Momofuku Milk Bar Cake

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.

This might be the best cake I have ever eaten. Seriously. The famous Momofuku Milk Bar cake is layers of funfetti cake, creamy vanilla buttercream frosting, and these crunchy cake crumbs that send it over the edge. Have a special birthday coming up? Then you MUST make this Momofuku cake! I have step by step photos for you to rock this cake out.

momofuku milk bar birthday cake on a white cake stand


 

If you haven’t heard of this Milk Bar cake let me help you out from underneath the rock you have been living under. It’s OK I, too, once lived under that sad rock where this cake did not exist. Well, let me you bring you into a wonderful world that includes this cake.  

Oh my. This. Cake.  🤤 This cake is the genius behind Christine Tossi’s Milk Bar in NYC.

This recipe is one of 60+ Home Baking Projects To Try!

What Is The Momofuku Birthday Cake?

A funfetti cake that’s light and fluffy. With sprinkles abound. Soaked in a vanilla milk. Slathered in a creamy dreamy vanilla buttercream frosting.

And the best part…

Cake crumbs. Don’t worry we will get to the crunchy (I could eat these alone and may have while making this cake) cake crumbs. And it all comes together into one blissful bite that I am still dreaming about. I actually made this cake months ago for my amazing Fiance’s birthday. He is a funfetti fiend and loves a good boxed mix. I won’t judge. I still love him. But I wanted to make him one from scratch. 

Ok this cake is a bit of a labor of love. Hey I’m all for making some awesome easy desserts when the time calls for it. Nothing wrong with whipping up some easy Chocolate Fudge or maybe some Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge but then some occasions call for an epic cake like this one.

This cake is a bit different for a few reasons:

  • Baking Pan: The cake is baked in a 10×15 jelly roll sheet pan and then rounds of cake are cut out and stacked. I had leftovers when I made my cake so I assembled a “mini version” to taste since while the real deal was chilling. 
  • Ingredients: Yes there were quite a few ingredients I don’t normally bake with like clear vanilla extract and glucose. I splurged and got both so I make the cake as close as possible to the recipe. 
  • Assembly: It’s stacked in a cake ring with an acetate cake collar wrapped around it, so in the end you get a “naked cake” look.
  • Layers and layers: And it’s layers of cake, soaked in a “vanilla milk”, then layered with the frosting and cake crumbs. It’s flavor, and texture, and basically perfection. 
  • Make Ahead: The cake has to FREEZE (aka assemble the day before) until you are allowed to reveal the cake and serve. I have included in this post the make ahead times so you can break down the process. I do not recommend making this cake all in one day. 

And this cake promised that it “tastes just like those boxed funfetti mixes” we all hate to love. It delivers. On so many levels. And then some. In fact, it blows a boxed cake mix out of the water. Yes I will be making this cake again. 

Is it time consuming? Heck yes. Is it worth it? Every calorie laden, drool worthy bite. 

What Do I Need To Make This Milk Bar Cake?

Ok yes here’s the thing you will need a few things to make this cake that you may not have on hand. I’ll be perfectly honest it’s got some unique tools and ingredients but it’s all worth it. 

  • 6-inch cake rings You will use these to cut the cake rounds out and then to stack the cake. You might be able to try baking this in a 6-inch cake or 8-inch cake round but you would need to adjust the baking time. 
  • Jelly roll pan – You need to use a specific sized jelly roll pan so the batter fits. You need a 10×15 jelly roll pan.
  • Acetate Cake Collar – This is used to wrap around the cake rings to create that look that is the Milk Bar cake.

If you don’t want to get all these things but want to experience the wonder that is the Milk Bar cake you could try baking in a 6-inch cake pan and then frost without the cake collar. I haven’t tried this method, but I think it would work. It won’t have the same look but no one will care once they take a bite.

Ingredients Needed To Make The Momofuku Milk Bar Cake

Not gonna lie. There are also some specialty ingredients in this cake as well. I thought about taking some shortcuts, but I decided to go for it and see what the fuss is all about. Glad I did.

