How to make a hot milk sponge cake

A stunning celebration cake.
Hot milk sponge cakeJohn Paul Urizar
1H 40M
2H 30M

This raspberry celebration cake is filled with custard cream kisses, and crowned with raspberries and a fleck of gold leaf; it’s a sumptuous choice for a special celebration.

The recipe was developed as part of our 90th birthday celebrations in 2023, along with this pressed flower cake.

Test Kitchen tip

This hot milk sponge is so soft and moist, with a fine velvety crumb, and keeps fresher for longer than a classic sponge recipe.

A large wide bowl to mix the cake batter and hot milk mixture makes it easier to combine without knocking out too much air.

Love baking? Take a look at our collection of classic baking recipes.


Custard cream


1.Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan-forced). Grease 2 x 30cm round cake pans with soft butter. Line bases and sides with baking paper. Grease paper and dust base and sides with flour; tapping out excess.
2.Triple-sift half the flours together onto baking paper.
3.Beat half the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 30 seconds or until foamy. Gradually add half the sugar and vanilla; beat for 8 minutes or until pale and thick. Transfer mixture to a large wide bowl. With a large wire whisk, gently fold in the sifted flours.
4.Meanwhile, heat half the milk and half the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until butter just melts (do not boil). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk 1 cup of the cake batter into the milk mixture until combined. Fold the milk mixture into remaining cake batter. Spread mixture into one of the prepared pans.
5.Bake cake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and starting to come away from the side of the pan and spring back when pressed lightly with your finger in the centre. Cool the cake on a rack for 25 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make a second cake.
6.CUSTARD CREAM: Combine the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat.
7.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sifted cornflour in a large bowl until smooth and without any lumps. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture.
8.Return the mixture to the same pan and whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes or until mixture is very thick. Give the sides and base of the pan a scrape with a silicon spatula to make sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom and it’s all evenly blended.
9.Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the butter a little at a time. Cover the surface with baking paper or plastic wrap; cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold and set (preferably overnight).
10.Whip the thickened cream until firm peaks. Beat the Custard Cream Filling with electric mixer just until smooth. Fold whipped cream into Custard Cream filling until combined. Spoon half the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube.
11.To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Brush with half the liqueur. Pipe half the filling on the cake. Top with remaining cake and brush with remaining liqueur. Pipe remaining mixture over top of the cake.
12.Cover the top with of the cake with upside down raspberries and decorate with gold leaf, if desired.

The cake can be assembled a day ahead. Decorate with gold leaf just before serving. Undecorated sponge cakes suitable to freeze.


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