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Milk Street Bowtie Hot Milk Sponge Cake

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

10 to 12 Servings
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When Linda White’s grandmother was a young woman, she started a book of recipes that she had clipped from the newspaper or had gotten from friends and family. Now Linda, who lives in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, has inherited that book. “Most of the recipes have titles attributed to someone significant in her life,” she says, and the cake named Adena’s Hot Milk Sponge was comfort food for the family. “She made it for happy occasions, but I associate it more with times when I was under the weather or was just feeling down.” Both Linda and her mother tried to replicate the sponge cake, but her grandmother’s handwritten recipe was sketchy and vague. They had no luck. “The flour is listed as the last ingredient, after the baking instructions,” Linda said. “The ingredients include egg yolks, but later on it says to fold in the whites. I think this might be a case of making sure no one can duplicate it!” Linda contacted Milk Street to help her re-create this old-fashioned cake, which she described as light and tender and flavored with a little orange zest; it was always baked in a tube pan and never iced. Sponge cakes like this one incorporate beaten egg whites, which, along with baking powder for added leavening, produce a light, fluffy crumb. For best results, keep these tips in mind: Use an ungreased pan—this allows the batter to cling to the pan sides and the tube as it rises. Scald the milk before use to denature proteins and help tenderize the crumb. Beat the egg whites just until very droopy peaks form; if they are stiff, the cake won’t rise as high. And to prevent the baked cake from falling, invert it and let cool completely in the pan.

10 to 12

Servings

260 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
428 grams (2 cups) white sugar, divided
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Ingredients
  • 260

    grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 1

    cup whole milk

  • 4

    large eggs, separated, room temperature

  • 428

    grams (2 cups) white sugar, divided

  • 1

    tablespoon grated orange zest

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

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