mushroom crêpe cake

I spent my very first Mother’s Day weekend nearly baby-free and in the kitchen. I know, how did that happen? You see, Jacob sojourned at his grandparents’ and I was very sad and missed him terribly and then I drank wine without worrying about the repercussions, got 10 hours (!) of uninterrupted (!) sleep (!) and discovered that I can really cook a lot of things without a cute to the point of distraction baby in the next room and I was a little less sad. And then we hosted brunch for both of our families. The end.

the mother's day brunch spread
drop biscuits and patted-out scones

Oh, you want to hear more about brunch, don’t you? Well, there were drop biscuits. Patted-out scones. A crazy braided sweet bread that I promise to tell you about soon. Buttered whole wheat toast triangles and cheesy scrambled eggs. Fruit salad. Mimosas and Bloody Marys. So much bacon, my apartment still smelled like a smokehouse the next day. And crêpes, stacked and filled with creamy mushrooms and cheese.

mushroom crepe cake

I’d been planning to make a savory crêpe cake ever since I made a sweet one, filled with a vanilla bean pastry cream, topped with a brûléed lid — seriously, the best birthday cake I have ever made — three years ago. But I allowed myself to become distracted with stratas and savory bread puddings, baked eggs and eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, babies and cookbooks. Where are my priorities? But with time on my hands on Saturday, I went for it — with a little guidance from Alton Brown.

many, many crepes

Crêpes can be unnerving to make. First, they’re time-consuming as it is best if you rest the batter for at least an hour, and many recipes insist that you do so overnight. Some say this is to let the protein relax and the starch expand, others say that it is to remove air bubbles; all agree that it improves the texture. Then, there’s the fact that it’s so much easier to make them in a nonstick pan, which many of us have ditched over the years after a news story about flaking coating rightfully scared us. (I keep one around, just for crêpes and fried eggs.)

crepe cake

Finally, there’s the fact that the first crêpe always goes in the garbage. Oh, you thought it was just you? The first one one was never meant to be, it sticks or tears, it’s too thick or thin, your fingers burn and you drop it, you flip it too soon; it’s best to move on quickly. The second one may be usable, but it’s never a pretty little thing. By the third one, however, if all goes well, you get into a rhythm. You see how much batter is too little, how much is too much, and you wonder why you don’t make crêpes more often. [See above, “unnerving”.] But in a way, they’re a cook’s dream: they can be made a day, a week or a month in advance, they reheat like a dream and you can use them for anything, sweet or savory. And, of course, Nutella, which these days demands its own category on the site.

mushroom filling

My process was just like this, with additional irks from the filling component. (I’ve made a slew of tweaks, below.) Worse, just as I was assembling the crêpes stack I panicked, realizing that it was actually a tiny little thing (think 7 x 5 inches), alerted everyone “Don’t come hungry!” then quickly toasted some bread from the freezer and whipped up some cheesy scrambled eggs. An hour later I learned that the crêpes were actually quite filling but that people will happily eat any amount of scrambled eggs you put out because they’re so relieved you didn’t overcook them. But we’ll get into that breakfast trick another day.

hasty, cheesy scrambled eggs; buttered toast
alex's plate

How to host brunch: (And still sleep in!)

One year ago: Broccoli Slaw
Two years ago: Crisp Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Three years ago: Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers

Mushroom Crêpe Cake
Adapted a bit generously from Alton Brown

I made a bunch of changes to this recipe — skipping the shiitakes, confident I could make a delicious filling with just plain old brown mushrooms; thinly slicing all of them because I wanted the filling to lay flat; adding some heat guidance on the stove; a little thickener to the sauce, which was much too thin to spread (it mostly stayed in the pan) and a bunch of boring fixes for things I ran into — a lot more than I’d expected to need. I’ve concluded I’m getting too exacting in my advanced age because who complains about an Alton Brown recipe not working?

Serves 6, or 8 if you’re putting out a spread

1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
1/2 cup mild white cheese, mozzarella or provolone, shredded
Savory crêpes, recipe follows
2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced (I skipped this, didn’t have them on hand)
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded

In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and begin to cook the onion so that it “sweats” but does not gain color. Turn the heat to medium-high, add all of the mushrooms and remaining two tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until mushrooms are soft. Stir in the flour, then drizzle in the milk while you stir. Reduce the liquid in the pan by half. Add the provolone or mozzarella and let it melt. Immediately take filling off the heat.

Layer two crêpes on a buttered sheet pan (Brown says that this allows you to still save your cake if the bottom one sticks — smart!). Spread a thin layer of the filling onto the crêpe, then a few chives. Top with another crêpe and spread more filling. Repeat this process until you are out of filling. (You’ll likely run out of filling before crêpes.)

Top with a final crêpe and sprinkle on the Parmesan with a caveat: Brown says you can run this under the broiler until the Parmesan is melted and golden brown. I know not all broilers are created equally (and my dinky oven is distinctly less equal than others) but mine just browned at the edges and didn’t melt. I’d either skip this next time or borrow the baby’s brûlée torch and use that instead. If you’re more confident in your broiler’s skills, go for it.

Savory Crêpes

The original recipe suggested one include herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes in the crepe batter. I used herbs and honestly felt it added nothing; I vote for you to skip this. If you want to add those flavors, do it where they will be more effective, in the filling. I was able to eke out 6 crêpes in an 8 1/2-inch skillet. I would have had extras were the first couple not duds.

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender combine all of the ingredients (excepting the butter for coating the pan) and pulse for 10 seconds. (Too lazy to bust out a blender, I mixed the flour and salt and slowly whisked in a mixture of the eggs, milk, water and butter.) Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour a couple tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and throw the crepe in the garbage; seriously, the first one is always cursed. Sometimes the second too. By the time you get to the third one, go ahead and keep what you made, even if it’s not perfect. Lay the crêpe flat on a large cutting board to the cutting board to cool; continue cooking until all of the batter is gone.

