20-Layer Crepe Cake Recipe - Mille Crêpes Cake Recipe
by Ellen Easton ©2009 - All Rights Reserved

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What is a Mille Crêpes Cake? It is a decedent, classic French cake consisting of 20 layers of paper thin crepes, each separated with a brush of French pastry cream. The word mille means "a thousand", implying the many layers of crêpe.

This cake is the signature dessert at Lady Mendl's Tea Salon in New York. An absolutely charming establishment tucked away inside New York City's Inn at Irving Place. Located in the heart of the Gramercy Park historical district, when one ascends the front staircase, one enters a splendid 1800s townhouse replicating a world gone by. As the actual recipe for Lady Mendl's 20-Layer Crepe Cake of Lady Mendl's Tea Salon is a trademark secret, this is Ellen Easton's version of this delicious 20-layer cake.

Check out Ellen's article on tea at Lady Mendl's Tea Salon.

20-Layer Crepe Cake

20-Layer Crepe Cake

Check out more of Ellen Easton's Tea Travels articles and recipes.

Learn about the History of English High Tea and more delicious Afternoon Tea Recipes.


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20-Layer Crepe Cake - Mille Crêpes Cake Recipe:

Recipe Type: Cake, Afternoon Tea and High Tea
Yields: one 20-Layer Crepe Cake
Prep time: 60 min


Crepe Batter (see recipe below)
Pastry Crème Filling (see recipe below)
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Powdered (confectioners') sugar


The day before making and assembling the cake, make the Crepe Batter and the Pastry Crème Filling (see recipes below); refrigerate.

Remove the prepared Crepe Batter from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature:

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a nonstick or lightly-oiled crepe pan over medium-low heat. Evenly distribute approximately 3 tablespoons Crepe Batter; swirl to cover the surface of the pan. Cook approximately 1 minute or just until the bottom of the crepe becomes lightly browned. Using your clean fingers, gently and carefully turn the crepe over and continue cooking on the other side of the crepe for no longer than 5 seconds. Remove the cooked crepe onto a prepared baking sheet (do not stack the crepes on top of each other).

There is a pretty significant error in a recipe on your site. "Using your clean fingers, gently and carefully turn the crepe over and continue cooking for a few minutes longer. Cook on the other side of the crepe for no longer than 5 seconds." I believe it should be correctly worded as, "continue cooking on the other side of the crepe for no longer than 5 seconds."

Repeat this process until you have 20 perfect crepes. NOTE: You might need to prepare a few practice crepes in the beginning.

Remove the prepared Pastry Crème Filling from the refrigerator:

Whip the 2 cups of heavy cream with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Gently fold the whipped cream into the prepared chilled and thickened Pastry Crème Filling.

Assembly of 20-Layer Crepe Cake: 

Place one (1) prepared crepe on a large cake plate.

With a small spatula or wide blade knife, completely cover the crepe with a thin layer of the pastry cream mixture (approximately 1/4 cup).

Cover with another dry crepe and repeat covering with the Pastry Crème until you have reached 20 layers.

The 20th crepe will be the last or top layer.

Refrigerate the prepared cake for a minimum of 2 hours. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered (confectioners' sugar).

When ready to serve, slice into individual servings. Garnish the plate with fresh berries.

Makes one (1) 20-Layer Cake

Crepe Batter:
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch salt

In a small pan, melt the butter until lightly browned; remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate, small pan, warm the milk until steaming; remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool slightly. 

In a large bowl using your electric mixer at a low speed, mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add in the warm milk and browned butter. Pour the batter into a tightly-sealed container to refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Pastry Crème Filling:

1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon hot water
2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped

In a small bowl, add egg, flour, sugar, and cornstarch; beat until smooth.

In a saucepan over low heat, bring milk almost to a boil (simmer). Immediately remove from heat and slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Return all ingredients to the saucepan, while constantly stirring, for about 5 minutes, until thickened and just comes to a boil. 

Remove from the heat. Add vanilla extract and hot water; stir until dissolved into the mixture. Set aside to cool until firm.

When the Pastry Crème has cooled, fold in the whipped cream.

Refrigerate mixture until thick (best if refrigerated overnight).


Ellen Easton is a lifestyle industry leader, tea and etiquette authority, author of Afternoon Tea~ Tips, Terms and Traditions, A Tea Party Planner and Tea Travels™ For The Holidays (RED WAGON PRESS), as well as a hospitality, design and retail consultant, whose clients have included The Waldorf=Astoria, andThe Plaza.

Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

REVA PAUL, an internationally acclaimed confectionery artist, hand decorated floral sugars and mints are available by special order for teas, weddings, and special events. Wholesale/Retail - Bulk & Gift boxed. All prices on request via RED WAGON PRESS (212) 722-7981.

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