Baking basics Cakes

Hot milk sponge cake

β€œ…nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.” – Julia Child

Another basic cake that would do good in your baking repertoire . It is extremely light and fluffy , similar to my basic sponge cake. It is as delicate but a tad bit more moist and flavourful IMHO.

It is not difficult to make , but the way of making it is slightly different from other vanilla cakes I have tried. There is the whipping of the eggs and the adding of flour . But to this is the additional step of adding hot milk to which a little bit of butter has been melted.

The end result is a gorgeous crumb that is sturdy but at the same time airy enough to absorb soaking syrups and their flavours. Therefore – infinite versatility as a amazing basic sponge in any number of fascinating layer cakes. Infant I adapted this recipe from The Birthday Cake Cookbook !


Good enough to eat on its own ( with some dusted sugar maybe?) , but its perfect to use whenever you want some vanilla cake layers to build a celebration cake. And thats exactly what I am going to do with it … stay posted !

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Hot milk sponge cake Yum
Fluffy , light and flavourful sponge cake that is good enough to be eaten on its own, even better in a layer cake.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
8-10 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
8-10 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease and butter well a 7 inch round pan. Line the bottom with parchment ( optional).
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
  3. Heat milk and butter until the butter melts. Keep aside but keep it hot.
  4. Beat with an electric mixer or whisk, the sugar, vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy (about triple in volume)
  5. Whisk in the flour mixture.
  6. Whisk in the hot milk-butter mixture.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan , tap against counter and bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 C/ 350 F until cake springs back when touched on top . The top will be browned and edges will come away from the pan.
  8. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then carefully invert out, remove parchment and cool right side up on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes
  • Some of the lovely people who tried this cake found it far too sweet. I agree that this cake is on the sweeter side , so consider using 150 grams (3/4 cup ) sugar instead of the 200 grams (1 cup).
  • This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and frozen for upto 2 months .
  • Bake for 35-40 mins in a 6 inch round pan, 20-25 minutes in a 9 inch round pan and 25-30 minutes in an 8 inch round pan .
  • Bake as soon as the batter is ready . Letting the batter stand will make it deflate and lose volume.
  • When baked in a 7 inch cake pan, this can be easily sliced into two layers horizontally , and into three if you have some practice doing it. 8 or 9 inch pans will give you 2 layers and a 6 inch pan will give you three thickish or four thinner layers. Chill the cake well before slicing for least crumbs.
  • For an eggless and wholewheat version of this cake , check out Akila's post here . While there , do have a look see at her other recipes ( if you haven't already!) . She is an awesome and innovative baker!


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103 thoughts on “Hot milk sponge cake”

  1. HI… you can Priyanjali.. but this is a light batter, so there is a risk of them sinking down, Chop the nuts real small, and dust them / tuttifrooti with some flour and fold in gently right at the end . Bake immediately… let me know if you try it !

    1. Really glad to know that Asha… thanks for trying the cake and hope you find other recipes on here that make their way into your book! Happy baking !

  2. Hye…
    I made this cake a couple of times and it tasted just awesome.I am planning to make this as my basic cake as it has less fat compared to other recipes
    A quick query-Some times my cake collapses in the center.Can you tell me the reason and how to avoid it?

    1. Hey Madhavi… thanks a lot.. i personally like this cake a lot too!
      For the cake sinking in the middle , it usually means that the centre isn’t as cooked as the sides is. This especially happens when you use a smaller pan than in the recipe or the batter is really deep. To avoid this , bake at a lower temperature for longer. For example. if you baked at 180 c last time , bake for 160 C this time. Also , don’t open the oven in the first 20 minutes of baking and remove the cake from oven only after a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out dry. Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks a lot for trying Nimisha… glad u liked it. Whipped cream or ganache or buttercream… All work well ☺

  3. Hey Akshata… I have tried your hot milk cake recepie and it turned out to. Be one of the best cake I ever made! Thx a ton for the simple yet amazing recepie. But I felt the cake is little on the sweeter side is it coz of the 1:1 proportion of flour n sugar? .. but nevertheless it’s one of the best recepies!

    1. Thanks so much Pratyusha …. you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup or few tablespoons if you try it again. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback!

    1. Hi Jyotsna. This cake is definitely sweet as it can be eaten on its own. When I fill and frost it , I use a tart / less sweet filling to contrast it. But everyone ‘s taste is different and if you like your cakes less sweet , you can go ahead with 150 grams ( 3/4 cup ) sugar. I wouldn’t recommend using less than this as i think it would be too bland . But do let me know if you try it with less sugar ! Happy baking !

  4. Hi Akshata.
    As per ur recipe I tired to make but my cake was soggy from the base and was having an eggy smell too.
    What did I do wrong ? The taste is good but after cooling the cake became very dense. What to do with this cake.
    Thanks a lot
    Love ur recipes! Keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Tasneem.. sorry the cake didn’t turn out as expected… What exactly does soggy mean, it was uncooked or sticky ? And did u follow the recipe as such including pan sizes ?

