Chef Dion Vengatass quick and easy birthday cake

Buying a birthday cake is not always in everyone’s budget. But if you don’t have a talent for baking, how can you prepare a cake for such an important event? Our resident chef, Dion Vengatass, gives us his sweetest recipe for a hot milk sponge cake that is also simple to make.

According to Vengatass the hot milk sponge cake is easy to make regardless of whether you six or 80 years of age. “I first learnt how to make this cake when I was about ten years old and never stopped making it. It’s just one of those cakes you have to bake,” says Vengatass.

He adds that it goes perfectly with some hot tea or coffee, or you could just decorate the cake with some icing and pretty cake decorations. The result? An amazing birthday cake with no effort. It is also affordable to make.

“It’s a cake for any occasion. It’s great for breakfast, afternoon tea or something sweet after dinner. I hope this cake does it for you as it has for me. Happy baking and good luck.”


  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1ea cinnamon stick
  • 6ea cardamom pods
  • 2ea star anise
  • 3ea clove
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 175°c
  2. Grease one large loaf pan or one 10 inch tube pan.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-low, heat the milk, butter and spices.  Do not boil, but allow the spices to infuse into the milk.
  4. Strain the milk, discard the spices and set the milk aside.
  5. In a large bowl beat the eggs until it turn light in colour.
  6. Gradually add the sugar to the eggs then stir in the flour and baking powder.
  7. Stir in the hot milk and butter.
  8. Beat only until combined.
  9. Stir in the vanilla.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake at 175°c for 45 to 50 minutes.
  12. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove cake from the pan and cool on a wire rack
  14. Be ready to decorate or just dig in, best served with some sweetened whipped cream or warm custard.