This is a dessert that could be perfect for a potluck or a party. One batter, three layers of Heaven!
It is easy to make because all the magic happens in the oven during the baking process when the batter separates into three layers of goodness. No doubt, this Easy Magic Cake With Vanilla is very impressive!
I love magic cakes! If you have never had this cake before, you don't know what you missed!
What is a magic cake?
A Magic Cake is a cake made with straightforward ingredients, like eggs, sugar, butter, milk, and flour. So, what's so magic about that, you might ask.
It might not be anything magic about the ingredients, but the magic happens in the oven during baking.
The cake batter is very liquid, but a chemical reaction happens in the oven that separates the batter into three layers by itself, each with its own texture and flavor.
What? I know! I was skeptical, too, until I actually baked the cake and cut it. Bam! One batter, three layers of Heaven! The process is simple, and I will explain it to you in detail.
The base of the cake is a dense, moist cake. A light and delicate cream forms in the middle, like a custard, while the top of the cake is a lovely light Genoise sponge.
How is this even possible? Chemistry, my friends, chemistry!
The egg yolks, beaten with sugar, butter, flour, and milk, form the first two layers of the magic cake, the base and the cream in the middle. The slow cooking at 325F allows the bottom of the cake to cook like a cake without cooking the upper part.
The beaten egg whites form the Genoise sponge layer. They do not blend with the milk and remain floating on top of the cake!
Isn't that awesome? The whole idea is that you can put together a cake in a few hours without breaking a sweat, especially if you have a mixer to do the eggs beating for you.
How to make
First of all, I used my KitchenAid mixer to combine the ingredients because it was easy, but you can do it with a regular mixer or by hand also.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Separate the eggs. Cream together the yolks and the powder sugar until the mixture gets lighter in color.
Add the butter slowly and keep mixing. The butter has to be melted but cool.
When the butter is incorporated, add the milk slowly.
Keep mixing while you add the flour and the vanilla. Set aside.
Separately, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Salt is essential in baking, so do not skip it. It enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness of any dessert.
Pour the egg whites over the batter and fold them in slowly to incorporate them into the mixture. Use a whisk for this step.
Do not panic if the batter looks very thin.
This is how it should be, with chunks of egg whites floating in the batter.
Butter and flour a 9x13inch baking dish.
Pour the batter into the baking dish.
Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F and continue baking for another 50 minutes.
The batter separates into three layers, and you will end up with a golden brown cake layer on top, a creamy custard in the middle, and another delicious soft custard as a base of the cake.
When it comes out of the oven, it will wobble slightly. Let it cool completely, then put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
It is better if the cake sits in the fridge overnight, so it sets completely. Dust the cake with powder sugar and serve.
See the layers? MAGIC! And wait until you try it! DELICIOUS! You cannot be on a diet when you have this one! Why?
Because you will not be able to stop eating after the first piece!
Make sure you don't wait to make this cake at the last minute before the guests come!
For this one, you will need to be patient! It will also taste better after a few hours in the refrigerator, as the ingredients will have time to get friendly with each other!
Can I use condensed milk?
I actually got this question from one reader. This recipe works because the ratio between flour, eggs, milk, and sugar is the right one. I cannot advise you to replace the ingredients because I did not try that before.
First of all, adding condensed milk on top of the sugar that the recipe already has will make this dessert very sweet. A can of condensed milk has about 7.7oz(220g) of sugar, which is a lot.
However, as I never made it with condensed milk, I cannot correctly advise how that will turn out for you.
In general, it is better to not replace ingredients in a baking recipe unless you know exactly what you are doing.
It is ok to use 2% instead of whole milk, but again, I never used fat-free milk because it is not something we use in our household.
While I never tried to use soy milk, for example, instead of regular milk, I did some research, and it seems that you can substitute it safely. It would be the same amount of soy milk instead of regular milk.
However, the flavor will not be the same, as soy milk tastes different. You might end up also with a different texture.
I cannot tell you how it will be as I do not use soy in my diet—the same thing with almond, coconut, and other types of milk.
Some people tried it, and it worked for them. However, you know that the dessert might also taste different from the one made with regular milk.
All-purpose flour or self-rising flour?
All-purpose flour, please. Self-rising flour has baking powder and salt in it, and this recipe doesn't require these ingredients. If you want to make something with self-rising flour, try this recipe.
Can I use gluten-free flour?
I never used gluten-free flour for this recipe in particular, but I have a recipe for a magic dessert made with oranges and almond flour, so you might want to look at that.
My Cake doesn't have three layers. What did I do wrong?
There are a few things that might be the culprit on this one.
- Egg whites are not stiff enough- make sure the egg whites have stiff peaks. If they are not, keep beating them. They should be stiff and glossy when you are done with them.
- Mixing too much- Overmixing the batter will result in deflated egg whites, and you will end up with no layers in the final dessert.
- Oven temperature- this is a big problem with many ovens. I suggest an oven thermometer that would help figure out the temperature inside. From personal experience, I can tell you that my oven tells me it is 350F inside when in reality, I might have to wait another 30 minutes to heat up, as the other thermometer tells me there is only 300F inside. This cake bakes for 50-60 minutes, the first 10 minutes at 350F, then the rest at 325F. Check the cake after 45 minutes. It should still be jiggly in the middle. If you over-bake it, you end up with no layers at all.
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- 9 large eggs separated(room temperature)
- 4 cups/33.8fl.oz/1liter whole milk(lukewarm)
- 2 cups/8.82oz/250g all purpose flour
- 1 cup/8oz/226g melted butter but cool
- 2 cups/8.82/250g powder sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla flavor
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F(180C).
- Separate the eggs.
- In a stand-up mixer, cream together the yolks with the powder sugar.
- Add the melted butter slowly and keep mixing. When the butter is incorporated, add the milk.
- Keep mixing while you add the flour spoon by spoon and the vanilla. Set aside.
- Separately, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Pour the egg whites over the batter and fold them slowly to incorporate the egg whites into the mixture. The batter will be thin, but this is normal.
- Lightly butter and flour in a 9x13 baking dish.
- Pour the batter into the dish and bake 10 minutes at 350F, then reduce the heat to 325F and bake for another 50 minutes.
- Let it cool completely, then put it in the refrigerator for few hours. It is better if the cake sits in the refrigerator overnight to set completely.
- Sprinkle the cake with powder sugar and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 10g