    1. Hi Divya…you can use either cake for white forest ..but i think the white chocolate one will be better πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Akshata.I tried this cake today with chocolate frosting came out super yummy.
    P.S :I love ur keep posting more yummy cake recipes

    1. I don’t usually weigh out my finished cakes Sumana , but i would say this sponge would way a little under 500 grams πŸ™‚

        1. Hi Neha…. You can try replacing the eggs with 1/3 cup curd here… Or I have an egg less chocolate chip cake
          . You can try that, with or without the chips☺

          1. Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚ I notice you haven’t added any b/soda to this. In case of an eggless version should we add a little b.soda to make it spongy?
            I have tried eggless versions before but they always turn dense somehow πŸ™

          2. Hey Pree , you are right that baking soda definitely will help in the eggless version. But the same texture as the one with egg is difficult as here the volume is from beating the eggs …

    1. Hi Dolly… Although I havent tried it myself , some have had success using 1/3 cup curd instead of the eggs..

  6. Hi Akshata am planning to make a cake filled with lemon curd and frosted with buttercream- will the white chocolate sponge taste better for this combination or will this work too?

  7. Hi akshata
    I wanna try this recipe. I have aquafaba with me now.. Can I use it as egg replacement? Any changes required?

    1. Hi Sindhushree , I have never used aqua faba so I am ill-equipped to answer this question. But I have seen recipes with it, so you could give it a try. The rest of the recipe can remain the same.

  8. Hi. I followed the recipe to the T, but for some reason the top cracked and browned in the first 20 mins.
    Can you tell me which OTG rack (I have 4 in mine) does it need to be baked on, whether with both the rods/filament on and with or without the fan mode. Thanks.
    P.S. can’t wait to cut and bite into it. Thank you for a very simple recipe.

    1. Hi Ekta … bake it in the middle rack – if you have four racks, the third from top seems a good bet. I usually bake with only the bottom rod on ( no fan). It does sound as if your oven is running hotter than the temperature it shows . Try your next cake at 20 C less than the recipe temperature. in case the top browns too quickly , cover with aluminium foil and continue baking.. Hope this helps !

  9. Hi akshata thanks for the recipe. I have a question, can we use wheat flour instead? If so, what is the proportion?

    1. Hi Madhu… i have never used whole wheat flour in this cake , but you can try with an equal amount of wheat flour. But do sift it 6-7 times !

  10. Hi, thanks for this superb receipe. It was a hit in my house. Can this receipe be double or I will have to make it seperately?

    1. Hi Divya… you can definitely double the recipe.. ideally, its better to bake in two pans. But you can bake in a bigger or taller pan too!

  11. Hey, I made the cake and it was yum. I used same measurements but my tin was big so it was a little flat. But the cake had sticky top. Is that how it is?
    Thanks for the recipe

    1. Hi Jeffy… glad you liked the cake ! The sticky top could be due to many reasons like humid weather , too much sugar , or if the cake was stored warm . You can bake the last few minutes with top rod , use 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup , use castor sugar ( pulse regular sugar in your mixer for one or two seconds) , and cool cake completely before storing. If the cake still has a sticky top, dusting some icing sugar on top should help πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Akshata I made the cake it turned out good nd tasty but it was eggy nd the cake puffed up ..any solution for that..what do I need to do for that lovely flat top in the picture

    1. Hi Epcibha…thanks for trying the cake. You can add a little more vanilla or some lemon/orange zest to combat the eggy flavour. And rest the cake a while before slicing , the smell goes away. And by puffed up , you mean the centre is domed ? Try to use a 7 inch or 8 inch pan and smooth the batter into the pan, or tap the filled pan against the counter before putting into the oven. The puffing could be due to high temperature , bake at 20 C less the next time .. hope this helps!

    1. Hi Anjali… i haven’t tried an eggless version , but several people have had luck with 1/3 cup curd (instead of the eggs) plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Do take a look at the link given in the notes which has an eggless wholewheat recipe for the same cake..

  13. Hi…can I use this recipe for a pineapple fresh cream cake?…and can I substitute vanilla with oil based pineapple essence?

    1. Hi Madhumita ! Yes, you can use pineapple essence in the cake and use the sponge as a base for pineapple fresh cream cake!

  14. Hi, Akshata…I made the cake and it turned out very tasty…but the cake had sticky top and it did not rise as expected…I baked it in a 8 inch pan…and I used 130 gm sugar instead of 200/ we do not like too much sweet.

    1. Hi Madhumita …. thanks for trying !the sticky top is probably because it needed few more minutes in the oven. Did you follow the recipe as such ? in an 8 inch pan , it should be atleast 2 inches tall.. how tall was yours ?

      1. Yes, I followed your recipe step by step. I baked it at 180 C for 30 mins. After baking the hight of the cake was little more than 1 inch…it was a little dence too…could not understand where it went wrong.

        1. Oh…. The baking powder was fresh and you mixed the eggs to the right volume ? Even over mixing can lead to a denSer cake

          1. I have tried it again with fresh baking pwd. And it turned out perfect. Am very happy now ☺. Thanks a lot for helping me out and for the great recipe too.