Do ahead: Crêpe batter can be made up to two days in advance, stored in the fridge. Cooked, cooled and well-wrapped, crêpes can be stored for several days in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer. Frozen crêpes can be thawed on a rack; gently peel them as you need. Filling can be made a day in advance; reheat slowly, over a low flame. I made my crêpes in advance, and the filling in the morning; it doesn’t take much time (and even less if you clean and slice your mushrooms the night before).

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220 comments on mushroom crêpe cake

  1. Melissa

    Well, I know what I’m cooking tonight. I’ve made your mushroom galette a kabillion times now, so I can only imagine that this is wonderful too.

    (P.S. There’s something wonky going on with the last paragraph – the text repeats.)

  2. Deb this looks AMAZING. I am going to have to have a brunch party just so that I have an excuse to try it! I’ll have to try my hand at bloody mary’s too…

  3. staceym

    First–this sounds awesome as usual. Second, it reminds me of the Kelly Ripa quote: “I think children are like pancakes. You sort of ruin the first one, and you get better at it the second time around.”

  4. My husband and I also went with the joint family party, we traveled down to PA and created a dinner with raviolis and such. I think just buying a present would have been easier. I love the idea of a crepe cake, I’ve never seen that! I usually make crepes once a year on Bastille Day, throw on some chocolate spread, and call it breakfast. I’ll have to try this!

  5. Emily

    Deb, your brunch looks fantastic. I love crepes and I love mushrooms, so I’m sure they would be fantastic together. I just wanted to comment on the first crepe always falling apart and going in the garbage. My mother has a saying that the first pancake is never perfect (or something to that effect). Basically we use it to say that things are generally not perfect at first, but they get better (and more delicious) if you keep trying. I love my mom. :)

  6. Steph

    Okay, mushrooms and crepes are two of my favorite foods ever, and now they’re made into a cake?! It’s mean to post these things during final exams week, but it does give me something to look forward to at the end! ;)

  7. Yummy! I love crepe cake, but I’ve never thought of a savoury version! I bet it’d taste a little like quesadillas given the right fillings… Quesadilla crepe cake, yay! Mmm. :D


  8. If I loved cooked mushrooms I’m sure I’d be all over this recipe. I can DO crepes. They’re not hard. And yet . . . the slimy texture of cooked mushrooms disturbs me. Maybe if they were only flash cooked I’d appreciate them more– but I’m a Hobbit over dry mushrooms and just love them raw. I ought to try cooking shrooms and see if my own method improves my viewpoint at all because they’re an essential ingredient in a lot of recipes.

    That looks beautiful, though. If ever a recipe made me want to try cooked mushrooms, this would be it.

  9. Rebecca

    Oh, this looks divine… I must host a brunch soon. One savory mushroom crepe cake, one sweet nutella crepe cake, and then perhaps everything else you mentioned, because it all looks so good.

    And please pleeeease post your scrambled eggs tips soon!

  10. JanetP

    My friends and I made a Julia Child crepe cake with two fillings, spinach and bechemal, several months ago. It took FOREVER to make. Something like 25 layers as I remember, it just kept going and going. We made it from Mastering the Art of French Cooking before going to see “Julie and Julia.” Making the crepes themselves was fun, but ugh. This one seems somewhat saner!

  11. Hmm, I tried this recipe a few years ago and completely mangled it while trying to slice it into wedges. Do you have any tips on serving a crepe cake in pretty wedges?

    1. deb

      Anotheryarn, Half Assed Kitchen — I’m surprised! I found it so easy to cut, could even do so with a butter knife. Not that that makes you guys feel better. I also didn’t use the shiitakes (if you did, it might have been difficult because they don’t get as soft) and really cut the mushrooms into thiiiin slivers, skipped the dicing completely (didn’t see how that would lay flat, plus, dicing mushroom cups is so much more tedious) and spread the filling very, very thin… Oh, and perhaps if my top had actually bruleed, it might have been harder to cut through. Any of those sound like the culprits?

  12. Nabeela

    I don’t comment here often enough….but this post definitely requires some comment from me. The breakfast looks FABULOUS!!! I would love to host a breakfast/brunch like this sometime. If I do, I’ll be definitely coming here for inspiration and recipes :)

  13. Elizabeth E.

    I love this recipe. I made it as part of a dinner and it was so delicious. I think the great thing about the idea of a crepe cake is that you can actually make it as big or small as you want. Double the batch and just keep piling-on! I’d forgotten how good this recipe is. Thanks for the reminder. And thanks for the reminder about those Teflon pots and pans… I need to ditch my last two!

  14. These look wonderful! I am wondering, if you had a smaller crowd, would it have been enough to serve just the crepes some bacon and fruit or is it not very filling?Thanks!

  15. Darci

    How do you think this would freeze/reheat once prepared and assembled? I’m a singleton and I love having brekkie options I can pull from the freezer in the morning during the week.

  16. Nancy

    I often make crepes but I use vegetable oil (almost nonexistent layer) to cook them. Can I do that w/ these? Sounds so yummy.

  17. This looks great! I made the sweet custard Crepe Cake you posted a while back, and it was a huge hit, so I’m sure this one will be delicious as well!

    I don’t mean to be the grammar police, but in the sentence “I was able to eek out 6 crêpes,” the word ‘eek’ should instead be the word ‘eke.’

    1. deb

      Ryan — Argh, thanks. Will fix.

      Nancy — No reason not to use a spray oil. In fact, it is easier to evenly coat it. Btw, when using a non-stick, I find that I do not need to rebutter the pan between each crepe, more like every three. I will add that note to the recipe!

  18. Cindy

    CONGRATS on the Martha Stewart magazine mention!! I just got my June 2010 copy of “Everyday Food”, and there you were on page 23 under “Blog Watch”. They called you one of their “go-to food and cooking blogs”. My, there are a lot of “” in this comment!!! Anyway, I’m all proud as you’re MY go-to blog too!!!

