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a slice of butterscotch magic cake on a plate
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4.7 from 43 votes

Butterscotch Magic Cake

Butterscotch Magic Cake - one very thin simple batter amazingly turns into a 3 layer cake as it bakes. It's magical!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: butterscotch magic cake, magic cake
Servings: 9
Calories: 272kcal


  • 125 grams butter unsalted (1 stick or ½ cup)
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separate yolks from whites
  • 150 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 115 grams all-purpose flour (4 oz or ¾ cup)
  • 2 cups milk lukewarm (2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
  • Start by heating the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk continuously until it becomes golden brown and tiny dark brown flecks appear in the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, whisk for another 30 seconds and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
  • 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 brown sugar until light golden color. 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. The mixture will be very watery.
  • Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to add a third of the egg whites and gently whisk them in to the cake batter, then reverse the process and add a bit of the cake mixture to the egg whites and gently whisk in, repeat until all cake batter has been whisked in.
  • 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.


If baking at altitudes of 5000 feet or higher, keep this in mind:
  1. Reduce baking powder: for each teaspoon, decrease 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
  2. Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 0 to 2 tablespoons.
  3. Increase liquid: for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons.
  4. Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
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.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg