Monday, 5 May 2008

Waste Not Want Not Cookies

I love making novelty cakes but hate the waste of the scraps of cake that are leftover from trimming the cake. When I made my green gourmet giraffe cake recently, I had quite a lot of cake over. I didn't want to eat it but couldn't bear to throw it out. So I searched the net and found a page of cake crumb recipes.

So in the interests of research I decided to make some choc chip cookies with crumbs from the leftover cake. It felt like that moment in primary school art class when you have finished with your paints and so you just mix them altogether and often find that they make a brownish grayish slurry and the colours are better alone than together. It is silly but it is also fun. Yes, after all the work on my gorgeous giraffe cake, I delighted in this little experiment which ended up producing unattractive little blobs.

Unsurprisingly these cookies are very cakey. They are soft little bundles rather than buttery, chewy or flat. But I think that the addition of oatmeal, spices and choc chips have pepped up the leftover cake crumbs. I have dozens in my freezer which will be work snacks for weeks to come. They are not my favourite choc chip cookies but they are a fine way to treat old cake crumbs.

Cake Crumb Cookies
(Adapted from Sharon Briggs’ recipe on Erlene’s Cakes)
Makes 7 dozen

2 eggs
1 cup milk
5-7 cups cake crumbs (I used 5)*
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ cup melted margarine or butter
1 tsp vanilla
1¾ cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Pinch each of ground cardamom and ground ginger
2 cups oatmeal
1 generous cup choc chips (or walnuts)

* Use a coarse grater to make cake crumbs out of leftover cakes. The cakes I used had been stored in a plastic bag for about a week so I don’t think they need to be fresh. I guess that the quality of the cookies probably depends a lot on the quality of your cakes!

Beat eggs and milk together. Add cake crumbs and set aside for 15 minutes. Stir sugar, melted butter and vanilla into cake crumb mixture. Fold in remaining ingredients. Drop teaspoonfuls onto a greased or lined baking tray (they don't spread much). Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 C (350 F). Cool on a wire rack.

On the Stereo:
Drugs are Wasted on the Young (EP) – the Dave Graney Show


  1. Oh, the poor little giraffe! But I guess his life (afterlife?) was put to good use in these tidbits. And I keep forgetting to mention, I love the fact that you're using the cake face as your new icon--it is so adorable! :)

  2. I never would've thought to use cake crumbs in a cookie! Good experiment. Though I'm not a huge fan of the cake-y type cookies. But in this case it's cakey for a reason (instead of being due to banana or pumpkin). I have some cake crumbs in my freezer being saved for I don't know what. Thanks for the link!

  3. Thanks Ricki - yes poor wee giraffey - it is a bit like the glue factory isn't it? Glad you like my new icon - ironic that I can't sit down and draw it but I can spend all that time doing a cake to make the pic I want!

  4. These are such a fantastic idea! Nothing should go wasted. =)

  5. Cake crumb cookies - I love this idea, thanks! Never would have thought of it myself. I used to just store the nibbles of leftover cake and well, nibble on them myself (waistline doesn't like that too much, though!).

  6. What an ingenious way to use up leftover cake. This appeals to my determination never to throw food away! I'm glad that Ms Giraffe has lived on in the cookies :)

  7. This is a totally new concept to me. At first I thought you were going to make cookies in the "cake truffle" style. What fun, recycled cookies!

  8. thanks Ashley - I actually prefer a cookie made cakey by pumpkin or banana but at least it makes sense that these are cakey! Will be interested to see what you make of your crumbs if you post about it!

    thanks Romina - yes I am always looking for ways to avoid waste

    thanks JJ - I usually eat leftover cake but after a few days I find it a bit dry so like an option that means I don't feel compelled to eat it all at once - would like to experiment with other types of cake

    thanks Lysy - your comment makes me think they could be called reincarnation cookies :-)

    thanks LisaRene - I like the idea of recycled cookies too - but not sure what a cake truffle is - do you mean cake crumbs in a chocolate truffle? (I tried that with my Christmas pudding which worked well)

  9. What a neat idea. I never would have thought to make cookies with cake crumbs. You learn something new everyday!

  10. Thanks for the recipe. I never know what to do with cake offcuts but these sound great. I like the addition of the spices.

  11. Hi Johanna, Here is a link for "cake balls" (sorry I had said "truffles").

    Basically you make a cake then crumble it and mix the crumbs with frosting and form the mixture into balls and cover them in chocolate.

    Then there are "Oreo truffles" The same concept except using Oreos and cream cheese.

    Seems a shame to make a cake just to crumble it, your cake cookies are much more practical and fun!

  12. thanks Lisa - I was pleased to find something as I had an idea but needed some guidance

    thanks Katie - yes I liked the spices as I am not so keen on a plain cake

    thanks LisaRene - these look pretty amazing - makes me wonder if I could make a red velvet cake for my next novelty cake (if it holds its shape) - I have come across a similar recipe for plum pudding christmas truffles with cake crumbs, dried fruit and chocolate at

  13. Thanks for this! This worked rather well with choc muffins that were a few days old and just a bit too dry to enjoy.

    I used porridge oats rather than oatmeal and omitted the cinnamon, cardamom and ginger (I also didn't add more choc chips - they were chocolately enough!)

    But I will probably use this recipe again.


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