Old fashioned hot milk cake recipe

Hot milk cake recipe – with a lemon twist

Not to be confused with Tres Leches Cake (or 3 milk cake), Hot Milk Cake is an old fashioned cake made with (you don’t say!) hot milk. I discovered it online when looking for more ideas to use up excess milk, and decided it was worth a try.

The OH is used to having pudding nearly every day if he’s eating at the farm, and that includes cake at lunchtimes. So if I can bake a cake once a week, it’ll generally serve him and N for at least a few days. 

N prefers a plain sponge to chocolate cake, so I knew he’d be happy to try this one. 

Old fashioned hot milk cake recipe

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Most recipes I’ve seen for hot milk cake suggested using a bundt tin* but as I’m using my aga for baking, it’s a bit hit and miss on timings for cakes, so thought making it as a sandwiched cake would be better. Plus more acceptable to my OH who likes some kind of icing on a cake.

I was horrified at how much sugar this cake needs.  Recipes were generally saying 400g but I decided to cut the sugar down slightly to 350g and it was still sweet enough.  You don’t taste the sweetness when eating it,  so don’t panic about the amount it asks for. It does work.

I used 2 x 20 cm removable base cake tins and didn’t fill them totally up to the top just in case the cake spilled over the top as it baked. (I just ate the raw cake mix left – ssh!).  It’s quite a liquid cake batter, but it will cook through.  

If you’re using a bundt tin, you’ll obviously need to bake for a bit longer (potentially up to an hour). If it’s browning too much, just cover loosely with foil to stop it burning. 

The recipe is so straightforward to do. I prefer heating the milk in the microwave because I always burn milk when I heat it on the Aga, But it can be easily heated in a saucepan on the stove, just keep stirring and don’t let it get too hot.

mixing egg and sugar
egg sugar milk and flour mix
hot milk cake in the aga
hot milk cake in the pan
Baked it a little bit too much – you probably want it a little lighter in colour

Once cooled I turned out the 2 cakes, peeled off the baking paper and set on a plate. I spread lemon curd on one cake, topped it with the second cake, then made up some icing from icing sugar and lemon juice to drizzle over. I found my cakes rose well but with a flat top which is perfect for a sandwich cake. And unheard of when I do a Victoria sponge.

Hot milk cake is more dense than plain Victoria sponge, but still light enough not to feel heavy as you’re eating it. I loved it with the lemon flavour, and both the OH and N demolished it over the next couple of days. It’s one I’ll be making again.

Hot milk cake

A denser than traditional sponge cake, made with hot milk. This recipe sandwiches it with lemon curd and tops with lemon icing

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10


  • 225 ml milk
  • 110 g butter unsalted
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs medium
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • icing sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C

  2. Line or grease with butter/flour two 23 cm  cake tins

  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter, and heat till the butter is melted. Or use the microwave on medium heat for 30 secs at a time until melted.

  4. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until thick. This should take a few minutes. Gradually tip the sugar in and beat for another 4-5 mins, or until pale and fluffy. You can do this in a mixer or by hand.

  6. Stir in the vanilla.

  7. Combine the flour and egg mixtures. Beat until well combined. While mixing, gradually add in the milk mixture and until combined

  8. Divide the cake mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

  9. Cool on a wire rack before spreading 1 half with lemon curd and putting the second cake on top.

  10. Add lemon juice to icing sugar until you have a consistency for spreading over the cake. Pour over the top and spread out to cover. Leave for a short time to set before eating.

Recipe Notes

You can make this in one tube cake tin or a Bundt tin; simply bake for 50 – 60 minutes instead.

The cake will keep for a few days if kept in an airtight container.

Try these other recipe posts

all butter cookies
ways to use milk
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