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The original Magic Cake recipe where one simple thin batter transforms into 3 layers as it bakes. It is a marvel of culinary science, with its 3 distinct layers that defy explanation. It’s a dessert that’s both simple in its ingredients and complex in its execution, leaving even the most seasoned bakers in awe. One bite of this cake and you’ll believe in magic.
What Is Magic Cake?
Oh my goodness, let me tell you about magic cake. It’s this incredible dessert that separates into 3 different layers while it bakes! I couldn’t believe it when I first tried it, over 10 years ago when I first shared it with you, and ever since then it’s been one of the most popular recipes on the blog.
Magic cake is a fascinating confection that defies the laws of physics and leaves us in wonderment. With its 3 distinct layers, it’s a testament to the power of chemistry and the magic of baking. The way it separates into a dense layer, a custard-like layer, and a light sponge layer is truly a marvel of culinary science.
It’s remarkable to think that such a delicious and visually stunning cake can be made with simple ingredients like flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. But it’s the precise combination of these ingredients, along with the proper baking technique, that makes magic cake truly magical. Each layer is a perfect balance of texture and flavor, creating a symphony of taste sensations that dance on the palate.
Why You Should Make This Magic Cake
- Simple Recipe! You only have to make one simple batter for this yummy 3 layer cake. And the recipe only requires 7 basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
- Magic Custard Cake! This delicious cake magically turns into 3 layers as it bakes in the oven. It’s got a cakey sponge top layer, a creamy custard middle layer, and a firm custard bottom layer.
- Perfect For Any Occasion! Dress up this crowd-pleasing simple cake with fresh berries and whipped cream or serve it as is with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Eggs – You will need some fresh large eggs that are at room temperature. They will also need to be separated.
- Sugar – Simple white granulated sugar is used to sweeten the batter.
- Butter – Always use unsalted butter in baking to control the amount of added salt.
- Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Flour – Basic all-purpose flour is all you need.
- Milk – Any kind of milk will work including dairy-free but it must be lukewarm.
- Powdered Sugar – It’s used to dust the cake at the end.
This recipe is super easy and the batter comes together quickly. All you have to do is follow a few simple instructions and your cake will turn out terrific!
To begin, you need to preheat your oven temperature to 325°F (163°C) to get it ready for the magic cake! Then grease an 8-inch square baking pan. You can also line it with parchment paper if you like to make it easier to remove from the pan.
To make the simple batter, start by separating all the eggs. Then beat the egg yolks together with the sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next, add the melted butter and vanilla extract and continue beating the mixture for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Then add the flour and mix it into the batter until it’s fully incorporated.
You need to take your time doing this next step. So just slowly start adding the milk and beating it into the batter until it’s fully mixed in. The texture of this cake will not turn out properly if you just dump the milk into the batter all at once.
Whipping the egg whites until they form stiff peaks is another important component of this recipe. For the best results, use an electric mixer or stand mixer, but you can also do it by hand with a whisk and a lot of elbow grease! And if you are having trouble getting your whites to go from soft peaks to stiff peaks you can add ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.
Now, use a rubber spatula to very gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter just until they are about 90% combined. You still want to see some streaks of white at the top of the batter. You can also whisk the egg whites into the batter if you like, which is a lot faster. But again, do not mix them completely into the batter.
After the egg whites have been blended into the batter, pour it into the prepared cake pan. Then transfer it to the oven to bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown in color. You should check the cake after 40 minutes, but the baking time can vary a lot depending on the oven. When the cake is done, it should only jiggle slightly but still feel firm to the touch.
Once the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and let it completely cool. Then dust it with some powdered sugar and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Get The 3 Layers In Magic Cake?
The three layers in magic cake are created through the differential densities of the batter components. The key to creating these distinct layers is in the proper mixing and folding of the batter components. It’s important to mix the ingredients together thoroughly, but also to gently fold in the beaten egg whites to create the top layer without deflating the mixture. When baked at the right temperature and for the right amount of time, the batter will transform into a beautiful, multi-layered cake that’s both delicious and visually stunning.
Where Is The Chocolate Cake Recipe?
Click here to get the recipe.
