Cake, Reinvented

leopard cake

Baking a cake can inevitably lead to extras—cake “domes” that were removed to level out layers, excess icing, and orphaned toppings. Oftentimes, these leftovers get packaged up and sent to their cold, lonely existence in the back of a freezer until that one fateful day… spring cleaning. But wait! It doesn’t have to end that way. Of course, there are always cake pops, but they’ve been done. Here we unleashed our animal instinct and reinvented the cake leftovers into decadent homemade cake bars. Not only does every bite bring an adorable surprise, but they can be assembled with almost any amount of leftover cake. You know what they say, “Waste not, want not.” Or is it “Waste not, want more?” We want more already.

Mini Cake Bars Recipe


  • 4 parts / leftover white or yellow cake, finely crumbled
  • 1 part / white Icing
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dutch Process cocoa powder
  • Dark chocolate for dipping

Cake Assembly:

  1. Using a fork or your hands, finely crumble your leftover white or yellow cake.
  2. Separate the crumbled cake into three bowls: one half of the crumbled cake into bowl #1, and one fourth of the crumbled cake into bowls #2 and #3.
  3. To bowl #1, add white icing at a ratio of one tablespoon of icing per ¼ cup of crumbled cake and mix thoroughly. The mixture should resemble a dough and hold well when pressed together. Add more icing if necessary.
  4. To bowl #2, add white icing at a ratio of one tablespoon of icing per ¼ cup of crumbled cake, but also add cocoa powder to icing (1 tsp of cocoa powder per ¼ cup of icing). Mix this chocolate icing into the crumbled cake well to make a light-brown, dough-like mixture. Add more icing if necessary to bind the dough together.
  5. To bowl #3, add white icing at a ratio of one tablespoon of icing per ¼ cup of crumbled cake, but also add Dutch process cocoa powder (aka extra dark cocoa powder) to icing (2 tsp of cocoa powder per ¼ cup of icing), and then add the dark chocolate icing to the crumbled cake to create a dark-brown, dough-like mixture.
  6. Place the three doughs in the refrigerator separately to chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Beginning with the light brown cake mixture: divide mixture into 5 portions, and roll each portion into a long rope, about the diameter of a pencil. The diameter can be altered to make smaller or larger cakes. This size will create a cake that is roughly two inches wide and one inch tall.
  8. Repeat with the dark brown cake mixture, creating ropes roughly the same length as the light brown dough. Place a piece of parchment paper over the dark brown ropes and roll flat.
  9. Divide the white mixture into 5 portions and roll each portion into a long rope about the same length as the brown portions. As before, place a piece of parchment paper over the white rolls, and roll flat.
  10. Take one light brown rope and place it onto one flattened dark brown dough. Wrap the dark brown around the light brown dough. Then, take this and place it onto a flattened white dough. Wrap the white piece around the dark and light brown pieces. It is not necessary to fully wrap around the doughs.
  11. Repeat with the remaining parts to create 5 light brown, dark brown, and white “logs”.
  12. Combine each “log” into one large bar roughly the shape of a rectangle, pressing firmly to adhere.
  13. Wrap with parchment paper and continue to press until the cake is a tight rectangle.
  14. Place in the refrigerator for one hour, or in the freezer until ready to dip in chocolate.

Finaly assembly:

  1. If frozen, allow cake to thaw enough to be cut. Cut the cake into desired cake bar lengths.
  2. Dip in tempered, melted chocolate. Tempering the chocolate will allow the outside to harden and create a shinier result.
  3. Top with desired toppings.
  4. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving.
  5. Release your inner animal and enjoy!
Notes: Chocolate cake can be substituted for the Dutch Process cocoa powder layer.
Cake should be consumed within 4 days.
Leopard Cake

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Sandi received a masters degree from the University of Florida in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences. Her passion in life is baking and she also loves food photography. When she is not playing with flour and butter, you can find her fishing, golfing, surfing or in the pottery studio crafting her own bakeware.