Roll Me A Winner: The Anatomy of the Crepe Terrine Cake

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Roll Me A Winner: The Anatomy of the Crepe Terrine Cake

The Cole Porter song goes, “Everytime we say goodbye, I die a little.” That’s how I feel when I eat the crêpe cake from Lady M or Chickalicious.

Died and went to heaven is more like it.

I can still remember where I was the first time I saw the crêpe cake. I’m walking down 40th street across from Bryant Park, early last year and I see two well dressed gentlemen ogling something in the window. They were arguing about whether they should go into the store of what turned out to be the window of the Lady M Cafe. Wondering what the kerfuffle was about, I looked in the window. Ohhhh!!! the cakes — the gorgeous cakes! I didn’t know of crêpe cakes at the time. They seemed to have a zillion layers and I thought for a moment they were baumkuchen—the Hungarian cake where you bake a series of layers on top of one another. But these were ethereal looking, light and luscious.

I thought maybe I should go in, but I was trying to behave myself.

The gentleman continued to hem and haw about whether to go in and I said, “Go!” They looked at me like I was nuts. I looked at them like they were nuts for even deliberating. I said, “Go! Those cakes look amazing! Go! Eat them for me!” And they did.

I ate them too, at another time — HOT DAMN!!!! Admittedly, it’s been several more times.

I’ve also had the crêpe cake at Chikalicious… more than once.

What can I say? It’s divine and it intrigues me. I eat it. I dissect. I consider getting a job at one of these places so I can see how they make it. I know I can’t make it because it’s too perfect.

I can’t even imagine myself making the super thin, uniform crêpes — they don’t even look like they’ve been fried in butter. Cooked in the warm glow of an angel’s breath is more like it. Then there’s the filling that’s evenly, flawlessly spread layer upon layer. No way I can pull that off. I’m a living, breathing anal-retentive-free zone and I hate repetition. The people who make these cakes are premeditated, methodical creamologists.

So I’m sitting in Chikalicious last week turning Betsy Cohen onto the raspberry crêpe cake — the first time I had that flavor. It was wonderful. We’d stopped in as part of the #NYCdessertquest dessert crawl — 14 places in 6 hours read about it. I’m nibbling away, thinking, as usual, I can never make this. Then I had a revelation. What if I roll a curd in the crêpes and put them in a terrine with whipped cream? That would work and that would be a lot easier than trying to get uniform perfect gossamer-thin crêpes. I made an Elderflower Lemon Curd Crêpe Cake Terrine.

How cool would that look when I slice it? The answer is WAY COOL!

To assemble the Elderflower Lemon Curd Crêpe Terrine Cake you need:

  • terrine or loaf pan ( I used 8” x 4” x 2 1/2”)
  • 1 recipe crêpes
  • 1 recipe lemon curd or elderflower lemon curd
  • 1 recipe stabilized whipped cream

To assemble the cake. Line the terrine with plastic wrap so it flows over the sides of the pan. Coat the interior of the pan with whipped cream.
Coat each crêpe with a thin layer of your choice of curd and roll them tightly. Trim the edges so they will lay flat in the loaf pan. Pack them tightly next to one another. Once you complete the first layer spread more whipped cream on it. Be careful to really press whipped the cream over each crêpe layer so the cream spreads between the crêpes as well. I used three crêpes on the first layer, four on the second layer and five on the top layer. Cover the final layer with whipped cream and plastic wrap. Press the terrine firmly and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Carefully unmold the terrine on a serving plate lined with waxed paper strips that sit under the edges of the terrine to protect the serving plate so you can ice the terrine. Using an offset spatula, coat the terrine in another layer or whipped cream. Put the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag and decorate as you like. I drizzled the remaining curd on top of the cake by putting it in a plastic bag and cutting a tiny hole in one corner of the bag, them squeezing the curd on the cake.


Desserts & Chocolate
Freshly made crêpes cakes seem like the uppity cousins of pancakes, but it’s almost a ruse since they are so easy. They’re thin and elegant like a fashionable French socialite and promiscuous in their ability to easily go with so many sweet and savory dishes.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces melted butter, plus more for cooking


  1. Mix the ingredients in a blender or a bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Allow batter to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.
  2. To make crêpes my set up is the batter in a container with spout or with a ladle, a container of melted butter or clarified butter with a pastry brush, a plate to put them on when I remove them from the pan and a cutting board to lay them to further cool them and stack them once they are cool.
  3. Heat a crêpe pan or skillet (mine was 8”) on medium heat. Brush the pan lightly with butter, pour or ladle in the batter and swirl it to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for thirty seconds and then flip the crêpe and cook it for about ten more seconds longer. Place crêpe on the plate. Start process again. Move the crêpe from the plate to the cutting board to cool. By the time the next crêpe is finished, the crêpe on the cutting board will be cool enough to be stacked. Test the first crêpe, if the battery seems to thick, thin it with some water or milk.
Total time:
Yield: 14 to 18 crêpes depending on the pan size

Lemon Curd

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian & Vegan, Desserts & Chocolate, Breakfast & Brunch
My lemon curd goes POW! It’s a delicious balance of sweet and tart for making tarts, filling cookies and cakes and crêpes, adding to parfaits and more. Or you could just eat it on toast!


  • 2 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 - 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 lemons, juice and grated rind
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (sometimes I leave this out)


  1. Mix ingredients together in a double boiler over simmering water. Water should not touch the bottom of the top layer of the double boiler.
  2. Cook the curd until thick and creamy, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
Total time:
Yield: 3 cups


You can substitute oranges or limes.

Elderflower Lemon Curd

Desserts & Chocolate
Elderflowers add honey and lychee floral notes to traditional lemon curd. I make my elderflower syrup with oranges and lemon so it’s delicate, but complex. I rolled it in the crêpes and drizzled in on the whipped cream for my elderflower lemon crêpeterrine cake recipe.
Elderflower Lemon Curd


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and rind
  • 1/3 cup elderflower syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Mix ingredients together in a double boiler over simmering water. Water should not touch the bottom of the top layer of the double boiler.
  2. Cook the curd until thick and creamy, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
Total time:
Yield: about 1.5 cups

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Desserts & Chocolate
I used stabilized whipped cream and opposed to unstable whipped cream in any recipe where I need the whipped cream to be molded or piped, hold it’s shape, not to weep or to stabilize another ingredient like lemon curd, as in my Heavenly Pie.
Stabilized Whipped Cream


  • 2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar


  1. Mix gelatin and cold water until the gelatin absorbs the water. Heat to melt gelatin to melt it (in a microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or in a small sauce pan on the stove on low flame, stirring constantly, until melted). Cool for about 10 minutes. Gelatin must be cool before you beat it into the cream.
  2. In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until mixture just starts to hold a shape (you can just begin to see marks in the cream when you stop beating and lift the beaters), then beat in the cooled gelatin in a steady stream until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over beat.
Total time:
Yield: 4 cups approximately



I was all “oooooooh!” when I saw your pix of this cake—genius, ma’am! Love it!

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