Monday, July 1, 2013

Hot Milk Sponge Cake with Berries and Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my great grandmother's recipe for hot milk sponge cake.  I never met her but love hearing stories about her.  It is is a family recipe and is probably the most delicious cake you will ever have.  Growing up, my mom wold bake this in a 9 x 13 pan, cut it into squares, frost the squares and then roll in peanuts; Peanut Squares. I've never been a fan of regular frosting or peanuts in desserts so I would sneak bites of just the cake.  It actually tastes a lot like a Twinkie... light, fluffy, moist with a strong vanilla flavor.  

If you don't feel like making the layer cake, this is a perfect base for Strawberry Shortcake.  But if you want to get fancy, I suggest you take this route.  With the July 4th approaching, this would be a show stopper at any party you attend.  I actually brought this to a cook-out this past weekend and was thrilled that the plate was clean by the end of the night.  

This recipe has been in our family for years and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to be sharing it with y'all ( I know I am not southern, but have always enjoyed saying y'all).  I hope it becomes a recipe that maybe you can pass on to you family someday.  Cheers!  

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  

Heat the milk, butter and vanilla over medium heat.  You always want to watch milk when heating because it can boil over very quickly. 

Beat the eggs and sugar on a very high speed until they become a pale yellow color.  

See the bubbles... that is from whisking the eggs and sugar for a long time.  

Fold the flour in just until it is absorbed in the egg mixture. 

Then fold the hot milk mixture in until combined.  

More bubbles.  That is what makes this a sponge cake!

I made the mistake of cooking one of the cakes on the bottom shelf so it was slightly overdone.  Put both pans on the top shelf for even cooking. 

Just the cream cheese...

Now with the cream added....
The final product with the sugar and vanilla.  

Time to layer and assemble. 

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
grease and flour two 9" cake pans
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups sugar

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. 

Heat milk, butter and vanilla in a small sauce pan until it simmers and butter is melted.  Remove from heat.

In a large mixer with a whisk attachment, beat eggs at a high speed.  Gradually add in sugar and continue beating until it is a light lemon color.

Fold in flour mixture with a rubber spatula until dry ingredients are completely combined with egg/sugar mixture.  Add warm milk mixture to bowl and fold in until combined.  Do not over mix.  

Pour batter equally into prepared cake pans.  Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes.  If the cake springs back when lightly touched, then it is ready.  Remove from oven and transfer to rack to completely cool.  

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

In mixer with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Add cream and beat at a high speed for about 3-5 minutes.  Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Finally, add vanilla and place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.  


2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Slice strawberries into quarters.  Add blueberries and toss with sugar.  Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the frosting.  

Once cake is completely cooled, slice each round in half with a serrated bread knife right through the middle. 

Place flat bottom of cake on large plate or cake stand.  Spread with a thick layer of frosting.  Scatter berries over frosting and sprinkle with lemon zest.  Repeat process with remaining 3 layers of cake.  When frosting, be very generous with the icing and let some drip over the edges.  

Place cake in refrigerator until ready to serve.  

This is the only picture I took at the party after we cut into the cake.  Not the prettiest image but there was not even one bite left by the end of the evening!  

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