Lush Chocolate Milo Cake

Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


Is it a weird reaction to want to laugh hysterically when I spy something as delicious as this cake? Because that’s my instinct. It makes me so damn happy to see a cake this gorgeous. I get the giggles and I can’t stop grinning – I’m like gosh darned school-girl.


But that’s just how I am around beautiful cakes! And this is truly my idea of a beautiful cake. You can keep your flamingo-shaped, modelling chocolate monstrosities. Give me a big, tender, luscious chocolate cake any day of the week.


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


And I mean, can you SEE this thing? You can tell just by looking at it how beautifully moist and chocolaty those layers are, and how silky and rich that icing is. Add the crunch of a layer of Milo and you’ve arrived at what I think is pretty much the PERFECT birthday cake.


Which is why I made this just in time to celebrate Australia day on the weekend! Milo is a quintessentially Aussie ingredient, and it seems I’m making a habit of celebrating with it every year {check out last year’s!}. What is Milo? Think crunchy, salty, chocolate-malt powder and then take what you’re imagining and times that by a thousand. It’s the best.


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


The cake recipe I used is Ina’s, and it’s a classic buttermilk chocolate cake – no mixer required, just a big old bowl and a whisk. And the frosting, oh, the frosting. That is something I’ve been working on for a while.


It’s a malted chocolate sour cream frosting. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Not too sweet. Plenty of flavour and depth, and with the perfect creamy, velvety texture. Combined with the cake and the crunch of that milo? Killer.


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


This is pretty much the best cake I’ve ever made and/or eaten. It’s totally in balance, with the perfect ratio of frosting to cake. I know it looks like it could take more, but trust me on this. If you love frosting, you could make a double batch and cover the whole thing, but I think it’s perfect.


And as much as I feel this is THE BEST birthday cake choice that could ever be made, a little voice in my head can’t help but whisper Valentine’s day… That is, if you’re at the ‘stay in bed and eat an entire cake together’ phase of your relationship. Or if you celebrate GALentine’s Day!


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


Come to think of it, there’s no bad time to make a Lush Chocolate Milo Cake. Just the fun and sheer meditative enjoyment of putting the cake together is reason enough for me.


The way those cake layers are so pliable and moist, but still light. The way the frosting swirls and swoops onto the cake. Raining down a blanket of crunchy milo. Placing the next layer on, just so. And then ever-so-gently pressing down to squish that middle layer of icing out to the edge. Just reading that makes me feel better already.


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


So there you have it! This beautiful beast of a cake is how I’ll be celebrating Australia Day this year! Or how I would be if it wasn’t my sister’s birthday which totally takes precedence for me. We’re having an epic Southern feast of Brisket, coleslaw, potato salad, biscuits, corn on the cob and Pecan Pie. And if it’s wrong to eat that on Australia Day, then I don’t want to be right.


But please know that this cake is right. It is so, so right. It’s right on.


xx Sarah.


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit

Lush Chocolate Milo Cake
A rich, tender chocolate cake, slathered in silky malted sour cream frosting and dusted with Milo!
Serves: Serves 6-8
  • 1 x batch Ina Garten's chocolate cake (link to recipe in post)
  • 4oz (100g) milk chocolate
  • 2 oz (50g) dark chocolate
  • 1½ sticks (150g) butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (225g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp malt powder (such as Horlicks, or Ovaltine in a pinch)
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (155ml) sour cream
  • 3-4 tbsp Milo
  1. Bake the cakes, as per instructions, and then leave to cool completely on a rack. Trim the layers so that they're even.
  2. For the frosting, melt the chocolates together in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring well between each. Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat the butter in a large bowl, until pale and fluffy and then add the sugar and malt powder and beat again until light and smooth. Add the sour cream, and beat again until completely incorporated.
  4. While beating slowly, stream in the chocolate, and mix until just combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  5. To ice the cake, place one of the layers onto a serving dish, cut side up, and dollop on about half of the icing. Spread it out, leaving a half inch (1cm) border around the edge.
  6. Sprinkle over a few tablespoons of milo, then top with the second cake layer, cut side down.
  7. Press gently, if required, to spread the icing to the edge of the cake, and then dollop the remaining icing on top. Spread and swirl the icing around, and then sprinkle on the remaining milo. Place in the refrigerator, to firm up slightly before cutting, for neater slices. Serve!


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


Lush Chocolate Milo Cake // The Sugar Hit


  1. These photos are KILLING ME – I need this in my life! I’m terrible at frosting cakes, but something like this – just my thang.

  2. Looks delicious! Can I find out where your cake stand is from please? :-)

    • Hi Mel, it’s by the Australian brand Salt and Pepper!

  3. Milo live forever! I also did a milo inspired cake for the 26Th :) I think it would be hard to face palm the whole cake!

  4. That frosting tho! This cake looks INCREDIBLE. I love that Ina recipe (is there anything she can’t make more amazing?!) and I can only imagine how great it is paired with this Milo frosting. Happy Australia Day!

  5. Not weird at all. I totally get giddy over delicious foods. This cake certainly seems giggle-inducing!

  6. I am imagining a leslie Knope-esque cackle of delight when you talked about laughing at this sweet stack of awesome :) Seriously, what a dream boat!

