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Basic Hot Milk Cake Recipe

Hot Milk Cake is a basic scratch cake that can be used as a base for hundreds of great cake variations; it should be a part of every dessert-lover’s recipe repertoire. This dense textured, basic vanilla cake can be topped with any number of rich frostings and toppings; it can be baked in a jelly-roll pan and cut into cake squares or baked in layer pans to form a traditional layer cake. It can also be baked in cupcake pans or in a 13 x 9” dripper pan like my Grandma Burgie did; she’d cut it into squares and top it with fresh berries and whipped cream for what she referred to as shortcake (not real shortcake , of course, but good nevertheless).
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This cake is not difficult to assemble and bake. The secret to a light cake that comes out perfectly every time is to beat the eggs until they are extremely light, which is accomplished most easily with a large stand mixer. If a stand mixer isn’t available, a hand mixer can be used. Hot Milk Cake is an oldclassic recipe, dating back to the time that mixers weren't yet invented, so apparently it can be made by hand, too, that is if the cook is game for some vigorous hand beating.

16 Servings

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Grease and flour 2 8 or 9" layer cake pans, 1 9 x 13" dripper pan, or 1 11 x 17" jellyroll pan (or line with parchment). Spraying the pan(s) with Baker’s Joy works well here, too.

  3. Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat them at high speed until very light; gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture forms a ribbon and is thick and light colored.

  4. With the motor running on low, mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until smooth.

  5. Measure the vanilla, milk, and butter in a microwaveable container. Microwave 2-3 minutes or until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot (alternately heat the mixture in a saucepan on the stove).

  6. Turn the mixer to low and gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the batter; continue beating until the mixture is smooth.

  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 8 or 9" layers - 25-30 minutes, 9 x 13" dripper pan 45-50 minutes, 11 x 17" jellyroll pan - 20-25 minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cooling racks.


  9. Amount Per Serving
    Calories 235 Calories from Fat 69
    Percent Total Calories From: Fat 29% Protein 6% Carb. 64%

    Nutrient Amount per Serving
    Total Fat 8 g
    Saturated Fat 4 g
    Cholesterol 71 mg
    Sodium 199 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 38 g
    Dietary Fiber 0 g
    Sugars 25 g
    Protein 4 g

    Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%


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Content copyright © 2013 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.



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