Milk Chocolate Cake

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This Milk Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Milk Chocolate Ganache is moist, fluffy, and has a wonderfully light chocolate flavor!

We've made so many chocolate cake recipes over the years, and I love them all!

However, this milk chocolate cake recipe is a nice change of pace for its milder, slightly sweeter chocolate flavor. We think that you are going to love this recipe.

Milk Chocolate Cake Recipe

How to Make a Milk Chocolate Cake

You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down the post- but here is a quick rundown!

This milk chocolate cake is easy to make using the conventional (rather than reverse creaming) method of mixing for cake layers that are soft, fluffy, and moist.

The milk chocolate flavor comes from the cup of milk chocolate chips that are melted along with the milk and stirred into the recipe.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8x2 inch round cake pans. You could also make a two layer 9 inch cake with this recipe, but we like the additional layer of filling that a three layer 8 inch cake gives us!
  • In a medium size bowl, add milk chocolate chips and 1 ⅓ cups milk.  The chips will melt very easily, just make sure not to overheat. It's best heat heat is smallish increments as we explain in the recipe below. Let the melted chocolate cool slightly.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend and then set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix until smooth.  Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed  4 to 5 minutes until the mixture has lightened in color and become fluffy. Add vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, (mixing a few seconds in between as the yolk disappears).
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid chocolate/milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients.  Divide the batter between the three prepared 8 inch cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 24 minutes, cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.  

How to Make Milk Chocolate Ganache

With just two ingredients- chocolate and cream- ganache is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes to make! We love to use ganache to create dramatic drips for our cakes but also for the added boost of chocolate flavor.

Depending on the type of chocolate that you are working with, and the effect that you are going for (frosting vs. drips, etc.), the proportion of chocolate to cream will change.

For our milk chocolate drip today, I used a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream (by weight). This gave us a great consistency for using as a drip, and we also used the milk chocolate ganache to glaze our milk chocolate cake layers for extra milk chocolate flavor!

How to Make Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Our milk chocolate buttercream for this recipe is perfectly creamy, has a wonderful consistency for piping, and has a mild milk chocolate flavor.

We didn't want to use our usual go-to chocolate buttercream recipe as it would be a little too rich and overpowering for our milk chocolate cake layers.

This frosting could be considered an American Buttercream as it is basically a simple combination of butter, powdered sugar, liquid (usually milk), and flavorings.

However, for this recipe, our milk is combined with melted milk chocolate chips, resulting in deliciously light chocolate flavor!

How to Assemble the Milk Chocolate Cake

When it's time to assemble the cake, place the first milk chocolate layer on the cake base on or pedestal.

I piped a dam of buttercream about ¼ inch from the edge of the cake before filling in with a thin layer of milk chocolate ganache.

Then, I spread a layer of milk chocolate frosting on top of that and topped with the second cake layer. Repeat these steps for the second layer, and top with the final layer of cake.

I like to fill in the gaps in between the cake layers using a piping bag of buttercream with the tip snipped away.

Then, frost the cake as usual. Since I'm using a ganache drip, I wanted my frosting to be as smooth as possible. Drips against a textured frosting are more unpredictable ;0)

 How to Apply the Milk Chocolate Drip to the cake

I like to apply my ganache drips to chilled cakes as it slows the drip down a little. After preparing the drip, it will cool and achieve a good dripping consistency.

This is something that you can test by taking a small spoonful and drip the ganache along the inside of the bowl.  

Load the milk chocolate ganache into a disposable piping bag and snip the very end away. (You can do a little practice run on the inside of the bowl if you want to have a better idea of what the drip will look like, the consistency, etc.). If your ganache has become too thick, just microwave it for a few seconds and give it a stir.

Check the Consistency

If the ganache is way too thin, just let it cool a little longer.

Applying the Drip Around the Top Edge

To apply the drip to the chilled cake, gently squeeze the piping bag filled with ganache as you rotate the cake. A turntable will make rotating the cake even easier.  This whole process goes quickly as the ganache flows very easily from the piping bag.  If you'd like to see the process, you can find it here: Ganache Drip Video

More Ganache on Top

After apply the drip around the edge of the cake, spread the top of the cake with additional milk chocolate ganache. I wanted to add a little more piping on top of the cake with milk chocolate buttercream and so I chilled the cake for a few minutes to allow it to set up.

Buttercream Border

Finally, using a piping tip 104, I piped a ring of ruffles just inside of the top edge of the cake. I followed that with another ring of slightly overlapping ruffles and finally finished off the look with a ring of buttercream shells (piped with a tip 21). 

For more on cake decorating with a ruffle tip, check out our Basics of Petal Tip Piping tutorial!

I really like the two-toned look of the light colored milk chocolate frosting against the darker shade of milk chocolate ganache.

Decorate the cake cake however you like- you could use milk chocolate bars, chocolate sails or shards- the options are endless. Have fun with it!

Milk Chocolate Cake

More of our Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipes!

We've made so many chocolate cake recipes over the years! We're so glad to finally have a Milk Chocolate Cake to add to the collection.

If you are looking for more chocolate cakes with a mild flavor, check out our German Chocolate Cake and our Chocolate Italian Cream Cake recipes- yum!

