Save the Cake!!

I’m beginning to get a bit of a reputation among my baking friends and colleagues as a kind of “cake environmentalist,” in regards to my love of saving and reusing leftover cake scraps. In school, they nicknamed me “the leftover queen” because I couldn’t bear to throw anything away, and always wound up taking bags of dough, cake scraps, fillings, mousse, whatever – home with me. And truth be told, it rarely went to waste. Often times I was able to use it in another dessert concoction. Other times, I just ate it. At least it didn’t wind up in the trash.

Anyway, last week, a baking friend of mine (who, let me just say is the best cake sculptor I know – just check out her photos at Sweet Simplicity Cakes) was working on a wedding cake, and wound up with some leftover cake scraps. She texted me immediately and asked if I wanted them, to which I replied “Abso-freaking-lutely!” So she bagged the scraps and brought them to me. Granted, she did tell me there were a lot, but I was still not prepared for what I was presented with – the motherload of cake scraps. O joyous day!

bags of cake!

I carried the bag of bags home (it was not light, I tell ya), and I started thinking about what to do with them. A week went by, and I found that all I’d done was eat half of one of the bags, grabbing a scrap or two every time I opened the fridge. This was NOT going well. Something had to be done, ASAP. So tonight, I mixed one of the bags with some leftover cream cheese icing I had, and made cake balls.

balls of cake!

I dipped them in chocolate (milk and white) and sprinkled them with a little Halloween flair to keep things seasonal.

chocolate covered balls of cake! with sprinkles!

And then I ate two of them. So much for that 10 mile run today…

no cake left behind.

Anyone who knows me, knows how I absolutely abhor waste. I will repeatedly use the same tissue until it crumbles into nothing. I have clothes in my closet that I’ve had for 15+ years (as long as they’re still stylish – the rest go to Goodwill). I use a mug to drink my coffee at work instead of a paper cup and sip through a metal reusable straw to create less plastic waste (those straws add up quickly, folks). So, it goes without saying that I apply the same principles to baking.

reduce. reuse. eat cake.


Now, I am by no means suggesting that using old, moldy, ingredients is ok; in fact quite the opposite. I’m telling you to use it before you lose it. Don’t let that extra icing go to waste – be creative! experiment! Mix and match! This is your chance to play. Like I do.

chocolate cake and salted caramel icing mash up.

I had some leftover chocolate cookies and cream batter and a whole tub of leftover salted caramel icing. The two were not created to go together. However, it was what I had, so I went with it. And boy, was it a match made in confectionery heaven.


Now, I have also had some recycling fails of epic proportions, but hey, at least I tried. And it was a learning experience, and education is never a waste.  

And if you don’t try, you could be missing out on the best dessert you’ve ever tasted. It’s not always the obvious choice, that makes the best cake.