Cake Crumbs: 

  • Sugars – The crumbs use both brown sugar and granulated white sugar.
  • Cake Flour – A little low protein flour to help bind the crumble together
  • Baking Powder – To help give the cake crumbs so lift so they aren’t dense.
  • Salt –  I used table salt (the only adjustment I made to the recipe) so I used less than called for since the original recipe used kosher salt. Kosher salt is bigger in granules so you need more. 
  • Rainbow Sprinkles – Of course, sprinkles. Because hello ultimate funfetti cake is what we are going for here. 
  • Grapeseed oil (but vegetable or canola oil would also work)
  • Clear vanilla extract – this is what Christine recommends using because it gives it that classic boxed mix taste.

Funfetti Cake:

  • Unsalted butter – Unsalted butter is key so you aren’t adding extra salt. 
  • Vegetable shortening – I don’t like using shortening in my cakes, but I kept true to the recipe here and used it. It does help create a soft fluffy textured cake in the end. 
  • Sugars – The cake, like the crumbs, uses both light brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – Be sure these are room temperature so they are incorporated into the cake batter.
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can always make your own buttermilk. 
  • Grapeseed Oil – Again, you could also use a vegetable or canola oil. 
  • Clear Vanilla Extract – You could substitute regular vanilla extract, but this is what gives the cake the flavor Tossi was trying to achieve – that boxed mix flavor we all know we secretly love. 
  • Cake Flour – This flour has a lower protein content that regular AP flour so you will get a lighter cake in the end. You can always make your own cake flour. You won’t get exactly the same results but it will be a close second.
  • Baking Powder – This is what helps to cause the cake to rise. Don’t mix it up with baking soda. It’s not the same thing! You can read more about baking powder vs. baking soda here.
  • Salt – The original recipe uses kosher salt, but I typically use table salt. Kosher salt is larger in granules so if you use table salt you will need to use less. I made the mistake the first time and used the same amount called for in the recipe and it was SO salty. Oops. 
  • Sprinkles  – Of course, this funfetti cake isn’t complete with some rainbow sprinkles. 

Frosting:

  • Unsalted Butter – Again I recommend unsalted butter so to control the amount of salt
  • Vegetable shortening – Not always a fan of using – here is an all natural version of shortening if you don’t like using the blue tub either. 
  • Cream Cheese – A little bit goes a long way to add a bit of tangy depth of flavor.
  • Glucose – I have never used this before so I was skeptical. But the glucose is there to help make a smooth buttercream frosting and help meld all the ingredients together. But you can leave it out or add more corn syrup. 
  • Corn Syrup – This adds sweetness but also smoothness. 
  • Clear vanilla extract – Yes I think it’s worth the splurge here. It will also give your frosting and cake a more white color. 
  • Powdered Sugar – Of course powdered sugar helps to create the sweetness here. If you are worried about lumps you could sift, but I didn’t bother.
  • Salt – Again I used table salt so I used a bit less (the recipe will reflect the amount I used)
  • Citric Acid (I used lemon juice) – I couldn’t find citric acid in my grocery store, but lemon juice is a perfect substitute so I took it and ran with it. It helps to cut the sweetness of the frosting, so don’t skip it.

Soak:

  • Milk – I used whole milk, but I think a lower fat milk would be fine. It’s used to soak the cake layers to help keep them moist. 
  • Vanilla – A little more flavor here. Nothing wrong with that. Really drives home the vanilla cake flavor. 
top down view of milk bar cake

How Do I Make This Milk Bar Cake?

Ok ladies and gentlemen are you ready to tackle this cake in all it’s glory? I have quite a few step by step photos for you. It took me a lot of research into other blogs, and multiple times reading the recipe to make this cake as instructed. So I hope you find these photos are helpful! 

Step One: Make The Cake Crumbs

These are surpringly easy and can be made up to a week ahead of time. Just don’t snack on them all week before you get to the cake assembly! Trust me it will take willpower.

