July 11, 2021

Milk Chocolate Cake

A tender chocolate cake with a mild chocolate flavor. Topped here with a milk chocolate brown butter buttercream with an intensity that pairs beautifully with the gentle chocolate cake.

5 from 2 votes
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A tender chocolate cake with a mild chocolate flavor, one that is sweet and light. Topped here with a milk chocolate brown butter buttercream with an intensity that pairs beautifully with the gentle chocolate cake.



Milk Chocolate Snacking Cake i.e. Small Batch Milk Chocolate Cake

This is baking terminology for a cake that is baked in a square pan and served with a layer of buttercream solely on top. Think, half of a sheet pan cake. As opposed to a layer cake which is well, layered, and has buttercream between the layers so that each slice has 2-3 layers of buttercream and cake. 

Snacking style is also incidentally, small batch simply because of the size. Okay, it depends on your definition of small batch. If you are serving two people you probably want a cake that is loaf size (yes you can do that here, just halve everything) but a cake made in an 8×8” or brownie pan will serve a small group of 4-6 people. 



Milk Chocolate vs Chocolate cake 

Most popular chocolate cake recipes (and certainly most of mine) use dutch process cocoa which needs only baking powder for leavening and produces a dark chocolate taste, richer and less acidic. It’s wonderful if you want a rich, dark chocolate taste. If however you want something more mild, natural cocoa should be what you reach for. 

I developed this recipe using this organic cocoa which is naturally processed, theirs is an organic variety and while it brings a chocolate forward taste into any dishes it’s used for, it’s more mild than dutch and allows other flavors to shine alongside it. I loved it paired with my milk chocolate brown butter buttercream which is an intense one, this cake carries it particularly well so that a slice is never too overwhelming.


FAQ Milk Chocolate Cake 

Can I make this recipe as a layer cake? 

Yes, I would double the recipe and bake it in three 6” round cake pans, bake them at 325 F for 30-40 minutes. If you are making the milk chocolate brown butter buttercream you’ll want it on the stiffer side so utilize the notes in that recipe page. 

Can I make this recipe in a sheet pan (13×9”)? 

Yes! Double the recipe. Bake temperature can stay the same as the recipe below but you’ll want to check for doneness with a cake tester (or use your finger to carefully press the center of the cake, if it springs back – it’s done). 

Can I use a cocoa that is not natural? 

Yes and no. The recipe will still work but you won’t really have a milk chocolate cake on your hands; it will taste more like a dark chocolate. 

What other buttercream pairings would you suggest? 

If you don’t want to go the brown butter route, try this milk chocolate buttercream recipe (just the milk chocolate part, you might want to double it) or try this mascarpone chocolate buttercream. Alternatively, a vanilla buttercream will do just fine (there’s also a ton of variations on that recipe). 

What can I use besides kefir or buttermilk? 

A common suggestion is to use a combination of milk and vinegar/lemon juice. While this may help you get to the right pH level needed to interact with the baking soda, you will lose out on the extra creaminess that comes from kefir & buttermilk (especially the full fat varieties) and so I never suggest milk/acid as a substitute. If you must, thin out some greek yogurt to use in the cake. 

How should I store this cake? 

For a long period at room temperature the buttercream may go soft. If you are leaving it overnight, I’d suggest the fridge and in an airtight container. 






Recipe for Milk Chocolate Snacking Cake 

Brown Butter Milk Chocolate Buttercream, recipe here (you can halve the recipe to make a thinner layer of buttercream, mine was thick) 

Milk Chocolate Cake 

Yummy, easy milk chocolate cake, made snacking style.
milk chocolate cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
5 from 2 votes


  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (113g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 228g
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs set them in a bowl of warm water as soon as you begin baking, this will bring them to room temp
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour 170g
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup The Saco Pantry organic natural cocoa (46g)
  • ¾ cups kefir or buttermilk at room temperature(192g)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease and line an 8x8” square cake pan with parchment paper crosswize (to make a +, this makes for easy lifting).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar as well as the vanilla and salt. Beat for a good 5-6 minutes, until it’s very light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition (at least a minute).
  • Over the batter, sift the cocoa, baking soda and cake flour. With the mixer on, begin beating and pouring in the kefir slowly. Beat until batter is just combined.
  • Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until you can touch the center of the cake and it springs back (or use a cake tester).
  • Cake should be completely cool before spreading the buttercream on top.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    another delicious cake recipe! I’m pretty average at following recipes (read: terrible). I also don’t mise en place as I have very little bench space.. so errors are always a probability. Today I doubled the baking soda – and besides a slightly collapsed middle when I pulled it out of the oven (whoooops…), it was fabulous! It was for Fatjers Day. i combined it wil the burnt butter cream icing and the said father had a slice for lunch, then another for afternoon tea.
    Australians: I get Woolies mudcake but just slightly lighter vibes. This is a good thing (it’s a fan favourite), and now I have a go to chocolate cake recipe to make it – at last 🙂
    Thank you for another easy, fail proof cake 🙂

  2. So wish I can figure out how to print this recipe (and the brown butter chocolate frosting) easily. It shouldn’t be this hard. Cake looks delish! I want to add it to my list of must-dos but… *sigh*

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely in love with this cake! First time trying kefir and I am obsessed!! Honestly the best sponge I’ve ever tasted and bakes so beautifully! Will be making this loads more and recommending it to everyone! Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe Sam! X

  4. Just joined your site today….however I don’t see any icons to print out your recipes. Am I missing something?