Hot Milk Sponge Cake w/ Broiled Coconut Topping

Who doesn’t love a good sponge cake?

It’s light and bouncy and goes well with any topping – fruits, sauces, sugars.  Before today, I only associated sponge cakes with the holiday of Passover-because yeast is not used as the leavening agent, sponge cakes are one of the only cakes “allowed” to be baked and eaten.

Yesterday morning I literally stumbled upon a sponge cake recipe of Mom’s: Hot Milk Sponge Cake (not to be confused with her generational Passover Sponge Cake that requires the addition of matzoh meal and the deletion of milk).  I had never actually made a sponge cake from scratch and the title alone intrigued me. I figured I’d get some practice in and work out the kinks before Passover rolls around in a few weeks.

On first glance,  I discovered the unique characteristics to Mom’s Hot-Milk Sponge Cake: the use of hot, boiled milk and the integration of eggs that don’t need to be separated and beaten to a frenzy.

If you decide to investigate any other Hot Milk Sponge Cake recipes in the blogosphere (which I did), you’ll often see words like “basic” and fool-proof”— always music to my ears!  It’s one of the easiest sponge cakes to make because you can’t go wrong with the egg beating.  There is NO SKILL required here.  Simply throw all the ingredients together and put your pan in the oven. While Mom’s recipe is one of the only ones I found requiring butter, I didn’t think for a moment to leave it out. For me, butter is directly correlated with heightened flavor. And, when you’re dealing with little kids, the tastier the better.

While the cake baked, I made Mom’s unusual topping containing coconut flakes, butter, and brown sugar.

Coconut flakes for the sponge cake topping texture

With 5 minutes left to bake, I evenly spread the coconut delight all over the top layer of the cake and put it back in the oven to BROIL for 5 more minutes.  This is key.

Can’t you just taste the goey sweetness

The addition of the topping completely changes the personality of your cake:

Cake pre-topping

Cake with topping ready to BROIL

Final Sponge Cake – notice the size of the first piece cut

It’s transformed from a simple fluffy sponge cake to a textured, intense, sugary sweet flavored cake!

Eat just one piece and you’ll be begging for more. I promise.


  1. Bookmarking this one! My husband loves all things coconut. :o)

    Thanks for linking up to Friday Food at!

  2. Beautiful Cake!
    The photo shows how moist it is – just as it should be

  3. I have never heard of cake being made with hot milk before. hmmm, might have to give it a go

  4. Yum Yum 🙂 Thanks for joining us at Creative Mondays I could just eat some…

  5. Well, you can really bring the taste alive with your words. You should be a food editor. I was drooling. This is not good since I am going without sugar for a while…..not forever….but just until I get….well…unaddicted. Trying to become a fruit affecianado instead. But you can bet that I will try your mom’s buttery cake as soon as possible. Yum!

  6. Visiting from Sweets for a Saturday. I just posted Tiramisu that uses this same recipe for hot milk sponge cake, but the recipe is halved. I have never just used the cake recipe. The topping sounds good!

  7. mary anne devine says:

    thanks so much for the info on the coconut topping. this was the “go to” cake my grandmother use to make, and then my mom use to made it for birthdays, holidays, and parties. it was easy and tasted good. but i didn’t have the coconut topping recipe, which was one of the ways my grandmother served it, DELICIOUS INDEED 🙂

  8. Mary Beth Byerly says:

    Hi! This sounds wonderful. Love all things coconut. I was wondering how you make the topping?
    Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Mary Beth Byerly » it’s easy, simply combine all of the ingredients for the topping and then pour over top. I usually melt the butter. Let me know how it tastes!!


  1. […] other day I was thinking that while my kids have tasted their fair share of sponge cakes that I’ve baked for the blog, they’ve never actually sampled Angel Food Cake.  And, how […]

  2. […] Just two small teaspoons of orange juice give this crunchy dessert just the right tone of flavor.  In fact, I’ve noticed this secret weapon, the addition of orange juice and orange extract, in other Passover dessert delicacies, like Mom’s Passover Sponge Cake. […]

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