Chocolate Magic Cake

Chocolate Magic Cake – one simple thin batter, bake it and voila! You end up with a 3 layer chocolate cake, magic cake.


Well I finally did it! I finally made the chocolate version of this delightful magic cake. The original version was very popular and a lot of people were asking about different flavors, so I decided to give it a go and see how it turns out. Well I knew it couldn’t be bad, because I loved the original version so chocolate magic cake could only make it better.

I also found out that the origin of this cake is from Romania, and the actual name of the cake is intelligent cake because of how it separates into 3 layers. I made a couple changes to my original recipe, such as add a bit of vinegar to the egg whites and some vanilla extract for additional flavor. The rest of the recipe is exactly the same with the exception of the addition of some cocoa powder.

I baked it for exactly 60 minutes but I think I could have baked it for another 10 min. Some readers were saying that their magic cake was done after 45 minutes or so, so I want to stress again that the baking time can vary drastically based on the oven, each oven is different, so you really have to watch it and when it looks done you remove it from the oven and let it cool. I’ve seen many versions of this cake and it seems like for a lot of people the top layer which is the cake layer ends up being very thin, this layer should be nice and airy, just like a normal cake, not thin and condensed.

So yes, you can have the original version of this cake or this chocolate version and if I had to pick one for a favorite I’d go with this chocolate version just because I love chocolate. You still end up with the 3 layers of the cake, with the middle layer being a custard like layer. It’s absolutely divine.


 To see original version click on the image below:


 Click the image below for the Butterscotch Magic Cake recipe with step by step photo instructions:


For an easy version of a impossible coconut pie, same ingredients, different preparation technique click here or the image below.


4.9 from 9 reviews
Chocolate Magic Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature and separated
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup sugar (150 g)
  • 1 stick of butter (125 g), melted
  • 6.5 tbsp all purpose flour (65 g)
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder (50 g)
  • 2 cups milk (500 ml), warmed up
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. Separate the eggs and add the egg yolks to the bowl of a mixer. Add a tbsp of water to the egg yolks and add the sugar. Beat this at high until eggs are light and creamy.
  3. Add melted butter, vanilla extract and salt to mixer and continue beating until butter is fully incorporated and mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. You can mix the cocoa and flour together and add to the mixing bowl in batches, 3 times should be enough. After each addition mix thoroughly.
  5. Once flour and cocoa powder has been mixed in, add the milk a bit at a time and mix. The milk should be warm so not to cool the butter. Make sure the milk has been mixed in thoroughly, the mixture should be pretty liquidy, so don't get scared.
  6. Clean the mixing bowl and whisk attachment and make sure you dry it out. Add egg whites to mixing bowl and the vinegar and mix until egg whites are stiff.
  7. Add a bit of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and gently fold in. Next you're going to reverse and add a bit of the chocolate mixture to the egg whites. This way it will be easier to mix everything together. Repeat until everything is well mixed and the mixture should be thin like a pancake batter.
  8. Pour the batter in the prepared baking dish and bake for roughly 60 minutes or until done. The cake will still jiggle in the middle when you take it out, so that's normal. Let it cool completely then cut into squares and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece


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  1. Heather Van Krimpen says

    Saw this through my cousins fb page and am keen to try. But can you tell me, is all purpose flour what we call in Oz plain flour?.

  2. says

    I’ve tried it and it’s unbelievably yummy! I substitute the vinegar with a pinch of sugar in the egg whites and added a little bit of coffee into the batter. Now that I’ve nailed this one, I can’t wait to try the butterscotch and the lemon. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  3. Laleh says

    Hi, thanks for the perfect recipe. I baked both chocolate and lemon cakes and both were very delicious. Everybody liked the magic cakes and asked for the recipes.

  4. Bruna says

    Yaaay! I tried your chocolate version and I got three layers! It was delicious, thank you! I admit I added a bit spoonful of rum to the batter, I love rum with chocolate/cocoa. Will def be making again very soon


  5. Angela Lee says

    Just made the chocolate magic cake today. It was delicious! The problem with my cake is that there were large cracks in the top after it had baked for 20 minutes. I continued to cook it for total time of 55 minutes. What caused the big cracks aka craters in my cake? Thanks!

