Hot Milk Cake

Hot Milk Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 (9-x 13-inch) cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
333 Calories
10g Fat
55g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 333
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 86mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hot milk cake is one of those classic, old-fashioned recipes that is just as easy and delicious today. The history of this cake dates all the way back to the early 1900s and gained popularity during the Great Depression. Savvy home cooks made do with every last bit of food, leading to recipes such as this to use up the last of the day's milk.

Milk makes this buttery, vanilla-scented cake a moist and delicious treat. Adding the warm milk just before pouring the batter into the baking pan gives it a head start on the cooking process. You can simply top the cake with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, with your favorite fluffy frosting, or drippy caramel sauce.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.

    Hot Milk Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

    Eggs and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    Dry ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating on low until smooth.

    Flour mixture in a bowl next to the egg and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and butter just to a boil.

    Milk and butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  6. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla extract.

    Vanilla added to butter and milk

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  7. Gradually add the milk mixture to the batter, beating on low until just combined.

    Cake batter in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  8. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Cake batter in a baking pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  9. Cool on a wire rack.

    Hot Milk Cake cooking on a wire rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

  10. When ready to serve, dust with confectioners' sugar.

    Hot Milk Cake dusted with powdered sugar

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg 

Recipe Variation

Hot milk cake is most frequently made in a 9-x 13-inch pan and cut into squares. However, it is also beautiful when baked into a bundt pan and cut into slices. If you choose to bake in a Bundt pan, increase the cooking time to one hour.

How to Serve Hot Milk Cake

Hot milk cake is delicious with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, but you can also top it with a few different ingredients and sauces:

What Can I Make With a Lot of Milk?

If you find yourself with an abundance of milk, take a tip from your grandma's generation and make hot milk cake. It is a delicious way to use up leftover milk before it spoils.

What Happens if You Put Milk in a Cake?

Putting milk to a cake is a great way to add flavor and richness to baked goods. Be sure to use at least 2%, or preferably whole milk, for the best results.