For more decadent chocolate cakes, check out our Chocolate Cake from Scratch, Devil's Food Cake, and Chocolate Sour Cream Cake. You cannot go wrong with any of these recipes!

This is just a few of our popular chocolate cake recipes! You can find the full roundup of our favorites here: The Best Chocolate Cake Recipes!

Enjoy the Recipe!

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you give this Milk Chocolate Cake a try, we would love for you to leave a comment and photo below.

Don't miss our full collection of cake recipes and free cake decorating videos in our Cake Recipes & Tutorials Section!

Milk Chocolate Cake

Milk Chocolate Cake

If you're looking for a moist, delicious cake with a light chocolate flavor, this Milk Chocolate Recipe is for you! We have fallen in love with this cake recipe!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 29 minutes

Ingredients

For the Milk Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup (173g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 ⅓ cup (314g) milk
  • 2 ½ (285g) cups cake flour - if you do not have cake flour see Note below for substitution
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened - do not let it become too soft. To soften more quickly cut into slices onto waxed paper. If it becomes too soft, refrigerate 5 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups ( 300g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs - warm cold eggs by putting in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water for 5 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 oz Milk Chocolate Chips (about 1 cup)- We used Ghirardelli
  • 3 oz Heavy Cream

For the Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter, softened (do not soften in the microwave)
  • 8 ounces (227g) milk chocolate chips
  • 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (42 g) milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt - optional to cut the sweetness

Instructions

For the Milk Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8x2 inch round cake pans, you could
    also use two 9x2 inch pans
  2. In a medium size bowl, add milk chocolate chips and 1 ⅓ cups milk.  Microwave for 20 seconds letting it sit a minute or two, stir.  Microwave another 10 seconds letting it set a minute to soften further, stir.  Microwave another 5 to 10 seconds. The chocolate chips should look softened but still hold their shape. Stir or whisk until completely melted, it will take a minute or so of stirring. 
  3. Let the chocolate cool down slightly before using. 
  4. In a medium size bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend and then set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix until smooth.  Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed  4 to 5 minutes until the mixture has lightened in color and become fluffy. Add vanilla.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
  7. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid chocolate/milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients.  
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 24 minutes, cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.  

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place your milk chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Pour heavy cream over the chocolate and place in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove and stir. Microwave for 15 seconds more and stir. Repeat if necessary. When the chocolate has melted almost completely with just a few small soft pieces remaining, allow it to sit for a few minutes. The remaining pieces should melt away.
  4. The ganache will thicken as it cools. Cool for about 15 minutes or until you can pipe drips along the inside of your bowl and get the look that you are going for. (If the ganache is too warm, the drips will run all the way down. If they only drip part of the way down the bowl, it is ready. Some of this comes down to personal preference.)
  5. I glazed the cake layers with a thin layer of milk chocolate ganache, and then reserved the rest for the chocolate drip decoration around the sides. For this, I loaded my ganache into a disposable piping bag and snipped the tip away (start with a small hole, you can always make it larger).

Milk Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Pour the milk chocolate chips for the frosting into a microwave safe bowl and add 4 Tablespoons milk or cream.
  2. Microwave for 15 seconds let sit for a minute or two, stir and microwave again 15 seconds letting it sit a minute to soften further, stir. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate. The chocolate will continue to melt as it is stirred. Let the chocolate cool down before using.
  3. Beat the butter until softened and smooth, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the milk chocolate and milk mixture. Add vanilla. Add another Tablespoon milk if needed. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes and it will become smooth and creamy.
  4. Makes about 6 cups of frosting, enough to frost an 8 or 9 inch cake.

Assembly of the Milk Chocolate Cake

  1. Place the first milk chocolate cake layer on the cake board or pedestal. I piped a dam of buttercream about ¼ inch from the edge of the cake layer before spreading the top of the cake layer with a thin layer of ganache. Then follow with a layer of milk chocolate buttercream. Repeat steps for the next cake layer, and top it off with the final cake layer.
  2. Frost as usual with milk chocolate buttercream. *If you happen to use the "hot knife" method of smoothing your buttercream, the heat may cause streaks and color variation. If you do not want this, simply smooth with a room temperature spatula/bench scraper instead).
  3. I like to chill the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up the frosting a little before applying the ganache drip. To apply the ganache drip, load the milk chocolate ganache into a disposable piping bag with a small bit of the tip snipped away. Apply the drip to the top edge of the cake while rotating the cake (a turntable is helpful for this step). Spread more ganache on top of the cake.
  4. Decorate however you like-- I chilled my ganache drip cake to set it up for a few minutes before applying buttercream piping in a circular pattern on top of the cake (using a ruffle/petal tip 104 & star tip 21 for shells).

Notes

Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make cake flour - or each 

cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

(cornflour in UK).  This recipe has 2 ½ cups flour so measure out 2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour, 

remove 5 Tablespoons and replace with 5 Tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk to blend. 

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19 Comments

  1. @Amy- Yes, it would be fine to bake on Thursday to serve on Saturday! Traveling is no problem. I like to chill my cakes in the refrigerator before traveling to firm them up. Enjoy the recipe!