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Lemon Magic Cake – One simple batter that transforms into a 3 layer cake – pure magic. The ever popular magic cake, now in lemon flavor!
You asked for it, so you got it – 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 it’s a tie between this lemon version and the chocolate version. This one might be taking the lead, there’s just something so refreshing about the bright citrus flavor.
This lemon magic cake is so light and delicate, truly delicious and one of my favorite cakes to make. This cake will give Harry Potter a run for his money! That’s how magical it is.
What is a magic cake?
At first sight you might think this cake is a feat, having to make 3 separate batters to create 3 separate layers, that’s where you’re wrong! This cake is pure magic because it only requires one batter to achieve those gorgeous layers! You would almost think it’s witchcraft.
The batter is very thin, similar to a crepe batter, all you have to do is pour it into a baking dish, place it in the oven and watch the magic unfold! After about an hour you have a perfect 3 layer cake with the most delicious custard layer – magical.
Keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card for FULL ingredient amounts and instructions or click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page!
- Eggs – Make sure they are at room temperature, separate the yolks from the whites!
- Vanilla Extract
- Sugar – Regular granulated!
- Butter – I used unsalted, melted.
- Flour – Trusty all-purpose flour!
- Milk – I used 2% – make sure it is lukewarm!
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is ideal but use what you have!
- Lemon Zest
- Powdered Sugar – For dusting cake.
How to make lemon magic cake
- Preheat Oven – Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
- Mix Egg Whites – Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer, mix until stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
- Make Yolk Mixture – Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two. Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated.
- Combine – Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed. 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. Some egg white will still be floating at the top of the batter, that’s ok.
- Bake – 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. *Note: The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
- Cool & Serve – Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, after the cake has cooled. Serve.
Tips for making the perfect magic cake
Every time I make this cake, I think of all your questions! A lot of the time the layers don’t turn out and there may be a few reasons why. Here are some tips and tricks for the most commonly asked questions:
One question I get a lot 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 removed the whisk from the mixer and used that to fold in the egg whites for about 10 seconds.
Many of you have also asked regarding the baking time. The baking time can have 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. Some people have said that after 40 or 45 minutes the cake is done, so I really believe that each oven is different.
- One trick is to touch the top of the cake to see if it’s firm. Make sure it’s firm to the touch, and not jiggly. If it’s jiggly it’s not cooked completely.
- The important thing to remember is that the cake needs to be a bit golden on top and firm to the touch.
I have also made this cake once in a bigger pan ( not the 8×8 inch square pan ) and it did not turn into 3 layers! I believe that if the batter is not high enough, there won’t be enough to transform into the 3 layers.
- Tip: if you choose to make this in a 9×13 inch pan, I strongly suggest to double the ingredients!
Removing the Cake from the Pan
Something I did differently this time that helped make this easier:
- Instead of 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. Easy!
How to serve
Make sure your lemon magic cake is completely cooled before you dust the top with the powdered sugar. This dessert is stunning on it’s own and is a standout when it comes to cakes. The brightness of the lemon really adds a gorgeous flavor to this already magical cake. You can add some citrus zest as garnish to really make the presentation stand out.
How to store leftover magic cake
Store leftover magic cake in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Magic Cake Recipes:
- Magic Cake
- Nutella Magic Cake
- Butterscotch Magic Cake
- Chocolate Magic Cake
- Pumpkin Magic Cake
- Magic Flan Cake
Looking for more cake recipes? Try these!
- Limoncello Lemon Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Coconut Cake
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Red Velour Cake
- Easy Strawberry Cake
- Tres Leches
- The Best Chocolate Cake
- Easy Texas Sheet Cake
- Chocolate Swiss Roll
- Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars
- Peach Upside Down Cake
- German Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.
- Note: Above video is for the original magic cake, not for the lemon version.
- Store leftover magic cake in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.