Have you ever heard of a stack cake? I had not, until my friend Michelle (hi, Michelle!!) gave me a recipe for one with the instructions to make it as soon as possible. A stack cake is one that is made in thin layers on a griddle like pancakes, and then stacked with apricot filling between each layer. The idea was extremely intriguing.
The original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine called for almond flour, which I unfortunately did not have. I decided to use ground pecans instead to make a homemade pecan flour, which brought the nutty flavor. The pecan was enhanced by chopped nuts between each layer of cake. I also halved the recipe and used coconut oil instead of butter, and almond milk with a little lime juice instead of buttermilk.
For the filling, I used some extra strained apricot preserves from my Seven Layer Italian Rainbow Cookies. When I made the filling for the cookies, I strained out the liquid and threw out the actual apricots (which I realize now was silly. I could’ve found something to do with the apricots, like make this stack cake!). But the original recipe for stack cake from the magazine wants to use the apricots and discard the liquid. So if you make the stack cake, you might as well go ahead and make the rainbow cookies, and vice versa!
A note about cooking the cake layers: I started with one layer, flipped it, then poured the next layer onto the griddle, so one layer was ready at a time. It’s a little confusing to explain in words, but it worked like this: pour batter for one layer onto the griddle and wait until it cooks on the first side, flip it, pour batter for the second layer next to the first. The first one will be done so flip it onto a plate and top with filling, then pour next layer of batter. The second layer from before will be done, so add that on top of the first and cover with filling. Work in an alternating way like this to ensure that no layer burns while you are layering filling. Is that clear? Let me know if I should explain it differently, please!
If you didn’t get that, cook one layer at a time, flip onto a plate, top with filling, then cook the next layer and repeat.
All photo credits go to Michelle Campoli, my #1 partner in all adventures. Thanks for everything Mishy, and I hope you liked the cake!
Mini Apricot Stack Cake adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Margazine
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (dairy, soy, or almond)
- 2 tbs coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground pecans
- 3 tbs brown sugar
- 1/3 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup apricot jam or heated and strained liquid from apricot preserves (see Seven Layer Italian Rainbow Cookies); alternately, pureed apricots from apricot preserves (without the liquid)
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp lime zest
- Toasted chopped pecans, for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, and melted coconut oil until combined. Add in the dry ingredients, starting with the flour and ending with the salt, and whisk until smooth.
- Set a griddle or large skillet to medium heat and grease with Pam, oil, or coconut oil.
- In a small bowl, heat the jam for about 30 seconds in the microwave, or until it is melted so you can mix it more easily. With a fork, mix in the honey and lime zest.
- Start with one layer. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each layer of cake onto the heated griddle in an even circle. Try to get each layer uniform in shape and size, but it’s okay if you don’t. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the outer edges look slightly dry and the inside is bubbly, then carefully flip with a spatula. Cook a minute more on this side, until both sides are golden brown.
- Flip onto a plate. Spoon about a tablespoon of filling on top of this first layer, then sprinkle on a few chopped pecans. When the next layer is ready, flip it on top of the filling, and repeat the layer-filling-layer until you have a stack about seven layers tall. Pour the excess filling all over the top of the stack, so it drips down the sides.
- Best served warm, cut into wedges and topped with whipped cream, but can be eaten cold, as well.
I finished making the cake and handed it to Michelle as she was walking out the door, so I didn’t get a chance to try it hot. Michelle said it tasted like pancakes and that the filling tasted like honey. She did bring me a piece the next day, and the pancake taste was there, but not prominent. I noticed the nuttiness of the ground pecans and whole wheat flour and the stickiness of the filling, but not so much the filling’s flavor. The chopped pecans were a really nice crunch, so don’t skip them! Toasting the nuts really brings out their flavor well. The whole experience of making cake layers on the griddle was different and very fun. It was cool how they were stacked hot, as opposed to the usual method of letting the cake thoroughly cool before frosting it. I found it difficult, though, to get the layers the same shape. By using the same amount of batter for each layer, I did the best I could in making them uniform. They obviously do not need to be perfect. For serving, eat it hot, and topped in whipped cream and more nuts. Everything about this cake will make you really happy.