Wondering what to do with leftover angel food cake? Make crunchy angel food cake croutons. Garnish ice cream, mix in fruit salad, and top pudding with these lightly sweet croutons.
Are you staring at a pile of leftover angel food cake? Not ready to throw it out? No problem. Here is the solution you have been waiting for – cake croutons.
Angel food cake croutons are one of the best creations you can make with leftover cake. They are sweet, crunchy, and perfect for sweet or savory dishes.
What are cake croutons? Cake croutons are cubes of cake that are toasted in a low-temperature oven until they are crunchy. They can be plain or flavored with sugar, spices, or blends (like cinnamon sugar).
What You Will Love
- Tasty with many dishes. Try these crunchy croutons in fruit salad, as a soup topping, in a green salad, or as a dessert garnish.
Or just snack on them alone. You may find yourself munching on them all day.
- Make any-sized batch. Only have a few scraps of leftover cake? Rustle up a handful of croutons. Just what you need to garnish a couple of dishes of ice cream.
- They last a long time – especially when stored in the freezer. They are ridiculously easy to freeze. So simple you may decide to make croutons with an entire angel food cake.
Best of all – no thawing. Pull them out and use right away.
- Easy to customize. This recipe is for sugared angel food cake croutons. But you can also make them with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice.
Plus, you can use any cake flavor to make them. But I wouldn’t recommend cakes that have nuts or other chunky ingredients. That just doesn’t seem to jive with what you want in a crouton.
- Angel food cake. Angel food cake made in a loaf pan is the easiest to cube. Use leftover cake, stale cake, or cake that didn’t turn out right.
- Liquid fat. Butter is the tastiest. You will probably prefer it. But you can use melted coconut oil, olive oil, or even cooking spray if you want. The fat helps the sugar stick to the cake cubes.
- Sugar. Use regular granulated sugar. Nothing fancy needed here.
Instead of angel food cake, use pound cake, Bundt cake, or really any unfrosted leftover cake.
What else can you use besides leftover cake to make croutons? You can use cupcakes or muffins (although they might be more challenging to cut into pretty cubes). You can also try a quick bread like banana, zucchini, or pumpkin bread.
Variations come from different cake flavors or spices. Vanilla or chocolate cake are the most common flavors. But spice or red velvet cake are good choices too.
- Sugar and cinnamon. Shake the cake cubes with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Use more sugar than cinnamon. A 3 to 1½ ratio is the best. That is 3 tablespoons of sugar to 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
Try this combo and make pound cake croutons.
- Pumpkin pie spice. Mix pumpkin pie spice and sugar for a flavored blend. Use 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Lemon cake croutons. Instead of using angel food cake, try lemon pound cake. Sweeten with lemon sugar for the best sweet sour lemon cake croutons.
STEP 1: Cut the angel food cake into 1-inch cubes. Slice the angel food cake and then cut each slice in half. Cut each half into cubes.
STEP 2: Lay the cake cubes on a baking sheet and allow them to dry out. Overnight is the minimum if you are using fresh cake. However, 24 to 48 hours is better.
It is OK if you don’t have time to dry the cubes out. Just be prepared to bake them about 30 minutes longer in the oven to get the crouton crunch you want.
STEP 3: Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
STEP 4: Place the dried cake cubes in a large mixing bowl.
STEP 5: Melt the coconut oil or butter. Drizzle the melted fat over the dried cake cubes. Stir to distribute it over all the pieces.
STEP 6: Sprinkle the sugar into the cake. Shake and stir the cubes until all the pieces are coated.
Optional: Shake the cubes through a mesh strainer to remove excess sugar.
STEP 7: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray). Lay the cake cubes on the baking sheet in a single layer.
STEP 8: Place the baking sheet in the hot oven and toast for 10 minutes. Flip the cubes over and toast for another 10 minutes. Stir and flip one last time and toast for another 10 minutes or until the croutons are crunchy.
Total baking time is about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the croutons during the last few minutes, so they don’t burn.
If necessary (for example, if the cake was fresh), bake for another 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.
STEP 9: Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven off. Cool the cake croutons completely.
STEP 10: Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze up to 6 months.
- For the ultimate crunchy crouton, you need dry cake. Stale is ok. Maybe even better than just dry.
Soft cake can make croutons too, but it takes much longer to toast them in the oven. And you might find the outside crunchy while the inside is still soft.
