Have you ever tried a hot milk sponge cake? It's just about the easiest cake you can make. You can have a delicious, light and fluffy sponge cake baked in no time (and is also a great cake to make in the Thermomix)! This vanilla flavoured sponge is made using every day ingredients and is topped with a heavenly vanilla sour cream frosting and funfetti sprinkles! This is a pushy recipe if you love classic vanilla cakes Dear Reader. I called her Clara.
Hot Milk Cake is an American butter sponge cake recipe that came out of the Great Depression and was first seen in 1911. The cake is either made as a sheet sponge or bundt cake. One of the unique features of hot milk cake is its use of scalded milk, which is heated until it begins to simmer. This hot milk helps to activate the baking powder in the batter giving you a light and airy cake texture much like a sponge. A hot milk sponge cake also contains both baking powder as well as eggs to leaven the cake unlike traditional sponges that just use eggs.
I love hot milk cakes because they have a neverfail quality to them. The sponge cake can be a temperamental beast and can sometimes sink in the centre. Not so the hot milk cake that rises proudly in the centre once baked but then evens out somewhat. I think everyone should try a hot milk cake at least once. It tastes like a really classic cake that you would get at an office party. To me it's about 75% sponge cake, 25% butter cake in texture. And the sour cream frosting is just an absolute dream that sets like buttercream but with a lovely tangyness to it!
It has been a long time between hot milk cakes for me but I decided to make this cake again because I got an unexpected delivery. We get our groceries delivered twice a week from the supermarket. It's very convenient although there are sometimes issues (and it usually goes in their favour). They often give us miniscule vegetables, slimy herbs or things that are close to being out of date. I've lost count of the number of times I've been given milk with 3 days on it even though I specifically ask for at least 7 days (I've never walked into a supermarket and seen milk with such a short shelf life). When they do this they will give you a refund for it but it's a bit of a pain because it's a credit and you have to manually apply it to your order.
One day however it went in my favour. I was busy working out so I missed the message that the groceries were delivered so they sat outside for almost an hour. Thankfully it was a very cold day and all I had was milk and yogurt that could spoil. I picked up our bags and then realised that we received 3 extra bags of milk ending up with 12 litres! I tried calling them that but nobody picked up the phone. The online chatbot went around and around in circles and I had to give up in the end. I gave some milk to neighbours and shoved the rest of the milk in my freezer, until I ran out of room.
I still had 4 litres of milk that needed using up and so I decided now was as good a time as any to try my hot milk cake again! I was reminded of how much I love this classic cake. There's nothing unusual about this cake Dear Reader. It's the classic cake that you had in your childhood, it's the cake that they would bring out at an office party and it's the kind of cake your grandma would have made. It's a cake of pure nostalgia that will put a smile on your face. Eaten with a glass of milk on the side of course.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried a hot milk cake? What other things would you make with the milk? Have you ever had an error like this with your groceries?
Vanilla Hot Milk Sponge Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes Thermomix, 25 minutes traditional
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 1/4 cups/210ml/7flozs. whole milk
1 stick/113g butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups/385g/13.6ozs caster or superfine sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 cups/300g/10.6ozs cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
Vanilla Sour Cream Frosting
500g/1.1lb icing or powdered sugar
125g/4ozs butter, softened
60g/2ozs sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
*Cake flour can be bought at the supermarket. You can also make it at home. To make 1 cup/150g/5.2ozs of cake flour replace 2 tablespoons of plain all purpose flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch and whisk well. I usually mix up a big batch of this and keep it in a container ready for baking cakes as it produces a softer texture.
Step 1 - Line a 30x20x5cm/13x9x2inch brownie or slice rectangular pan on the base and sides with parchment. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. In a saucepan heat the milk and butter until the butter has melted and stir in the salt (do not boil, just scald the milk). Set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl.
Step 2 - In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla for 5 minutes until syrupy thick and very pale yellow (almost white). Add the hot milk mixture and whisk for 15 seconds or until incorporated. Then fold in the flour mixture on low speed in two lots until smooth (do not overmix). It will be a very liquidy batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the centre springs back when gently pressed. If you bake this as a bundt you'll have to double the cooking time to 60 minutes. Cool on a cake rack.
Step 3 - Make the frosting. Beat the butter and sour cream until smooth. Sift the icing sugar and add vanilla into the bowl and then beat on low speed increasing speed once the icing sugar has been combined. Spread over the cooled cake and add sprinkles.
Step 1 - Line a 30x20x5cm/13x9x2inch brownie or slice rectangular pan on the base and sides with parchment. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Add the milk and butter into the Thermomix bowl and set to 5 minutes, 100C, speed #1. Pour into a jug and set aside.
Step 2 - Add the sugar into the bowl first (so that the residual bowl heat doesn't cook the eggs) and then the eggs and vanilla and insert butterfly whisk. Set to 3 minutes, speed #4 -it should be very pale yellow (almost white) and syrupy in texture (see above). Add the hot milk mixture and set to 15 seconds, speed #4. Then add in the flour and baking powder and set to 10 seconds, speed #4. It will be quite a very liquidy batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the centre springs back when gently pressed. If you bake this as a bundt you'll have to double the cooking time to 60 minutes. Cool on a cake rack.
Step 3 - Make the frosting. Add the icing sugar into a clean and dry Thermomix bowl. Set to 15 seconds, speed #6 (to remove lumps). Add the butter, sour cream and vanilla bean paste and set to 30 seconds, speed #4. Spread over the cooled cake and add sprinkles.