    • says

      You need to refrigerate them, I’d say up to 5 days in the fridge they should be fine, but are best when served same day.

  6. charlotte creech says

    Hi! I love your blogs and facebook page! I have tried three variations of your ” magic cake ” and absolutely LOVE THEM! It literally will be gone within an hour and thats with only a 3 member family…lol.
    Ok This may be your most challenging question yet involving the cake. I would live to try a PEANUT BUTTER CAKE…but my trials and errors.always end up errors. You want to try it? I would make it every week if you can make one and share it.
    Thank you!!!

    • says

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you so much, so glad you’re enjoying the magic cakes. Sure I’ll look at trying a peanut version and I’ll post it. :) I’m always up for a challenge!

  7. Jasmin says

    Am going to try this tonight. have you ever thought about using silicone patty pans to make individual cakes? can you divide the mixture into smaller pans to stretch the number of squares produced?

    • says

      Never thought of it, but what a great idea. You could definitely use smaller pans, you’ll just have to adjust the baking time.

      • Jasmin says

        The small silicone patty pans actually turned out quite good, didn’t cook them quite long enough but they look great. The small thin tray didn’t cook long enough, but still tastes great. Will try again in a few days, and let you know

  8. Sangi says

    What a delightful recipe !! So detailed and well illustrated…thankyou so much.
    Really so nice for you to take the trouble to share it with so much effort !
    Going to try it tmrw… already drooling !!! :)

  9. Carriez says

    I really wish you had step by step photos for this cake. I’m not an experienced baker and it would have been helpful to have some pictures to guide the way things should look after they’re mixed.

  10. sylvia says

    Hi Jo, everyone in our family loves your Magic Cake, The first time I made the vanilla version, we ate the whole thing in one day and made another one the day after. When the week was up, we’d made and eaten FOUR Magic Cakes!!! I’d like to hold you personally responsible for the extra 5 pounds I gained recently. ;o)

    My question is, in the chocolate version (which I haven’t tried yet), you’re saying “cocoa powder.” Do you mean unsweetened cocoa or sweetened “hot cocoa” powder? I don’t want to try until I know for sure. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi, Sylvia! This looks fabulous and easy! What a find! I was wondering if you think there would be a way to make a lemon variation of the magic cake.

      • Erin says

        I would suggest using something like crystalized lemon (TrueLemon is a brand) instead of lemon juice. It won’t change the texture by adding extra liquid, but still gives that lemon zing. You can find it at Wal-Mart and Publix (if you’re in the south). You can also order it online. This cake is my next recipe to try and I may just try creating a lemon version first. :)

  11. Tina scanes says

    Hi made the chocolate version of this cake and it came out perfect… i followed your recipe exactly and everyone loves it … Thank you for such a simple way to make a lovely cake

  12. barefootbutterfly says

    hi, do you think this would be able to to made with splenda substituting for the sugar? watching sugar intake for diabetic reasons, thanks :)

  13. Dana says

    Saw this posted on a friend’s Facebook wall and had to try it. I’m from Hawai’i and me (and my family) are big custard pie fans. The cake (original version) turned out great and got a thumbs up from hubby & kids. I’ll be trying the chocolate and butterscotch versions as well. Thank you!

  14. Alli says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I doubled and put in a 13×9. What do you look for to determine when the cake is done?

  15. Linna Juhasz says

    I made the Chocolate version and it was very good, however the bottom layer and middle layer did not look or taste chocolatey. What did I do wrong? the top was chocolate the middle a cream colored custard and the bottom kinda like a flan. Any ideas?

  16. Cheryl says

    I am making this cake now (chocolate version). I had to use a 9×13 pan. Would you adjust cooking time? Cake has been in for 1 hour and still looks very “jiggly” on top. (not just in the middle). Thanks so much for the amazing recipe! Plan to top it with a drizzle of salted caramel.

  17. Joanne says

    I just made the chocolate version. the oven now! Hope I did it correct so I can surprise my family with a delicious dessert tonight!

