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Easy Leftover Chocolate Cake Croutons

When you have leftover chocolate cake scraps, make lightly sweet and crunchy chocolate cake croutons. Perfect for a snack or a dessert topping.

Bowl of leftover chocolate cake croutons.

Ready for a leftover chocolate cake recipe that will keep for months and is ready for use all the time? Then let me introduce you to chocolate cake croutons.

Just like angel food cake croutons, chocolate croutons are made with leftover cake. They can be eaten as a snack, used as a topping, or mixed in a salad.

You Will Love These. Here’s Why.

Bowl of chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake croutons and raspberries.
  • Store them in the freezer for 6 months. They freeze perfectly. And the best part is that they are ready to go anytime. Take out what you need and eat them right away. They don’t even need to thaw.

    If the crouton is especially large, give it 3 to 5 minutes, and it is ready to go.
  • Great way to use leftover cake. You can use old, stale cake to make these croutons. In fact, that is even better than starting with fresh cake.
  • Unique topping. They are a fantastic and unique topping for ice cream, sundaes, or banana splits. Plus, they are wonderful mixed into a salad or used as a layer in chocolate banana pudding.

Ingredients

Ingredients for chocolate cake croutons on a cutting board.
  • Leftover chocolate cake. Most types of chocolate cake will make excellent croutons. Just make sure the cake doesn’t have any frosting. Frosting and croutons won’t work out together.

    If your cake does have frosting, scrape it off really well. To be extra safe, thinly slice off the edge where the frosting was.

    You may also be interested in this post on how long cake lasts.
  • Fat. Melted butter tastes the best, but you can also use melted coconut or olive oil.
  • Sugar. Granulated sugar or decorating sugar are both acceptable choices.

Variations

Add spices to change the flavor. Here are a few suggestions to try.

  • Cinnamon and sugar. The croutons will be like a crunchy chocolate churro when you flavor them with cinnamon and sugar.

    A 3 to 1½ ratio is the best. That is 3 tablespoons of sugar to 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

    You will also like cinnamon sugar pound cake croutons.
  • Chili powder and sugar. Give your croutons a kick with chili powder. Then tone it down with sugar. You may even like adding cinnamon here too.

    Try 3 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon each of chili powder and cinnamon.
  • Lemon cake croutons. Instead of chocolate cake, use leftover lemon cake to make croutons. You will love lemon cake croutons with lemon sugar.

Directions

STEP 1: Cut the leftover chocolate cake into 1-inch cubes.

Chocolate cake cubes on a cutting board with a knife.
  • Scrape any frosting off the cake. Be thorough. If you like, thinly slice the edge off where the icing was.
  • Slice the cake as evenly as possible.
  • Cut the slices into cubes.

STEP 2: Lay the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Chocolate cake cubes drying on an baking sheet.

STEP 3: Dry the chocolate cake cubes out overnight (at the minimum), but 24 to 48 hours is even better. You are trying to get the pieces as dry as possible.

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 4: Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

STEP 5: Melt the butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

STEP 6: Pour the cake cubes into a large mixing bowl.

STEP 7: Stir in the butter and granulated sugar. Mix until the cake cubes are coated.

Chocolate cake cubes mixed with melted butter and sugar.

STEP 8: Lay the coated cake cubes on the lined baking sheet.

Toasted chocolate cake croutons on a baking sheet.

STEP 9: Toast the cake cubes in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir the cubes and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Repeat one or two more times. The total toasting time should be between 30 and 40 minutes.

Hint: Keep baking until the cake cubes begin to look toasty and feel firm to the touch.

STEP 10: Cool the croutons completely. As they cool, they get crunchy. Serve them on top of ice cream or store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sheet pan with baked chocolate cake croutons.

Tasty Tips

  • Keep a watch on the croutons. Use your sense of sight and smell to judge when they are done. Keep toasting the croutons until they start to look toasty brown. Then toast them for 10 more minutes.

    Usually, this is 30 minutes total, but it can be more or less depending on the type of cake and how dry it was at the beginning.
  • Cool before eating them. The actual dry crouton crunch comes when the croutons cool to room temperature. They won’t have that consistency right out of the oven.

    They don’t take too long to cool. Much faster than regular cake cooling times.
  • Drying the cake cubes for a day or two is best. However, you can make croutons with fresh cake. The directions for toasting them are the same except for the length of time.

    It will take about an hour for them to toast. Remember to stir them every 10 minutes.

How to Store Chocolate Cake Croutons

If you don’t use all the croutons after you make them, the best way to store them is in the freezer in a freezer-safe container.

They last at least 6 months and are always ready to go when needed. Just pull them out and eat.

However, if you prefer not to freeze them, store the chocolate cake croutons in an airtight container on the counter for one week. No need to refrigerate them.

If the croutons aren’t kept in an airtight container, they can soften over time.

How Long do Chocolate Cake Croutons Last?

Chocolate cake croutons are fresh for about a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. After that, they may start to taste stale.

In the freezer, croutons last at least 6 months.

How to Use Chocolate Cake Croutons

Spinach strawberry salad with chocolate cake croutons.
  • Mix the croutons in strawberry spinach salad for an unexpected taste and a delicious crunch.
  • Top a chocolate sundae with the croutons.
Yield: 4 cups

Leftover Chocolate Cake Croutons

Bowl of leftover chocolate cake croutons.

When you have leftover chocolate cake scraps, make lightly sweet and crunchy chocolate cake croutons. Perfect for a snack or a dessert topping.

Please note: The prep and cook time does not include the time to dry the cake cubes out overnight. Drying out can take 24 to 48 hours.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cubed chocolate cake
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. SCRAPE any frosting off the leftover cake scraps. Be thorough. If you like, thinly slice off the edge where the icing was.
  2. SLICE the cake as evenly as possible.
  3. CUT the slices into cubes.
  4. LAY the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. DRY the chocolate cake cubes out overnight (at the minimum), but 24 to 48 hours is even better. You are trying to get pieces as dry as possible. (See Note #1 if you have fresh cake.)
  6. PREHEAT the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. MELT the butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  8. POUR the cake cubes into a large mixing bowl.
  9. STIR in the butter and granulated sugar. Mix until the cake cubes are coated.
  10. LAY the coated cake cubes on the lined baking sheet.
  11. TOAST the cake cubes in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir the cubes and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes. Repeat one or two more times. The total toasting time should be between 30 and 40 minutes. Hint: Keep baking until the cake cubes begin to look toasty and feel firm to the touch.
  12. COOL the croutons completely. As they cool, they get crunchy. Serve them on top of ice cream or store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  1. 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. Toasting them up to an hour is normal.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

32

Serving Size

1/8 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 128Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 9mgSodium 107mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 1gSugar 13gProtein 1g

Nutrition information is an estimate only and may vary based on individual ingredients added and cooking methods used.

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Hungry for More Leftover Cake Recipes

  • Leftover cake bread pudding. When your leftover cake is going stale, cube it and make bread pudding with cake cubes. Chocolate or vanilla cake bread pudding are both tasty when served warm with a scoop of ice cream.
  • Birthday cake Rice Krispies treats. Not your ordinary Rice Krispies treats. These birthday cake Krispies are packed with birthday cake crumbs, mini marshmallows, and colorful jimmies.

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