From trifles to truffles, those leftovers can have a whole new life.
Kylie Walker

10 Jan 2020 - 9:53 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2020 - 9:53 AM

If you've had your fill of fruit cake, or you're bored with your brownies (we're not sure that's possible, but just in case...) here are eight ways to give your leftovers a new twist. 

1. A cake take on tiramisu

Tiramisu might be traditionally made with sponge finger biscuits (and SBS Food has a mighty fine version right here) but you can make a great version with cake, too. If you decide to sub cake into your tiramisu, make sure you use plenty of strong espresso to balance out any extra sweetness from the cake.  

2. Give things a shake

Take inspiration from these crazy monster shake recipes and put your leftover cupcakes or a slice of sturdy cakes on top of a glass of cool, sweet milkshake - like this colourful Big bang birthday cake shake

3. Layer it up

Got leftover banana bread? Chop, layer and serve and you've got these banana bread, raspberry and ricotta trifles done in less than 30 minutes. 

4. Likewise, with brownies

The "layer for a new look" trick works equally well with brownies. Tumble chopped brownie into any trifle or Eton mess recipe (try brownies in place of meringues in Yotam Ottolenghi's Strawberry and rose mess), or discover the genius combination of chocolate brownies and minted custard cream from Anneka Manning's Minted raspberry brownie trifles

5. Fry time

It's super easy to turn leftover fruit cake into dessert - brush it with butter and pan-fry it. You can also use a sandwich press - a good option if you want to use up a more delicate cake. Serve it up with custard, cream or ice-cream. 

6. Chill out

Softening a tub of ice-cream and stirring through chunks of cake has to be one of the absolute best no-fuss ways to use up leftovers. It's particularly good with sturdier and stronger-flavoured cakes - think fruit cake, dense chocolate flourless cake, brownies, carrot cake and hummingbird cake. Or if you'd like to make the ice-cream yourself, try this recipe for boozy popsicles from China Squirrel - it uses leftover Christmas pudding but is also a great way to use up rich fruitcake. 

7. Say balls to that

Cake pops hogged the leftover-cake spotlight for a long time, and there's nothing wrong with that. But that favourite Christmas treat, the rum ball, was here first, and it's a goodie any time of year. Try this recipe from the Feast magazine archives - you can use any plain cake crumbs in this one; chocolate, sponge and Madeira all work well. There's also a variation for using up fruit bread. 

8. Cake from cake

Refrigerator cakes - or what the US calls ice-box cakes - are usually made with biscuits. But you can apply the same principle to use up slices of cake or brownies, too. If your cake is lightweight, then layer the ingredients in ramekins and don't turn out for serving. 

More ways to use up cake
Honey and apricot trifle with walnuts and lavender

I showed my ignorance big-time when suggesting on screen that pure honey was anything else than pure honey. Anyway, I think I made up for it with this impressive take on an immortal British classic. Although only a small amount of fresh lavender is called for, it will make all the difference to the end result so don’t be tempted to lose lavender. Once you’ve used a couple of flowers, leave the remaining bunch sitting in a jar on your kitchen counter. It will look and smell fantastically French.

Cherry mousse cake (charlotte aux cerises)

Stage 14: Colmar - Besançon Gabriel Gaté introduces the food from the Jura region and talks to cheese guru, Will Studd, about the great local cheeses considered amongst the best in the world. Gabriel makes a luscious French-style Cherry Trifle, and sommelier, Christian Maier, discusses the local kirsch cherry liqueur.