Magic Cake – one simple thin batter, bake it and voila! You end up with a 3 layer cake, magic cake.
I’m reposting this Magic Cake here on Jo Cooks today because to this day it’s the most popular recipes here and it’s the one recipe that I usually get the most questions on. Plus I’ve also made a video for you guys to see just how easy it is to make, simply scroll down to see it.
Where do I begin? I started out very skeptical when I saw this cake on foodepix.com years ago. The name intrigued me at first. I had to click to see the recipe just to see why this cake is called magic cake, because there really is no such thing. Unfortunately the recipe was in another language, but there’s always google translator, the only problem is you know you always lose something in the translation. But not to worry, it was enough for me to realize why this cake is called magic cake.
If you look closely enough you can see this cake has 3 layers, with a layer of custard in the middle. The way it looks it almost reminded me of a Napoleon dessert. So at first sight you might think this cake is a lot of work where you make the cake separately and the custard separately and you cut the cake in half and put custard in the middle and so on. Not at all! This truly is a magic cake and what happens is pure magic. OK maybe not, but close enough. You really only have to make the batter which is very thin, when you read the recipe you’ll see that the ratio of milk to flour is high, so the batter is very thin, similar to a crepe batter. The best part is that’s the hardest thing you have to do, is make the batter, pour the batter in a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish, place it in the oven and let the magic happen. After an hour you have a perfect 3 layer cake with the most delicious custard layer.
Many people have asked me why does the cake end up with 3 layers and I’ve thought about this for a long time and especially after making it dozens of times I really think it’s because of the thin batter and the egg whites that are folded in. My trick to make sure you do get the 3 layers is to make sure you don’t fold in the egg whites completely, you want to make sure you still have some of the white bits in it. This is my only tip, really. This truly is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make and one of the most impressive and not to mention delicious. Now try and stop at eating only one piece, that will require some magic.
This recipe was originally shared in March 2013.
Check out the video and see how easy it is to make this easy cake!
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 150 g sugar (3/4 cup)
- 125 g butter unsalted and melted (1 stick or 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 115 g all-purpose flour (4 oz or 3/4 cup)
- 500 ml milk lukewarm (2 cups) *
- powdered sugar for dusting cake
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper so that it's easier to get the cake out.
Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. 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.
Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.
Add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold them in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to whisk them in to the cake batter, this is a lot faster and easier. Make sure you don't fold the egg whites in completely, you still want to see some of the white bits floating at the top.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.
* To get the milk lukewarm I usually warm it in the microwave for about a minute.
The baking time can vary greatly for this cake. I've baked this cake in 3 different ovens and I've always needed different times which were from 40 to 70 minutes. The oven I have right now only requires about 45 minutes to get a nice golden color on the cake, whereas other ovens I've used required the full 70 minutes. Test if after 40 minutes to see what it looks like. The cake is done when it only jiggles slightly but feels firm to touch.
If baking at altitudes of 5000 feet or higher, keep this in mind:
- Reduce baking powder: for each teaspoon, decrease 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
- Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 0 to 2 tablespoons.
- Increase liquid: for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons.
- Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Update: There have been a lot of questions on this cake so I’ve compiled a list of questions and answers for people.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Where is the chocolate magic cake recipe?
Answer: You can click on the chocolate magic cake picture or you can click here.
Question: If there are 8 oz in a cup, why is 3/4 cup only 4 oz.
Answer: There are 8 fluid oz in a cup, however the weight of flour for 1 cup is 4.41 oz.
Question: The batter is very thin, very liquidy, is this ok?
Answer: Of course, when you have 2 cups of milk and very little flour, it will be a very thin batter, but that’s the beauty of this cake, this thin batter turns into a 3 layer cake.
Question: Can I use soy milk, almond milk, skim milk?
Answer: I’ve only made it with 2% milk, however other readers have and have commented that the cake still turned out fine, however it might not be the same as with regular milk.
Question: Can I use gluten free flour?
Answer: I have only tried it with all-purpose flour, so I can’t guarantee that it will turn out the same. Other readers have and some said the cake turned out fine and for others it didn’t. It’s up to you if you want to try it.
Question: What is all purpose flour? Is it the same as self rising flour.
Answer: All purpose flour is just plain regular white flour. Self rising flour is all purpose flour with baking powder and salt added to it. I would recommend using all purpose flour for this cake.
Question: Can I use stevia or splenda instead of sugar?
Answer: I’ve only made it with regular white sugar, so I’m not sure what would happen if you substituted with stevia or splenda.
Click the image below for the Nutella Magic Cake recipe:
Click the image below for the Lemon Magic cake recipe:
And here’s the chocolate version, click on the image for recipe:
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.
Here’s the latest addition to magic cakes, the irresistible magic flan cake!