  18. Jenny says

    H i Jo made the Vanilla cake to day my first time i made it it turn out lovely looking forward to making the butterscotch & Chocolate one,s i enjoyed make it .

  19. michelle says

    I noticed the original version did not have vinegar for stiffened egg whites…why vinegar for chocolate version….?

  20. Kay says

    Yesterday I made the vanilla version using jumbo instead of large eggs and it came out very eggy-tasting. I also used margarine instead of butter and skim milk.

    Today I made the chocolate version using large eggs and butter but still with skim milk. Came out perfectly. I noticed that the chocolate recipe calls for the pan to be floured which I did not do. Doesn’t seem to have caused a problem. I think my dh will be very happy with this dessert tonight!

  21. Donna says

    Wonder if a gluten type fiber such as ThickenThin not/Starch Thickener By Expert Foods or Arrowroot starch such as Bob’s Red Mill would help in making the gluten free flour a little more sturdier like gluten does to wheat flours for those who need gluten free. My thinking would be something like replacing a fracture(oz. wise or spoonful) of the gluten free flour with one of the thickeners.

    I am looking forward to trying these recipes in the near future

  22. says

    A shout out for the ones who recommend Butter. I would like to tell some of my Veggie friends.
    that very thing. Butter is natural and healthy. Margarine is just a wanna be, and will never make it in my book.

    • says

      I haven’t tried it, but if I were to make it I’d add the zest from a lemon and 2 or 3 tbsp of lemon juice or 2 tsp of lemon essence. I don’t think it would curdle.

  23. Jackie says

    I usually skip a recipe that calls for butter because we only use margarine or sheds spread. I would really like to make this. Has anyone tried it with using margarine or spread? If so, how does it come out. I really don’t know what difference it might make in any recipe. Or why would there be a difference? Thank you in advance for any replies.

    • Karen Marie Vela says

      margarine and spreads are unhealthy! they are basically plastic. leave a tub of it out in the heat for 2 weeks and you will see what I mean. I did this in texas. If you can , use organic butter. it’s got healthy amino acids in it and nothing artificial or gmo

    • stevea66 says

      First of all, who would want to use margarine, which was originally made for pig feed but the pigs wouldn’t eat it so they added food coloring and marketed it to humans. Yuck. Butter is natural and studies have shown it’s better for you.

      • Alla says

        I am appalled at how terribly judgmental you guys are. Jackie wasn’t asking you to lecture her on organic butter vs plastic margarine, she merely wanted to know whether anyone has tried to bake this with margarine!

        • Melissa says

          I agree. Some people are not able to eat butter as they will be physically sick and in physical pain. I WISH I could eat butter. I would like to know if anyone has used a butter substitute and if so what kind.

          Thank you for your help to whomever answers this question.

          • Shanon says

            Yes, I used vegan margarine due to a lactose intolerance and it worked out. My layers were not as distinct as the photos, but they were there!

  24. Gayle says

    I notice the chocolate version calls for 1 tbsp. of water and the flour is cut down – can you tell me why these differences?

      • says

        Hi :)
        This looks great, I will have to try it with splenda because my husband is diabetic. I must be blind but I can’t find how much cocoa powder do you put in? Is there a change in the measurement for flour since your adding cocoa powder? You mentioned vinegar makes the egg whites stiff, does it have to be stiff?

      • Christina says

        Hi. This looks so awesome and easy to make! I just had a quick silly question. Is the cocoa powder sweetened or unsweetened? Thank you and thank you for the time you put into posting this up!

  25. Kasandra says

    This looks soooo good! I cant wait to try it. Do you think it would work to sub coconut oil for the butter? They have similar consistency at the same temps. I am trying to find ways to make things a bit healthier or at least not as bad for you ;). Thanks for amy help and for sharing this recipe!

  26. Barbra Davies says

    I’m going to try the regular recipe (not chocolate) this weekend. I was wondering rather than vinegar what about cream of tarter to stiffen the egg whites. I’ve used it for years without any problems

  27. Lisa says

    I made this tonight with gluten free flour and it did not work. It is still very yummy though. The egg whites were not folding into the batter so I took a whisk and whipped it a bit. Do you think that is what went wrong? It turned out very soft inside like a pudding/cake texture.

