Cupcakes? Cronuts? You’re so over. The new dessert trend is mille crepe cakes.

L’otus Cake Boutique (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

Richmond newcomer L’otus Cake Boutique (8580 Cambie Road) is specializing in this on-trend dessert called gâteau mille crêpes. While the name literally means a “cake of 1,000 crepes,” L’otus makes these lavish treats – in flavors like matcha or mango – with a stack of more than a dozen paper-thin pancakes.

L’otus owner Stacy Liang came to Vancouver from China several years ago to study computer science. She’d always loved baking, though she considered it a hobby, something she did for her family and friends. She quickly found, she says, that for her, “computer science kills the brain, but baking brings people happiness.”

Redirecting her career goals, Liang studied baking at Vancouver’s Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and in January of this year, she opened L’otus Cake Boutique at the corner of Cambie and Sexsmith Roads.

Inside L’otus Cake Boutique (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

For both the design of the shop, with its blond wood, bright white tables, and vibrant fresh flowers, and for the treats that she’s making, Liang says she drew inspiration from Japan. She wanted the café to feel peaceful, with clean lines and a simple design that would enable customers to focus on the baked goods.

While crepes originated in France, Liang explains that the creamy layered crepe cakes became extremely popular in Tokyo. They’ve always been one of her personal favourites, and she saw a business opportunity here, since no one was making these cakes in the Vancouver area.

Matcha, mango and earl grey crepe cakes. (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

L’otus prepares several different varieties, layering the crepes with a rich cream filling. Liang says that she’s particularly fond of the crème brûlée ($8.50/slice), its top glazed with caramelized sugar.

Liang and her staff use teas to flavour several of the crepe cakes ($8-8.50/slice), including matcha, Earl Grey, and hojicha, a roasted green tea.

Mango crepe cake (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

To make the mango crepe cake ($13.80/slice), a decadent confection of fresh fruit, crepes, and cream, the shop uses fresh mangoes flown in from the Philippines.

L’otus cake roll with vanilla whipped cream (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller

Despite the popularity of the photogenic crepe cakes, Liang says that the shop’s signature product is the L’otus cake roll, a light and airy sponge cake. The cake itself has a soft, almost pudding-like texture, and she infuses the rich whipped cream inside with Madagascar vanilla bean. Strawberry and other seasonal varieties rotate through the L’otus menu.

L’otus Cake Boutique also makes cakes to order. (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

L’otus also makes whole cakes to order, including cake rolls, crepe cakes, and other custom cakes.

All these baked goods are very labor intensive, and Liang says it’s important to her that they make everything from scratch. Bakery staff start work at 6am in order to have cakes ready to serve when the café opens at noon (daily, except Mondays).

A selection of teas at L’otus Cake Boutique (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

L’otus Cake Boutique also makes cakes to order. (Photo: Carolyn B. Heller)

To pair with the cakes, L’otus serves a selection of coffees and teas. Liang says that she and her staff are particularly proud of their matcha lattes, made with matcha powder from Japan, swirled with artistic designs, and prepared unsweetened, in the Japanese way. Although they will make a sweetened version on request, Liang noted that they’re trying “not to follow the trend” in North America of sweetening drinks, hewing to a more authentic Japanese style.

Liang explains that the shop’s Chinese name is “Six Lotus” and symbolizes the word “genuine.” She says that the name reminds her “to stay genuine in my heart,” so that she’ll always remember the passion for cakes that led her to open her business. Unlike computer programming, baking cakes makes her happy, she says, and she’s thrilled to share these slices of happiness with the L’otus customers.