Home Desserts Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

This Old-fashioned hot milk cake is just like grandma used to make.

The “not so secret” ingredient is hot milk and butter, which makes this cake extra moist and fluffy. For a cozy sweet treat, top it off with a bit of whipped cream.

One bite of this hot milk sponge cake, and I know you’ll fall in love.

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake Recipe: A slice of hot milk cake topped with whipped cream and garnished with fresh raspberries.
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Vintage hot milk cake is one of my favorite Depression-era recipes.

It calls for pantry staples along with a unique preparation method.

Pair it with your favorite icing, or just serve it with whipped cream. Either way, it won’t last long.

Heck, you could even leave the topping off. It’s so moist, it doesn’t need anything but a fork.

Here’s the low-down on what hot milk does for this sponge:

  • It adds texture and flavor, creating a delectable and satisfying dessert.
  • Adding hot milk to leavening agents jumpstarts the rise before it hits the oven.
  • It also helps the cake stay nice and moist.
  • Finally, it draws out the flavors of vanilla and sugar for a delicious cake.

Ready to get baking? Let’s dive in!

Sliced hot milk cake piled on a plate and dusted with powdered sugar

Ingredients

As mentioned, this hot milk cake recipe calls for pantry staples. So you don’t need to run to the store or look online for anything fancy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Eggs – Use room temperature eggs, and be sure to give them a good whip. That’s how you get an airy sponge.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar gives this cake fantastic sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use good quality extract or vanilla paste. Don’t use vanilla essence or imitation vanilla, which have a synthetic finish.
  • All-Purpose Flour – Any flour works, but all-purpose is best (and likely what you have on hand).
  • Baking Powder – Add hot milk to baking powder, and the cake will come out wonderfully light and fluffy.
  • 2% Milk – Since the milk takes center stage in this recipe, use fatty milk like 2% or whole milk.
  • Butter – You can grab this right out of the fridge as it’ll melt with the milk.
Hot milk cake bars dusted with powdered sugar stacked on a white plate.

How to Make Hot Milk Cake

Old-fashioned hot milk cake is perfect for kitchen newbies. It’s so simple even the kids can help (though you’ll need to supervise the hot milk part).

You’ll find more details at the bottom of the post. For now, here’s a quick overview of the method:

1. Preheat the oven and prepare a baking dish. This cake bakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and needs a well-greased 13×9 baking pan.

2. Whip the eggs. They need to go for about 3-5 minutes, so this is best done in a stand mixer. Stop whipping when they’re pale yellow and thick.

3. Heat the milk and butter. Do this while the eggs whip, over low-medium heat, so it’s ready at the same time.

4. Slowly add the cake ingredients. When the eggs have doubled in size, slowly add the sugar, vanilla, flour, and baking powder. Mix until well combined.

5. Carefully add the hot milk. Stream the milk into the mixer while it’s still whipping on low-medium speed.

6. Bake, cool, and enjoy. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Then, let it cool and serve.

Tips for the Best Hot Milk Cake

If scalding milk sounds intimidating, read these tips and tricks. I promise the recipe is way easier than you think!

  • Whip the eggs very well. They should be thick and very pale yellow, which can take 3-5 minutes. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer for the best results.
  • Scald the milk, but don’t boil it. Scalding milk is when you see bubbles on the surface and around the edges (180-185°F). You don’t want it in a rolling boil, like you see water in a kettle.
  • Sift the dry ingredients. This will ensure the baking powder is properly distributed. Also, it will give you the smoothest cake batter.
  • Get creative with frosting. Try whipped cream, chocolate frosting, caramel, or Cool Whip. There are no wrong answers here!
Bunch of hot milk cake bars stacked on plate.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is just the starting line. There are tons of variations to make this cake your own.

Such as:

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
  • Give it a tropical twist. Love coconut flavors? Swap out 2% milk for coconut milk. Then, add toasted coconut and whipped coconut cream on top.
  • Get a little nutty. Add chopped nuts to the cake batter to give it a subtle nutty flavor and texture.
  • Hot chocolate, anyone? Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the flour mixture to make this cake super chocolatey.
  • Go big with the chocolate. If you want to take it over the chocolate edge, use chocolate milk and add chocolate chips right before baking
A slice of hot milk cake dusted with powdered sugar topped with whipped cream.

How to Store & Freeze

There are always leftovers with this hot milk cake recipe because it makes so much cake.

But that’s not bad because the leftovers will stay fresh longer than you think!

To Store at Room Temperature: Wrap the baking dish and let it sit on the counter for up to three days.

To Store in the Fridge: Wrap the dish in plastic or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

To Freeze: Wrap it tightly in plastic and foil, and store it in the freezer for up to six months. Place frozen cake in the fridge to slowly thaw overnight.

More Old Fashioned Recipes You’ll Love

Whoopie Pies
Buttermilk Pie
Chocolate Depression Cake
Moon Pies

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

16

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

219

kcal

Old-fashioned hot milk cake is an American classic. Pair it with your favorite icing, or just serve it with whipped cream. Either way, it won’t last long.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk

  • 10 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed until pale, thick, and fluffy.
  • While the eggs whip, place the butter and milk into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm until the butter melts and bubbles appear around the edge. Do not boil.
  • When the eggs are thick, gradually add the sugar and the vanilla while they continue to whisk.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, whipping on medium until well blended and smooth.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-low, then carefully stream the hot milk and butter into the batter. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then, turn it onto a wire rack to cool fully.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Whip the eggs very well. They should be thick and very pale yellow, which can take 3-5 minutes. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer for the best results.
  • Scald the milk, but don’t boil it. Scalding milk is when you see bubbles on the surface and around the edges (180-185°F). You don’t want it in a rolling boil, like you see water in a kettle.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 219kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 24.6g
  • Protein: 4.9g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 41mg
  • Potassium: 64mg
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 13.9g
  • Calcium: 27mg
  • Iron: 1mg
Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 10

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Thanks!

Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

8 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake”

  1. I have been making this cake for 58 years. I use it for Strawberry Shortcake. I have my mother's cookbook that has this recipe. I'm going to try the other variations mentioned. Thanks

    Reply
  2. OMG, just the NAME, the PHOTO, and reading the recipe (even w/o reading it, hahahaha) and I'm CRAZED FOR THIS!!! LOL this looks & sounds SO GREAT that I can hardly wait to actually make it!

    THANK YOU for posting this FABULOUS cake!

    Reply
  3. I can't try the recipe at this time because my 1940 Chambers stove needs the pilot light fixed. But I had to write to say thank you for the recipe. You see, my mom always made her strawberry “shortcake” cake with buttercream icing on a hot milk cake. By the time I asked her for the recipe, she couldn't remember it. FYI: The strawberries soak up the sugar from the icing. So I suggest refrigerating the iced cake without strawberries on top, until 10 minutes before ready to serve.

    Reply
    • Hi Phyllis, that's such a great tip! I'll keep it in mind and try refrigerating the cake without the strawberries next time for sure. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

Leave a Comment