An old-fashioned recipe for Hot Milk Cake! Have you ever tried this classic favorite? Made with a dense yellow cake and topped off with a thick layer of chocolate fudge frosting, this recipe includes instructions for baking in a bundt pan or 13×9″ baking dish.
Hot Milk Cake
We’re getting to the point on this blog where I’m just going to have to put my grandmother’s picture right up there next to mine in my “About Me” section. Between Monday’s Animal Cookies, today’s Hot Milk Cake, and various other favorite recipes (have you tried the Potato Candy yet?) she’s contributed nearly as many recipes as I have to this site.
I’ve been obsessed with re-creating some of her best recipes in my own kitchen for the past few weeks (and there are more to come, wait til you get to try her apple dumplings!!), and this hot milk cake was a must-share.
Hot milk cake is made with scalded milk and plenty of eggs. It has a soft but dense vanilla crumb and is topped off with the most addictive chocolate fudge frosting you’ve ever tried (seriously!).
How to Make Hot Milk Cake
The steps below correspond to the numbered images above, showing you step-by-step how I make this hot milk cake.
- Start with four large eggs. Beat them until pale yellow and well-beaten (about 30 seconds or so with an electric mixer).
- Add sugar and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then stir into your egg mixture.
- In a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat together milk and butter until it comes to a boil. Stir this boiling hot milk mixture into your cake batter. Be careful not to splash yourself!
- Pour batter into prepared pan (either a bundt pan or a 13×9″ one). The batter will be thin, this is perfectly normal!
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs! Let it cool before frosting.
I made today’s Hot Milk Cake in a bundt pan, but in my video below the recipe I used a 13×9″. The recipe includes instructions for baking in either dish.
Now let’s get to that frosting…
Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
There’s a lot to love about Hot Milk Cake, but it’s that thick, luscious, glossy, fudgy layer of chocolate frosting that really gets me. This fudge icing resembles a classic chocolate ganache, but it’s actually quite different. Rather than being made with chocolate and cream, this icing is made of:
- Milk — I recommend using whole milk
- Butter — technically the original recipe calls for shortening, but I’m something of a butter fiend and love the richer flavor that butter offers. Feel free to substitute shortening instead, though!
- Unsweetened chocolate — Don’t worry, the powdered sugar will add some sweetness to the frosting. Using unsweetened chocolate actually keeps the frosting from becoming too sweet.
- Powdered sugar — We’ll whisk this into our milk/butter/chocolate mixture once everything is melted together.
- Vanilla extract
- Salt — just a pinch, for flavor
The end result is a smooth, glossy frosting that reminds me of fudge once it’s cooled. It’s this frosting that my siblings go crazy over; one of my sisters is known for cutting slices that are extra wide on top and narrowed to practically nothing at the bottom (a well-frosted wedge of cake!) just to maximize her frosting to cake ratio. Smart.
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Let’s bake together! Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe where I’ll show you exactly how I make this old-fashioned Hot Milk Cake in my kitchen! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Hot Milk Cake
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter¹ cut into 4 pieces
- ⅓ cup whole milk 80ml
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar 250g
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease and flour a tube pan (you may instead make this recipe in a 13x9” sheet pan). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat eggs until well-beaten and pale yellow (about 30 seconds on medium speed).
- Add sugar and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring until combined.
- Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Set aside.
- Add melted milk/butter mixture and stir until combined. Batter will be thin.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake 350F (175C) for 40 minutes (if using a 13x9” pan, cake will need to bake 25-30 minutes).
- If you made this cake in a 13x9" pan, allow to cool completely in baking dish. If you baked in a bundt pan, allow cake to cool for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack. Allow cake to cool completely before covering with Fudge Icing.
- Combine chopped chocolate, butter, and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are completely melted².
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in powdered sugar until fudge icing is smooth and glossy. Allow to cool, whisking frequently, until icing is cool and no longer runny, then pour over cake.³
- Allow icing to set and then slice and enjoy!