Buttery, moist, and flavorful, this is the best evaporated milk cake recipe you’ll ever make. The cake is so soft and fluffy that it practically melts in your mouth. You’ll also love the crunchy brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping. The cake is perfect for breakfast, snacking, and dessert.
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Easy cake recipe with evaporated milk
If you have ever wondered about baking a cake with evaporated milk, then you’re in luck. My evaporated milk cake recipe is pillowy-soft and moist with hints of vanilla under a blanket of sweet buttery streusel topping.
And even better, this coffee cake recipe is super simple to prepare and perfect to feed a hungry crowd. It comes together fast and is perfect for any occasion, be it breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, or as an after-dinner dessert.
Simple ingredients make this evaporated milk coffee cake perfect. The cake layer and streusel crumble use pretty much the same things, so the ingredient list is rather short. Check the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- All-purpose flour creates the structure of the cake. We use it in the cake layer and for the crumb topping.
- Baking powder is the leavening agent and helps the cake rise.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar sweetens the cake, and brown sugar creates a soft and aromatic crumb layer.
- Butter adds a delicious buttery flavor. It also helps the creaming process of the cake and holds the streusel together. I used salted butter, but unsalted butter + some extra salt will work too.
- Evaporated milk is the star of the show. The canned milk adds moisture and helps us achieve the best texture. It creates a soft, tight crumb that is somewhere between fluffy white cake and dense pound cake.
- Egg: An egg provides moisture and binds the cake batter together.
- Vanilla extract adds a lovely depth of flavor.
- Cinnamon makes the crumb topping so irresistible.
How to make evaporated milk cake
I’m obsessed with the simplicity of this evaporated milk cake. It comes together in only a few simple steps. Gotta love that for quick and simple baking!
Prepare for baking
- Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
- Line pan. Grease an 8 in x 8 in / 20 cm x 20 cm baking pan with butter and line with a piece of parchment paper, letting it overhang on two sides. Set aside.
Make cake batter
- Cream butter and sugar. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add wet ingredients. Add the evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until incorporated. The mixture may look curdled, but that’s fine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Form batter. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour and baking powder until smooth. The batter will be thick and sticky – exactly what we want. Be careful not to overmix.
- Spread batter. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Since the batter is thick, spread it out evenly with a spoon or spatula.
Mix crumb topping
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon.
- Add butter. Using a fork, gently stir in the melted butter until large crumbs form. Do not overmix. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a paste rather than streusel.
Bake & cool
- Bake. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter. Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes., or until a toothpick/skewer inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then use the parchment paper overhang as handles to lift the cake out of the pan and transfer it onto a wire rack to cool.
Glaze & slice
- Glaze (optional). Combine the powdered sugar and evaporated milk until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Alternately, dust your evaporated milk cake with powdered sugar.
- Serve. Cut the cake into 9 to 16 squares. It can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Want to bake the best vanilla cake with evaporated milk? Here are a few key tips and tricks to remember when making this recipe:
- Use room temperature ingredients: Let cold ingredients like eggs and butter come to room temperature so they mix quickly and easily.
- Measure the flour correctly: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure flour. If you don’t have a scale, fluff your flour with a spoon and spoon it into your measuring cup before leveling it off with a knife. Spooning and leveling is the best method to measure flour without overpacking your measuring cup.
- Ensure the baking powder is fresh: One of the reasons cakes don’t rise and end up dense and flat is that the baking powder has expired.
- Tap the pan: I like to gently tap my baking pan against the countertop to release air bubbles from the batter before I add the crumbs. It also helps the batter even out in the pan.
- Avoid overmixing the crumb topping: Be careful not to overmix the crumble topping – or it might become a paste-like texture. You want big, buttery crumbles!
- Press the streusel into the batter: When you sprinkle the crumbs on top of the cake batter, gently press them down into the batter so they stick.
Variations & mix-ins
Baking such a simple recipe opens the door for plenty of variations to play around with. Here are some ways you can customize your evaporated milk cake recipe:
- Spices: Feel free to swap out the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice. You can also add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the cake batter.
- Citrus: Add lemon zest or orange zest to the evaporated milk cake batter for a fresh tangy flavor.
- Chocolate chips: Chocolate chips are a fantastic addition to this cake. Fold 1 cup chocolate chips into the batter. White, milk, and semisweet are great options.
- Blueberries: For a burst of freshness, mix 1 cup fresh blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour. Then gently stir the berries into the batter and procced with the recipe as written.
While you can enjoy evaporated milk cake as is, the beauty of the recipe lies in its versatility. You can dress up the cake in so many ways! Pace individual squares of cake on a plate and serve it with one of the following toppings:
- Ice cream + chocolate sauce (or caramel sauce)
- Whipped cream + fresh strawberries (or other fruits/berries)
- Lemon curd sauce + toasted pistachios
- Crème fraiche + shaved dark chocolate
- Chocolate spread + raspberries
- Greek yogurt + honey
How to store evaporated milk cake
Transfer the cake into an airtight container or tightly cover it with plastic wrap. It will last at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. For longer storage, keep the cake in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days.
Freeze evaporated milk cake
This evaporated milk cake is very freezer friendly. First, let the cake cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze the cake for 2 to 3 months. I recommend freezing the cake without the glaze.
When you’re ready to enjoy your cake, defrost in the fridge overnight. Then bring it to room temperature or reheat it in the microwave and ice with the glaze.
How many servings does this evaporated mil cake yield?
You can cut the cake into 9, 12, or 16 squares, depending on how big you want each slice to be.
Can I double the recipe?
Of course! This cake is a great treat to bring to functions and bake sales. If you need more servings, double the recipe and bake the cake in a 9 in x 13 in cake pan. The baking time will be closer to 50 minutes.
What is evaporated milk?
Evaporated milk is shelf-stable canned milk where 60% of the water content has been cooked down. It’s different from condensed milk as it doesn’t contain added sugar.
Is evaporated milk good for baking?
Yes, evaporated milk is a fantastic baking ingredient. The higher fat content enhances the flavor + texture and also adds moisture.
Since it is richer and creamier than regular milk, it makes baked goods rich, moist, and flavorful. It also gives this cake a tender crumb and soft, yet sturdy texture.
What is a good substitute for evaporated milk?
In case you don’t have evaporated milk, prepare the cake with either 1/2 cup whole milk or 1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup sour cream.
Can I make this cake recipe with sweetened condensed milk?
No, you can’t substitute evaporated milk with condensed milk. The two products are completely different and cannot be used interchangeably in this crumb cake recipe. Instead, try our condensed milk cake.
Reasons to love evaporated milk cake
- Amazing taste + texture: The fluffy, buttery vanilla cake layer contrasts beautifully with the crispy, yet soft cinnamon crumb topping. And as a finishing touch, the cake is drizzled with a sweet evaporated milk glaze.
- Simple ingredients: The cake and crumb layer use the same ingredients, which are all pantry staples.
- Easy to make: Each component of the evaporated milk cake recipe is easy to prepare.
- Stays moist: This cake doesn’t dry out quickly. Evaporated milk and butter keep the texture moist for longer and boost the flavor.
- Versatile: Evaporated milk cake goes perfectly with a cup of coffee for breakfast, noontime tea, or as a dessert after dinner.
More easy baking recipes
Homemade cake and muffins are excellent choices for all types of occasions, and there is a recipe for just about every taste. Here are a few more of our favorites to try: