What to do with leftover cake or cake crumbs

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10 things to do with leftover cake crumbs

Awhile back, I spent the day trying to figure out the Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake recipe.  After baking three loaves in a row, making changes here and there… I think I came pretty close.  The first loaf… was just ok.  The second… better, but still not exactly what I wanted.  The third… score!  That was the good one that I ended up sharing with everyone – and it disappeared quickly!  So… what to do with the first and second loaf?  I  chopped both pound cake loaves into big chunks, and pulverized them into cake crumbs using the food processor.  Not being one to waste food, I decided to come up with a few different uses for the leftover cake crumbs.

You can use these techniques with any flavor of cake crumbs – just adjust your flavors accordingly.


1.  CAKE BALLS – Check out my recipe for cake ball truffles for technique and coating instructions.  Basically, I mixed the crumbs from one lemon pound cake loaf with 1 c. lemon curd, formed balls and froze, then coated with white chocolate.  You can mix the crumbs with something moist (like frosting, lemon curd, peanut butter, cream cheese, etc.), and vary the flavor depending on the flavor of the cake crumbs.

Lemon & White Chocolate Cake Balls

2.  CRUMB PIE CRUST – Mix 2 c. cake crumbs with 2-3 T. melted butter, then press into a glass pie plate.  This makes a great crumb crust for cheesecake, cream pie, custard or milk tart, silk pies, etc.  If you have leftover frosting to go with your cake crumbs – you might try mixing a few T. of melted frosting into the crumbs instead of butter instead.

Cake Crumb Pie Crust

3.  CAKE CRUMB COOKIES – Talk about a re-mix!  Nobody will know you used cake crumbs to flavor these cookies!  The cookies will take on a subtle flavor of the cake crumbs you are using – and are fantastic with a few mix-ins that you can choose depending on the flavor.  Here’s the recipe:  Mix 1/2 c. unsalted butter (softened), 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla/lemon/or almond extract, and 1/2 tsp. salt until thoroughly combined.  Mix in 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 1/2 c. flour, and 1 1/2 c. cake crumbs.  Add 1 c. dry mix-ins (chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, etc.).  Chill the dough, then scoop out onto a silicone lined baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Cake Crumb Cookies

4.  CAKE CRUMB MUFFINS - I changed the proportion of my Blueberry Muffin Recipe by reducing the flour slightly and adding cake crumbs to the batter.  For the Cake Crumb Muffin recipe: sift 2 1/2 c. flour with 2 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt.  Mix 1 c. sugar, 1/2 c. oil, 1 c. yogurt, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla (or lemon or almond) extract, and 2 c. cake crumbs.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and then add about 1 to 2 cups of blueberries, diced apple, chocolate chips… whatever.  Bake in a greased muffin pan for 20-22 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.  (Makes about 12 -18 muffins total).

Blueberry Cake Crumb Muffins

5.  PARFAITS – Layer cake crumbs (drizzle crumbs with 1/2 tsp. liqueur if desired) with layers of pudding.  Here, I layered lemon poundcake crumbs (drizzled with 1/2 tsp. limoncello) with cheesecake flavored jello pudding (mix 2 c. cold milk with 1 package of instant pudding mix).

Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits

6.  FREEZE – If all else fails, and you have no need for any of the above… pulverize your cake into crumbs, and store in a Ziploc bag (with all the air pressed out) in the freezer.  One day… you will have need for a quick dessert/topping/or something, and you can use the cake crumbs for that.

Other ideas you can try:

-Use cake crumbs for a topping to use on ice cream or yogurt.

-Mix cake crumbs with some sugar or brown sugar and layer (maybe with some chopped nuts) between layers of batter to make a quick coffee cake.  Bisquick has a quick coffee cake recipe on the side of the box that you could do this with.  Or try my one-egg cake recipe… which will yield one 9″ cake layer (bake about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees).

-Layer contrasting cake crumbs into the batter of a differently flavored cake for an interesting variation/surprise.  (For example: layer red velvet cake or chocolate crumbs into a vanilla cake, or vanilla cake crumbs into a strawberry or lemon cake)

-Decorate the outside of a frosted cake with cake crumbs, or sprinkle some on top of a frosted cupcake.

-If you have chocolate cake crumbs – turn these into edible “dirt”.  Top a bowl of pudding with the cake crumbs, and add some gummy worms.  (You could also decorate a cake or cupcakes like this.)

-Use refrigerated bread dough or crescent rolls to make “Cake crumb cinnamon rolls” – roll up the cake crumbs with a bit of sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon.  Top with a powdered sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting.

-Use it as a crunchy topping for deep-fried fruit or sweet junk food:  For example, dip a banana in batter, then roll in cake crumbs and deep fry.  You could do the same with a frozen snicker’s bar.


  1. T.R. says:

    These are all great ideas and look soooo good. BTW tried your strawberry ice cream recipe and love it. I want to do blueberries next as well as sweet cream and butter pecan. I LOVE my ice cream maker. LOL.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Yay! So glad it worked for you! :)

  2. Amy says:

    How many does the cookie recipe make?

    • Mika Mika says:

      I’m sorry – I don’t remember! It was awhile ago, and I didn’t write it down. I’m guessing at least 2-3 dozen.

  3. Jessi says:

    My plan today was to make a 3-tier cake layered in fondant…. uhm, nope. The recipe, which I’ve used many times before, gave me three layers of cake that while perfectly edible, are not usable in an actual cake anymore. Thanks to you, I can now use the three layers of cake I have now! I’m excited about the cake pop truffles and the muffins. =D

    • Mika Mika says:

      I hope it turns out well for you! Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you have a ruined cake… then you have nothing to lose!

  4. Rachel says:

    How do I store a large quantity of cookie crumbs, so they don’t go stale or turn rancid. I thought to put them in a canning jar and refrigerate them, but since there is butter in them I’m not sure what to do.
    Thank you very much for your time and for your help.

    • Mika Mika says:

      I would put them in a ziplock freezer bag, squeeze out all the air, and freeze.

  5. Donna says:

    Thanks for the ideas. I need them. My pound cake did not come out right. Love the cake ball idea.

  6. Lynne Roy says:

    Great ideas for the left over cake I used the idea for cake balls and added chopped apricots and coconut I used apricot jam to moisten the mixture and rolled them in toasted coconut. Delicious. Thank you

  7. Mika Mika says:

    Wow. That sounds yummy! What a great flavor combination! :)


  1. [...] The original recipe is here (along with other ideas on what to do if this tragedy befalls you also) [...]