Lemon Magic Cake

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Lemon Magic Cake – one simple batter that turns into a 3 layer cake. Simply magical. The popular magic cake now in lemon flavor.

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 You my friends asked for it, so here it is.

Lemon Magic Cake!

Another great flavor to add to my collection of magic cake recipes. I’m still trying to decide which one is my favorite. Right now I think there is a tie between this lemon version and the chocolate version. I might choose this one because I really love lemon flavored cakes. Don’t get me wrong, I also love my chocolate, but there’s just something refreshing about this lemon magic cake.

Maybe because it’s summer.  I’m glad I tried this because this cake is very special, it’s so light and delicate, truly delicious and one of my favorite cakes of all time. Maybe not a cake in the traditional meaning of the word cake but truly a fabulous dessert.

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So many of you have written to me and asked how to make a lemon version that I just couldn’t resist. Many of you have also asked for different flavors as well, such as a coffee version or a peanut butter version. Maybe I’ll try those too sometime, but for now let’s enjoy this lemon magic cake.

Every time I make this cake I try and think of all your questions. One common question is regarding the egg whites and how to fold them in. When you add the egg whites to the batter, don’t fold the egg whites in completely so that it’s a smooth batter. You need to leave those white bits in there. I just removed the whisk from the mixer and used that to fold in the egg whites for about 10 seconds. Also the baking time probably has a lot to do with how the layers turn out. I baked this lemon cake for exactly 70 minutes and as you can see after 70 minutes it’s still not totally golden brown on top, but I touched the top and it seemed firm enough. That’s how you know when it’s done. Make sure it’s firm to the touch, and not jiggly. If it’s jiggly it’s not cooked completely.

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Many of you have also asked regarding the baking time. Some people have said that after  40 or 45 minutes the cake is done, so I really believe that each oven is different. My oven is about 4 years old and it takes 70 minutes. I used to have an older oven and it still took 70 minutes, so I can’t really speak to the cake being done after 45 minutes.

The important thing to remember is that the cake needs to be a bit golden on top and firm to the touch. Also I have made it once in a bigger pan other than the 8×8 inch square pan and it did not turn into 3 layers, so I believe that if the batter is not high enough there won’t be enough batter to turn into the 3 layers. So if you choose to make this in a 9×13 inch pan, I strongly suggest to double the ingredients.

Another thing that I did different this time is instead of just spraying cooking spray or buttering the baking dish, I lined it with parchment paper, leaving extra on the sides so that it’s easy to just lift it up. This way there is no confusion as how to take the cake out.

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4.8 from 13 reviews
Lemon Magic Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 125 g (1 stick or ½ cup) butter, melted
  • 115 g (4 oz or ¾ cup) of all purpose flour
  • 1¾ cup milk lukewarm
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  4. Add lemon juice and lemon zest then slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula or a whisk, repeat until all egg whites are folded in, but there should still be white bits of egg whites floating in the batter.
  5. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the cake is firm to the touch. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
  6. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

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Comments

  1. Gail Plaskiewicz says

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for the response! My dad can eat this and I am going to try to make this for him. Some people said they had trouble with it but I am going to try it anyway. We don’t have a 8×8 baking dish we have 9 1/4 x 9 1/4 if I read the measurements right.How do you think that would work or should I use the 9×13 and double the recipe like you said? I can’t wait to make this for my dad!

    • says

      I would double the recipe and use the 9×13, because if the dish is too big you might not get all the layers for the cake. Let me know how it turns out. :)

    • Doro says

      Jo, Is it better to use a glass baking dish or a metal non stick type pan? Your recipes are easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Gail Plaskiewicz says

    Is this a soft cake? It looks soft like pudding soft on the bottom. I am asking for a reason. My dad is on a feeding tube. He can eat some soft foods and he loves desserts. He also needs to gain more weight so this would also be good for that. If the top is not to hard and crumbly and the bottom is soft, I will be so excited tomato this for my dad. I am thinking he will absolutely love this!

    • says

      Hi Gail,
      The middle layer is definitely soft because it’s like a custard, the bottom is more chewy, and the top is a soft cake texture. Hope this helps. :)

  3. Mary Joy says

    I just baked this today, exactly 40 minutes. I added extra 3 tabspoon of lemon juice and remove 3 tablespoon of milk because I like stronger lemon taste. But not really sure about the layers. I wisk i could show you the picture and maybe you could tell something about it . it’s light and delicate. I love it.

