Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake Recipe

There’s something so comforting about a warm slice of cake with a cup of hot milk on a chilly evening. Soothing us with its simplicity and nostalgia. Today, I’m excited to share our timeless hot milk cake with you. The first thing you’ll notice about this cake is its moist, tender crumb. It has a delicate texture that melts in your mouth. The simple ingredients allow a subtle sweetness to emerge without being overly rich. A warm slice paired with a glass of cold milk is pure comfort in cake form.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3⁄4 cup chopped nuts: A sprinkling of nuts adds texture and subtle flavor. I like using a mix of walnuts and pecans for this recipe.
  • 1 and1⁄2 cups butter: Sweet cream butter is gently melted to create the richest, most indulgent crumb.
  • 1⁄2 cup evaporated milk (or half and half): Evaporated milk adds body and creaminess without being too heavy. Feel free to substitute half-and-half if you prefer a lighter texture.
  • 1 and1⁄2 cups brown sugar, packed: Dark brown sugar balances the butter’s richness with molasses notes that echo the milk’s warmth.
  • 2 cups shredded coconut: Toasted coconut lends its tropical sweetness and adds an extra element of surprise in each tender bite.

How to Make This Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake Recipe

Prepping the Ingredients

Toast the coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely. Chop the nuts into roughly 1⁄4 inch pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Assembling the Batter

In a separate bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and 2/3 cup water until uniform. Gradually add the milk mixture to the brown sugar mixture, stirring gently just until combined. Do not overmix.

Folding in Add-ins

Gently stir the toasted coconut and chopped nuts into the batter until just distributed, being careful not to deflate the airy texture.

Baking Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serving Instructions

Slice with Precision

To serve, use a sharp knife warmed in hot water for clean, precise slices. As you cut through the layers, witness the tender crumb and golden hue revealing themselves a testament to your baking prowess.

Symphony of Flavors

Elevate the experience by pairing each slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of temperatures and textures creates a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds applauding.

Coffee or Tea Serenade

As a versatile treat, the Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake pairs exceptionally well with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a comforting pot of tea. The subtle sweetness of the cake complements the richness of these beverages, making it an ideal companion for your morning or afternoon ritual.

Remember the Moment

In serving this timeless delicacy, remember to embrace the moment. Whether it’s a cozy family gathering or a solo indulgence, let each bite transport you to a place of joy and connection. Share the love and the cake after all, some recipes are meant to be enjoyed together.

Storage and Freezing Instructions


Now, let’s talk about extending the joy beyond the first serving. To keep your Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. The airtight seal ensures that the flavors remain intact, allowing you to savor the delicious nostalgia over multiple sittings.


If you find yourself with more cake than you can devour within three days, fear not the freezer is your ally. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before stashing them in the freezer. This careful packaging protects the cake from freezer burn, preserving its taste for up to three months.


When the time comes to relive the moment, simply transfer a slice from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Reheat it in the oven for a few minutes to restore its fresh from-the-oven allure.

old-fashioned hot milk cake

Related Desserts:


Can I substitute regular milk with a non-dairy alternative in the Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake recipe?

You can swap in almond, soy, or oat milk for a dairy-free twist. Just ensure the non-dairy milk is heated to the same temperature as traditional milk for that signature moist texture

Can I use a different type of flour, like whole wheat flour, for a healthier version?

Indeed, you can experiment with whole wheat flour for added nutritional value. However, be mindful of the potential change in texture, as whole wheat flour tends to be denser. Consider a 50-50 blend for a balance of health and the classic lightness.

Is it possible to make this recipe gluten-free?

Opt for a high-quality gluten-free flour blend as a one-to-one substitute for all-purpose flour. Add a touch of xanthan gum for better structure, and you’ll have a gluten-free Hot Milk Cake ready to delight.

Can I prepare the batter in advance and bake it later?

Yes, you can prepare the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just ensure it comes to room temperature before baking for consistent results. This makes it a convenient option for planning, ensuring fresh-baked goodness at your preferred time.

Can I add nuts or fruits to the batter for extra flavor?

Customize your Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake by folding in chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, or adding a handful of raisins or diced dried fruits. Just ensure the additions are evenly distributed to enhance the overall experience.

Is there a way to make a smaller batch of the Hot Milk Cake?

Adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly for a smaller batch. Halving the recipe is a simple way to enjoy this delightful treat without being overwhelmed by leftovers. Remember to adjust the baking time slightly to ensure perfection in a smaller pan.

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

There’s something so comforting about a warm slice of cake with a cup of hot milk on a chilly evening. Soothing us with its simplicity and nostalgia. Today, I’m excited to share our timeless hot milk cake with you. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 250 kcal


  • ¾ cup chopped nuts
  • cups butter
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups shredded coconut


  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 large eggs and 2 cups of granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of whole milk until it's steaming but not boiling.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to combine.
  • Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring gently until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Keyword Classic hot milk cake, Easy hot milk cake recipe, Homemade hot milk cake, Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake recipe
Hey there! I'm Betty Spangler. I love food, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple.