In our November issue, F&W was on a mission: We wanted to spread the no-waste word with The Plenty Project. Don’t Throw That Out! was our Thanksgiving meal mantra.
It still is. We continue to be obsessed with the idea of reusing ingredients and rescuing scraps that are headed for the garbage. Now that it’s prime entertaining season, we’re thinking about maximizing all those gorgeous desserts. We want to make sure that no cake gets tossed unnecessarily. So, F&W asked the resourceful team at the terrific NYC-based Little Cupcake Bakeshop, brothers Massimo and Salvatore Lobuglio, for their best suggestions. (Another thing to love about LCB is that they’re eco-minded. They use milk from grass-fed cows, non-GMO ingredients and even organic food coloring made from flowers to infuse their Blue Velvet cake.)
Here are five tips from Little Cupcake Bakeshop for making delicious desserts and snacks from old, dry or just extra cake.
1. Make Cake Crumb Crust. If you’re making custard pies or cheesecakes, replace the traditional graham cracker with dried cake crumbs. Crumble cake into coarse crumbs, bake them until they’re dry and mix with a little softened butter. Press into a pie plate and pre-bake so it's firm.
2. Damaged cake = bread pudding. Spread cubes of old or dry cake in a buttered baking dish. Mix in a custard made from eggs, milk and sugar. (LCB likes to add in bananas, too.) Bake until the custard is set. (LCB likes to take this over the top by covering the dessert with chocolate or vanilla frosting, if you have some extra.)
3. Ice Cream Advantage. Serve crumbled cake crumbs over ice cream or mix them in. Even better: Make ice cream pops in popsicle molds, using the cake crumbs to separate the layers (here's where you use all that leftover ice cream; different flavored pops). Or use the crumbs to make a big fat ice cream cake.
4. Cake hors d’oeuvres. Instead of toothpick-spiked cheese, slather cubes of leftover cake with a little frosting, put them on a platter and serve with toothpicks. (“We LOVE this one,” says LCB’s Massimo Lobuglio.)
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5. Next-level brownies. The LCB team also likes to repurpose old brownies, pouring espresso over them and then garnishing with a scoop of ice cream.