Milk Bar Compost Pound Cake

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I love a good pound cake. It’s easier to make than a layer cake, and while it may not be as impressive, it certainly can have a bit of flair without a lot of work. Like this recipe, from Christina Tosi at Milk Bar. My favorite is the classic Milk Bar cake, a vanilla layer cake loaded with frosting and rainbow sprinkles. I have yet to try making it, but it’s on my list.
If you’ve ever had anything from Milk Bar, then you know it’s outrageous in some way. Sprinkles, layers, sweet and salty, you name it. This pound cake is modeled after the compost cookie, a sweet and salty cookie that is loaded with all kinds of different things. It’s contrasting in every way — tender cake with crunchy toppings, and sweet and salty ingredients inside.
This is the kind of cake you want when you want to indulge — perfect with a strong cup of coffee for breakfast in the morning, or as an afternoon snack when you don’t know what else to do with yourself. It will keep for a week or so, so don’t feel like you have to eat it all at once, although don’t feel bad if you do!

Milk Bar Compost Pound Cake

Sweet, salty, crunchy and beyond, this easy compost pound cake is the perfect dessert for any occasion.
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  • 90 g unsalted butter melted 1 stick
  • 90 g buttermilk ⅓ cup
  • 30 g grapeseed or other neutral oil 3 T
  • 10 g vanilla extract 2.5 tsp
  • 3 large eggs
  • 240 g cake flour 2 cups
  • 180 g sugar ¾ cup + 3 T
  • 30 g light brown sugar 2 T packed
  • 30 g old-fashioned rolled oats 1⁄4 cup
  • 4 g ground coffee 1 T
  • 4 g baking powder 1 tsp
  • 4 g kosher salt 1 tsp
  • 75 g mini chocolate chips ⅓ cup + 1 T
  • 75 g mini butterscotch chips ⅓ c + 1 T
  • 50 g graham crackers crumbled ⅓ cup
  • 10 g ap flour 1 T + 1 tsp
  • 65 g mini chocolate chips ⅓ cup
  • 2.5 g grapeseed or other neutral oil ½ tsp
  • 75 g mini butterscotch chips ⅓ cup + 1 T
  • 10 g grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 25 g potato chips
  • 25 g mini pretzels


  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 1-pound loaf pan.
  • Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, 30g (3 tablespoons) oil, vanilla extract, and eggs together in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the cake flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, coffee, baking powder, and salt together in a separate large bowl.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir to combine. If the batter looks lumpy, use a whisk to break up all the lumps.
  • In a separate bowl, toss the 75g (⅓ cup+ 1 T) chocolate chips, 50g (¼ cup) butterscotch chips, and graham cracker crumbles, with the AP flour. (Tossing them in flour first helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes.)
  • Pour half of the compost batter into the loaf pan, then fold the remaining batter into the bowl with the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and graham cracker crumbles. Pour this mixture on top of the batter in the loaf pan.
  • Bake until the cake rises and puffs, about 70 minutes. At 60 minutes, tap the top of the cake with your fingertips: The cake should bounce back and the center should no longer be jiggly. If it doesn’t pass this test, leave the cake in the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 45 minutes, then run a small butter knife or offset spatula between the edge of the cake and the pan to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the pan onto a wire rack to fully release the cake. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool completely.
  • Melt the 65g (⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon) mini chocolate chips and 2.5g (½ teaspoon) of oil in the microwave in 30-second increments. Repeat this step with the 75g (⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) butterscotch chips and 10g (2 teaspoons) oil in a separate container.
  • Decorate the top of the compost pound cake by dipping the potato chips and pretzels, broken up if desired, in the melted chocolate and butterscotch, using each as a glue to stick the chips and pretzels to the top. Put the cake in the fridge and let the chocolate harden and cool for 5 minutes, then dig in!
  • The cake will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped, for up to 1 week. Let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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