Can I Use Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Or Skim Milk?
Yes, you can use soy milk, almond milk, or skim milk as a substitute for regular milk in magic cake. However, the texture and taste of the cake may vary slightly depending on the type of milk used. Soy milk and almond milk may result in a slightly nuttier flavor, while skim milk may produce a lighter texture. It’s important to note that the fat content of the milk can affect the richness and density of the cake layers, so adjusting the amount of butter or oil in the recipe may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
Can I Use Gluten Free Flour?
Yes, you can use gluten-free flour as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour in magic cake. However, it’s important to use a gluten-free flour blend that is designed for baking, as different blends may have different properties and ratios of ingredients. Gluten-free flour may result in a slightly denser and crumblier texture than regular flour, so adjusting the recipe or adding xanthan gum as a binder may be necessary to achieve a similar texture. It’s also important to note that gluten-free flours may absorb liquids differently than regular flour, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe accordingly.
Can I Use Stevia Or Splenda Instead Of Sugar?
Yes, you can use stevia or Splenda as a substitute for sugar. However, it’s important to note that these sweeteners may affect the texture and taste of the cake compared to using regular sugar. Stevia and Splenda are much sweeter than sugar, so you will need to use a smaller amount to achieve the same level of sweetness. You may also need to adjust the recipe by adding a small amount of additional liquid or another binder, as sugar provides structure and moisture to the cake batter. It’s a good idea to experiment with different amounts of stevia or Splenda and adjust the recipe as necessary to achieve the desired texture and taste.
Can I Add Different Flavorings?
Yes, you can add flavorings such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or lemon zest to the magic cake batter to customize the taste. See the different magic cake recipes listed below for ideas.
Can I Make Cupcakes With Magic Cake Batter?
Yes, you can make cupcakes using this recipe. Follow the instructions for the magic cake recipe, but instead of pouring the batter into a single baking dish, spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ⅔ full. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Use room temperature eggs. It’s always best to use room-temperature eggs. And for this recipe, it’s a must in order for the batter to come together properly and for the white to form stiff peaks.
- Gently blend in the whites. Do not overmix the beaten egg whites into the cake. You want to see white streaks still in the batter. This helps the cake to form 3 layers.
- Don’t overbake the cake: Magic cake should be baked until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Overbaking can cause the layers to merge together, resulting in a less distinct layering effect. It’s important to keep an eye on the cake and take it out of the oven as soon as it’s done.
- Let it cool. You must let the cake cool completely in the pan so that it can set. It’s part of the magic of how the cake forms 3 different layers.
Leftover magic cake will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap. However, this cake does not freeze well.
Other Magic Cake Recipes To Try
- Chocolate Magic Cake
- Butterscotch Magic Cake
- Lemon Magic Cake
- Pumpkin Magic Cake
- Impossible Coconut Pie
- Magic Flan Cake
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). 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 until well incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth and well combined.
- 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.
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until well combined. 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 transfer it to the preheated oven. 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. Cut it into squares and serve.
- *Lukewarm milk refers to milk that is warmed to a temperature between 95°F and 105°F (35°C to 40°C).
- 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.
- General guidelines for baking at high altitude (not all may apply to this recipe): If baking at altitudes of 5000 feet or higher, keep this in mind:
- Use a sturdy baking pan: The lower air pressure at high altitudes can cause cakes to rise and collapse more easily, so it’s important to use a sturdy baking pan that can support the weight of the batter. A heavier or thicker pan can help the cake bake more evenly and reduce the risk of collapse.
- Increase the liquid and leavening agents: At high altitudes, the air is drier and ingredients can evaporate more quickly, which can affect the texture and moisture of the cake. To compensate for this, you may need to increase the liquid in the recipe by a few tablespoons and add a bit more baking powder or baking soda to help the cake rise.
- Reduce the sugar. As a general rule decrease sugar by 1 tablespoon per cup.
- Adjust the baking time and temperature: At higher altitudes, the air pressure is lower and the boiling point of water is lower, which can affect the baking time and temperature of the cake. As a general rule, increase the oven temperature 15 to 25°F and decrease the time to 5 to 8 minutes less per 30 minutes of baking time.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.