Start by combining the dry ingredients-  sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles

dry ingredients for milk bar cake crumbs

Then add the oil and vanilla. The mixture will become moist and crumbly.

cake crumb mixture in bowl

Then spread the mixture onto a baking sheet. I lined mine with parchment paper, but you could use a silicone baking mat. You want to break up the crumbs with your hands. 

milk bar cake crumbs on a baking sheet

Once during baking, and then once they cool you want to break up the crumbs a bit. The crumbs will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but will crisp up as they cool. 

baked milk bar cake crumbs on a baking sheet

The cake crumbs can be stored up to a week ahead of time at room temperature in a container or frozen up to a month.

Step Two: Make The Milk Bar Funfetti Cake

Okay, step one done! Let’s make the cake. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients.

creamed cake mixture in a bowl

And then in a second bowl, you want to cream your butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time. You want to then add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix again to medium high and beat again for 4-6 minutes. The mixture will be light in color and liquidy. 

milk bar cake batter in a bowl

On low speed, gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture has nearly doubled in size and is completely homogenous (don’t rush this step!). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until the batter comes together, about 45 to 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give the batter a final mix with a rubber spatula.

Then Don’t forget to add those sprinkles!

milk bar cake batter with sprinkles in a bowl

Then spread the batter into your prepared sheet pan and bake. Once the cake springs back, or a cake tester comes out clean it’s done. Allow to cool. You can make the cake ahead of time, up to 5 days. Just allow to cool and then wrap and store in the refrigerator.

unbaked milk bar cake in a sheet pan

Step Three: Make The Frosting

You still with me?! Oh good. It’s going to be worth it. Pinky swear. Now for the frosting.

milk bar cake frosting ingredients on a sheet pan

Start by creaming together the butter, shortening, and cream cheese until the mixture is smooth and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Be sure to scrape down the bowl. 

And then stream in the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla. And beat again for about 2-3 minutes. The mixture will become smooth and glossy white.

Then finish by adding the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Mix again for a final 2-3 minutes. You can also make the frosting ahead of time. Just store in an airtight container for a week in the fridge.

Ok now that we have everything ready to go. It’s time to assemble! 

How Do I Assemble A Milk Bar Cake?

When you’re ready to assemble,  you want to mix together the soak – an easy combination of milk and vanilla. Here’s how this is going to work: 

Layer 1: 1 layer cake, 1/2 soak, 1/5 frosting, 1/3 crumbs, 1/5 frosting

Layer 2: 1 layer cake, 1/2 soak, 1/5 frosting, 1/3 crumbs, 1/5 frosting

Layer 3: 1 layer cake, 1/5 frosting, 1/3 crumbs

Got it? Ok let’s break this down. Start by cutting out your cake circles. Flip the cake out of the sheet pan. Then using the 6″ round cutter, cut two circles out of the cake. Like such…

milk bar cake circles being cut out

You will get two full perfect circles. And then use the cutter to cut TWO half circles out of the scraps. You will piece those together to make the final cake layer.

It’s unconventional. Sure. But it works. Will there be scraps left? Sure. But this cake takes some time to assemble. You’re bound to get hungry 😉

milk bar cake rounds being cut out with 6-inch cutter

Then you want to start assembling. Using the same cutter, give it a wash. And then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. And line with the acetate collar. 

Note: The acetate collar I used had to be cut into two 3″wide strips.

Place your first layer in the cake ring. 

Then give it a good soak with your vanilla milk. 

milk soak being spread into cake with red silicone brush

Then add 1/5 of the frosting. 

frosting spread on top of milk bar cake

Then sprinkle on 1/3 of those delicious cake crumbs. You want to press these down slightly into the frosting. Oh, and sneak one for yourself. 

cake crumbs sprinkled on top of cake layer

Then more frosting on top. Again, about 1/3 of the frosting. It’s OK I eyeballed it as well. 

more frosting spread on top of cake

Before you start the next layer you want to add your next layer of acetate to make the collar higher. Tuck the new piece into cake ring so it extends above the last one a few inches. Then you want to piece together the half circles on top. 

two half circles placed on top for next layer of milk bar cake

You will repeat this process for the second layer: cake, soak, frosting, crumbs, and frosting. 

second layer being assembled in cake ring

Then repeat with the final cake layer and frosting

milk bar cake being assembled in cake ring

And then don’t forget topping with those last cake crumbs! I like to mound mine up in the middle. 

milk bar cake assembled in cake ring

Now the hard part. The waiting. Patience isn’t my thing either. But it will be rewarded. Promises.

