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Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi book cover
Credit: Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold

Momofuku Milk Bar chef Christina Tosi just wants to make people smile, and she does. We're talking large, teeth-revealing grins full of joy and curiosity that take over one's face when they receive one her creative treats over the bakery counter. Even now, 6 years later, you can still pass by a Milk Bar location on any given day and see a line of customers sprinkling out the door.

She's highly revered amongst her peers and fans for her imaginative sweets that rock such names as "compost cookie" and "crack pie'' (which is as addictive as it sounds), but it turns out she's also a pretty stellar savory chef as well. Her new book, Milk Bar Life, is packed with recipes for her go-to dishes that, until now, one would only have had the pleasure of experiencing if they were part of her inner circle.

And yes, much to our relief, her approach to everything she makes, whether it's a main, salad or cocktail, is similar to the way she bakes: Mix something expected with something unlikely, add in a dash of spice and a pinch of something you loved as a child; sprinkle with salt. The result is always yummy, and worth sharing.

Pick up a copy to check out what Tosi's cooking with her family, friends (is that Karlie Kloss in one of the photos?) and colleagues aka extended family. You can start with this ridiculously easy Crock Pot Cake recipe that, like a loyal pup, will be waiting for you when you walk in the door.

Crockpot Cake with cherries and ice cream
Credit: Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold

Crock-Pot Cake

Serves 4-6


½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar
¼ cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk
⅓ cup grape seed or other neutral oil
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt


1. Combine the butter and both sugars and cream on medium-high in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy and pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, then paddle the mixture on medium-high for 3 minutes, or until it’s homogenous and fluffy. Add the buttermilk and oil.

2. On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing for 45 to 60 seconds, just until the batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you spot any lumps of cake flour, mix for another 45 seconds.

3. Pour the batter into a greased Crock-Pot. Depending on the age and strength of your appliance, cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the cake has set and is fully cooked through in the center.

4. Spoon the cake directly from the pot onto plates. Eat warm.