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Six ways to use up leftover cake

From bake-sale drizzles to buttercream-laden showstoppers, there’s no denying that cake is a big part of our culture. In the UK, we eat three slices a week on average*. But cake also tops the list of the 10 most wasted foods in the UK – we throw out 75,173 tonnes every year**. Read on to learn how to keep cake fresher for longer, and some new ideas to help use it up – so you can have your cake and eat it too.

  1. Incredible crumbs

    Replace biscuit crumbs with pieces of cake to sweeten up some ice cream, like this no-churn cream-tea scoop. Or try replacing the biscuits in this blackberry cheesecake ice cream recipe with cake crumbs for a delicious dessert. For something a bit more fruity, try sprinkling some cake crumbs over stewed or grilled fruit, like this barbecued mango dessert.

    Incredible crumbs
  2. Bread and butter made better

    Replace the slices of bread in a bread and butter pudding with cake. Simply take your favourite recipe and replace the bread with any leftover cake you have. Find our classic bread and butter pudding recipe here.

    Bread and butter made better
  3. Make friends with the freezer

    Cake freezes well, particularly when un-iced. Wrap tightly in clingfilm, then again in foil – this will help ensure no moisture gets in, and will protect the cake from freezer burn. Undecorated cakes such as this almond, rosemary and courgette cake are easy to freeze ahead of time, ready for any occasion. Frosted cake can also be frozen: refrigerate first to harden the buttercream, then wrap well as above. Freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw in the fridge before bringing to room temperature.

    Make friends with the freezer
  4. Perfect pops

    Leftover iced cake works well for rolling into cake pops, with the icing adding moisture to help crumbs stick together. Crumble cake and mix with enough extra buttercream to form a malleable mix. Roll into balls. Refrigerate to set, then dip in melted chocolate to coat. Try these pretty cake pop roses for a sweet edible gift or treat kids to adorable bunny cake pops.

    Perfect pops
  5. Turn into trifle

    Retro classic trifle is perfect for using up spare ends of cake. Simply toast leftover plain cake crumbs in the oven until crisping at the edges. Tip into glasses and drizzle with limoncello. Make up raspberry jelly to pack instructions and pour over; when set, spoon over lemon curd. Top with whipped cream, lemon zest and fresh raspberries. For a summer spin, try these irresistible barbecued banoffee trifles using sticky ginger cake, topped with barbecued bananas filled with melting chocolate and fudge.

    Turn into trifle
  6. Make the most of Madeira

    Firm cakes such as Madeira or dense pound cakes are perfect for turning into an indulgent French toast. Beat together eggs with a splash of milk. Cut thick slices of slightly stale cake and dip in the egg mix. Fry for a few mins each side until golden and serve with fruit compote or a drizzle of syrup.

    Make the most of Madeira

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