  19. m

    I love brunch! I live quite a ways away from my mother, so I was really sad I couldn’t make brunch for her! I’ll definitely try this though, when I go home for Memorial Weekend!

    1. deb

      Jen — Thanks! I’ll add more information soon. Funny thing, when you write a cookbook there are all of these other people involved! Thus, answering all of the questions I’ve been getting is taking some back and forth as we make decisions. It’s a good thing!

      And by the way, big props to no less than THREE of my favorite food blogger friends who have also announced cookbook plans in the last week: Amateur Gourmet, Homesick Texan and Matt Bites. What an honor it will be to share shelf space with these guys!

  20. Julie

    I will definitely be making this! I love crêpes and mushrooms, and what you say about the first crêpe having to be tossed away is so true (really thought it was only me).

    Cheesy scrambled eggs. Now there’s a thought.

  21. i’ve never actually had a savory crepe. I’m too drawn in by the berries, chocolate, whipped cream, sugar, etc. But amazingly, I think i would actually want to eat this. That is a testament to your pictures :)

    1. deb

      Rachel — I just waved people back for 10 seconds while I took a couple quick pictures, and demanded that Alex show me his plate. Keep in mind, this is family! They’re used to the Smitten Kitchen Look-But-Don’t-Touch-For-Another-30 Seconds thing! And even encourage it.

      Joey — I explain the herbs in the recipe note on the savory crepes. In short: I used them, you can skip them.

      Shev — Argh, fixed now, thanks.

      Housewife — The baby wasn’t around! I had TOO MUCH time on my hands. Clearly. Plus, biscuits and scones and doughs and crepes can always be made ahead; I “roast” the bacon in the oven on racks.

  22. There’s nothing more I love than a good brunch, and it looks like you really outdid yourself! My question for you is – how do you possibly have time to photograph your beautiful food before hungry guests dig right in? Do you put up the yellow caution tape? Whenever I host (which I love so much) and plan to photograph, I’m in such a tizzy that I never get the shot that I want. Please advise. Many thanks :)

  23. that is certainly a good spread! i usually do’nt like things centered on mushrooms, but this may be an exception since it’s enveloped between crepe-y goodness!

    and you’re so right – how can an alton brown recipe be hard to follow??!!! ha ha. but i find that even the most straightforward recipes could use a personal touch, eh?

  24. Joey

    From the picture, it looks like you added something green to your crepes that isn’t in the recipe. Parsley? Something else?

  25. shev

    Deb – adorable typo under the mushrooms: “I altered everyone “Don’t come hungry!”” Don’t change it – it works very well :)

    My Mum used to make this recipe in stacks a foot high. She would alternate mushroom filling with creamy spinach filling, and then top the whole tower with a ton of rich cheese sauce, and heat and brown it in the oven before serving it in slices like a cake. Heaven.

  26. Oh, Deb. I just don’t know. I am scared of making crepes. There I said it. SCARED. Which is a shame as I love crepes. But, you’ve talked me through hamburger buns, so might have to give this a shot! In the meantime, I will just admire your gorgeous photos while I get up the nerve.

  27. Your crepe description reminds me of what my grandma sometimes says, “Daughters are like waffles. The first one never turns out right.”

    (If it makes everyone feel better, she, herself, is a first daughter)

  28. Judy

    For those of you who have a problem with mangling crepes..

    My husband, who can’t do a thing in the kitchen, was watching me flip crepes one day. He said “you know, there’s a simpler way to do that”. So I shined him on and asked him what it was. Well, my non-cook hubby really did figure out a way that is simpler.

    He suggested I use TWO pans – one to cook the first side and a second to cook the other side. No flipping required – you just dump the crepe from the first pan into the second. It doesn’t matter what size or type of pan is used for the second side because the crepe has already been formed into the desired size in the first pan. An added bonus is you can cook many more crepes in the same period of time!

  29. I haven’t made crepes in a while. This could be the start of something great. I will have to make this cake as well as the sweet one everyone is commenting about. Wow, you really cooked up a brunch! What lucky guests.

  30. What a brunch you had! I have been wanting to make a crepe cake for quite some time, but always manage to fill the individual crepes with Nutella and rapidly inhale them before they can make it into crepe form. This recipe, however, has inspired me to get my self-control in check in give it a whirl.

  31. Oh Alton Brown and your fun dishes! I have to admit that I’ve never made a crepe before, but this might be the inspiration I need to get my butt in gear. :-)

  32. Carrie

    Happy belated Mother’s Day — what a spread! (And sorry, a couple more: In first para, “grandparents” needs a final apostrophe; and in the third para, first sentence, “even” should be “ever.”)

  33. Suzanne

    Looks delicious! Have you ever made buckwheat crepes (galettes)? I’ve been searching for a close-to-authentic recipe for them.

    1. deb

      Suzanne — I have not, but my friend David Lebovitz has. Also, I know that he knows buckwheat crepes better than anyone because he has a fantastic Breton place near his apartment that makes unbelievable buckwheat crepes, lacy, light, like nothing I’ve had before. I had one with lunch (plus salad and a buttery fried egg), and another with the darkest salty caramel for dessert. Nearly two years ago. Still talking about it. (Also the Breton beer. And the butter. I will stop now.)

  34. Hi Deb – beautiful brunch. And I am really so envious that you were able to enjoy 10 (!) hours of uninterrupted sleep. I haven’t slept that much since… well, I can’t remember when.

    This brunch post reminded me that I’ve been wanting to say thanks for a GREAT tip on baking biscuits. I use my own biscuit recipe but recently followed your advice about flash-freezing them after cutting the dough, and then baking straight from the freezer. Worked like a dream, and has made things like Mother’s Day brunch sooo much easier. Thank you!