You need to pop this beauty into your freezer for a minimum of 12 hours. You could also freeze this cake for up to two weeks. 

When you’re ready to serve you want to remove the cake 3 hours before serving. And then carefully pop the cake out of the ring and remove the acetate. You want to let the cake defrost in the fridge for those 3 hours before serving. 

How Do I Make A Milk Bar Cake Ahead Of Time?

I get it. This cake is not for the faint of heart. So here is a breakdown of the components and their make ahead schedule:

Cake crumbs: Up to a week ahead of time. Store at room temperature. You can also store these in the freezer for 1 month.

Cake: You can store this, cooled and wrapped, in the fridge up to 5 days.

Frosting: Store in the fridge up to 1 week ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before using.

Whole Cake Assembled: Store in the fridge, covered up to 5 days. Freezer, covered, up to 2 weeks.

milk bar birthday cake slice on a plate with a fork

Tips For Making This Momofuku Birthday Cake Recipe

  • Use the correct pan: I read other blogs stating they had issues making this in the incorrect pan and having the cake bubble over. You need to use a 10×15 jelly roll pan.
  • Make Ahead: Use the times above to figure out how to break down this process. And don’t forget this cake has to freeze for 12 hours, and then defrost a full 3 hours in the fridge before serving. 
  • Vanilla Extract: Worth the splurge. The flavor really was true to that vanilla cake mix flavor. Of course you can substitute the regular vanilla, but be aware the cake and frosting will have a darker hue. 
  • Frosting: I doubled the amount based on other reviews. Some suggested using 1.5x the original recipe called for. So you may have some leftover. 
  • Oil: I did not use grapeseed oil either. You can replace that with another neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or canola.
  • Glucose syrup: I did use this in my frosting and helps to make it smooth. But if you don’t have it, you can replace with more corn syrup but it can make your frosting sweeter than intended and texturally not the same. 
  • Salt: I used table salt, so I adjusted this amount in the recipe for what I used. If you are using kosher salt you will need to increase the amount slightly. 
  • Citric Acid: I didn’t use this either but used lemon juice instead. But that little bit of acidity does help to balance the frosting’s sweetness. 
momofuku milk bar birthday cake on a cake stand

More Recipes To Try:

Alright are you ready to enjoy the BEST cake ever?!

Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

The Milk Bar Cake is the best funfetti cake you will ever eat – with a light fluffy cake, creamy buttercream, and crunchy cake crumbs.
4.89 from 80 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting Time: 15 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 834kcal

Ingredients

For The Birthday Cake Crumb

  • ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (90 g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract

For The Birthday Cake

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 57 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • cup (61 g) vegetable shortening
  • cups (248 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 mL) buttermilk
  • cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) cake flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles divided

For The Birthday Cake Frosting

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (92 g) vegetable shortening
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons glucose
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons clear vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (284 g) powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice (or citric acid)

For The Birthday Cake Soak

Instructions

MAKE THE BIRTHDAY CAKE CRUMB

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  • Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla and mix on low speed until small clusters form.
  • Spread the clusters on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking up the clusters once or twice during baking. The crumbs should be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool. Allow the crumbs to cool completely on the pan before using. The birthday cake crumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, or in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 1 month.

MAKE THE BIRTHDAY CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a rimmed 10×15 jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper, or with Silpat.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, grapeseed oil, and vanilla extract.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ¼ cup of the sprinkles.
  • Combine the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
  • On low speed, gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture has nearly doubled in size and is completely homogenous (don’t rush this step!). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until the batter comes together, about 45 to 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give the batter a final mix with a rubber spatula.
  • Spread the cake batter in an even layer in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles evenly on top of the batter. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes; when you gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger, the cake should bounce back slightly, and the center should no longer be jiggly. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. The cooled cake can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.

