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Hot Milk Vanilla Sponge Cake with Fresh Strawberry Butter Icing.

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Origin:  My dad found an old school recipe book of mine that I must have left at my grandmother’s home some 30 years ago when he was clearing out  his family home, which sadly has recently been sold.

It is full of old favorites, one of them being an easy hot milk sponge cake, which I tried for my daughters 17th birthday lunch yesterday.

As most of you know, I am no baker, but since starting this blog, and doing work for the various food mags, baking is requested often, and I have been forced to develop new recipes and test them before they are published.

Suddenly I am really enjoying this disciplined genre of cooking and now bake at every opportunity that arises.

Please try this one and let me know the results. I can almost bet what they will be if you follow the instructions below.

Hot Milk Vanilla Sponge Cake with Fresh Strawberry Butter Icing.

2 cups (500ml) granulated white sugar

4 eggs

2 cups (500ml) sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons (10ml) baking powder

½ teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla essence

2 teaspoons (10ml) butter

1 cup (250ml) milk


  • Soak your eggs in warm water while you prepare your other ingredients. (Not too hot – don’t want them to cook!)
  • Take the mixing bowl you are going to beat the eggs in and fill with hot water while you are preparing the other ingredients.
  • WHY…because if the bowl and eggs are warm, they are going to beat up beautifully.  
  • Get the shape of your spring-form pan by cutting a square of parchment. Now fold it up and cut the edges round once you have the point in the centre.
  • The sides of the tin can be lined with a double layer of parchment, folded and snipped with scissors so that it can ‘bend’ around the corners. Grease with butter – and never fill more than 3/4 fill as the mixture will then overflow.


















  1.  Pre-heat the oven to 160 oC.
  2. Line two 30cm spring-form tins with lightly greased parchment paper.
  3. In the warmed mixing bowl (dry it well) add the warmed eggs and beat at high speed until light and creamy (approximately 10 minutes.)
  4. While they are beating,  gently heat up the milk and butter until scorched (just before boiling.) Remove and keep to one side until required.
  5. Once the eggs are ready add the sugar and continue to beat at high speed while you sift the dry ingredients. (flour, baking powder, bicarb)
  6. Turn the mixer down to slow, and pour the warm milk into the sugar and egg mixture in a  steady stream.
  7. Work quickly now by adding the vanilla essence and lastly the flour, baking powder and bicarb . Quickly mix on high for 5 -10 seconds only. Remove from the mixer and mix a few times by hand with a large metal spoon, ensuring all the flour is incorporated. (Do not over mix, as the object is to have as much air in the mixture as possible however you don’t want any lumps of flour.)
  8. Pour equal amounts into your two tins, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the centre, when pressed, bounces back. (Do not over fill the tins – up to ¾ of the tin is the best result. Tins may vary in size. If you have any mixture remaining make a few cup cakes!)
  9. Remove and cool before icing.

(Because of the high sugar content the paper must be greased, or the tin very well greased if you don’t have paper, as if not the cake will stick to the tin or the paper will be difficult to remove.)

If you would like to make a chocolate version, remove 50g of the flour and add 50 g of cocoa powder. Make the same butter icing but substitute the pink food colouring and fresh strawberries with a mixture of 50 g of Horlicks and cocoa. Decorate with ‘whispers’.

Click here for the Fresh Strawberry Butter icing recipe.


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