These cake croutons are still tasty, but they won’t have the crunch through and through like you might be expecting.
- An angel food loaf cake is easiest. Cake baked in a loaf pan is easy to slice and then cube. But you can use angel food cake baked in any pan.
- Use unfrosted cake. Angel food cake is usually not frosted, which makes it ideal for croutons. However, any bare cake can transform into croutons. Pound cake or plain Bundt cake are popular choices for croutons.
If you crave cake croutons but only have frosted cake, scrape the frosting off. Like get every speck of icing off. You will be glad you did.
- Size matters. Smaller croutons (½-inch) are perfect for topping individual servings. And 1-inch cubes work quite well when mixed into salads.
How to Store Cake Croutons
To keep croutons fresh, store them in an airtight container. However, they must be completely cool before being stored, or they will get soft.
No need to refrigerate them. Keep them on the counter.
Cake croutons remain fresh for about a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can even be used after two weeks, but they may start to taste stale. Especially if you started with stale cake.
Cake croutons are easy to freeze. In fact, freezing the croutons is the best way to keep them fresh longer if you don’t think you will use them all within a week.
Storing the croutons in the freezer is the perfect way to always have them on hand. Keep them in a freezer zip-top bag or a freezer-safe airtight container. When stored this way, you can freeze them for up to 6 months.
When you are ready to eat them, pull out what you need and use them right away. That’s right. They don’t need to thaw. They are crunchy and ready to go.
What to Serve with Cake Croutons
- Garnish an ice cream sundae or banana split.
- Instead of crushing vanilla wafers, use cake croutons as a layer in banana pudding. Cake croutons are just one of the cookie alternatives for banana pudding.
- Mix angel food cake croutons in a fruit salad. Ambrosia salad is a good choice. But any simple fruit salad benefits from cake croutons too.
- Throw some cake croutons in a green salad. Cake croutons are fantastic in a mandarin orange salad or strawberry spinach salad.
Angel Food Cake Croutons (with leftover cake)
- 4 cups of angel food cake cubes
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter or melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- CUT the angel food cake into 1-inch cubes. Aim for 4 cups, but you can make croutons out of any amount of cubes.
- LAY the cake cubes on a baking sheet and allow them to dry out. Overnight is the minimum if you are using fresh cake. However, 24 to 48 hours is better. (See note #1)
- PREHEAT the oven to 250°F (120°C).
- PLACE the dried cake cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- MELT the coconut oil or butter. Drizzle the melted fat over the dried cake cubes. Stir to distribute it over all the cake cubes.
- SPRINKLE the sugar into the cake cubes. Shake and stir the cake cubes until all the pieces are coated.
- Optional: SHAKE the cake cubes through a mesh strainer to remove excess sugar.
- LINE a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking spray). Lay the cake cubes on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- PLACE the baking sheet in the hot oven and toast for 10 minutes.
- FLIP the cubes over and toast for another 10 minutes.
- STIR and flip one last time and toast for another 10 minutes or until the croutons are crunchy. Keep an eye on the croutons during the last few minutes, so they don’t burn. If necessary, stir and bake for another 10 minutes.
- REMOVE the pan from the oven and turn the oven off. Cool the cake croutons completely.
- USE immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze up to 6 months.
- It is OK if you don’t have time to dry the cubes out. Just be prepared to bake them about 30 minutes longer (stirring every 10 minutes) to get the crouton crunch you want.
Hungry for More Leftover Cake Recipes?
- Leftover cake bread pudding. Stale cake cubes and a milk/egg mixture are baked in the oven and topped with a brown sugar sauce. Serve this dessert warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll love it.
- Birthday cake Rice Krispies treats. Take that classic Rice Krispies recipe and throw in leftover birthday cake crumbs, mini marshmallows, and colorful sprinkles.
- Trifle. Layer cake pieces, pudding, fruit, and whipped cream in individual serving dishes to make an easy trifle dessert.
- Easy dessert skewers. Nothing is easier than skewering berries, marshmallows, and cake cubes on a stick. Drizzle some melted white chocolate on your fruity dessert kabob and you have a fancy dessert for any party.
- Cake milkshake. Cake and ice cream are the perfect match. Make a cake milkshake with leftover cake and ice cream. This is a fun dessert your kids will get a kick out of.