I have a bold statement to make: milk cake is my favourite dessert EVER. I eat a lot of desserts. So that is a braver statement than i ever thought i was capable of.
I say this because this dessert really has it all. Super moist and fluffy cake that practically melts in your mouth, with a rich, creamy topping. All this is enhanced by the super indulgent, thick, creamy-as-hell milk sauce that is bursting with matcha and pistachio flavour.
But before i talk more about this dessert and we jump to the recipe:
Wait, what even is milk cake?
Wait, what even is milk cake?
To be honest, i’ve found it really difficult to find the proper origins of this dessert- so if i’ve mixed anything, let me know!
From what i can tell, milk cake is a version of the Mexican Tres Leches cake, which literally translates to ‘three milk’ cake. In which case, i’m already in trouble as i’ve used 4 milks in this! Cuatro Leches cake? Maybe. Oops.
It’s evolved, like most foods do, to become an amalgamation of different creative minds and flavours. This version with pistachio has Persian and South-East Asian touches to it, both being cultures that are special to me. I love the idea of a dessert that can represent so many diverse cultures. The use of ground pistachio and pistachio milk honestly gives this whole dessert the taste of kulfi (Indian ice cream), for those who have had that. So deliciously creamy. i personally am in love with the pistachios and pistachio milk from Borna Foods, which is where i got both of those ingredients.
Just to round of the diversity of cultures in this dessert, i’ve added a bit of matcha to my milk cake. The matcha flavour in this is very light, as i mostly wanted a bit of the earthiness and green colour of the matcha (I used Hearthy Matcha’s premium matcha in this, which i love baking with!). I think matcha balances the sweetness and creaminess of the cake well, making it more well-rounded.
Talking of well-rounded…
…This is properly one of my most tested recipes! I have been making milk cake for about three years now, and since the first time, i have been obsessed! i’ve been adding and subtracting ingredients nearly every time i’ve made this (which is a lot). I’ve tried alternatives for some of the ingredients, or different versions. For example, in this latest recipe for my matcha and pistachio milk cake. But i’ve lessened the amount of matcha, and used two types of sugar, rather than just caster sugar. Interestingly, i’ve decided cut the amount of caster sugar and replace it with a bit of Billington’s Barista sugar.
This might seem strange, as barista sugar is mostly used in coffee and drinks, but hear me out! This sugar has a deep caramel flavour to it, which is FANTASTIC in a creamy cake like this one. It adds an extra depth, and adds the same amount of sweetness as just using caster sugar would have, but with a less intense note. If that makes sense!
Milk cake is a super versatile dessert!
If you don’t have or prefer not to use barista sugar, you can substitute this easily with more caster sugar. This recipe is quite versatile in that fact that you can chop and change some of the ingredients, if you don’t want them. For example, I’ve used matcha and pistachio milk, two ingredients that people may not want or have access to- just leave out the matcha and/or replace the pistachio milk with regular full-fat milk. Simples!
And now onto the recipe!
Matcha & Pistachio Milk Cake
- stand mixer/ electric hand mixer
For the cake
- 4 eggs, medium
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 25 grams barista sugar
- 125 grams self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp matcha powder (culinary or premium grade)
For the milk sauce
- 250 ml condensed milk
- 250 ml evaporated milk
- 100 ml full fat milk
- 100 ml pistachio milk if you don't have this, you can add another 100ml of full fat milk
- 80 grams grounded pistachios Just take some whole pistachios, and whizz them in a blender until they have the consistency of breadcrumbs!
- 1 tsp matcha powder, sifted (culinary or premium grade)
For the topping
- 284 ml double/heavy cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- crushed pistachios and dried rose petals to garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/160 fan/ 350F. Grease a baking dish (approx. 9 x14 inches)
To make the milk sauce
- Combine ground pistachios with the matcha and mix with all 4 milks. Pass this through a sieve twice.
For the cake
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks.
- Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until they look like shiny foam, and form stiff peaks.
- Add in half of the caster sugar, a tbsp at a time while slowly mixing the egg whites. Do this carefully so the egg whites don’t collapse.
- Add the matcha. Combine the mixture together thoroughly. Afterwards, keep this mixture to the side.
- With the egg yolks, add remaining sugar and vanilla essence, and beat together until you get a pale, thick mixture.
- Pour this mix into egg-white mixture from earlier, and fold together gently.
- Then fold in self-raising flour gently. Pour the entire mixture into the baking dish, and bake for 25 minutes.
- Once cake is done, cool for 20 minutes.
- Using a fork, poke through the cake in even intervals. Pour 300-400ml of the milk sauce from earlier onto the cake. Put the cake into the fridge and let it absorb for one hour minimum.
For the topping
- simply beat the double cream with the icing sugar until you get a soft whipped cream.
- Once cake is ready, spread on the whipped cream topping. Garnish with rose petals, crushed pistachios and matcha powder.
- Now it is ready to eat! Serve the cake slices with the milk sauce surrounding it, it's delicious!
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