orange. I just used a hand mixer, but if you have a stand mixer, you can make the icing recipe all at once, instead of making it in two batches like I did.
If you do not like cream cheese icing, I suggest a buttercream frosting for the filling instead. Here is a link to an easy, tasty one.
- Melissa's pre-made crepes (look online to find a store near you)
- (2) 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
- (2) 15 oz cans of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups room-temperature butter
- 2 tsp Kroger pure orange extract
- Zest from two navel oranges
- Make your icing by mixing butter and sweetened condensed milk on medium for one minute, and then medium-high for five minutes.**
- Add the cream cheese in one-inch slices and mix on medium until all the cream cheese is mixed in. Then, continue to mix for three minutes on high. It will be velvety smooth.
- Add two teaspoons of orange essence and zest from two navel oranges and mix. Taste. If you like your icing more "orange-y," add another ½ tsp of orange essence.
- Open the Melissa's crepes and layer one crepe on a cake stand or large, flat serving tray (that can fit in your refrigerator). After placing down one crepe, spread filling over the crepe (about ¼ to ⅓ cup) and then place another crepe on top. Continue to layer. After each crepe, turn the tray/cake stand 90 degrees to spread the filling as this will help you create an even height to the crepe stack. (We all tend to be more heavy-handed on one side vs. another, and this helps to work with these tendencies.) Keep stacking until you have more than 25 crepes used, or up to 30 crepes. Keep enough filling to spread some across the top.
- Place raspberries across the top in a circular pattern.
- Chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator, or overnight, covered in plastic wrap.
- Remove the chilled cake from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Dust with powdered sugar and it's ready to serve!
And, for a different spin on an easy dessert, try this Peppermint Ice Cream Chocolate Pie.
Find more amazing recipes in our archives. Click HERE!