Old-fashioned Hot Milk Sponge Cake


It’s August. Summer’s bounty of delicious fresh fruit is in high season. My “go to” cake for this time of year is an old-fashioned hot milk sponge cake. This recipe calls for 4 eggs, but the good news (calorie-wise) is that it only has 2 tablespoons of butter in it.

This tried and true recipe is simple to make and absorbs fruit juices like its namesake – a sponge. The original recipe calls for a 13″ X 9″ pan. In that size pan, this cake tends to bake high in the middle and lower around the edges, which means that by the time the center tests done, the outer edges are dry. To resolve that, I bake the cake in two 8″ pans. They can be round pans or square. It’s your preference.

Serve the cake sliced as is or split each piece in half horizontally to open up that sponge. Spill a generous helping of your favorite fruit with juices over the cake.

sponge cake with peaches 002-copy

Sponge Cake with Fresh Peaches


1 cup milk

2 Tablespoons butter

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder


Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8″ pans (or a 13″ X 9″ pan)

Place milk and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from burner. Allow to sit while preparing the rest of the batter.

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs, add sugar gradually. Beat on medium until well blended. Add vanilla.

With mixer running on medium, add boiled milk/butter mixture to bowl – slowly in a stream to temper the eggs (don’t want the eggs to cook from the hot milk!). I pour the milk/butter into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip, which helps to pour slowly.

When well blended, add flour and baking powder. Beat on low until blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 25-28 minutes in 8″ pans (my preferred way to bake this cake)

Bake 30-35 minutes in 13″ X 9″ pan (I included this for those of you who want to try it out)

Note: My Hot Milk Sponge Cake recipe is featured in a beautiful cookbook called Jersey Fresh, published by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (in 2001) along with the recipe for fresh strawberry topping, which is on this blog under Strawberries and Pound Cake. Substitute your favorite fruit for strawberries.

Fun Facts about Sponge Cake: 

The opening words of Jimmy Buffet’s hit song, “Margaritaville” are: “Nibblin’ on sponge cake…” (Source: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1955)

A sponge cake has a firm, yet well aerated structure, similar to a sea sponge. That’s why it is called a “sponge cake.” (Source: http://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/sponge-cake-fun-facts/)

(Photo of Fruits Collection courtesy of Robert Cochrane at freedigitalphotos.net)

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