From one batter, this custard cake magically separates itself into three layers while baking.
According to the British site Metro where I first saw this recipe, these three layers are “fudge,” custard, and cake. Now I put fudge in quotation marks, because some North Americans may be a little confused, as we typically think of fudge as a sweet chocolate confection. This fudge shares the texture and stickiness of that, though not the taste.
I took my magic cake recipe from food blogger Jo Cooks who also has recipes for pumpkin, lemon, butterscotch, and chocolate magic cakes if you want to try your hand at more magic after this one.
So is this cake really magic? Or is it science?
If you know me at all, I think you already know the answer. Science, of course!!
I’m pretty sure what happens in the baking process is that the differing densities in our ingredients separate as we cook them. Because the oven temperature is a little lower than normal (300 – 325℉ compared to 350 – 375℉) it allows the heavier ingredients time to settle before coagulating.
Then, because there is a higher ratio of liquid to solid than in a normal cake batter (50% compared to 10 – 15%) that liquid coalesces in the middle, custardy layer.
Finally, the whipped egg whites, being the lightest, naturally rise to the top under the heat, forming the fluffy top cake layer.
But whether it’s magic or science, this recipe is really straightforward, using only six ingredients. All you have to do is mix them together into a batter, pour them into a pan, and bake.
The cake will separate into three distinctive layers all on its own. Magic!
Here’s how to make it:
Magic Custard Cake
- Conventional oven
- brownie pan
- parchment paper
- 2 large mixing bowls
- hand mixer
- 4 large eggs separated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 tbsp butter melted
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk lukewarm (105-110℉)
- Preheat oven to 325˚F
- Line an 8”x 8” brownie pan with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, add 4 egg yolks and sugar. Use a hand mixer to beat the mixture until it’s pale yellow.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla extract. Beat for a couple more minutes. Fold in the flour.
- Once incorporated, add the warm milk, stirring to combine.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer into stiff peaks.
- Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture and gently fold them in. Be sure not to over-mix –there should be some streaks of egg white visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-70 minutes, or until the top is golden.
- After the cake has cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. You may top with fresh fruit too if you like.