MAKE THE BIRTHDAY CAKE FROSTING

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the glucose, corn syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Combine the butter, shortening and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • With the mixer on its lowest speed, stream in the glucose mixture. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid, and mix on low speed just to incorporate them into the batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the frosting is completely smooth. Use the frosting immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (Bring to room temperature before using in the recipe.)

ASSEMBLE THE BIRTHDAY LAYER CAKE

  • Put a piece of parchment or Silpat on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment or Silpat from the bottom of the cake. Use the cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake. These are your top 2 cake layers. The remaining cake “scrap” will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
  • Layer 1, The Bottom: Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or a Silpat. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring.
  • Put the cake scraps in the ring and use the back of your hand to tamp the scraps together into a flat even layer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla extract for the birthday cake soak. Using a pastry brush, brush half of the soak over the top of the cake.
  • Using the back of a spoon, spread one-fifth of the frosting in an even layer over the cake.
  • Sprinkle one-third of the birthday cake crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. use the back of your hand to press them gently into the frosting.
  • Use the back of a spoon to spread a second fifth of the frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs.
  • Layer 2, The Middle: With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall. Set one of the cake rounds (the more imperfect of the two) on top of the frosting, brush with the remaining soak, and repeat the process for Layer 1 (a fifth of frosting, a third of crumbs, and another fifth of frosting).
  • Layer 3, The Top: Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the frosting. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
  • Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.)
  • At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the sheet pan out of the freezer and, using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours before slicing and serving. (You can store the cake, wrapped well in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.)

Notes

  • Cake crumbs: Up to a week ahead of time. Store at room temperature. You can also store these in the freezer for 1 month.
  • Cake: You can store this, cooled and wrapped, in the fridge up to 5 days.
  • Frosting: Store in the fridge up to 1 week ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Whole Cake Assembled: Store in the fridge, covered up to 5 days. Freezer, covered, up to 2 weeks.
  • Use the correct pan: I read other blogs stating they had issues making this in the incorrect pan and having the cake bubble over. 
  • Make Ahead: Use the times above to figure out how to break down this process. And don’t forget this cake has to freeze for 12 hours, and then defrost a full 3 hours in the fridge before serving. 
  • Clear Vanilla Extract: Worth the splurge. The flavor really was true to that vanilla cake mix flavor. Of course you can substitute the regular vanilla, but be aware the cake and frosting will have a darker hue. I got mine on Amazon, but your grocery store may also sell it.
  • Frosting: I doubled the amount based on other reviews. Some suggested using 1.5x the original recipe called for. So you may have some leftover. 
  • Oil: I did not use grapeseed oil either. You can replace that with another neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or canola.
  • Glucose syrup: I did use this in my frosting and helps to make it smooth. But if you don’t have it, you can replace with more corn syrup but it can make your frosting sweeter than intended and texturally not the same. For each tablespoon of glucose replace it with 2 teaspoons of corn syrup. 
  • Salt: I used table salt, so I adjusted this amount in the recipe for what I used. If you are using kosher salt you will need to increase the amount slightly. 
  • Citric Acid: I didn’t use this either but used lemon juice instead. But that little bit of acidity does help to balance the frosting’s sweetness. 

Nutrition

Calories: 834kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 164mg | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 810IU | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @BostonGirlBakes or tag #BostonGirlBakes!


 

145 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I couldn’t find the acetate ring locally so I tried using parchment paper. Unfortunately it didn’t work well and bottom layer split a bit and it was a bit leaning. 3 hours is not enough time to defrost though. Otherwise it was delicious and those cake sprinkles – I could just eat a bowl of those! Thanks for the recip.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the cookies despite the challenges with the acetate ring. Those sprinkles are definitely hard to resist! 😊

  2. Kaitlyn Merryman says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed instructions, I will be attempting this weekend! Maybe I’m crazy but inches seems so small! Theoretically, do you think I could just double the recipe and use 10 inch cake rings??