  28. Pamml says

    I was wondering if you know if there would be any problem using soy milk instead of regular milk? I’m allergic to milk protein so the butter isn’t a problem but the regular milk would be.

    • says

      I haven’t tried it with soy milk but I remember other readers saying they tried soy milk or almond milk and the cake still held up ok, but the bottom layer might not develop as well.

  29. Katie says

    Made it for Valentines Day dessert for tomorrow night. Looks and smells great! Fingers crossed it tastes just as amazing :) Can’t wait to try it

  30. Katie says

    Made it for Valentines Day dessert for tomorrow night. Looks and smells great! Fingers crossed it tastes just as amazing :)

  31. Eugenia Roland says

    This looks so delicious and impressive. I LOVE Lemon – so I wonder what to change to make it a Lemon Cake?

    • says

      Hi Eugenia,
      I would skip the vanilla extract and add zest from a lemon and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Depending on how much lemon juice you’re using I would take that out of the milk.

  32. says

    A friend just posted your yummy recipe on Facebook. I would love to try it today. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of a huge snowstorm and I’m running low on milk. Do you think watered down evap milk would work?

    • Chris says

      When using evaporated milk to substitute for fresh milk just use equal amounts of water to evaporated milk. This recipe would take 1 cup/250mls water and 1 cup/250mls evap. milk. My gluten free cake is in the oven now – fingers crossed!

  33. Bailey says

    Hello, you mentioned that the original receipe comes from Romania. Would you know the Romanian name? I did make the original and my family loved it. I will try the chocolate this weekend.

  34. alexandra says

    So the vanilla cake turned out great, I even put a little bit of canned cherry filling on top each peic3 piece for a garnish. Was hoping for a cherry/banana or lemon flavour variation. Infact if I would love to know how to make it lemonny ,but im conserned because lemon is acidic and not sure at what stage wohld it be possible to incorporate.

  35. JanEt says

    Made this Friday night to serve some friends, it had all three layers, turned out perfectly. Baked exactly sixty minutes. Thought it might over flow the pan it was so full so I put a sheet tray underneath, but it wasn’t needed. One of our friends doesn’t like super sweet desserts and just loved this. This is probably my favorite cake, and I’ll be bringing it to Christmas Eve dinner with the family. Thank you so much for the recipe, it is fabulous.

  36. Ellen says

    Hi Jo! Just wanted to make sure, I don’t need to make two seperate batters to create a custard later right? It just becomes a custard layer in the oven? Thanks!

  37. Judy says

    I don’t understand how this comment thing works! I answer here look down here for a reply but don’t find one but then I see replies at the top.
    I made the chocolate cake – doubled up. That was too much for my bowl. Me ex helped me put it into 2 bowls and I made 2 cakes. It went down well with the family although I wasn’t too mad about it. Too much cocoa and not enough sugar I I think and yes it should have been put into the fridge. I’ll know for next time.

  38. Brenda says

    Do you think this recipe could be made dairy free using Earth Balance (dairy free) sticks and almond milk? I would like to try this recipe but need it to be dairy free.
    Thank you!

    • says

      I’ve never tried it, but if you read through some of the comments I believe some people have tried using almond milk and it turned out ok.

  39. Robyn says

    I was wondering…I only have Blue Bonnet sticks in the fridge. Do you think I could use that instead of real butter?

    • says

      I’m not sure what blue bonnet is, I don’t think we have that here, but if it’s margarine I wouldn’t use it, I’d stick to real butter.

  40. Roxy C. says

    I am so glad I found this recipe (along with the original)! They both look absolutely delicious! I was wondering though, do you sprinkle cocoa powder over the chocolate version? I was thinking about mixing some cocoa powder and powdered sugar and sprinkling it over the chocolate cake..?

    • says

      Hi Roxy,
      I sprinkled some cocoa powder, cocoa powder together with powdered sugar is a great idea. You could also sprinkle some shaved chocolate for more chocolaty flavor. :)

  41. Louise says

    My chocolate magic cake is in the oven, I’ve had to promise some people a slice so that I don’t eat the whole thing by myself. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  42. Sheila says

    I live at high altitude in Wyoming. Do you know what, if any, changes would have to be made for this to turn out right at 6300 feet?

  43. Katie says

    This is so good! My bottom layer is the thickest, maybe because I cooked it a full 60 minutes? I do wish for a thicker middle layer and will take it out a bit earlier next time.

  44. Laura says

    Does this need to be refrigerated to keep? Looks yummy…thinking about entry for county fair for son but he can’t have any custards, frostings, etc. Thanks!

  45. Jo says

    Is it possible to make this in cupcake cases rather than a cake tin? Would it still work? I have loads of cupcake tins but no cake tins… I know that is shameful :-(

    • says

      I can’t say that I’ve tried it, but I love the idea. If you attempt it, you would probably need to reduce the baking time.

    • says

      Hi Alex,
      I believe one of the comments for the magic cake (the original) said they used almond milk and it turned out fine.

  46. Claire says

    Just made this, it’s been in the oven 22 mins already haha… Followed the recipe exactly (and I never do that lol) got everything crossed that it works… Was really liquid, which was worrying despite the reassurances in the recipe it should be like that… It looks so lovely in your pictures, just hope mine looks as good and tastes good as well…. Thanks for posting.

  47. says

    Greetings from Melbourne, Australia! I’ve just made your chocolate magic cake recipe & I can’t wait to try some for dessert later on once its cool! I have my own baking blog – & I’ll be blogging about my magic cake adventure & I hope you don’t mind if I share your recipe & a link to your blog? Your blog is fantastic – so many wonderful recipes! Many thanks :)

  48. Elianne says

    Hi everyone! I’m from Mexico and I decided to surprised all my famili today with this cake! It was amasing! All my famili love it! Thanks for share the recipie!!!!

  49. Jan says

    Hi, I made this cake today but it only has 2 layers… I followed the recipe and did exactly like it. The top layer is very thin, it tastes good but don’t look anything like yours… Any ideas what I did wrong? I’m gonna try the original… Just to make sure it has no baking powder or baking soda right?

    • says

      There’s no baking powder or baking soda in this cake. Not really sure why yours only ended up with 2 layers, I’ve made this cake a few times now and never had any issues, the only thing I can think of is how you whisk in the egg whites.

  50. sa ha says

    Please answer this if you can, can this recipe be doubled? I have a large group coming and would love for everyone to get a piece.

    • Judy says

      I also want to double it. My family is coming for supper Friday evening and I want to really surprise them that mummy baked a cake after so long. My law was telling my granddaughter what lovely cakes I used to make. Eyes wide open with disbelief.
      But could you tell me about the flour? Why is there so much less flour in the choc cake than in the other one? Puzzled.

      • says

        Hi Judy,
        The reason there’s less flour here is because it’s substituted with the cocoa powder, so if you add the cocoa powder and the flour you get the same amount as the flour used in the plain version. :)

  51. says

    I first saw the Magic Cake recipe on Pinterest. I was intrigued by the name so I made my way to your site. Wow! A chocolate version! Can’t wait to try both of them.
    Thanks for sharing,

  52. Patricia says

    Looks very very yummy. The vanilla version looks like a German pastry I used to love called beinstich (sp) meaning beehive in English. But the German one had a praline, florintine cookie type topping on top that.

  53. shoop exhale says

    It’s currently baking at the oven, Miss Jo but I could tell that it would be heavenly just like the original. But I would go for chocolate though because its my favorite. Thanks, I’ll let you know once we tasted and finished it all. God bless you always!

    • says

      Hey chocolate is my favorite too, next time I make the white one, I’ll add some vanilla extract or maybe some lemon flavor, that should work too. :)

  54. Manirea says

    AMAZING!! I made the cake yesterday, but didn’t try it until after dinner tonight. ( Love it super cold) I had my mother-in-law over for dinner and served it for dessert. She was speechless!! One minute it was on her plate, then it was gone! Same thing with my husband! Will be making this A LOT!!
    Thank you!! Can’t wait to try the original!

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