Hot Milk Cake

August  7, 2015
6 Ratings
Photo by sara_cornelius_
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

This recipe comes from my grandmother, and my mom has been making it for my dad's birthday/Father's Day (which tend to fall on the same weekend) for as long as I can remember. I would describe it as having a flavor similar to pound cake, but with a lighter crumb. It's wonderful plain or frosted, but my family serves it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream in the summer. —sara_cornelius_

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Berries, for serving (optional)
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and grease and flour your cake pan. My family makes this in a tube (angel food cake) pan, but you could also use two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder and then sift together into another medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla for a few minutes, until light and frothy.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir together gently by hand with a spatula, just until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the stick of butter. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Slowly pour that mixture into the rest of the batter while mixing lightly. Mix just until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you're using two smaller cake pans, your baking time will be between 25 to 35 minutes.)
  7. Let the cake cool and then flip it out of the pan. Serve with whipped cream and berries, if you so choose. You could also use this cake in a layer cake or pour a glaze over it. Store at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KK
  • gabby
  • Mary Yee
    Mary Yee
  • Regine
  • sara_cornelius_

21 Reviews

Andrea C. December 2, 2021
This was a big hit! I’d recommend buttering and flouring the bundt pan- I only buttered it and parts stuck. I did a dark chocolate ganache over the top and served it with blackberries and whipped cream.
lau September 7, 2019
Made this cake and loved it. I have a similiar recipe that was my great aunts but thought I would try this one. I didn't have any milk on hand so I improvised and used a mixture of half and half, unsweetened almond milk and nut protein milk (silk brand). It came out just as delicious. Great recipe.
KK April 15, 2019
Made this cake this past Sunday and it is delicious - such a nice, fine crumb and delicious flavor - wonderful warm as well as cooled:)
judy September 13, 2018
Looking for a milk care recipe to use with tiramisu. Lady fingers are beyond me, as well as being too fussy. Any way, decides ago I had a Betty Crocker recipe for milk cake that was the base of their tiramisu. Over the years and many moves, I have lost that (and many other) recipes. So I have tried several. This is the one to replace that recipe. The only change that I made was to reduce the sugar by 25%. Also this makes a GREAT base for microwave cakes if want to do several individual. I halve the recipe and then go from there. Then can do whatever I want. I have even substituted the milk with some very nice mulberry juice that I came across--beautiful cake with cream. Anyway. This is a VERUY versatile cake to eat on its' own or to change up. By the way, for microwaving: Halve recipe. Pour half of batter into each of two stoneware cereal bowls (or equivalent). Microwave on high, separately, for about 2min 15 secs --my micro is 1500watts--so your may vary. Allow to cool in bowl for about 2 mins. Turn out and cut into 4 very nice servings. The second bake and keep for the next day. It actually keeps pretty well for a couple of days. Thanks for a very nice recipe.
sara_cornelius_ September 13, 2018
This is amazing! I love that idea of using it for tiramisu. Thanks for the great comment!
Lisa June 10, 2018
I am surprised this recipe is not one of the most popular one. It is so easy to make, fool ( me) proof, versatile and delicious. First cake I ever made. It has never failed me. For dessert, I follow the recipe and serve it with a ball of vanilla icecream and if it is in season with berries. Off season, I use frozen raspberry to make a coulis. For breakfast, I bake it in loaf pan. I would use 1/2 of whole wheat flour, add variety of ingredient such as walnuts, or dry dates, dry figs to it to make it heavier and more wholesome. I also mixed flour with almond flour and dry apricot, topped with slivered almond. I used mixed glutinous flour with flour which gives a different texture and delicates taste. All worked well, a true no fail recipe. Love it. Thank you for sharing it!
gabby May 6, 2018
I’ve been making a variation of this cake for about six years. Our need for a hot milk cake cake from Maurice Sendsk’s In the Night Kitchen. I usually do the milk/butter at the start and set it aside to cool while everything else gets prepped. It’s always a surprise and a success.
geugca September 5, 2015
The cake is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I loved the consistency of it too! Just wondering if I could add lemon zest to it and change it up? What do you think?
masapas September 5, 2015
I think that would work!
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Yeah definitely - I'd say go for it!
Malu September 3, 2015
Thank you forsharing such an easy and delicious recipe, i love it❤️
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Thank YOU I'm so glad to hear it!
Mary Y. September 2, 2015
Sounds great and perfect to pair with late summer fruits. Thank you for the story and the recipe.
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Thank you it was my pleasure!
Harjinder August 26, 2015
I would like to try rice or oat milk instead of normal full fat. Any suggestions
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Hmmm I haven't messed with different milks, so I can't attest to how that might turn out. It's definitely worth a shot, though. If you try it out please let me know how it goes.
masapas August 20, 2015
I'm so glad I tried this recipe! Great cake, interesting technique and very easy
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Wonderful I'm glad you liked it!
Regine August 12, 2015
For me, the secret to this recipe, which makes cake lighter, is to make sure you beat egg mixture for several minutes. I usually do 10 minutes.
sara_cornelius_ September 8, 2015
Solid plan! I'll keep that in mind as I make it from here on out.
gremolata August 24, 2020
Interesringly,I did beat it to a nice think egg sugar foam,almost to ribbon and it baked beautifully but did not rise very was still delicous but dense, not fluffy. I wondered if the hotmilk mix, deflated!