Bird’s Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko)

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!Bird’s Milk Cake is a combination of soft chocolate sponge cake layers and a deliciously luscious Custard Buttercream. This cake has a very subtle sweetness, so if super sweet cakes are not your thing, you’re going to love this one!

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

My aunt Irina shared this Birds Milk Cake recipe with me and the first time I made it, it was an epic fail. The chocolate layers collapsed horribly as soon as they were out of the oven and I was pretty disappointed. This not being my first cake, I couldn’t imagine what I did wrong as I did follow the recipe pretty precisely. After a call to my aunt to ask about what I could have done wrong, I found out that when it said 6 tablespoons of flour in the recipe, it did not mean leveled measuring tablespoons, but a normal heaping soup spoon. This of course was how the recipes were written back in the day, and I didn’t clarify before starting to make the cake, hence the epic fail.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

After multiple attempts I decided to not just measure, but weigh my ingredients, because a couple grams this or that way made a huge difference. I wouldn’t recommend making this cake if you’re novice baker as it takes a little bit of a ‘know how’ in several steps of the process to get the result we are aiming for.

But, if you do decide to make this cake, you MUST use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. This is not an option in this cake, unless you have made it a 100 times and now know by eye what the batter is supposed to look at. Since the kitchen scale is fairly inexpensive, I say invest in this little piece of equipment in your kitchen and start having consistent results, which is super important when it comes to baking.

Anyways, I am super excited to be posting this recipe because it took me such a long time to get it right and now that I have the exact weighed measurements, this cake comes out perfect every single time! I know it might sound like a weird thing to get excited about, but I guess I’m a little off, haha, but I’m ok with that! Enjoy guys!

Oh and do let me know what you think of this cake once you make it! I love hearing from you guys, kind of makes it worthwhile to experiment and post this kind of stuff.
Lots of love,
– Marina

Bird’s Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko)

Yield:One 9 inch round cake (8-12 Servings)

Chocolate Angel Food Cake Ingredients:

  • 240 gr egg whites (about 10)
  • 300 gr granulated sugar
  • 120 gr all-purpose flour
  • 40 gr cocoa powder

Equipment to use (affiliate links)
Electric mixer 
Two 9 inch round baking pans 
9 inch round pre-cut parchment circles, or you can cut out the circles out yourself out of parchment paper
Baking Cake Strips
Pastry Bags
Any kind of Closed Star Tip
Any kind of cake board or serving plate

How to make the Bird’s Milk Cake (Ptiche Moloko Cake) 

Measure out all ingredients with a kitchen scale. Line two 9 inch round baking pans with foil or parchment paper. Put the wet baking strips, if you have them, around the baking pans. Heat oven to 350F with the baking rack in the middle.
Add egg whites to an absolutely grease free, thoroughly cleaned large bowl and start whipping on high until foamy, about 30 seconds.
While continuing to whip gradually add the sugar then continue to whip for 7 minutes-10 minutes.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Set a fine sieve over the bowl with whipped egg whites, add 120 grams of all-purpose flour and 40 grams of cocoa powder and sift. Now carefully fold the sifted mixture and meringue together until almost no streaks of dry mixture appear. You do not want to overfold, so that the cake does not come out dense.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Divide the batter between two baking pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven sooner than 17-18 minutes into the baking, or it will deflate. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a thin knife, then very carefully invert onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment or foil off the cake. Allow to completely cool.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!Ingredients for the Custard Buttercream: 

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

How to make the Custard Buttercream

In a saucepan combine 3/4 cups sugar and 10 egg yolks and whisk together.
Now add 3/4 cups milk and whisk until combined.
Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, just until thickened. You should be able to dip a spoon into the custard, then swipe your finger through the custard and the line should not flood back with the custard. Do not boil/overcook or the custard will curdle and egg yolks will separate, rendering it useless. If this happens, you will have to start over.
Allow the custard to cool to room temperature. You can set the pan into a sink with cold water to speed up this process.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Whip the butter in a bowl of a mixer for about 5-7 minutes, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times throughout. You know the butter is whipped to the proper consistency when it looks very fluffy and very pale in color.
Add the cooled to room temperature Egg Yolk Custard and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in two additions, whipping after each.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Assemble the Bird’s Milk Cake (Ptiche Moloko Cake)

