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Hot Milk Cake

Need an easy old fashioned dessert? Try Hot Milk Cake! This depression era cake is simple to make using basic ingredients. 

Hot Milk Cake

I love simple old fashioned desserts. You know, the kind our grandmothers used to make. The simple, frugal kind of recipes. The ones that use basic ingredients that we always have on hand.

Sure, I like fancy cakes, pies, and cookies. In fact, have quite a few of those recipes posted, but there is something about a simple dessert that I also really enjoy.

Hot Milk Cake

Many of the desserts from years ago were so simple and yet so good. They called for everyday ingredients. They didn’t call for fancy or gourmet ingredients. They used and made due with what they had.

What did they have? Simple yet good ingredients like eggs, butter, and milk. These were things they could easily get. They did not/could not run to the store for special ingredients.

Hot Milk Cake

We could and should learn a lot from those times. I know I need to learn a lot.

I love to bake, but it is much more frugal to keep my baked goods simple. And I am learning that you don’t have to sacrifice taste in order to make a simple and frugal dessert. Simple and frugal can still be really good.

Hot Milk Cake is one of my favorite depression era recipes. Or at least I think it is depression era. It is definitely an old fashioned type recipe that many of our grand mothers and great grandmothers made.  It is simple, but oh so good.

This is good served plain, but it is also good served with fresh fruit or berries with some whipped cream on top. 

Hot Milk Cake

Hot Milk Cake

Hot Milk Cake

Hot Milk Cake~ An easy old fashioned cake recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until mixture thickened. Make sure to do this step mixing for this length of time is important.
  4. While eggs and sugar are mixing, heat butter and milk in a saucepan until butter melts and mixture is hot, but not boiling. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg mixture until well incorporated.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture, mix just until incorporated.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool. Slice and serve.


  1. This can be made in a bundt pan and baked for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  2. I have made this with a gluten free flour blend, but it is not quite as good as the original version. The texture is different on the gluten free version.

Hot Milk Cake

Originally published March 2009. Updated February 2019. This recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Lost Recipes.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Snow White says

    looks simple, easy and delicious. thanks for sharing.

  2. i will be trying this one too!

  3. Mommy's Kitchen says

    I just found your blog. I love hot milk cake. I havent made it in awhle.

  4. Lynn, Would it be alright for me to post this recipe on our new Hands & Hearts for Him frugal blog? I will link to you on it.

  5. Susan that would be just fine.

  6. Lynn, this cake is going to be made at my house tonight! My sister gave me a bundt pan for my birthday and I have yet to use it. This recipe (I have all the ingredients in my cupboard right now!) is the perfect inaugural recipe! Thanks so much. I’m going to take your suggestion and thaw some frozen berries and serve them for people to drizzle as they wish. Thanks for the great recipe!


  7. I make something very similar to this but I add a hot sauce over it. It is made with butter, brown sugar and thickened with cornstarch. It is so good poured over warm. It was my great grandmothers recipe and has been passed down. Still a favourite. If you would like it you can e-mail me at [email protected]

  8. Joy @ Joy Of Desserts says

    This sounds so good and moist. I love vintage recipes too. So much, in fact that I have just started Vintage Recipe Thursday. You’re warmly invited to join all of us.

  9. Yum. I've never even heard of hot milk cake before. This sounds great.

  10. Oh! Wow! I love hot milk cakes! I make them at four times a week during mornings. My family love it. Sometimes I make variations – like instead of vanilla, I put banana extract. Or at times, I put grated cheese. Love the taste of it! Thanks for this post!

  11. Lynn, just wanted to share with you that this cake has become a family favorite. We love it with strawberries (or any kind of berries, really). I made it again today because we are having friends over for dinner and this will be the perfect dessert. Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Do you have to use a bundt pan, or would a regular square pan work? Thanks

  13. Beth Donock says

    Just made this for my dad for fathers day! It was absolutely to die for! He likes plain cakes with no frosting and this was absolutely perfect! I used a 9×13 pan instead of a bundt pan and it turned out perfect! My dad is 81 and has a new favorite cake! Thank you!

    • That was so nice of you to make it for your dad! I am so glad he loved it. This is a simple yet delicious cake and I am glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

  14. Can you use skim milk?

  15. This is very similar to the “Cream Cake” my mother made long ago. We had milk cows and she used cream instead of milk. She measured everything in a teacup.

  16. Cheryl Welch says

    I have been making this cake for over 50 years. I did not know it was a depression recipe. We like it hot from the oven with butter spread inside like cornbread. Cold it is great for strawberry shortcake. Love this cake.

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