Using Up Cake Scraps

Buckle up friends – we’re about to talk about cake scraps and how to use them up WITHOUT making cake balls.

Let’s call it like we see it: the scourge of the baking world is leftover cake. From trimming the top of domed cakes, to broken cakes that don’t come out of the pan, to extra cake batter you bake off when you’ve overscaled a recipe, I always seem to have cake scraps hanging around my kitchen. I can’t bear to throw away perfectly edible cake, but I am also not a huge fan of the most popular way to use up leftover cake: cake balls/pops/truffles. To solve my cake scrap issue, I came up with a few non-cake ball recipes that utilize leftover cake in a few different fun ways! Without further ado, I present some new ways to use up those cake scraps:

  1. Cake crumb mousse
  2. Cake crunch
  3. Cake ganache

All of the above recipes can be made with any flavor of leftover cake you have on hand.

cake scrap yellow cake ganache
cake scrap chocolate cake crunch
cake scrap mousse, cake scrap ganache, cake scrap crunch

The inspiration

  • The many, many ziplock bags of cake scraps that have been languishing in my freezer, causing my partner to swear a lot whenever he goes into the freezer for some frozen peas and gets inundated with old cake scraps
  • The amazing @creme_fraiche, who made graham cracker ganache and showed us all that ganache doesn’t have to involve chocolate

The Recipes

Cake Crumb Mousse

Use fresh/slightly stale cake scraps of any shape or size


  • 85 grams sugar
  • 57 grams cream cheese
  • 5.5 grams powdered gelatin
  • 85 grams cold water
  • 114 grams cake crumbs
  • 227 grams cream


  • Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the cold water and let sit 5 minutes to bloom.
  • Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well combine.
  • Melt the bloomed gelatin (I zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until the mixture is clear) add to cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine fully. Set aside.
  • Whip cream to medium peaks
  • Fold cream into cream cheese blend
  • Fold cake scraps into the mousse base.
  • Pour into glasses or molds and chill for at least 2 hours.


Mousse can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for 7 days.
The final appearance of your mousse will depend on the size of cake scraps you use. Large pieces of cake scraps + mousse will give you more of a varied, layered look. Small cake crumbs folded into mousse will give you a cookies and cream look!
cake scrap mousse with cake scraps on top

Cake Crunch

Use fresh/slightly stale cake scraps of any shape or size


  • 150 grams cake scrap
  • 25 grams water
  • 40 grams sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Break the cake scraps into similarly-sized pieces and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Drizzle some of the sugar syrup over the cake scraps, using a fork or tongs to toss the scraps in sugar. You want to get each cake piece covered in syrup without soaking it until it falls apart. Keep drizzling and tossing until the cake pieces have all been coated in sugar syrup. You may not use all the sugar syrup. Your pan will look like a mess at this point – that’s okay.
  • Bake the cake scraps for 10 minutes, and then use a spatula to turn them on the pan.
  • Bake for another 10-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the cake has dried and become crunchy. You may see some sugar crystallizing on the cake pieces.
  • Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
cake scrap chocolate cake crunch

Cake Ganache

Use fully dried cake crumbs, whether dried in the oven or fully stale


  • 120 grams toasted cake crumb
  • 235 grams cream
  • 25 grams water
  • 25 grams sugar


  • Make simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until the sugar dissolves into the water. Remove from heat.
  • Warm the cream until steaming. Add the warm simple syrup.
  • Pour the warm liquid mix over the cake crumbs. Let sit 3 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the cake crumbs into the liquid.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Ganache can be used warm, at room temperature, or chilled. As the temperature of the ganache drops, it will thicken to a spreadable, peanut butter-like consistency. If you need to loosen it up for your purposes, warm the ganache up (it will still set harder once it cools) or add 1T warm cream (for a ganache that will be looser even when cool).
cake scrap yellow cake ganache

Bring it all together!

The real pro move is to bring all 3 recipes together. Make cake crumb mousse in some pretty jars, drop with a drizzle of cake ganache, and top with a sprinkle of cake crunch! You’ll get so many wonderful textures – creamy mousse, silky ganache, and crunchy cake crumb. No one would ever believe that you made these desserts to rid yourself of cake scraps.

cake scrap options

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