  15. Hi Akshata,
    Can you please tell if the unsalted butter be substituted with something else? Place where I stay it’s very difficult to get unsalted butter. None of the grocery stores have it, not available on big basket either.
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Hi Akshata
    Made this cake for the 3rd time and it was like a fail proof receipt lovely taste, texture and pillow soft, thank you so much. Since my kids like chocolate, by any chance we can convert this to a chocolate cake.

    1. Thanks so much Rafia !! You can replace some of the flour with an equal amount of cocoa to make it a chocolate cake. Two tablespoons if you want a lighter cake flavour and four for a darker cake.!

  17. Hi Akshaya… ur cake looks very yum.. would like to know when we add flour and the butter n milk mixture should v begin and end with flour n put milk in between.

  18. Hi akshata.. your cake looks yummy.. would like to know if the butter milk mixture n flour have to be put alternately starting and ending with flour..

    1. Hi Reeann… in this particular cake, you don’t need to alternate between the flour and milk. you can just add all the flour at once.

    1. No Deepa , the layers remain sturdy. you can use chocolate mousse but i would suggest reducing the sugar in the cake so that the whole thing doesn’t turn out too sweet.

  19. Hey dear
    I tried this recipe by reducing to half ( each ingredient) as it was my 1st bake
    I got flat top no crack but no sponginess.
    I used 1 egg and using hand mixer , mixed well for long but never saw the volume increase. Should I have done egg white separate and yolk separate to achieve the volume. Guess that is what gives the cake it’s sponginess. Please suggest. Seeing great results on hbg I too want to bake to get the perfect sponginess

    1. Hi Kavitha… you don’t have to separate the egg for the volume. You do have to beat it well until it becomes very light and fluffy . It needs about 5-10 minutes with a hand mixer. But don’t go by time, go by the egg volume and continue to whip. I do urge you to try the full recipe and beat the eggs well. You won’t be disappointed !

  20. Hi,
    Overwhelmed with everyones outcome ..but I don’t have a round pan.. I have one with hexagon and rectangular shape..does it make any difference .?
    And my convection oven is with revolving plate and no racks ..? Is it fine?

    1. Hi Laxmi.. you can bake it in any pan shape. The batter should fill the pan about 2/3rd full. If the hexagonal pan is small or medium size ( around 7 inches), it should work . By rectangular pan , do you mean a loaf style pan or a shallow rectangle. Both should work but depending on the depth of the batter in the pan , you have to keep an eye on the baking time.. thats all πŸ™‚

  21. Wow amazing recipe. This turned out to be uber cool and yum.

    Can you tell how to store the cake? How long can it stay outside? If I want to bake it for a small party one day before?

  22. Hi I want try this cake for my Son birthday. And I want to decorate with whipped cream frosting. I am new to baking . In Hbg I came to know that if butter is used the cake will become hard after storing in fridge ( before and after decoration as we need to put at least 2 to 3 hrs ) . Is it true ? Will this cake still spongy after storing in fridge . And my 1 cup =200 ml still I can use same measurements. Plz help me

    1. Hi Swathi ! This cake has very little butter. So it will stay soft… But since you are anyhow using whipped cream, I would suggest you soak the cake with sugar syrup as well. It comes out very well. Go ahead and use the same measuring cup you have and use 3/4 cup sugar… All the best !

      1. Hi I tried this cake it was yummy but it burned from bottom . So next time I baked at 150c at 20 mins still burned but not much like first one . And it’s sticky on TOP . Can you please clear my probs . Birthday is this Saturday I want to try without sticky TOP and burning
        P.S : I used fresh baking powder

        1. Hi Swathi…. I don’t understAnd why your cake is burning from the bottom. That too just in 20 miNutes of baking. You place the pan in the middle rack right ? And do you use parchment ? You can try using for a better result. If the top is sticky, use 1/4 cup less sugar . You can also grind the sugar in the mixer for one pulse to make smaller granules ( castor sugar) . And bake for the last 5 minutes with top filament on too. In case top is still sticky , just slice off the sticky part. Anyhow the layer cake comes out better without that slight dome in the top… All the best !

  23. Gr8 & easy recipe. Made this Cake last month. It comes out perfect & spongy… ho ho what a texture. Really loved it. my child is not fond of cakes but she had couple of pieces from this… so I have decided to bake this for her 4th bday on dec 11th. I am planning buttercream frosting as crumb coat and drape fondant. Hop that Wil be okay for this super fluffy cake. This is the best vanilla flavored cake I’ve ever made.. hop to see you w/ many more recipes like this..

    1. Thank you for the terrific feedback Roshna… you can fill and frost this cake as you wish ( I have done it several times ) . Although I don’t work with fondant , several readers use it under fondant without any trouble. An early Happy birthday to your little one and do let me know how the cake turns out ! Happy baking !

  24. Thank you V/much for the wishes to my lil one.. sure Wil share the feed back. Would like to share the pics of cake which I baked b4…

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