Hot Milk Cake is an old-fashioned, fluffy and soft dessert is the perfect ending to any meal.
There are several reasons for which the Hot Milk Cake is so popular. The recipe comes from the beginning of the 20th century and it quickly gained on popularity during the Great Depression because it’s made from just a few affordable ingredients so even families with stretched budgets could make it.
The price is not the only advantage though. It’s also totally fool-proof and a perfect dessert recipe for complete beginner. It doesn’t matter if you accidentally add a drop more of this or a drop less of that which you can guess by the measuring units – cup – the recipe doesn’t require total precision. And las bust not least, the biggest reason of Hot Milk Cake’s popularity is it’s taste. Its rich buttery taste and smell will make you want to have another piece.
If you have a sweet tooth, try also my other cake recipes!
How to make Hot Milk Cake perfect – tips before starting
Hot Milk Cake is supposed to be light and fluffy and there are several tips to follow if you want to achieve the right texture and level of fluffiness. First, use the right type of flour – it should be fine flour such as cake flour but even all-purpose flour is fine. By the way, if you find yourself in Central Europe, you might be a little confused by the flour system, check out this Czech Flour Guide.
Second, the eggs should be at room temperature. So take them out of the fridge before you start preparing the batter and leave them on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes. Third, take your time with whisking. It’s what gets the air in the batter and if you cheat this step, your hot milk cake won’t be as fluffy as it could be. I used a large cake pan for this recipe so my cake looks quite flat in the photos but it did grow nicely.
Use high fat-content milk if you can. The fat content of the milk adds to the richness of the cake. I use 4% milk.
Can I use ingredient substitutes?
The simple answer is yes. There’s a BUT, though, because you have to remember that changing an ingredient will change the taste and texture of the cake.
Buttermilk and yoghurt – you can use these instead of milk, it will give the cake a more “fresh” taste but, on the downside, the buttermilk and yoghurt will overpower the taste of butter and also your cake will be less fluffy and it will probably fall after you take it out of the oven.
Milk and butter substitutes – using vegetable fat, almond/rice/soy milk etc. will inevitably result in loss of the typical taste of the Hot Milk Cake. It won’t be a milk cake anymore. However, you can substitute both milk and butter.
Flour – you can use a little healthier flour such as whole-wheat flour. Once again, the cake will not be as soft and fluffy but it can definitely be done.
Less sugar – I actually use less sugar that in the traditional recipes because, to be honest, it’s extremely sweet for me. I think you’ll see that my recipe is still sweet enough and you might even want to use less sugar than me.
Ingredients and Supplies
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 10 tbsp of butter
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- optional: confectioner’s sugar
- pinch of salt
- electrical whisk (or a hand whisk)
- baking pan
- some butter and flour or spray for greasing the baking pan
How to make the Hot Milk Cake
Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and start whisking at a high to medium-high speed. Of you’re using a hand whisk just whisk as fast as you can. You should whisk for at least 5 minutes (electrical whisk), that’s when the mixture triples in volume. The resulting mixture should have very light yellow color (or darker if you use brown sugar).
In another bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Little by little keep adding the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and keep whisking.
Put the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat it slowly until you see small bubbles at the edge. Turn the heat off just before the milk starts boiling. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, add also the vanilla extract and combine everything properly.
Grease the pan and pour the mixture into it. Preheat your over to 350 °F / 180 °C and bake the cake for 30 minutes. After this time the cake should be golden brown. Take a small wooden stick and pinch the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with some crumbs. if the batter is still a little liquid, you need to bake it for another five minutes.
Take the cake out of the oven and the pan, let it cool down on a grid. You can sprinkle it with some confectioner’s sugar if you want.
How to serve Hot Milk Cake
You can serve the cake any way you’d like really. It’s perfect to serve with tea, coffee or milk. You can sprinkle the cake with powder sugar or make the traditional topping (boil some milk, sugar and grated coconut) – although I find it best without any topping. You can also sprinkle it with cacao powder, cinnamon or smear it with a layer of marmalade. Anything goes.