  35. Crepes, glorious crepes. We eat them so often around here my son wrote about them in first grade: “MY FAVRIT FUD: CRAPS”. Two rolls, all brown inside (that would be the nutella). Favorite mothering moment EVER>

    As luck would have it, they’re on the docket for tonight, with the season’s first asparagus + ham and cheese. Now you’ve gone and made me wish I had ‘shrooms. Another day…

  36. Deb:
    made your pecan cornmeal butter cake for MD and it was a hit…heck, a HOMERUN. We have white cornmeal in KC can I send you some??? Thanks for the great website. I appreciate you so. judy

  37. SantaDad

    Now for the first hand review of Mother’s Day Brunch from SmittenKitchen: OUTSTANDING! The “sweet bread” was actually a large version of a wonderful cheese Danish. After eating this, you might say to yourself, “So, THIS is what Danish are supposed to taste like.” I could go on and on, but I also learned something about making scrambled eggs. My SEs will never be the same again. So simple, but I’ll let Deb tell you about that.
    Michael aka SantaDad

  38. Gosh,this is excellente….way way good and deliciously so!!!
    Just posted about ur Easy Jam tart, easily one of my best bakes!
    Gurl , u rock!!

  39. michelle from Montana

    I made the oatmeal pancakes!Mmmmm I am unable to ever follow a recipe to a T, my substitution in you recipe was to add Guinness rather than milk, and YUM! My family was dazzled! That with the molasses made very caf’ au lait colored pancakes, but they were delish! And I served them with homemade crabapple butter from last falls pickin’s and graped jelly from my yard grapes……It was a rather posh presentation that delighted the recipients!
    LOve, Love, Love your blog! Keep up the fantastic inspiration!
    OH Yeah! I made both the rhubarb crumb cake and the rhubarb cobbler, (’tis the season) and Yum! to both. The ladies in my office on diets curse you, however, for inspriring me to temp them!

  40. Edith

    Hi Deb!

    I love your website so much <3 I've made several of your recipes (tangy spiced brisket, chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter cake, shakshuka… etc. They were all soooo good.) Anyway, I couldn't help latching on to the the words "crazy braided bread" in this entry. I recently made (several times in one week) Finnish Cardamom Bread. I know this isn't the bread you're talking about because it's not really crazy (and not a cheese danish), but every time I make it I think "How would Deb make this better?" Here's the link:
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes!

  41. Oh this is funny, I just posted sweet crepes on my blog yesterday! :)

    I agree with so many things from your post: the need for the batter to rest, the way they never seem to turn out as large and you anticipate, but definitely the fact that the first one goes in the garbage! What is about that first one… does it just need to prep the pan for its brothers and sisters? Who knows, but regardless, these look great!

  42. What a fantastic looking brunch! Crepes were one of the first things I learned to make when I was younger, but they were always dessert ones, with ice cream or strawberries or nutella. I was looking for a savory recipe a few days ago, and this looks delicious! And I love mushrooms, so this is a total plus!

  43. This is beautiful. I’ve never attempted crepes and this makes me want to try. and, about the first one going in the garbage…I have an aunt with 3 grown and amazing boys, but in jest she used to say that pancakes are like kids…they ought to let you throw out the first batch. It always makes me laugh when I think of that.

  44. TC

    yummmm. this looks amazing! it reminds me of the crepe cake at lady M. i’m definitely going to have to throw a crepe brunch party soon.

  45. Aubrey

    this looks sooo good! my au pair stint in paris is almost over, which i keep using as an excuse to make yet another nutella crepe. but no matter where i am, i think the crepes will follow. they’re just too versatile and delicious. i often make mushroom-white wine-cream sauce to fill individual ones (along with cheeses like blue, goats’ brie, etc) but i’ve never stacked them into a galette. such a good idea–again, for savory or sweet. crepes are just the best thing ever!

  46. I love how you followed your outline of the cornerstones of a brunch menu (from your holiday brunch post): something fresh (fruit salad), something rich and eggy (mushroom crepe cake), something sweet (sweet bread), something bready (blue cheese biscuits & berry scones), something boozy (mimosas & bloody marys) and something unholy (bacon)! Rules to brunch by!

  47. Carole

    The first crêpe SHOULD look unpresentable. It’s a tradition. In my grandparents’, my parents’ and now my house, the first one is always for the dog.And the dog doesn’t mind at all!

  48. The crepe cake is a great idea. Instead of filling each individually, I think this recipe would save me time when I’m in the mood for crepes.

  49. Jahnna

    Alton Brown. Say it loud say it clear: Sexiest Nerd Ever–minus the hubby, naturally. Absolutely Love AB.
    Onto the crepes….yes, I’m still intimidated, but perhaps I too shall try. I can make pancakes (minus the aforementioned toss-able that I thought only I did(!)…so why not? Now if only I could make my beloved cheerios crunch…I refuse to pay almost $5 for a box of cereal! I have seen granola bars on here–which are still on my to-do list..but have you tried anything else? I found an old grape nuts recipe but have yet to try it..I’d love to find some other homemade cold cereal ones–that aren’t just rehashed/variations of granola.

  50. Oh my! I made this from Alton’s recipe the weekend after the original show aired (way back in late 2001 – yes, I’m an Alton Geek) and it was a huge hit! I felt so *clever* after making it! I’ve thought about it many times since and somehow never got back to making it again (could be the myriad cookbooks, internet bookmarks and printed recipes that I intend to make but haven’t gotten to so far).

    When I met Alton the next year I told him how this was one of my favorite recipes of his and his dead-pan reply was, “Of course it is. It’s crepes and mushrooms. What’s not to like?”

    Love. That. Man.

  51. I have loved crepes ever since I was little, as a matter of fact if my Mom wanted me to eat something she would wrap it in a crepe (she kept a supply in the freezer) once she even put strips of liver & grilled onions in one…and I ate it!

    This looks awesome, glad yo enjoyed your first Mother’s Day!