    1. The six-inch cake might seem small, but with the layers and filling, it’s generous. I’m not sure if there’s enough batter or filling for 10-inch cake rings. Happy baking!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi. thanks for this copycat recipe. I made a double batch and made a 9” cake and had enough leftover for cake pops. It took a looong time to finish it. I couldn’t find an acetate cake ring so just cut and taped up a cardboard ring and lined it with parchment paper.

    1. Thank you for trying out the recipe and for sharing your creative solution! I’m impressed with your ingenuity in using a cardboard ring and parchment paper. It sounds like you made a fantastic cake and cake pops. Great job on making it work so beautifully!

  4. I just purchased Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Cookbook and All About Cakes cookbook. I plan to make this birthday cake as the first recipe from these books. Thank you for these valuable tips and all the pictures which show how it should be constructed.

    1. Super, I am so glad that you find this helpful, please be sure to share how it turns out!

  5. Ashley Clements says:

    5 stars
    Question for ya, I want to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday at the end of the month. What kind of glucose do you recommend? I’ve never cooked with it so it’s all new to me. Thank you!

  6. 3 stars
    “You want to cream your butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time. You want to then add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix again to medium high and beat again for 4-6 minutes. The mixture will be light in color and liquidy. On low speed, gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture has nearly doubled in size and is completely homogenous (don’t rush this step!).”

    Could I please get some help with this step? I add my eggs one at a time. I pour the oil/buttermilk mixture in very slowly. When I increase to medium high speed for 4-6 minutes though, it turns into very yellow soup. Definitely didn’t double in size. :/ For the life of me I can’t get this step to work! The cake turned out fine, but it was pretty dense & gummy. I tested my ingredients and made another cake to make sure I didn’t have something going wrong (and as a backup since this was for a party). What did I do wrong? 🙁

    1. Hi Lauren, so your step above is different than what I have written on the recipe card. You want to cream the butter shortening and sugar yes first. Then add the eggs one at a time. Then you will add the buttermilk mixture you combined from earlier and add gradually. Make sure your buttermilk is at room temperature this could have something to do with. I hope that helps!

  7. Jean Catenazzo says:

    Very curious, why do you use the baking powder in the frosting?? Tried to look it up online, and found some very interesting, but not helpful comments. Ha, ha.

    1. Hi Jean,I believe it helps to make it lighter but you can omit and will still be delicious!

  8. Hi Lauren!

    When making the frosting, should the cream cheese and shortening be brought to room temperature along with the butter? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michelle, whenever making frosting I always recommend it all at room temperature.

  9. Hi! This recipe looks amazing. I really want to make it for my moms birthday but I don’t think I can fit it in my freezer? Is there anyway around this? Will the fridge suffice? Thank you!

    1. Freezer helps to remove the acetate, so if in the fridge you may have just a harder time taking that off. Hope that helps! And I hope your mom loves it!

      1. Hi Heather, thank you for your response. I made the cake fit in my freezer and now it’s in my fridge defrosting. It is cute but not nearly as nice a yours. How did you get the frosting so even in between the layers?

      2. Hi Lauren, to get the even frosting I measured mine out so it was equal and using the acetate helps it get an smooth layer. Glad you were able to get it to fit into your freezer! I hope you love it – it’s one of my favorites!

      3. 5 stars
        It’s me again! I’m sorry to blow up your comments. I just wanted to let you know the cake was an absolute hitttt!! I got a couple of requests in from other family members. I had this pinned for a while but was always intimidated to make it and you made it so easy. I wish I could post pictures here. Thanks again.

      4. I love when I get comments like this so Blow up the comment section!! haha..I’m so happy to hear Lauren!! Yes it’s a lot of work but after one bite it’s totally worth it!

  10. Courtney Kalapinski says:

    Good morning!
    I plan to make this cake for a birthday party, and was wondering if you remember how tall it was? I will need to buy a cake box to transport it and I am just not sure how big of a box to get!

    1. Hi Courtney, I don’t remember it exactly but overall taller than your standard layer cake.

  11. Teresa Marcy says:

    I made the crumb topping. It just tasted like oil. I made another batch using sugar cookie package mix. I added 1/2 cup powdered sugar and a half cup of cake flour. Than I added 5 tablespoons of sprinkles and 3/4 cup of vegetable oil

  12. Cake was fairly easy to put together as a cake novice! Just a learning curve to use new baking techniques and sharpen others!

