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Kyra's Hot Milk Sponge Cake

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

This is the easiest and best tasting sponge layer you can imagine, and since it is baked in two tins, you won't need to slice through it to make a sandwich cake. Thanks to my friend Kyra Effren, one of the world's great bakers, for sharing this recipe. Kyra often serves this as a tea cake with a thin layer of raspberry jam between the layers, and a light dusting of icing sugar on top; it is elegant simplicity at its best. Though a hot milk sponge is not quite as a light and delicate as a genoise layer, you may easily substitute these layers in recipes that call for genoise. In fact, they can often substitute for white or yellow cake layers too.

From Bake! By Nick Malgieri (published by Kyle Cathie)

Photo by Quentin Bacon

This is the easiest and best tasting sponge layer you can imagine, and since it is baked in two tins, you won't need to slice through it to make a sandwich cake. Thanks to my friend Kyra Effren, one of the world's great bakers, for sharing this recipe. Kyra often serves this as a tea cake with a thin layer of raspberry jam between the layers, and a light dusting of icing sugar on top; it is elegant simplicity at its best. Though a hot milk sponge is not quite as a light and delicate as a genoise layer, you may easily substitute these layers in recipes that call for genoise. In fact, they can often substitute for white or yellow cake layers too.

From Bake! By Nick Malgieri (published by Kyle Cathie)

Photo by Quentin Bacon

Ingredients

Serves: Makes about 12 slices

Metric Cups
  • 55 grams unsalted butter
  • 120 millilitres full fat milk
  • 195 grams plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs (at room temperature)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4⅕ fluid ounce whole milk
  • 7 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs (at room temperature)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Kyra's Hot Milk Sponge Cake is a community recipe submitted by Team Cupcake and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

You will need two 3.75-5cm deep by 23cm round cake tins, buttered and the bases lined with discs of baking paper.

  • Set a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 180C/gas mark 4.
  • Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until the butter is completely melted. Set aside in the pan.
  • Stir the flour and baking powder together and sift into a piece of baking paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk the eggs by hand to break them up, then whisk in the salt. Whisk in the sugar in a stream then whisk in the vanilla. Place on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until very light, about three minutes.
  • Gently whisk in the warm milk mixture by hand. Use the whisk to fold the flour mixture into the liquid in four additions, again gently whisking to incorporate between additions. Using the whisk helps to prevent lumps from forming. Handle the whisk exactly as though you were using a rubber spatula for the folding.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the prepared tins and smooth the tops.
  • Bake the layers until they are well risen and golden and feel firm when touched in the centre with a fingertip, about 20 minutes.
  • Use a sharp paring knife to loosen the layers from the sides of the tins, then invert to racks. Immediately reinvert the layers so that they cool with the paper on the bottom. Cool completely.
  • You will need two 3.75-5cm deep by 23cm round cake tins, buttered and the bases lined with discs of baking paper.

  • Set a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 180C/gas mark 4.
  • Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until the butter is completely melted. Set aside in the pan.
  • Stir the flour and baking powder together and sift into a piece of baking paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk the eggs by hand to break them up, then whisk in the salt. Whisk in the sugar in a stream then whisk in the vanilla. Place on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until very light, about three minutes.
  • Gently whisk in the warm milk mixture by hand. Use the whisk to fold the flour mixture into the liquid in four additions, again gently whisking to incorporate between additions. Using the whisk helps to prevent lumps from forming. Handle the whisk exactly as though you were using a rubber spatula for the folding.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the prepared tins and smooth the tops.
  • Bake the layers until they are well risen and golden and feel firm when touched in the centre with a fingertip, about 20 minutes.
  • Use a sharp paring knife to loosen the layers from the sides of the tins, then invert to racks. Immediately reinvert the layers so that they cool with the paper on the bottom. Cool completely.
  • Additional Information

    Makes two 23cm round layers, each about 3.75cm high.

    Makes two 23cm round layers, each about 3.75cm high.

    Tell us what you think

    What 6 Others have said

    • I just made this cake. What could I possibly have done wrong to make this the worst cake ever? I followed the recipe exactly. It didn't rise much and had the texture of cornbread. Is it my baking powder? My oven? I'm so disappointed. I'm glad I made this for practice and not a special occasion. :(

      Posted by DonnaSmith on 23rd December 2013
    • I made it this morning... Its not even 5pm and its GONE! A case-study success given how effortlessly I made it. Next time though, I am absolutely tempted to make double the batch, make a four-insanely-tall-layer thing or something, and put one layer of strawberry jam and another of Nutella. Heaven. Nigella, (and Kyra), gotta love ya! xx from lisbon, portugal!

      Posted by nikitakanji on 12th November 2011
    • Fantastic sponge. Really fluffy with very little effort. Ticks all the right boxes in my home. I filled it with Nutella, as Nigella suggested on a facebook post (at least that's how I remembered it), and it was gobbled up warm.

      Posted by MarianneW on 28th September 2011
    • Ok, so I bake a cake twice a year only - when it is one of my children's birthday. And each year it is a last minute panic the night before to find a recipe that suits my dusty cake tins shoved at the back of the highest cupboard. To set the scene, the last cake I made took 6 hours and three attempts...And here I am again - the eve of my daughters birthday. Thank goodness for this recipe is all I can say. I followed it exactly (whilst serving the kids tea, answering the phone about what time which family are arriving tomorrow to taste this cake - the pressure is on). And I have just taken it from the oven - perfect. Thank you Nigella for providing a recipe that even me, the worst baker in the world, can pull off. I plan to smother it in fresh strawberry icing and stick a couple of Peppa Pig candles in...job done. And much more meaningful (and tasty!) than a shop-bought version that everyone keeps telling me year after year I should just buy. :)

      Posted by rosiebeaandme on 24th September 2011
    • Finally a Sponge that I can leave out the Creme Fraiche.Am ready for this Now. We had a similar Cake recently and was "bone dry". Oh,Dearest should have looked up this for Hunny's Birthday Cake.Now,We will have this,Thank You! A simple,lovely mixture on hand always.

      Posted by clicquet on 19th September 2011
    • i just made this cake its very easy to make really..!!thanks nigella

      Posted by pinkuminhas on 19th September 2011
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