  52. I finally think I have my brunch menu for this weekend (for 20) figured out then you go and show me this. Now I don’t know what to make. Your how to throw a brunch thing has been a major help.

  53. I tried to make a crepe cake recipe that called for a 6-inch crepe pan. I was already halfway into making crepes when I realized that it would be a ridiculously teeny-tiny cake. Needless to say I had a lot of yummy crepes hanging out for awhile.

  54. Abigail

    The only thing that would make this look better? Ble noir. Call me a purist, but when it comes to savory crepes I am a buckwheat girl. Or just a wannabe bretonne.

  55. jenniegirl

    Oh my goodness-Timothy will love these-he’s a mushroom freak! I made him your Cream of Mushroom soup for his birthday and he’s still talking about it. And Nutella…I lived in Russia for two years and we ate Nutella, Digestives, and snots of vodka while listening to “disco-tech” music just about every night!

  56. Rose Levy Beranbaum has a recipe for buckwheat blini in The Cake Bible. Yeast-risen, so they take fer-freakin’-ever and you have to be careful not to kill the yeast, but wonderful. I’ve made the Vegetarian Epicure (vol. 2, I think, but she also has something in vol. 3) mushroom crepe cake, using the blini, and with VE’s tomato sauce. Yum!

  57. Oh, I love you and this website more with each photograph. And buckwheat crepe are fantastic. We sometimes roll them around scrambled eggs or chicken in a creamy mushroomy sauce or greens in white sauce. Fantastic any-meal.

  58. Nice brunch! I am sure you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    I made a similar crepe-mushroom concoction once, following a recipe from a bppl called Secrets of Success, I don’t remember from which San Francisco restaurant it was. It turned out ok, but both me and my husband thought it was a little “heavy”, the mushroom taste a bit monotonous after a few bites. I jotted some notes about possibly improving the recipe by alternating the mushroom filling with something else.

    do you have any thoughts on that? I might have to double check the filling I used, maybe it did not even contain any cheese, that probably would not help much… :-)

  59. Viola

    o my goodness.. so super extravagant…
    ur brunch looks absolutely awesome…
    all the effort i put in for my mum was a simple choc cake.. and i dont even have a baby!!
    will definitely try this when i can be bothered making all the layers..
    i love mushys!!

  60. Just followed the maze of your brunch tips and ended up with my menu for Father’s Day. It will include the sourcream bran muffins (made in advance & frozen per your tip) and spinach & cheese (drool) strata (again, made the night before – can’t wait). THANK YOU for passing along your brunch wisdom. Yay!

  61. Erin Taylor

    This looks amazing! Had to laugh at the “garbage cab first crepe”….in my house the first crepe goes to our dog!

  62. I make a similar recipe with crepes and mushrooms but it also includes a spinach layer and a lot of cheese sauce. It’s called ‘Florentine Crepe Pie’ and I suspect it’s the same recipe that commenter ‘Shev’ (#52) talked about his mother making. I believe the recipe was from a Southern Living Cookbook from the mid ’80s. This pie gets doused in the cheese sauce and baked so it’s quite moist and stuck together. When sliced, the alternating ‘pinstripes’ of mushroom and spinach layers look so beautiful. Since the recipe takes quite awhile to execute, I got in the habit of making 3 or 4 pies at the same time and freezing the extras. Though not authentic (and probably an outrage to the French chef), I use a ‘paddle’ to make my crepes. I dip it in the batter, much of it drips off leaving a very thin layer, and it cooks in just a few seconds. I know it has the dreaded non-stick surface (cringe!), but it sure makes quick work of the process.

    Deb, I love your blog! I have never received anything less than raves for every recipe I’ve made from your collection. Thank you so much for your perfect mix of creativity, humor, and high standards!

  63. Wow, the crepe cake looks delicious! My mouth is watering.. Looks like a challenge to make. It will probably take me a few tries to get it right.. :)

  64. You had me at brunch…
    In fact, I got so absorbed that I ignored the beeping of the oven timer and now have snappier gingersnaps than intended!

    Love the stacked savory crepe idea. My man is the crepe chef in this joint and he has this trick for serving hot crepes to the masses in one sitting: keep a pot of water simmering with a plate over it. Flip crepes onto the plate as you go and keep covered with a lid. Perfect, steamy-hot crepes we can all sit down for!

  65. Kentucky Kitchen

    It may be time to throw out even that last nonstick. In my personal opinion anything nonstick can do cast iron can do better, and nothing does fried eggs, crepes, pancakes and omelettes better than a cast iron crepe pan. The low sides allow for easy flipping, and the eggs never stick. Also, cast iron will last forever, whereas even the best nonstick wears out after a while…AND cast iron has the added benefit of not giving you cancer. Just a thought :)

  66. The only time I made savory crepes was about 4 years ago and they came out to be a disaster. Too thick, too stodgy, too too too… I forgot about crepes all together since then. But now here you come to remind me that they can be tasty and great-looking if you persevere and use some tricks.
    Thanks for all the tips. I’ll try them soon.

  67. Crepes are obviously making a comeback. I have not gotten on the kick myself, but might have to after seeing this dish! It has been a really long time since I have prepared them, but I guess I will pull out the non-stick skillet and get to cooking some.

  68. Yum! Yet, I think it’s funny that American people do so many crêpe cakes. I’ve never seen anything like this in France – and I should know, I’m French. This is like exotic with a bit of home comfort. MUST TRY THIS!

  69. Beautiful. This reminds me of my grandmother’s Balkan savory crepes called ‘palachinki’. Our family favourite is garlic and walnuts, baked feta cheese is also delicious. Your mushroom filling looks yummy, I’ll have to give it a go!

  70. Barbara

    CREPES! Long-time reader, but first time commenter. However my strong opinions of crepes have compelled me to comment.

    To all the commenters afraid of making crepes — Don’t be! I’ve been making crepes (called nalesniki in Polish) since I was 10 — simple proportion: 1 large egg + 1/2 c milk + 1/2 c flour + 1 Tb butter. Place all ingredients in blender. Melting the butter is not required if you have a good blender and if you get the non-stick skillet very hot then maintain on medium heat, no need to butter the pan between crepes (but the first one may need it).

    Good luck! and thanks Deb for the awsome recipes…

  71. Hallie

    You’re my hero. That all looks fantastic, I can’t even remember the last time I stopped to sit down and eat a real breakfast/brunch but I’m definitely inspired to do it now!

  72. Yum! I make these often ever since seeing Alton Brown’s crepe episode … but oddly enough had never thought of them for brunch. Great idea!

    I find a nice Gruyere to be the best cheese in this particular dish, as well as a dollop of sour cream in with the ‘shrooms. And finely chopped spinach is dreamy in the crepes themselves.

    You’re making me hungry …

  73. Tiny Kitchen

    How do you do it? Seriously, if you were ever to respond to a question that is not about cooking, please make it this one. Crepes, scones, braided sweet bread AND biscuits? When my two year old gets dropped off at his grandparents house, the first thing I do is SLEEP, which leaves time enough for only ONE baked good. Do you have secret elves helping you in the kitchen? Or at least a very, very good babysitter you’re not telling us about? I am in awe.

  74. oregonjudy

    I NEVER throw the first crepe away. Just squeeze a little fresh lemon over it along with a teaspoon or so of sugar. Fold into quarters and eat immediately. It’s my reward for standing over the stove making the rest.

  75. Momcat

    About thirty years ago my M-i-L gave me a crepe skillet that was designed to cook the crepes on the bottom. One dipped the pan in a wide bowl of batter, flipped it over and cooked the crepes upside-down. Silly uni-tasker, but it made great crepes and I didn’t even have to throw away the first one. Unfortunately, I was busy with my kids and made crepes only that one time (delicious seafood newburg filling) and the pan ended up somewhere in the garage. Wonder if I can find it, clean it, and use it again! Of course I could make bigger crepes easily in my wonderful All-Clad non-stick skillet. Hubby is retiring in a month; he’d love more crepes!

  76. Oh Momcat! My father had one of those pans and used it quite a bit! I’ve forgotten until now but I bet my mom still has it (she never throws things away). Now I’ll have to go home and ask about it! Thanks for tickling my memory!

  77. Harb

    Instead of the Bloody Marys, you should try the Canadian drink, the the Bloody Caesar (made with clamato juice) its way better.For some reason Americans haven’t caught on to Caesars like we have?

  78. Jilly

    The carbohydrate addict in me is fiending at the site of that spread.

    I’m with Tiny Kitchen. I don’t even have a kid and don’t know how I’d create all that.

  79. linda

    kudos on the cookbook…& knopf…very impressive…but would not expect less from you!
    i have printed out so many of your recipes…i truly look forward to the book…hoping that you will also be giving us new recipes as well…:)

  80. Yael

    I flipped through the comments, and found out that the ‘crazy braided sweet bread’ is actually some kind of cheese pastry, but like one previous commenter I also immediately thought of a Scandinavian cardamon-y sweet bread (my recipe – in Linda Collister’s ‘Bread’ – calls it vetebrod and says it’s Swedish). Which I am actually in the middle of making right now. I heartily recommend that you try it! It is a bit like a Danish, except it isn’t, and the cardamon gives it a very neat, different sort of flavour. Also, there’s this fun trick where you slice it almost all the way through, then pull the slices in different directions, which gives it a braided look but also lets it divide to slices easily. And it’s tasty. Did I mention it’s tasty?

  81. Thank you for making everything look so delicious and simple. I wish I could create as many tasty meals as you do in one week. My Mother was across the country this Mother’s Day but the next time she visits I will have to treat her to a tasty brunch. With mimosas, of course!

    Do you ever do smoothie/beverage recipes? I didn’t notice any.

  82. Hi, Deb. I know what you mean about slicing the mushrooms for a crepe cake, as I tried a “tian” (I think it was called,from a French recipe) years ago with slices of eggplant between the crepe layers. I recall that it came out a bit lumpy, so that’s a good point for readers. Maybe it’s time to try it again for a special brunch. Thanks, Dan

  83. Ash

    I just ATE and your blog STILL makes me hungry. I have to try a crepe cake soon, both the sweet and savory versions look delicious.

  84. This is completely off the point, but your bacon looks amazing. I had some bacon commentary over the weekend, “You always cook the bacon just a little bit more than I’d like.” How do you get yours to turn out so perfectly?

    1. deb

      Natalie — I always overcook bacon. I like it crisp, no soft spots. That generally overcooks it. I cook it for a crowd by putting cooling racks on top of baking sheets, lining the sheets with foil, and “roasting” the bacon on the racks until it crisp. The sheets catch the drippings.

  85. Long-time lurker (and maker of many of the recipes you post!) I just wanted to add my congrats, too! Just got my Martha Stewart Everyday Food June issue and saw you mentioned. :)

  86. marewood

    I am SO excited to make this! … and I will eat all of it myself. Some of my family members think mushrooms scream when you eat them. Oh well… their loss.

  87. Lauren C

    Mm, this does look good – even though I work in a creperie and make the damn things every day. I’ve never gotten to make a cake out of them, though… next time we have a slow day, I know what I’m making for the coworkers!

    We make buckwheat crepes, too, but ours are just buckwheat flour, AP flour, salt, butter, water, and cheap beer. It’s really not a great recipe; the lack of eggs makes it tetchy and prone to overcooking. But the boss is always right…

  88. Liz

    Your entire brunch looks magnificent, but the star of this post is to die for. I’m terrified of crepes, I really want to try them, but everyone always makes them sound so scary. Well, not scary… but challenging, like you said, unnerving. But this seems to good to pass up, I will have to be brave and try it one day when I have a chunk of time on my hands.

