lumberjack pancake cake

When people hear that I’ve studied forestry, they usually think I either spend my days in a fire tower (looking for smoke signals), or practicing my crosscut saw technique. While I normally do neither of these things, I have crossed paths with the latter on several occasions.

Last weekend I spectated at a timbersports competition at the University of Maine, and it prompted me to memorialize the event in a cake. Hence, the Lumberjack Pancake Cake was born.

Actually, this is a Lumberjack Crêpe Cake. However, the words lumberjack and crêpe run together in a rather uncomfortable way, and besides, who has ever heard of a lumberjack eating crêpes? No one.

I made two kinds of crêpes: vanilla & cinnamon sugar, and chocolate. I alternated layers, topping each chocolate layer with a salted caramel sauce, and each vanilla layer with melted chocolate ganache. You’d probably never catch lumberjacks eating this, either.

The cake topper is made out of rolled marshmallow fondant, which is incredibly easy to make, and much tastier than regular, more time-consuming rolled fondant. I used colored mini marshmallows for this, separating them by color and creating small individual batches.

Now to the fun part: showing off the lumberjacks and jills that I had the pleasure of photographing this past Saturday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what many forestry students get up to in their spare time, have a look – there’s nothing quite as fun as watching as a fierce timbersports competition.

Lots of axes, lots of saws, and lots of hardworking chaps who might not have turned down a slice of this cake if I had made it in time to bring down to them.

Lumberjack Pancake Cake

Original crêpes recipes

I started off with a basic crêpe recipe of 3 cups flour, 3 cups milk, 3 eggs. I made two batches of crêpes with significant additions, so that the cake was aesthetically lovely and tall, but one batch would be plenty to create a substantial dessert.

I won’t provide recipes for salted caramel sauce or chocolate ganache here, as there are plenty of those out there and all are equally delicious, but I will mention that I didn’t let my caramel sauce truly ‘caramelize’ so that it would look more like melted butter and syrup.

For marshmallow fondant, see Wilton’s recipe and tutorial.

Vanilla Cinnamon Custard Crêpes

2 1/2 c. cake flour
3 c. milk
3 eggs
1/2 c. custard powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. cinnamon-sugar mixture

Chocolate Crêpes

3 c. flour
3 1/2 c. milk
3 eggs
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions for both recipes:

Combine all ingredients, let sit at least 5 minutes. Heat a nonstick pan over medium, grease lightly with oil. When hot, spoon a ladle of batter onto pan, and spread it around evenly. After one to two minutes, flip and cook for up to one minute more.

Remove from pan, repeat until batter is gone.


34 thoughts on “lumberjack pancake cake

    1. I love Paul Bunyan! I had originally written several paragraphs’ worth of ode to him up above, but decided that would interest only me:D

  1. OH MY GOSH, this is so outrageously splendid. Even crepes with vanilla and cinnamon on their own sounds amazing.

    And I like how the lumberjack is wearing a pink shirt :)

    1. I really enjoyed the vanilla cinnamon crêpes. With the addition of custard powder, they were quite pretty, too!

      It would have been a red shirt, but I used pink marshmallows and felt no need for extra food coloring:)

  2. Ha! This is splendid, and I love the contrasts: lumberjack + crepes, lumberjack + pink shirt, brown + white layers. I’ve wanted to make a crepe cake for awhile now, and can’t imagine one much tastier! That competition looks pretty intense. I didn’t know people actually climbed up tree trunks like that…have only seen it on cartoons!

    1. If you make a crêpe cake, I encourage you to make a version that either soaks some of the layers in a liquid, or uses a frosting or ganache that helps keep the cake’s interior moist. Or perhaps heat up slices before you eat them?

      Competitions like that are really fun to watch, I had a great time:)

    2. Caps off.
    3. Teehee! We have such woodcutting/shopping events at The Canberra Show every year! Except mostly it’s people just using axes on huge wood tree thingies.
    4. This post completely confused me because, in my world, Lumberjack Cake is a cake made with apples and dates and is so moist and gooey and delicious and is baked with a syrup coconut topping that gets all burnished and incredible. Actually, hang on… ( Warning: bad photos and no recipe.
    5. I love that you’re having exciting happy times. xoxo

    1. 1. Aww OMG SAUCES! Girrrrl please.
      2. Hats off!
      3. I like using axes on huge wood tree thingies! Or at least, watching:)
      4. I remember being very confused by your Lumberjack Cake, as it seemed not to resemble bearded men in any fashion, but it sure looked delicious!

