Gluten Free Hot Milk Cake + Strawberry Shortcake Topping (Dairy-Free or Not)

Hot milk cake has been an American favorite since its first publication dating back to 1955 in the Chicago Tribune by one of its editors. In this version, you’re provided a choice between dairy and dairy-free ingredients; both tested well and three size pans (9 x 9-inch, 9 x 13-inch, or two 8-inch round pans. The hot milk begins cooking the batter as soon as you add the hot milk, providing a head start in cooking and rising. Serve it dusted with confectioners’ sugar, like strawberry shortcake (recipe included), or your favorite icing. I think caramel or chocolate sauce would also be great choices, topped with a small dollop of whipped cream. The author served it with mocha icing. I like it plain the best. It’s a sweet cake. What will you use? Check out its texture in the video…

Watch the Video!

This recipe was adapted from Taste of Home’s Hot Milk Cake Recipe.

Links You May Need:

Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

Nature’s Greatest Foods, Organic Coconut Milk, No Guar Gum, Unsweetened

Better Body Foods Organic Naturally-Refined Coconut Oil

Gluten Free Hot Milk Cake

A moist, sweet cake that gets a head start in baking by the use of hot milk. No one will know that this gluten free hot milk cake is gluten free.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Ingredient Keyword Almond Milk, Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend, whole milk
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Cooling Time: 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 39 minutes
Servings 9 people (or 12 depending upon pan size


For a 9 x 13-inch Cake:

  • 4 large eggs* (3/4 cup) at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (organic for vegan)
  • 11/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt slightly heaping
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk 3.5% (not lower than 2% fat or 1/4 cup 18% fat full-fat coconut milk** + 1 cup fat-free or dairy-free milk)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 10 pieces (or organic refined coconut oil**)

For a 9 x 9-inch Cake:

  • 1/2 cup whole eggs* (2-2/3 large eggs or 3), at room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar (organic for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk [3.5% fat] not lower than 2%**
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 7 pieces

For the Optional Strawberry Shortcake Mixture:

  • 4 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or less as desired (organic for vegan)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Oil a 9 x 13, 9 x 9-inch, or two 8-inch round metal baking pan(s); set aside. If you must use a glass dish, preheat the oven to 325°F. The rise will most likely not be as high in a glass dish. (If you plan on serving the dessert straight from the pan, there is no need to line it with parchment. However, for a cleaner and neater presentation, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, after oiling it. Then, oil the paper. If you’re using a 9 x 9-inch pan, use a 9 x 13-inch sheet of parchment and allow the paper to overhang on two of the sides for easy removal. If you overhang any parchment paper on the 9 x 13-inch pan, be sure to overhang on the longer portions. Overhanging on the shorter ends may break the cake upon lifting it out of the pan.)

  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high speed for 4 – 5 minutes or until it becomes thick. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture turns light and fluffy.

  3. Add the vanilla and mix on low speed to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour blend and baking powder; gradually add to batter beating on low speed until smooth.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter just until the butter melts. Slowly add this mixture down the inside of the mixing bowl, not directly onto the batter, while beating on low speed just long enough to combine.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Run a butter knife back and forth through the batter to pop any large air pockets. Bake until the cake springs back in the center when lightly touched. Also be sure that when a toothpick inserted in the center that it comes out clean, about 25 – 30 minutes, no matter the size pan. Check for doneness earlier if you’re using a glass dish.

  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes.

  8. Remove the cake from the pan, discarding any parchment paper, and allow it to cool completely.

  9. Then, slice and serve with strawberries and sugar mixture (see tips section below), canned gluten free pie filling, just dusted with confectioners’ sugar, just add a dollop of whipped cream or coconut cream for a dairy-free treat. Also, you may use icing or frosting if making a 2 layer cake. Use your favorite topping.

  10. To Make the Optional Strawberry Shortcake Mixture:
  11. Begin this step, if using, as soon as the cake comes out of the oven. Combine 4 cups frozen strawberries with up to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Stir occasionally until the strawberries defrost and begin to release their juices. If using fresh strawberries, the amount of sugar may be lessened depending upon their sweetness. Once the strawberries defrost, cover and refrigerate the mixture until needed.


*For Egg-Free:

Use 2 tablespoons liquid from a can of white beans such as cannellini/white kidney beans to replace the egg white in one egg and 1 tablespoon additional fat (butter or refined coconut oil) to replace one yolk.


**For a Dairy-Free Whole Milk Substitute:

I made the 9 x 9-inch version and I didn’t have any whole or 2% milk on hand. So, I measured out 2 tablespoons full-fat 18% coconut milk. Then, separately, I measured 1 tablespoon plus enough milk to measure 3/4 cup. Together they equal 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons and contain as much fat as whole milk. The brand of coconut I used can be found in the above link section, Better Body Foods. Coconut milk brands vary in fat percentages. Find one that contains 17 – 19% fat is unusual but useful. Many brands contain 11 – 13% fat. In this case, you would need to use a higher ratio of full-fat coconut milk compared to fat-free milk. If you’re using dairy-free milk instead of cow’s milk, you’ll need to figure out the percentage of fat in your milk. If you’re using cashew milk, that contains a lot of fat compared to almond milk.

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