  89. That looks AMAZING. I’ve been dying to make a crepe cake! Can I just say that I laughed and just couldn’t believe that the first crepe never works out?! I really might’ve thought it was just me. I’m glad we’re in on it together.

  90. Now that I”ve had my fill of J, I can say that crepe stack looks divine. I won’t make it cause crepes freak me out. No that’s a big fat lie, I’m too lazy, but I’ve drooled all over my keyboard looking at yours. Night!

  91. Angela

    Okay, that was delicious!!!!! I thought it was going to be a lot of work but it really wasn’t. I had 2 pkgs of brown mushrooms and then I soaked some dehydrated shiitake mushrooms I had in drawer in boiling water and drained them. I cooked all the mushrooms (and onion) together with some FRESH basil. After adding the butter, milk, cheese and dash of salt it turned into a swirl of deliciousness! For the crepes I made a batch of batter and set it in the fridge for an hour. After discovering I needed more batter I just made more as I cooking. I didn’t really notice any difference in the crepes. Also, I wasn’t sure if my daughters would eat the crepes with herbs so I waited to put chopped up fresh basil in the last of the batter—I wish I would have put it in the first batch! California has fresh herbs all year round so we’re a lille spoiled! This recipe is definitely a keeper!!

  92. Mikki

    Hi, I dont know if this is happening to anyone else but the site doesnt appear to be displaying properly for me. Its been like this for quite a few days now. the side banner and links appear at the bottom of the page, underneath everything else and the other content is not displaying correctly either…
    any idea whats up anyone?
    thanks, and i love the idea of mushrooms in this!

    1. deb

      Mikki, Siri — Yes, others are having the issue too. We have been trying to get to the bottom of it for more than a week (maybe even 2)– hope to have it figured out soon. It has been really befuddling us because it doesn’t show up for us on Safari, Firefox, IE or even our phones, but I know it has been for others. In my next life, I will be techie before a blogger.

  93. What a delicious looking mushroom crêpe cake !.
    Love the imagery here looks so professional too.
    Have you tried it by substituting 20% of the milk for single cream, tastes immense.

  94. Just found your blog from a mention in another great blog (KAF). I will most definately be a regular. I am lucky enough to have a very old, very well seasoned crepe pan that needs very little lubrication. I was wondering if you put a piece of parchment or wax paper between crepes as they come off the pan. I am a little old school and old habits dye hard. This recipe looks awesome and I plan on making it for my husband for fathers day. I think the conversations in these blogs is so inspirational as I work with several non- foodies who just don’t get it. I wouldn’t get too hung up on typos as we are all human, unless you are writing a cook book, then you need several good proof readers.

  95. Is that some Russian Standard vodka I see sitting on the table for bloody marys? Looks like an awesome brunch. I wish I liked mushrooms – I wonder if there is a substitute for them in something like this. Maybe layers of beautifully caramelized onions or softened bell peppers….

  96. Love crepes, love mushrooms — must put them together like this! I hadn’t made crepes in quite a while — wanted to make canneloni — froze the extra. Now I know what I’m going to do with them, now that I’ve gotten that “throw the first one out” business out of the way!)

  97. Sabrina

    What are the red scones behind the drop biscuits – third picture from the top? I would love to make those sometime!!!

  98. Monica

    Sabrina, I was JUST about to post that same question after not seeing any other comments mentioning it. I have been trying so hard to find the answer myself but I give in!

  99. Elizabeth

    We made this for dinner last night, with a side of bacon. YUM! Instead of one big cake, however, we made two smaller-stacked ones, and each had our own. We did have the issue that others have cited, though, with the stacks being rather…slide-y. We did not care, though, since it was so tasty!

  100. Kate

    How did you keep the crepes in the fridge overnight? Do you need to put something between each layer? Did they stick together?

  101. Every single time I read your site, I think to myself, Awww, I really wish she’d come cater my Maine wedding. You have the most fantastic, yummy recipes around and I so envy your talent. (the picture taking, too) :)

  102. Kim

    Opened my Everyday Food magazine and whose blog do I see has been highlighted? Why it’s my favorite go to! Congratulations! Can’t wait for the book! Is it 2012 yet?!

  103. Amy

    Mmmm! I freely adapted this, using thinly sliced shiitakes and adding fresh spinach to wilt a bit at the end, plus a glob of ricotta instead of milk and a dash of allspice. My crepes were not as round and even as yours, so the result wasn’t as pretty, but still impressive. And leaving out the herbs from the crepe batter meant that the leftovers could be smeared with Nutella!

  104. Linda S

    A quick note on bruleeing, a big a** propane blow torch works a whole lot better and you have the added fun of impressing the heck outta the guys at the hardware store when you buy it. I used to cook professionally and a blow torch comes in handy for a lot of things, like melting just enough of the fat in a chocolate terrine (or a savory terrine for that matter) that it slides right out of the mold cleanly.

  105. Armin

    Oh my god, thank you so much for that awesome recipe! I replaced the mozarella with gorgonzola and the milk with two teaspoons of creme fraiche.

    yummi :)

  106. When I read the title “Mushroom crepe cake” I thought it is going to be something sweet like “mushroom” looking cake… but this recipe refers to some wonderful and tasteful dish to be served only for very special occasions…

  107. I made these mushroom crepes last year from Alton’s recipe and was amazed at the tasty results! Didn’t make the stack (as I was feeding a 1 & 5 year old) but they were awesome! And, his recipe for crepe batter is foolproof. I think only the first crepe was a waste, and the rest were completely perfect. Trick = 1) used a measured scoop, 2) make sure your cook top light is on as and soon as the shine disappears and they look matte it’s time to flip them over.

  108. Gina

    I made these tonight and they are fabulous! In fact, though this is the first time I’ve left a comment, I’ve made several of your recipes and they have all been amazing. Thank you so much!

