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Adjust Servings:
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or beans if you have them
1 Eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Serves 8
  • Medium




Sometimes my wife and I don’t agree on food. For me, the stinkier the cheese, the better. To her, bleu cheese is an odoriferous assault on good sensibility. In the case of cakes, I would rather eat a bowl of icing (hence my mouth that’s half full of metal), while Julie can make do with just the cake, sans the spreadable sickeningly sweet confectionery topping. Seemingly true to Kipling, “never the twain shall meet.”

For her birthday, I typically make my wife Hot Milk Cake, which resembles a pound cake, of course leaving the icing off. This year was no different, except perhaps letting Kipling down a tad, this was the first time that I not only liked Hot Milk Cake, I absolutely loved it.

Maybe it’s what happens when you get close to turning 40. your taste buds just mature to a point where everything you loathed in the past, i.e. cake without icing, suddenly comes to life.The beauty is that it is like rediscovering long lost tastes.

Of course, having surgery in January to open up my nose, allowing me to smell for the first time in thirteen years or so, might have something to do with it, but that’s way too scientific and nowhere near esoteric enough for argument’s sake, so I will just overlook that for the time being.

Topping the cake with fresh berries and freshly whipped cream is as simple as it gets…yes, she loves whipped cream, but not icing. For the whipped cream, a tip that I have used on many buffets is to mix in a small amount of melted gelatin (slacked or bloomed in warm water).This keeps the whipped cream from collapsing, and you can make it earlier in the day and keep it in the refrigerator.

I will tell you, though, that there is one secret to making the perfect Hot Milk Cake, and that lies in what you do after it comes out of the oven. While still hot, wrap the top of the pan with wax paper, then aluminum foil, and let cool, essentially steaming the top of the cake as it cools (Please check with your local health department on appropriate cooling protocols). This gives the cake a ‘gooey’ finish that some people of excellent taste, such as my beautiful wife, absolutely adore.

  1. Melt butter and milk in a pan
  2. Let cool slightly, add vanilla and set aside
  3. Beat 3 eggs with sugar until creamy
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt
  5. Add alternately egg mixture and flour mixture into milk mixture
  6. Butter or spray a bundt pan, add batter to 2/3 level
  7. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees, checking periodically towards the end with a toothpick or a knife tip to ensure readiness
  8. When the cake comes out of the oven, carefully wrap the top in wax paper and aluminum foil and let cool to room temperature
  9. Here’s a trick of the trade. You need to remove the cake and place on a platter without letting the top of the cake touch any plate or tray. Place the cake on a plate with the gooey side on top. Serve with any berries and toppings of your choice

Paul Suplee

Paul G. Suplee CEC, PC III is a private chef, college professor, writer, photographer & blogger who breathes food. Active in the professional food service industry since 1983, he has worked in a number of locations across the United States. Paul now teaches adult students near Ocean City, Maryland after an interesting four-year career as a high school teacher. No disrespect to the food stylist world or that of the food writer, but what you see and read from him, love it or hate it, is what you will get at his table. No blowtorches, no crisco-ice cream and no molasses in place of natural glazing, either in photo or word.

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