Reserve about 1.5 cups of frosting for frosting the outside of the cake, set aside.
Put a dab of frosting onto a serving platter (don’t mind the one I am using on pictures, I transferred it to a serving carton later).
Cut each cake layer horizontally into two equal layers with a long serrated knife.
Place the bottom of the first layer onto the platter and press to adhere. Layer with 1/3 of the Custard Buttercream, evening it out with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining layers and buttercream, finishing with the bottom side of the second cake layer up.
Use the reserved frosting to cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream, still leaving some (about 3/4 cup) for decorating.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Make Chocolate Ganache:

Combine 1/4 cup hot cream with 1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and leave for 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
Pour on top of the cake and with the spatula spread it around until it drizzles down the sides of the cake.

Ptiche Moloko Cake (Bird's Milk Cake) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Fit a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with a snipped end with a star piping tip.
Fill the bag with the reserved 3/4 cup buttercream.
Pipe 5 large stars in on the side of the cake like shown on the picture, then in between the large ones pipe about 12 smaller stars, followed by 8 even smaller stars. Now dust some cocoa powder on top of the piped stars. If you have a couple chocolate covered coffee beans, put a couple of them inside the largest piped stars.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko) - Layered Cake of Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

This particular cake does not need any time to allow for mending of flavors, but it is good to leave it for about 1-2 hours in the fridge for all the layers to stick together and make it easier to cut.

According to your preference you will either want to leave it out to come to room temperature before serving, or serve it cold from the fridge. I like it better cold.

Bird's Milk Cake Recipe (Ptiche Moloko)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Serves: One 9 inch cake (8-12 servings)

Ingredients

Egg White Only Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

  • 240 gr egg whites (about 10)
  • 300 gr granulated sugar
  • 120 gr all-purpose flour
  • 40 gr cocoa powder

Ingredients for the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cups whole milk
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • ¼ cup hot cream
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Equipment to use (affiliate links)

  • Electric mixer
  • Two 9 inch round baking pans
  • 9 inch round pre-cut parchment circles, or you can cut out the circles out yourself out of parchment paper
  • Baking Cake Strips
  • Pastry Bags
  • Any kind of Closed Star Tip
  • Any kind of cake board or serving plate

Instructions

How to make the Bird's Milk Cake (Ptiche Moloko Cake)

  1. Measure out all ingredients with a kitchen scale. Line two 9 inch round baking pans with foil or parchment paper. Put the wet baking strips, if you have them, around the baking pans. Heat oven to 350F with the baking rack in the middle.
  2. Add egg whites to an absolutely grease free, thoroughly cleaned large bowl and start whipping on high until foamy, about 30 seconds.
  3. While continuing to whip gradually add the sugar then continue to whip for 7 minutes-10 minutes.
  4. Set a fine sieve over the bowl with whipped egg whites, add 120 grams of all-purpose flour and 40 grams of cocoa powder and sift. Now carefully fold the sifted mixture and meringue together until almost no streaks of dry mixture appear. You do not want to overfold, so that the cake does not come out dense.
  5. Divide the batter between two baking pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven sooner than 17-18 minutes into the baking, or it will deflate.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a thin knife, then very carefully invert onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment or foil off the cake. Allow to completely cool.