  109. Katie M.

    Yum! I just made this for dinner and it is delicious. I diced the mushrooms and used a bit less onion. We didnt have any white cheese so I used some cheddar and didnt put any on top. It was awesome. Thank you so much for all your recipes and inspiration. Oh and of course sharing pictures of Jacob! He’s so adorable he makes my ovaries ache. :-)

  110. Symphonic Chef

    I made this for dinner last night using oyster mushrooms that I grew myself from a kit. It was divine! Rich, creamy, and flavorful. I love the idea of a savory crepe cake and I look forward to another version, Deb (hint, hint- cookbook idea)! The cake was easy to assemble and slice, and it was beautiful plated as well. Thanks for having the perfect recipe for every ingredient I happen to have!

  111. Jodie

    Deb – Thanks for your witty and fun site! I made these tonight for my husband’s birthday dinner to tremendous acclaim. Made a few small changes — made rolled crepes instead of stacking, put in baking pan sprinkled with parm and baked at 350 just to heat through. For the mushroom filling — cooked in olive oil not butter, seasoned with pinches of dried sage & rosemary (herbes de provence would have been good) and finished with grated zest of about half a lemon. On the crepes, used 3/4 unbleached white, 1/4 whole wheat flour. Added another tablespoon of water after I took the batter out of the fridge. The crepes cooked up like a dream. All in all, it’s going into the rotation!

  112. I was looking for something a little different to serve for a weekend brunch in honour of my mom’s birthday – how perfect it was for me to come across these recipes. One thing I would try to do next time I’m cooking for a crowd is have 2 pans on the go (or be more prepared and make them ahead of time). I only have one good non-stick one, but with all the layers necessary, it would certainly help speed up the process. Of course, that means 2 crepes are destined for the garbage!

  113. I made this today for a brunch. Superb! I actually make crepes with mushroom filling quite often, but get really sick of standing at the stove making the crepes while my family eats them one by one. This was so much better, and the presentation beautiful! Also, I always use a well seasoned cast iron pan and they turn out nicely (after the first two, of course)
    Sara in Key West

  114. Ila

    Hello! This is my first post on your site, so let me start by saying that it’s one of the best food blogs I’ve seen. I’ve been lurking for a while now (shame faced) but finally decided comment- I just made a mushroom crepe cake inspired by this post.. and it turned out to be wonderful !! The crepes were perfect. Thank you so much !

  115. mindy

    Hi! I just made mushroom/spinach crepes from “Mastering the art of French cooking by Julia Child and they came out fantistic! I didn’t think that they were hard and after about 10 I started flipping them like a real chef! I’d like to make crab/asparagus ones but not sure what herbs would compliment. Also a lighter cheese sauce to cover would be great. Any Ideas??

  116. aubrey


    I was just curious; I looked at the actual Alton Brown recipe, and it says it makes about 17 crepes….why the huge discrepancy? Do you think yours were just thicker? I wanted to make them for dinner tonight, but I want to make sure I have some idea of the actual yield.


  117. RG

    I got my vitamix this week and the first thing I went to make in it was mushroom soup from dried/ rehydrated mushrooms and cream sauce. Which was easy and good but actually closer to mushroom paste. The second thing I went to make, a big reason to buy the vitamix, is Indian dosa batter. its a hassle and a half with a normal blender because you grind soaked beans and rice (uncooked) with a small amount of water, which then ferments on the countertop like sourdough. Anyway, the juxtaposition made me realize how easily I could make the crepe cake with dosa and mushroom paste. Also good as a filling for the super crispy dosa.

    I know you probably don’t want to turn into a vitamix blog, but it would be interesting to hear a few posts about how you use it and what it makes easier.people mostly push fruit smoothies, but I’m thinking that that veggie pastes must be a better use. Other uses for me are: mint chutney (pesto, coconut chutney, etc.), and lemon curd! 5 minutes, no double boiler, I love it!

    1. Kersten

      I love my vitamix! Funny though I didn’t use it for this recipe as it was busy making a cashew cheese for a dairy-free crepe! I also use the Vita for salad dressings, they are easily emulsified in it. For pestos I use my food processor. Lemon curd sounds absolutely amazing!

  118. Kersten

    fantastic recipe and suggestions! I actually made two cakes, one of these with gluten free flour and they still came out great! i used shiitakes and as suggested put the herbs in with the filling. I wanted a softer texture so I baked the cakes covered until the cheese was melted. I doubled the recipe of crepes so I would have some to store in the freezer, glad I did that. thank you!

  119. Marty Pietri

    Just thought you might like to know that in France (Brittany really the home of crêpes) the first one is for the dog.
    I love your recipes, have your first book and enjoy your stories!
    I haven’t tried this yet, but coming soon.

  120. Pat

    Sounds great! Think this would work using flour tortillas? I have a huge amount left from Cinco de Mayo party that I’d like to use up.

  121. Janice

    I am sorry, I did not like this recipe and will not make it again. For me, the ratio of mushrooms to crepes was off and I used all the mushrooms and all the crepes. I typically am a big fan of mushrooms (I eat grilled portabello sandwiches regularly) but I found the mushrooms to be very overpowering .

  122. I’m a second generation crepe maker and will try this with a couple of tweaks. I love to add fresh thyme and a dash of dry sherry when cooking with mushrooms. And no salt until after the mushrooms are off the heat to avoid them releasing water.

  123. Yolanda

    Wow, Deb, this was amazing! We had some leftover crepes from a dessert party a few nights ago and made the filling this evening. My husband and I just devoured the whole thing! Thank you—this recipe is a keeper for sure!

  124. Eliza

    I was so intimidated by this and it was actually easy… and it was so insanely delicious! I used our own mozzarella with just a slice of a smoked cheddar to get the smoke flavor. I made the mushroom mixture and crepes yesterday and just heated everything and assembled in the morning. It made for a most perfect brunch. Big thanks!