    Question – I am wanting to make this for my daughter’s 1st bday for fam & friends and foolishly thought I could use a 10 inch cake ring with the 10×15 pan. Finished my test run last night & surprise, the cake ring’s diameter is a little bigger than the cake that comes out of the pan. Thinking of just making 2 6 inch cakes but wondering if there is a recipe or what the recipe for the cake would be for a bigger pan? I doubled frosting & cake recipe in 2 10×15 pans & tripled the cake crumbs which worked out perfectly except for cake size with the ring. Any help would be appreciated!!

    1. If you wanted a bigger cake I would make a double batch and then I could cut the circles out of the those, since you would probably only get one 10-inch round out of each, and could maybe get half a circle as well from each layer to put together to make a third. Hard to say without seeing the cake rings and sheet pans but hopefully that helps a little and happy 1st birthday to your daughter!!

  13. Elliot Lopez says:

    1 star
    Hi, I did just as described, it turned out extremely sweet, the sprinkles lost their color, so I ended only with blue prints of some of them (for some reason all the other colors were gone) and it was also super fatty.

    shame because it was meant for a party and I had to use it anyway.

    thanks for sharing that the sprinkles should be BEST quality, otherwise it wont work (DR. oetker rainbow sprinkles)

    1. Hi Elliot, sorry to hear you didn’t like the cake. I’ve never had issues with the cake before or that it was super fatty.

  14. Do you have to freeze if making without acetate and rather as normal layers cake?

    1. No I think you’d be fine to skip the freezing step if just making as regular cakes.

  15. 5 stars
    I made this! It came out perfectly, just like your photos, and it tasted great 🙂 This was my first layer cake, and my first time using a cake ring and acetate, as well as working with glucose, so I’m pretty heckin’ proud of myself! My only mistake was that I didn’t read carefully enough — I didn’t realize there were only 3 layers, so when the instructions said to push the scraps into the ring in the first layer, I thought you meant all the in-between stuff, not the full circles OR the half-circles. Oops. Still looks and tastes like a cake though!

    1. wow that’s awesome Jo!! I’m so happy it turned out – mistakes and all 😉 – this is one of those cakes with so much work but so worth every bit of effort once you take a bite!

  16. Wendi Walker says:

    I have made this cake 3x now and this weekend was my first with 6” cake pans. It was much easier for the imperfectionist that I am. I will not go back!! I have also made it as a double layer in standard round cake pan size (is that 8 or 9 inches?) but I will say the 6” three layer looks much nicer and fun.

    1. that’s awesome Wendi I’m so glad you loved this recipe!!

    2. So you did 3 6 inch pans?

      1. Courtney Kalapinski says:

        No, it was baked in a jelly roll pan and cut out.

  17. Heya, just wondering why is baking powder included in the frosting? I feel like it wouldn’t contribute that much to make a lighter frosting but I could be wrong

    1. Hi Sarah, this is what Christina Tossi recommends and was listed as the original recipe – I haven’t tried without but imagine it would still come out light and fluffy.

  18. Question: why don’t you soak the top layer?

    1. Hi Shawn, for this recipe I was following what was explained in the cookbook and this is how she made it. If you have leftover soak you could try it – but may make it hard to frost keep in mind if done right away.

      1. 5 stars
        got it. Thanks for clarifying and thanks for the great site!!!

      2. You’re welcome! And thank you!

  19. 5 stars
    This came out so well! I used silpats taped together in place of acetate. A friend who had had the original milkbar cake said this one was better!

    1. wow that’s awesome Sarah!! I’m so glad you loved it. It’s one of my faves to make. And glad the silpats worked as well!

  20. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for cupcakes as well! It made 20 cupcakes and the bake time at the same temperature was 22-24 minutes 🙂 Thank you for the detailed instructions. I had fun making this cake and it was delicious!

    1. Hi Beth! Thank you!! I’m so glad to hear they turned out well as cupcakes too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More You'll Love!