Hot Milk Cake
Old Fashioned Hot Milk Cake is a light and fluffy vanilla cake. This Depression-Era treat is made from simple ingredients and perfectly sweet, even when served plain.
I have a special place in my heart for milk.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, being from America’s Dairyland is no joke. My grandfather worked at a dairy for part of his life, and my mom still talks about how he would bring milk home in glass bottles for the family to share.
When I was pregnant with my son, Calvin, milk was my one and only pregnancy craving. Being the parent of two small children, milk is my only guarantee to nutrition, day in and day out. The day might end with corn dogs or chicken tenders, but at least milk will be there to help out!
One of my favorite recipes has been passed down from my grandma, a cake from the Depression Era called Hot Milk Cake. Ingredients could be limited in those days, so recipes for traditional Hot Milk Cake took advantage of scarce resources.
I have updated her version to include a full stick of butter and yields a moist, delicious cake that is mild yet sweet. Normally served plain, Hot Milk Cake really doesn’t need any trappings.
Even my chocolate-frosting-obsessed husband has remarked that Hot Milk Cake is outstanding “as is.”
If that isn’t a stamp of approval, I don’t know what is!
Save this Hot Milk Cake to your “Desserts” Pinterest board!
And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!
Hot Milk Cake
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup milk (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan or Bundt cake pan.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in milk and vanilla and continue to heat until small bubbles form around the outside of the pan and the mixture is very hot but not boiling. Reduce heat to low.
- Meanwhile, in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Once the egg and sugar mixture has tripled in volume, slowly add the hot milk mixture, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing after each addition until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, checking 5 minutes prior to baking end time. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean, with a few crumbs attached, but do not over-bake.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack or serving plate to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Some users have reported that their cakes fall when substituting buttermilk for the regular milk (and adjusting the leavening ingredients). Therefore, until I have a chance to do more recipe testing, I am no longer recommending a substitution with buttermilk.
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