As the saying goes, if you want to make a gorgeous dessert, sometimes you’ve got to break a few cakes…well, something like that.

All cake artists know that making beautiful cakes almost always results in leftover scraps that often just get tossed away.  And then, of course, there’s leftover cake and cupcakes that get thrown out when they’re on the verge of going stale. But all that delicious cake doesn’t have to go to waste.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of great recipes out there that let you put those cake cast-offs to good use. Here are just 9 delicious ways to put cake scraps to use.

cake parfait cups

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  1. Cake Parfait Cups

This is a very clever idea that will help you put multiple leftover ingredients to use in your home kitchen or bakery business. Create individual parfaits (or trifles if you want to be a little fancier) using cake crumbs, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, fruit, chocolate chips or anything else you have lying around. Use clear cups to layer the cake crumbles and your other add-ins for a dessert that’s resourceful, beautiful and delectable.

  1. Cake Decorating

What better way to use leftover cake than by adding it to more cake? Get a unique look by frosting your cake (or cupcakes) as usual with buttercream or ganache, and then covering the whole thing with a thin layer of cake crumbs. Or use crumbs in different colors to create designs or words on the top of the cake.

Cake Pops

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  1. Cake Pops

This personal serving dessert concept has become quite ubiquitous of late, but it doesn’t make them any less yummy or popular. They may be slightly more involved to make than you’d think, but worth the effort. Break down any cake scraps you have in a food processor, mix the cake crumbs with frosting and form into balls. Place the balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let them sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

After they’ve set, get your 6-inch lollipop sticks and melted Candy Melts (or any type of frosting) ready. Finally, simply dip the end of the stick into the Candy Melts, insert the stick into the cake ball and immerse it into the icing so it’s fully coated. You can add sprinkles or any other type of decoration as well. They need to set in an upright position, so you may find it helpful to use a block of florist’s foam to hold them in place.

  1. Ice Cream Topping

Cake and ice cream have a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship that we don’t see ending anytime soon. Take a cue from the marble slab mix-in trend by folding cake crumbs into softened ice cream or toast up the crumbs in the oven on a cookie sheet and use them as an inventive ice cream topping.

cake crumb muffin

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  1. Crumb Cake Muffins

Everyone knows that the best part of a muffin is the muffin top and the best kind of muffins tops are the ones that are loaded with sweet crumbs that toast up nice and crispy on top.  You can achieve these dreamy muffins by incorporating a couple cups of cake crumbles into your favorite muffin recipe. Keep in mind that you may want to decrease the amount of flour the recipe calls for.

  1. Pie Crust

Pies of all varieties use crumb crusts and you can make your own perfect pie crust with your leftover cake scraps. All you have to do is crumble up the leftover cake, toast up the crumbs in the oven, mix with melted butter and press into the bottom of a pie pan. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees and then proceed with the filling of your choosing.

  1. Cupcake Within a Cupcake

You’ll get rave reviews from your guests or customers when you serve up these pretty little cupcakes that have a surprise hidden inside. Start by using cake scraps to make a cake pop mixture in one or two different colors. Then whip up another batch of cake batter in a different color from your cake balls. Pour a little of the batter into cupcake tins, then place the cake ball on top of the batter and cover in more batter. If you want 3 colors, just cover your cake ball in a layer of cake pop mixture in another color. When you bite into the cupcake, you’ll see a beautiful multi-colored, layered look – check out these 4th of July cupcakes to see for yourself.

  1. Cake Bread Pudding

This recycled cake idea could just turn out to be your new favorite. Borrowing inspiration from classic bread pudding, it starts by covering the bottom of a buttered baking dish in cubes of almost-stale leftovers cake. Next, you cover that in a mixture of 4 eggs, 1 3/4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of sugar and whatever else you like in your bread pudding (raisins, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, almonds, etc.). Use a spatula to press the cake down and make sure it all gets soaked in the liquid.  Finally, bake at 350 for around 35 minutes and slice. Bakeries and home cooks alike could make bake in mini loaves to sell or give as gifts to friends.

  1. Cake Shake

When in doubt, take any leftover cake scraps and toss them into a blender with ice cream and milk for a sinfully delicious cake milkshake.

Now that you see how very useful and delicious cake scraps and be, you’ll probably never throw them in the garbage again. In fact, you may find that what you make with those scraps is better than the original recipe you were working on in the first place!

About the Author: Edward Lee is a professional dessert expert and avid blogger who loves sharing his knowledge and passion on a variety of food publications. He’s also the National Accounts Manager of BoDeans Baking Group, one of the country’s main suppliers of ice cream toppings wholesale. To learn more, visit