A Memory Of Cake

One of the ways I reconnect with the Macedonian food of my childhood is through cookbooks. As I read the names of recipes and browse through the ingredients lists, memories of food and fun times come flooding back. I recently started reading The Melting Pot: Balkan Food and Cookery by Maria Kaneva-Johnson. Here, in the pages of this wonderful book, were some of my favourite foods. When I came across a recipe for Cake Soaked in Fragrant Milk, something odd clicked in me. What was strange was that it brought back a memory of a cake that I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had. No one in my family remembers it, but I was sure I had it at a Macedonian picnic. Could I be confusing it with another cake? I don’t know. All I know is that when I read the recipe it was familiar and I had to make it.

I followed the recipe and made a beautiful cake, but it was not the one I remembered. The cake from my memory had coconut so I made the cake again and added shredded coconut. This was close to the cake I remembered. I’m still not sure if this is a cake from my childhood but it is certainly a favourite cake and whenever I eat it I have memories of Macedonian picnics, delicious food and circle dancing with family and friends.

Milk Cake (Ravanija so Mlecko)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
800ml milk
4 eggs
200g castor sugar
250g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Mix the vanilla into the milk and refrigerate until the cake is cooked.
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.
Grease and flour a baking pan, approximately 20cm x 20cm.
Beat the eggs with an electric mixer. As they start to become frothy, add the sugar and beat until pale, thick and frothy.
Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and baking powder until combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
Gently fold in the coconut.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown.
Remove from oven.
Pour the chilled milk over the hot cake.
Allow to cool, then refrigerate.
Cut into squares or slices to serve.


  1. Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it? One person might remember something one way and another remembers it totally different! The cake sounds good, especially with coconut. I didn’t know you were Macedonian! I might be too – my DNA shows something from southern Europe, but they don’t know where 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is! I’ve had so many discussions with family and friends and they don’t remember the things I do or they remember them so differently. It can freak you out sometimes.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if you were part Macedonian! We like so many of the same things so there could be an ancestral connection. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also have memories of picnics and dances unfortunately for me I couldn’t stand them as every time we all got together someone was always trying to match you up with someone. I do remember great food and delicious cakes.Love your Mlecko cake, now that does bring back some lovely memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot about all the scheming going on in the background – but that’s how they did it before online dating! I was more interested in cake than marriage – I still am. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s