Friday, December 20, 2013

hot milk sponge cake with broiled coconut frosting


photo by jonathan canlas

before we is your last chance to enter to win one of two copies of this great weeknight cookbook. leave a comment on that post letting me know what's in heavy rotation for dinner at your house. and check out my facebook and instagram feeds for more ways to enter. the winners will be announced saturday morning so check back here to see if you won!

remember that last supper post? well, this is the dessert i would have at that meal. i grew up eating this. and then as adults in utah this made a regular appearance at family potlucks. the batter is also the base recipe i used for the cranberry upside down cake. sponge cake is my fave.

and i'm not sure where this recipe came from. there are lots of versions floating around the internets. i've spent a good amout of time searching high and low for it's source, so if you know where it originates, let me know. 

something about the recipe bothered me though. it was to be baked in a 9x9 pan and served that way as well. it was delicious but clunky. this cake needed the respect and presentation it deserved!

so i got to work. this was actually the first recipe i started developing for the cookbook. and that was back in september?? it was quite the labor of love to get this recipe ready to hand over to you. the original version doesn't lend itself to feeding lots of people. it didn't present well either. so after a few weeks (i mean MONTHS) of changing this and adding that, i got it! the result? a beautiful sponge cake that can be brought to your table on your finest cake stand that feeds your favorite group of loved ones as well. 

so here you go internets! the first born recipe of this whole journey...

hot milk sponge cake with broiled coconut frosting
makes one 10 inch round cake

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3 T butter

for the frosting:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand up mixer fixed with the whisk attachment (or with a hand held mixer and a large bowl) beat the eggs on high till fluffy and the color becomes light a yellow, about 5-6 minutes.

When the egg mixture is ready, slowly add the sugar and continue beating on high for 5-6 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt 3 T butter and milk on medium high until butter is completely melted and little bubbles start to from around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.

Turn mixer down to low and carefully add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Slowly increase speed to medium and mix until combined. Add the milk mixture and vanilla and mix for another 30 seconds or so until all ingredients are fully incorporated. 

Scrape the botton of the bowl with the whisk attachment very well to incorporate everything from the bottom. Pour the batter into a greased 10" spring form pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes till the middle springs back when you touch it.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes till combined well. add milk, vanilla and coconut and beat for another minute or so. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl half way through to fully incorporate the ingredients.
When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and use an off-set spatula to frost the hot cake with the frosting mixture as evenly as possible. Place the cake back in the oven on the bottom rack and broil the cake on high for 7-10 minutes till evenly browned. Keep an eye on it as it can burn quickly.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and carefully run a sharp knife along the edge of the cake. Release the spring form mold and continue to let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve on your favorite cake stand or pretty plate. Be sure to slice with a serrated knife to ensure getting through the crispy topping.

p.s. to receive a couple extra "if i were..." menu ideas and secret recipes every month that i only share via email click here


  1. Broiled coconut frosting. Hello, yes. This sounds like the kind of recipe one ought not trifle with, but I also think it sounds like the perfect base for a round tres leches cake, eh?