Hot Milk Sponge Cake Recipe

Hot Milk Sponge Cake is not a true old-fashion sponge cake in that it has baking powder and milk to supplement the leavening power of its eggs which adds both lightness and moistness.  It is the easiest to make of all sponge cakes and a great one to have in your repertoire.  I usually serve this cake to serve as a shortcake with fresh berries and whipped cream.  So delicious this way!

Making a Hot Milk Sponge Cake requires a quick and gentle hand, as well as a trained eye to know when the eggs are properly beaten.  This cake is so soft and sweet, and is delicious served plain or served with a dollop of whipped cream.  Also great served for breakfast.  There are many different things that can be done with this basic hot milk cake as it can replace any recipe that calls for a sponge or pound cake.

This cake was very popular during the 1940s, during the depression and World War II era due to the sugar rationing.


Hot Milk Sponge Cake


Hot Milk Sponge Cake
Photo by Alison and her 2 of a Kind website.


Check out Linda’s Basic Rules For Baking or Secrets Of A Successful Cake.  Also check out more great Cake Recipes.



Hot Milk Sponge Cake Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot Milk Sponge Cake Recipe
Servings: 2 (9-inch) round layers
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon extracts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray two (9-inch) round cake pans with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  2. Cover the eggs (still in their shell) with hot tap water.  Allow eggs to sit for at least five minutes to warm them up.  NOTE: It is important that the eggs be warm to the touch when they are whipped with the sugar. This gives an extra lightness to the cake.  See Lagniappe below.

  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the milk and heat until the mixture is steaming.  See Lagniappe tips below.  Remove from heat.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, crack the warm whole eggs.  Using an electric mixer, whip the eggs until frothy.  Gradually add the sugar and whip on high speed until the batter is light and thick.  This takes a good ten minutes.

  6. Turn the mixer down to low and add the sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt).  Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the egg batter, stopping once to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.  Add the scalded milk and butter mixture.  Mix on low speed until the batter is smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the vanilla extract and continue mixing on low just until the vanilla is incorporated into the batter.  Divide the batter equally into each prepared cake pan. The batter will be quite thin so do not be alarmed.

  7. Raspberry ShortcakeBake 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch.  Remove from oven and place the cake layers on a wire cooling rack.  Sprinkle each layer very lightly with granulated sugar.  Leave the cake layers in the pan to cool for thirty minutes.

  8. When cool, carefully run a paring knife around the edge of the each cake layer, using an up and down motion, to avoid tearing the sides of the cake.  Turn the layers out onto a wire cooling rack.  Cool completing before serving

  9. Serving: Cake is great served as is, but also can be used with your fresh berries.


  11. Lagniappe:

  12. Having the eggs warm and whipping them to the proper consistency are the keys to making this cake successfully.  While whipping the eggs, feel the bottom of the bowl to make sure that it does not feel cold.  If it does, then the eggs are not warm enough.  Place the mixing bowl in a slightly larger bowl filled with about 3 inches of hot tap water.  Stir them until they are warm to the touch.

  13. The eggs are properly whipped when they get light and thick, resembling softly whipped cream.  Lift the whip from the bowl and the batter should slowly flow from the whip in a ribbon that slowly incorporates back into the batter.


Source:  From the recipe files of Chef Robert Hammond.



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Comments and Reviews

One Response to “Hot Milk Sponge Cake Recipe”

  1. gregory anderson

    Some claim the recipe is sourced to 1910 and 1911 respectively. Sponge cake goes back to a recipe in 1615 but was more like a cookie. I came hoping this website would have more data on the history. Instead it gave me more recent lore and popularity.
    I shall have to look elsewhere then. Oh well.


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