Hot Milk Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

This Hot Milk Cake is an old fashioned recipe that never disappoints.  It is wonderful with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. This cake is so easy to make, it’s perfect if you need a quick dessert.  Serving it with any kind of fruit only makes it better… if that is even possible. This is just a great old-fashioned cake that everyone loves.

Ingredients need for Hot Milk Cake:



Vanilla extract

All-purpose flour

Baking powder

Milk (I use 2% milk)


Strawberry Topping Ingredients:

Fresh or frozen strawberries



This cake is a classic for reason and makes a wonderful birthday cake. As you can see it is made with super simple ingredients and has a very light texture. It is moist and delicious and super versatile. Yes, this cake is made with hot milk.. and that is what makes it unique, however do not substitute the milk with buttermilk. I use 2% but you can use whole milk too.

What is the history of Hot Milk Cake?

This cake recipe goes as far back as the early 1900’s and was made popular during the Great Depression. In a time when people stretched their ingredients down to the last drop, this cake was popular. This cake was a good way to use up the last bit of milk before it ruined.

Can you freeze this cake? 

Yes, you can freeze this cake. You will want to let the cake fully cool and then double wrap it in plastic wrap and it will keep for around 3 months.

Do you top this cake with anything?

We love this cake with powdered sugar or with fruit. It’s wonderful as a shortcake too. Check out this delicious recipe for a strawberry version! This cake is very versatile, you could put a caramel sauce on it too. Just a wonderful all around white cake.

“I printed this recipe many months ago with the intention of making it soon; however, the opportunity didn’t arise until today! I had extra eggs to use before a very near expiration date, so today was the day! I was skeptical about this recipe because of the “hot milk”, but pleasantly surprised of the outcome. I had fresh blueberries to use as well, so I made a blueberry sauce to serve with a slice of cake. Oh my word was it good!!! I have made many recipes of yours and I’m so happy to have found you! Thank you for this recipe…well worth the wait!” – Dee

Hot Milk Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

“Just made this on a whim. Easy and wonderful and light. I was a little concerned with how soupy the batter was before baking, but I needn’t have worried. This will be my go-to white cake. I can imagine it as birthday cupcakes or topped with fruit for the Fourth. So happy I found you and thankful for this delightful recipe!”

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Hot Milk Cake

Judy Yeager
This is an old dessert that is easy to make and always delicious.
4.75 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk I use 2% milk
  • 10 tablespoons butter

Strawberry Fruit Topping (if using frozen)

  • 1 (12 ounce package frozen strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • Beat the eggs with a mixer until lemon colored. Add sugar and vanilla and continue mixing. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and add to the batter. Combine milk and butter in a pan on top of the stove and heat just until butter is melted. Pour into cake batter and mix until smooth.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 35 minutes or until center is done. You can top with fresh fruit or use canned or frozen with this cake.

Fruit Topping Directions

  • Combine ingredients and bring to boil on top of stove. Cook until thickens like a sauce. You can do this with any frozen fruit. No need to thaw first.


You can freeze this cake. You will want to let the cake fully cool and then double wrap it in plastic wrap and it will keep for around 3 months. 
Keyword Hot Milk Cake
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