  7. You don´t know how much i miss milo since moving from south africa to spain! nothing tops it.. this chocolate buttermilk cake looks delicious and i love that you used milo inbetween the layers!!

  8. Milo has to be one of my favorite aussie products ever…. I definitely am known for eating the stuff straight. This cake looks incredible Sarah!

  9. The photographs are to DIE FOR! Beautifully made!

  10. Yup, lush seems about the word for it

  11. Duuuuuuude. This is so seriouslly perfect for Galentine’s Day–my roommate hosts one every year, but I’m telling her this is going into serious contention for the main dessert. Talk about the definition of lush–you chocolate goddess!!

  12. Pile that frosting HIGH girl!! It looks so lush. I’ve never had Milo before but I can imagine that I would love it since I regularly mix malted milk powder into my hot chocolate (!!!)

  13. Made your cake for Australia day – it came out during number 50 of the hottest 100 and was demolished before we got to number 45! Freaking unreal. I will now be using this as my go-to birthday cake for the rest of the year :)

    One thing – I made the icing by hand (#poorunistudent) and it squidged out a fair amount during transport/waiting time in the fridge. Did you have issues with this as well or did I just not beat the butter until fluffy enough to give the icing sufficient structure? thanks and absolutely love your site!

    • Hey Fiona! It’s a soft icing for sure – it sounds like you did an awesome low-tech job beating it. It will set up nice and firmly in the fridge though, so if you make it again and want to transport, just bung it in the fridge for a few hours. I’m so glad you made it and it was a hit! Happy Aussie Day!

  14. Oh so yummy! Chocolate cake at its best – fab photo’s. Love ina so will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for posting such a tummy rumbling recipe.

  15. This cake. The stand. The sparkler <3 Happy Australia day!

  16. This is just decadent! Yumm

  17. WOW! This looks incredible. YUM!

  18. This is MY idea of a beautiful cake too!!! and girrrrl Milo sounds delish! I love every single itty bitty thing about this delightfully chocooooolatey cake!

  19. If this isn’t food porn I don’t know what is. I love milo and this icing looks epic. I think I may just take your suggestion and whip up one for Valentine’s day.

  20. Marvellous cake, indeed! Totally understand your feelings about it :)

  21. i want a piece of this cake like now!

  22. If you’re like me and didn’t know what milo was, it’s a malt chocolate beverage mix made by Nestle. You can find it on Amazon.

    • Just realized it says what Milo is right in the actual recipe article. That’s what I get for skipping straight to the recipe….oops :)

      • Still – very helpful for others who do the same! Thanks Dan. :)

  23. Ok, so:
    1. This is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve come across
    2. That Frosting is RIDICULOUS!!!!
    Thank you! It was a massive hit, you have a new fan :)

  24. I made this and it went down fantastically! I used hazelnut coffee for the cake- which went really well. Love the sourness of the icing!

  25. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made this cake a few days ago and it was a smash hit. The frosting is HEAVENLY!

  26. Found your website through a liNK and THIS CAKE caught my eye!!! I SO Love Chocolate and this would be PERFECT for Valentine’s day, but don’t know if I can find Milo in the states. ANy substitute?

    • Sorry lovely, not really! You can find Milo on Amazon!

  27. Okay, so my cake was no where near as gorgeous as yours (it was downright ugly), but it tasted SOOOOO GOOD! I was able to find Milo at my City Market here in the States (aka King Soopers/Ralphs). I think next time I’ll just make the icing and serve it in individual dessert cups. No offense, Ina! Love your blog, Sarah!!

    • Thanks lovely! I’m so glad you loved the frosting – and can I please come over and eat it out of a cup with you? PLEASE?!

  28. My last comment seems to have been eaten. Weird.
    Anyway, I made this for the husband’s birthday and it’s all gone. So yum!
    It was no where near as pretty as the pictures, and it kinda slid off to one side, but no matter.

  29. Hi Sarah,
    love your blog ! all your recipes are really good !
    can you please tell me what can i use instead of the malt powder ?
    thanks in advance for your help :)

    • Hi Emi, thank you for your lovely comment! Any similar ingredient, like ovaltine or anything like that would do – or alternatively you could substitute it 50/50 by weight with sugar and flour.

  30. Hey! I plan on making this cake for a party and was thinking of making it in two 9×13 pans since its for a lot of people. Will doubling the cake recipe work for that?

    • Hey Jess – absolutely! You might just want to keep an eye on it while baking – it may need a little longer in the oven. xx

  31. Just wondering if I could omit the coffee in the cake recipe – not a fan of coffee but love the idea of making this amazing looking cake

    • Hey Nat – of course! Just use plain hot water instead of the coffee. I’ve done that, and it’s totally fine. xx

  32. I made the cake today and am planning on bringing it to my baby shower tomorrow. Should I frost the cake tonight and refrigerate the whole thing or frost it and leave it at room temp over night and pop it in the fridge for a few in the morning and then take it out on the way to the shower? Helllp!!

    • Hey Chelsey! Frost it and fridge it overnight, and then grab it out in the morning to come up to room temp! This will travel better if its still a little chilled. Xx

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