How to make the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream

  1. In a saucepan combine ¾ cups sugar and 10 egg yolks and whisk together.
  2. Now add ¾ cups milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, just until thickened. You should be able to dip a spoon into the custard, then swipe your finger through the custard and the line should not flood back with the custard. Do not boil/overcook or the custard will curdle and egg yolks will separate, rendering it useless. If this happens, you will have to start over.
  4. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature. You can set the pan into a sink with cold water to speed up this process.
  5. Whip the butter in a bowl of a mixer for about 5-7 minutes, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times throughout. You know the butter is whipped to the proper consistency when it looks very fluffy and very pale in color.
  6. Add the cooled to room temperature Egg Yolk Custard and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in two additions, whipping after each.

Assemble the Bird's Milk Cake (Ptiche Moloko Cake)

  1. Reserve about 1.5 cups of frosting for frosting the outside of the cake, set aside.
  2. Put a dab of frosting onto a serving platter (don't mind the one I am using on pictures, I transferred it to a serving carton later).
  3. Cut each cake layer horizontally into two equal layers with a long serrated knife.
  4. Place the bottom of the first layer onto the platter and press to adhere. Layer with ⅓ of the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream, evening it out with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining layers and buttercream, finishing with the bottom side of the second cake layer up.
  5. Use the reserved frosting to cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream, still leaving some (about ¾ cup) for decorating.

Make Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Combine ¼ cup hot cream with ¼ cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and leave for 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  2. Pour on top of the cake and with the spatula spread it around until it drizzles down the sides of the cake.
  3. Fit a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with a snipped end with a star piping tip. Fill the bag with the reserved ¾ cup buttercream. Pipe 5 large stars in on the side of the cake like shown on the picture, then in between the large ones pipe about 12 smaller stars, followed by 8 even smaller stars.
  4. Now dust some cocoa powder on top of the piped stars.
  5. If you have a couple chocolate covered coffee beans, put a couple of them inside the largest piped stars.
  6. This particular cake does not need any time to allow for mending of flavors, but it is good to leave it for about 1-2 hours in the fridge for all the layers to stick together and make it easier to cut.

Serving Suggestion:

  1. According to your preference you will either want to leave it out to come to room temperature before serving, or serve it cold from the fridge. I like it better cold.

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Comments

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  • My friend, you have outdone yourself. So beautiful I can’t even. Makes me wish I could reach through the screen. Going on my to do list, fo sho..

    · Reply
  • Marina

    Hello Marina! Thank you for another great recipe. I look forward to trying this out. Just wandering though how different or how similar is this to “marinas birds milk?” We tried that one a few times and we love it!

    · Reply
    • Great question Marina!
      That cake was actually a spin on this one. Initially when I followed the original recipe and the cake layers were not right (due to reasons described in the pre-word of this recipe) I decided to just use a different chocolate cake recipe altogether. The custard in that one is pretty much the same thing as it is in this one, with the exception of texture. In this one you whip up the room temperature butter, add the custard and whip again – therefore it has the texture of buttercream. In the other one, I added the butter into the warm custard, so the butter melted and kept the cream pretty thin.

      Overall while the cakes are similar, I would say they are a bit different in taste. Both are in the top 5 favorite cakes in our family. Hope this answers the question 🙂

      · Reply
      • Marina

        Thank you! I’ll just have togive it a try. I’m sure it’s amazing!

        · Reply
  • Lena

    Hi Marina!
    I’ve been craving this cake for quite some time. Now that I see your post i crave it even more
    Quick question:
    In my family we are not big fans on chocolate layered cakes but we like to make it with regular sponge cake layers.
    Would it be okay to substitute to a regular sponge layers?
    Thank you happy Mothers Day to you and your Mom for raising such a sweet girl.
    Hugs

    · Reply
    • Hi Lena!
      To be honest, I am not sure. The flavors of chocolate and custard buttercream balance each other out, making them work together. I am not sure how well they would work if you swapped it for plain sponge cake. May be if you add some poppy seeds or something to the regular sponge cake it would work? Sorry I couldn’t have been of more help 🙁 If you do try it with regular sponge cake, do let us know. I’m sure others that are not into the chocolate cake would like to know too :D!
      Happy Mother’s day to you too, you’re too nice :*!

      · Reply

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