Milk Chocolate Layer Cake

There’s no shortage of chocolate cake recipes, but this two-layer beauty transcends comparison. A pure incarnation of rich milk chocolate flavor, our tender-crumbed cake is coated in a velvety milk chocolate ganache frosting and receives a pop of crunch and color from a sprinkle of crushed candy eggs. Trust us—this cake will have you melting. If you’re craving more milk chocolate, try our Milk Chocolate Egg Cookies!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Milk Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) untoasted sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2½ cups (312 grams) cake flour
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) dried nonfat milk
  • ¼ cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • 6 ounces (175 grams) 45% cacao milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature and divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
  • Whipped Ganache Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: crushed candy-coated milk chocolate eggs*
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, oil, and eggs at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, dried milk, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add flour mixture, melted chocolate, ½ cup (120 grams) buttermilk, and extracts to butter mixture, beating until well combined. With mixer on low speed, add remaining ½ cup (120 grams) buttermilk, beating until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Whipped Ganache Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with crushed chocolate eggs, if desired.
*We used Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Whipped Ganache Frosting
Makes about 2¼ cups
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) 45% cacao milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, vanilla, and salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until just boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Use immediately.


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  1. I struggled with this cake. It turned out very dry but that could be my fault. Locally I couldn’t find whole buttermilk, had to use low-fat buttermilk. Also 45% cacao not available in my local grocery stores. I used ghirardelli milk chocolate, baking bar for the cake and a combination baking bar and baking chips for the frosting. Maybe this chocolate didn’t have enough flavor because the sesame oil was very over powering. Overall not a good flavor, and very dry.

  2. Has anyone tried substituting malted milk powder for the nonfat dried milk in this recipe? (I have the former on hand, but not the latter.). Would that work?

  3. I am making your Milk chocolate layer cake and saw the use of Sesame oil. I found Kadoya Pure Sesame OIl at Wegmans. It does not say it is toasted and is not as dark as all other varieties, but it still has some tan color. Is this what I am supposed to use? Also, sold out of baking milk chocolate-Can I use Hershey’s giant candy bars-Doesn’t state amount of Cacao.

    • Hi Eileen,

      The Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil is a toasted oil (although it is difficult to find that information on the label) and will be too rich and overpowering for this recipe. You’ll want to look for a sesame oil that is very light in color or one that states that it is not made from toasted seeds. If you are in a pinch and that is all you can find, you could sub out the 1/4 cup of sesame oil for another neutral flavored oil, such as canola. If you wanted to give it a slight sesame flavor, I would recommend removing one teaspoon, and replacing it with one teaspoon of the Kadoya oil. I do believe that Target often carries an untoasted sesame oil under their generic brand name. For the milk chocolate, the Hershey’s Bars should contain around 30% cacao, and I believe that they should work if they don’t have added stabilizers (besides lecithin), although we have not tested them in the test kitchen.

  4. This was a hit. Wonderful recipe for a mild chocolate cake. We ate the unfrosted cake with vanilla ice cream. I used whole milk powder instead of non-fat seems to work fine.


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