Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Birthday Cake


This cake needs an occasion. It’s not for the faint hearted, and not just for an ordinary day. With its large ingredient list and number of steps, you need to dedicate time to this.


With that being said though, it is probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, with a few small ingredient changes due to availability in the UK and a slightly different way of baking, the recipe is almost identical to that of Christina Tosi’s.


After watching Christina Tosi’s Chefs Table episode, I was left feeling inspired by her imagination and originality. With lots of signature bakes, I’m sure to try more of her recipes, next on my list is her Crack Pie.


Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Birthday Cake

(you will need three 8 inch round cake pans)


(for the crumble)

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 25g soft brown sugar
  • 90g plain flour
  • 2g baking powder
  • 20g sprinkles
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

(for the cake)

  • 55 g butter
  • 60g Trex vegetable fat
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 110g buttermilk
  • 65g sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 245g plain flour
  • 6g baking powder
  • 100g sprinkles

(for the icing)

  • 175g butter
  • 75g Trex vegetable fat
  • 85g cream cheese
  • 40g liquid glucose
  • 30g golden syrup
  • 300g icing sugar
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g sprinkles, to decorate


  1. For the crumble, place the dry ingredients in a bowl and combine. Add the oil and vanilla and rub in.
  2. Mix until small clusters form, bake at 180oC for 15 minutes until dry and crisp, leave to cool.
  3. In a stand mixer place butter, vegetable fat and both sugars and beat until light and creamy.
  4. Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. With the mixer turned to low, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and beat till fully incorporated.
  6. Sift in the flour and baking power, fold by hand. Add the sprinkles and fold once more till evenly distributed.
  7. Pour the mix evenly into three lined 8 inch round tins, bake at 180oC for 30 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting place the butter, vegetable fat and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy.
  9. Add in the glucose, golden syrup, lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat until glossy and white.
  10. Sift in the icing sugar and baking powder and beat again until the mix is thick, white and fluffy.
  11. To assemble, place one cake on a plate, put a thin layer of icing on and smooth, layer another cake and continue.
  12. With the rest of the icing, smooth around the edges, and on top. Press sprinkles into the sides, being careful not to get any on the top.
  13. Decorate the top with the cake crumbles, place in the fridge to firm up, leaving it to get back to room temperature before serving.





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