  4. Donna says

    I made a half-recipe in a loaf pan and baked for 30 minutes. Really good! Thanks for publishing this.

    I skipped the powdered sugar because I prefer things less sweet. I’m wondering if anyone has experimented with replacing more of the milk with lemon juice?

    • says

      I always use unsalted butter, but having said that you probably could, just taste it, you might need to adjust the sugar.

  5. Kathryn says

    Well I got 2 layers :) And it only took about 50 mins to cook, :) but it wasn’t lemony enough for us. We like our lemon in lemon slices and cakes, 😉 but very easy to make :)

  6. Elizabeth says

    Having issues. Made this in a 9 by 13 pan. Cooked to these instructions, and it doesn’t seem to want to set! I have crisped the top. It’s in the oven for about 2 hours.The top is a little brown now. It still not will not set! What did I do wrong? I even followed the directions with the egg whites and stuff.

    • says

      Well if you make this in a 9×13 the cake won’t separate into 3 layers because the batter is not high enough. After 2 hours it should have been done for sure, not sure what else happened.

  7. says

    I’m making these for the third time, I love them. I call them Sansas Lemon Cakes (I’m a big GoT fan:)). Like another poster, I add blueberries to mine. Like many others, I never get the three layers, but it never disappoints

  8. alexandra westwood says

    i made this , it was firmly set on top after 57 minutes. i let it cool about 1/2 hour and flipped it over and it was sorta wettish on the bottom . hoping it’ll set as it cols more. is this normal. smells fab and the bit i scraped off the pan was great! cant hardly wait!

  9. Erin says

    How far in advance can you make these so that they are still fresh and what storage method do you recommend?

    • says

      This cake is best served the day it’s made, and since there is a lot of milk and eggs in it, it must be refrigerated. Usually you can store it in a plastic container. If you do need to make it in advance, I’d probably make it the day before, no more.

  10. Sarah says

    I just made this. It came out of the oven a little over a half hour ago and is now completely gone. Yep. We ate it all in one sitting. A.Ma.Zing. I will likely make this again in the future, over and over and over…

  11. Camille Elvin says

    OMG!! I love your site!!! I only learned about it 3 weeks ago and I’m on here daily. I baked my first magic cake (lemon of course) yesterday and it came out perfectly. So good my husband and I almost ate the whole thing in one sitting. Surprisingly mine baked in about 35 mins, maybe because I have a convection oven. I actually did 3 other recipes as well yesterday (Family Day, I had time on my hands) your Asian glazed baked chicken strips YUM, Chicken with sweet potatoes, kale and corn YUM YUM and your parmesan and lemon roasted broccoli YUM YUM YUM (I will never cook broccoli any other way!!!). Next weekend it’s your Cinnabon cinnamon buns. Love the site Jo!!

    • says

      Wow Camille! Thank you so much, you made my day! I’m so glad you love my recipes. That’s quite a bit of cooking you did yesterday, that’s awesome. You’ll love Cinnabon buns, a favorite here. :)

  12. Connie says

    Pretty good. Not “lemony” enough for me but that’s me. Only had 2 layers and I baked it for 55 minutes. Think it should gone a bit longer. I have a well insulted oven and I use an oven thermometer. Also I weighed my ingredients because you list both 150g and 115g as 3/4 cup. I’m going to try it again because I love lemon desserts and this has good possibilities.

    • Joy Elsey says

      Hello,
      I have not tried this recipe yet however the reason I am responding to you is to say I have found an amazing new Gluten free flour. It is from Bob’s Red Mill and it is called
      1 to 1 Baking flour.
      For what ever the amount of regular flour in the recipe calls for you use the equal amount of the 1 to 1 flour. I have tried it in several recipes and so far it works better than any other Gluten free flour I have tried or made a mixture of. It in my mind is an outstanding blend of flour in place of wheat flour. For me the best part is there is nothing to add to this flour. I am trying this recipe over the weekend with the 1 to 1. Will follow up with you and let you know the results.

  13. Toni says

    Just made it today. Fabulous recipe. I couldn’t wait until it fully cooled. Next time I will try. Can’t promise anything.

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