Bird’s Milk Cake: agar-based version

bird's milk cake in a garden

The Bird’s Milk cake is very popular and loved in Russia. Its story started with polish sweets ‘ptasie mleczko’ which began to be produced in 1936 in Warsaw.

However, in the form of a cake, this dessert appeared in 1978 in Moscow thanks to V. Guralnick, the pastry chef of the Prague restaurant, restaurant in the center of Moscow close to Arbat street.

For many years it has been a tradition to bring Bird’s Milk cake as a gift or to buy Bird’s Milk for the New Year party. At one time in Moscow, two confectionery factories produced Bird’s milk cake. They differed in taste – and each version had its own fans. Moreover this cake had (and has) its own box with fairy bird on the top side.

Cake box of Confectionery factory Cheremushki

I’ve tested several versions of the cake in my kitchen. For instance it were butter sponge version and sponge on yolks, soufflé based on agar and soufflé with gelatin as the gelling agent. Today I’m going to present the classical Bird’s Milk and hope you will like it.

bird's milk cake with table setting

Above all there are some notabenes.

Firstly I highly recommend to find acetate film for this cake. It makes cake preparation comfortable, and the result will be pleasing to the eye.

In addition it would be good to use pyrometer on soufflé stage, a special thermometer for remote temperature measurement. Caramel thermometer (it looks like a stick) works also in the same vein.

coolinary thermometers

Bird’s Milk Cake

russian classics

Special tools and fixtures

Pyrometer or caramel thermometer
Acetate film
Baking ring diameter 20 cm


For sponge

110 g soften butter
100 g sugar
140 g all propose flour
2 eggs

For soufflé

4 g agar
1 tsp good flavoured tea leaves (be guided by your taste: for instance it could be a jasmine or mint tea; on this stage you have a great opportunity to play with your cake’s flavour)
100 g condensed milk
2 egg whites
300 g sugar
200 g soften butter
1/2 tsp lemon acid

For chocolate ganache

50 g butter
100 g milk chocolate


20 g milk chocolate, berries



You can bake a sponge the day before, after that put it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
  2. Meanwhile whisk butter and sugar until fluffy and whiter.

2. Then add eggs one by one and mix to homogeneity.

making sponge

3. Sift the flour and stir it into the dough. Bring the dough to a smooth state.

making sponge layer for bird's milk cake

4. After that prepare a baking dish. I use a metal baking ring, which I wrap with foil on the outside, and in addition put a circle of baking paper inside.

Another way to get perfect sponge layer is to bake it on baking paper without any rings. Just after that cut sponge with the help of metal baking ring.

tools for bird's milk cake
dish for bird's milk cake

5. Put the dough in a mold and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Check the readiness of the cake with a wooden toothpick : pierce the cake in the middle with a stick. It should be dry.

6. Cool sponge completely then wrap it into plastick and place in the refrigerator for a night. Clean the baking dish.

7. Next day prepare the dish for assembling the cake. Put the acetate film inside the mold, fix it with a clip, after that place the sponge inside.

sponge for birds' milk cake


  1. Pour 200 ml of boiling water over the tea leaves. Cool completely.
jamine tea in transparent mug

2. Further take 100 ml of tea from the previous step, add agar and leave for an hour.

scale for agar

3. Whisk butter and condensed milk until corporated. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile bring agar to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar.

5. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Boil the syrup for 5-6 minutes. Finished syrup temperature is 110 °C.

7. Whisk the egg whites until mousse, soft peaks.

soft picks of egg whites

8. Add lemon acid, whisk a while.

9. Add syrup to egg whites continuing to whisk. Whisk untill very thick.

whisking the soufflé for bird's milk cake

10. After that add butter mixture, whisk a little. Don’t work for a long time. Keep in minad that agar solidifies at 40 °C.

soufflé for bird's milk cake

11. Pour the soufflé over the sponge, flatten.

soufflé layer of bird's milk cake
mousee layer of bird's milk cake is ready

How to flatten the cake in a case of using wide acetate film? For example with the help of spatula from an art store.

art spatula for cake

12. Put the cake in the refrigerator overnight until it solidifies.


  1. Chop the chocolate finely.
  2. After that melt the chocolate with butter at the same bowl. I use micro on this stage.
  3. Pour the chocolate over the soufflé, flatten then cool down. Chocolate quickly solidifies on a cold cake so work promptly.


  1. Similarly the previouse step chop the chocolate finely.
  2. After that put chocolate into culinary cornet, close it, put in a high glass and pour of boiling water until chocolate is melted completely. This is the best way to melt a small portion of chocolate but most importantly that in this case you will never overheat it.
  3. To sum up draw on top on the cake. Be brave and daring.
  4. It’s time to brew coffee!
a piece of bird's milk cake
a piece of bird's milk cake

In conclusion

I like to work either without haste or without unnecessary waiting. As a result for me personaly it’s very comfortable to make the Bird’s Milk Cake in three days. Therefore my own scheduler for the cake is followed:

Day 1: baking sponge.

Day 2, morning: making tea.

Day 2, late morning: soufflé stage.

Day 2, evening: chocolate ganache.

Day 3: decoration stage.

Looks like Bird’s Milk is not yours? Taste another cakes from this blog: cakes.

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