Friday, October 16, 2009

Hot Milk Cake

Grandma Lilly's Hot Milk Cake - October 11, 2009

(I may seem like I'm going out of chronological order with the postings but I baked this cake on October 11 then froze it and brought it into work today.)

The name of this recipe is Grandma Lilly’s Hot Milk Cake and is from the Treasury of Country Baking by Lisa Yockelson. I had blogged earlier about her Best Vanilla Pound Cake recipe being one of my favorite pound cake recipes for its simplicity and taste. What makes this particular recipe unusual is the way it’s made. I’ve never boiled milk and butter then added it to the batter but it does make for a smooth, shiny batter. Follow the instructions exactly so you get the result the author intends you to get. It was easy to make and for the most part, I liked it. Texture-wise, it felt like a cake that couldn’t make up its mind to be a light pound cake or a dense sponge cake. There were elements of both which is a bit unusual. Taste-wise it was similar to the Best Vanilla Pound Cake so I liked it but if I had to make a vanilla cake, I’d probably go with the true pound cake recipe.

Grandma Lilly's Hot Milk Cake

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup milk
2 cups unsifted cake flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting, optional

1. Lightly butter and flour a plain 9” tube pan. (Do not use a tube pan with a removable bottom; the cake batter will seep out.) Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Place the butter and milk in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Sift the cake flour with the salt onto a large sheet of waxed paper. Beat the eggs in the large bowl of an electric mixer on moderately high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. With the mixer on moderate speed, beat in the sugar in 3 additions, beating well after each portion is added. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the vanilla. Beat in the flour in 2 additions. When the butter and milk mixture has reached a full, rolling boil, remove it from the heat and pour it into the flour mixture as it revolves in the mixture. The beaters must be turning and the bowl moving while the milk is being added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to make an even-textured batter. Lastly, add the baking powder and beat for 1 minute at moderate speed. Quickly pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake the cake on the lower-third level rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until nicely risen and golden on top; a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean and dry.
4. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 6 minutes, then invert onto a second cooling rack. Invert again to cool right side up. Dust the top of the cake with sifted confectioners’ sugar, if you like.
5. Serve the cake cut in medium thick slices.


  1. Why was the cake dry as dust. I've made it before and it is a moist nicely dense cake. old favorite

  2. I'm not sure as I don't know what you did or how you made it? Oftentimes a cake is dry because either too much flour is used and/or the cake was baked too long. This recipe also calls for extra-large eggs. If you used smaller eggs, that doesn't add as much liquid or fat into the recipe. Did you follow all the steps as you did when you made it before and used the same ingredients in the same proportions?