  4. I see that the chain saw is labeled “Men”–that’s funny;-) Is that the one that you are using?–And, you know, I bet that intrepid lumberjack Pierre Bear would have eaten crepes, non? fer sure! You look major amazing with that ax in your hands, wowee!
    Fun cake, who ate it all???

    1. I imagine the women might have a lighter-weight saw? Either that or those men are saw stingy and not willing to share!

      I am in none of these pictures, so you are mistaking a short young redhead for me :/ She had good form, though, so I wish it was me.

      There is much cake in the freezer! But awww Pierre Bear, he would have helped me out:)

      1. She could be your stunt double!(I wonder how she does with lumberjack cake…) Oooooo, how long do you think that cake might stay in the freezer, mmmmm maybe three or so weeks?

  5. That is one CRAZY cake! I can’t imagine a lumberjack eating a piece of crepe cake. I may have chuckled at the thought! You should bust out a few of these for NESAF…I bet those academic types would be into your cake fo sho! I like that this post is categorized as cake and forestry. Only you could pull that off successfully.

    You know, because making a crepe cake with custom fondant design is no big deal. I lie. My mind is blown!

    1. Heheh, they probably would deem it worthy of a case study, or put it on display with the exhibitors.

      Cake and forestry sounds like a good combination, no?

      Speaking of which, what can I bring to your defense? ;)

      1. Well, I have been planning a breakfast buffet of epic proportions. Okay maybe not epic, but I want to make three things, one of which is coffee cake. The other two are as yet undetermined. I’m a total stress baker, you know? I figure between run throughs of my seminar, I’ll bake something. If you’d like to bring something, it would definitely mean a lot. But really, it would be lovely for you to just bring yourself!!

  6. Why do you always have such bombtastically fantastic desserts? That pancake cake looks AMAZING. Loving the layers of textures there!
    The lumberjack man kind of looks ancient Persian or Jewish to me…hahaha!

    1. Your comment makes me want to starting singing Mr Bombastic by Shaggy. Actually, it did make me start singing that. What. A. Song.

      Do you know about the legendary Paul Bunyan? I tried to make this look like him, but if it came out Persian or Jewish, that’s a-okay with me too!

  7. That cake is incredible. You are so patient to make all those layers!

    I watched timbersports on tv once and was amazed at how quickly a few of the guys could run up a tree and then essentially fall down and catch themselves just before hitting the ground.

    1. I know, those guys are insane! I could never do that. I’ve done a bit of crosscut sawing, and axe throw and pulp toss and log roll (it all sounds so cheesy!), but never pole climb. Never tobacco spit, either… but that doesn’t seem to be an event that they partake in here in New England:D

  8. When I first scrolled through the post all I could think was “I hope one of these pictures has Emma in it.” XD You should’ve taken some time to saw through some logs. I think next time you should. You know. For posterity. :D

    Also, holy CRAP that is an awesome cake. Consider yourself having accepted many props, as I have now given them to you. Wicked cool and delicious-looking cake. I also like your proclamation RE: lumberjacks and crepes. You’re right. No one.

    1. Sorry to disappoint:) I didn’t participate, I only took pictures! I haven’t sawed through logs in a competition since 2009 (bet you weren’t expecting that, ho ho!). Next time, most definitely.

      What are all these props doing here? Have they been given to me? Why do I keep tripping on them?? :P

  9. Emma, you are cracking me up with this post! I love the photos, especially the one of the guy with the puffed-out cheeks. And your fondant creation is just too awesome! You made my morning:)

    1. Thanks Erin:) I first thought you were talking about fondant Paul, but then realized you meant a real lumberjack… Those guys were too funny, I’ve looked through all my pictures a few times because their expressions make me laugh so much:P

      Aww, glad to make your morning a bit sillier!

    1. Aww, I’m so glad to have improved your work day:) I have so much of this in the freezer (so many layers!) I know some will eventually have to be tossed…

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