Every baker has had a cake that got stuck in the pan or broke coming out of the pan. Cakes – or parts of cakes – can get stuck in a pan for a wide variety of reasons. You may have forgotten to grease the pan before pouring in your batter or the nonstick coating on your pan may have begun to wear out. You may have overfilled your muffin pans, causing the tops of your cupcakes to turn into one solid mass of cake. You may have loaded up a coffee cake with so much fresh fruit that only half of the cake popped out in one piece.
Broken cakes happen, even to great bakers. Fortunately, there are ways to put them back together. One popular option for fixing a broke cake is gluing it back together with , but not every cake is destined to become a layer cake and that fix simply won’t work with many recipes.
The best way to fix a broken cake is to turn it into a trifle. The beauty of this technique is that the finished dessert looks so good, your guests will never know that you intended for it to look any other way. A trifle is a dessert made with layers of cake, custard, fruit and/or whipped cream. The most traditional trifles typically include all these ingredients, but the beauty of these layered desserts is that they can be adapted to work with any number of flavors. First, take your broken cake and crumble it into bite sized pieces. Use a small offset spatula to scrape any stuck pieces out of the pan. Put a layer of cake in the bottom of a large, clear serving bowl or divide into several individual dishes.
Next, top that layer of cake with chopped fruit – unless your broken cake already included fruit, as the plum cake pictured here did. Berries and stone fruits are both excellent choices. If you only have frozen fruit, you can cook it on the stovetop with a bit of sugar to turn it into a compote, then spoon it onto the cake layer. Finally, add a layer of whipped cream and repeat the whole process until all of the extra cake has been used. Your trifle can be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours until you are ready to serve it, or you can serve it right away.