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Look very closely, and you will see three delightfully creamy layers of heaven in this magic custard cake. A fluffy sponge cake top layer sits on top of a soft custard middle layer with a denser custard base for the bottom layer, all made with one simple batter that you pour in a pan and pop into the oven – pure magic!
Custard has such a velvety smooth texture and is a delicious base for so many desserts. Try our custard pie and cream puff dessert for two other custardy treats. For another flavor variation on this magic cake, try our pumpkin magic cake.
MAGIC CUSTARD CAKE INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 cup of baker’s sugar (superfine sugar)
- ½ cup of salted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups of whole milk, lukewarm
- ½ cup of heavy cream, lukewarm
Pro Tip: Baker’s sugar is not the same as granulated sugar or confectioner’s sugar. Look for sugar that is labeled superfine or caster sugar. If you cannot find this type of sugar, you can make your own by running 1 cup plus two teaspoons of granulated sugar through a food processor for 30 seconds.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
Toppings: Dust the top of the cake with confectioner’s sugar and add fresh berries for the perfect presentation.
Sugar: Powdered sugar or granulated sugar can also be used in the recipe. If you want to stick with the baker’s sugar but can’t find it in the store, follow the above tip to convert regular white sugar into baker’s sugar at home.
Milk: Two cups of regular milk can be used instead of the milk/cream combination in the recipe.
HOW TO MAKE THIS MAGIC CUSTARD CAKE RECIPE
PRO TIP: The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 10×10 square baking dish. Bake for about 60 minutes.
STEP ONE: In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP TWO: Add the cooled melted butter and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl then beat to combine fully. Beat in the flour.
STEP THREE: Combine the milk and cream together and slowly pour into the batter, mixing to combine.
STEP FOUR: Beat egg whites with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
STEP FIVE: Use a large whisk to lightly incorporate the whipped egg whites into the batter. Add the egg whites in 2 to 3 additions and only whisk slightly. The batter will have two distinct textures – a very thin, runny batter with the lightly incorporated egg whites floating on the top of the batter.
STEP SIX: Pour batter into an 8×8 square baking pan that has been greased with butter.
PRO TIP: The 8×8 square pan is important to achieve the three distinct layers. A larger pan will spread the cake batter to thin for the custard layer in the center to form. The batter won’t fit in a smaller pan.
STEP SEVEN: Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 325°F. The cake is done when the center is still jiggly, but the batter does not slosh in the pan. The top will be lightly golden brown.
PRO TIP: The low temperature (325°F) is important for baking this custard-like dessert.
STEP EIGHT: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
STEP NINE: Allow the cake to sit for 2 to 3 hours before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into 9 pieces.
PRO TIP: To cut the cake cleanly, pop your knife in the freezer to cool it, and it should slice through the cake easily.
HOW TO SERVE
IN THE FRIDGE: This magic three-layer custard cake recipe is best eaten right away, but you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered in aluminum foil for 1 to 2 days.
IN THE FREEZER: We do not recommend freezing this delicious cake.
The sweet vanilla taste of custard is one of my favorite flavors. This magic cake recipe is heavenly and comes out with three distinct, separate layers that differ in both look and texture. It is an incredibly elegant dessert that is melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
Yes, you will have a very runny and thin batter, and that is the consistency you want for the magic layering to happen.
Baker’s sugar is different from both white and confectioner’s sugar. It is a superfine granulated sugar. Regular white sugar is coarser, and confectioner’s sugar is more on the powdery side. If you can’t find baker’s sugar in the store, you can make your own by putting regular white in the food processor for about 30 seconds.
You can find a recipe for pumpkin magic cake on this site. Lemon and chocolate magic cakes are also popular variations on this classic vanilla magic custard cake recipe.
We have not tried using almond milk, although I have heard of other people having success. You may find that your cake may not turn out exactly the same as with regular milk.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Magic Custard Cake
- 4 large eggs separated, at room temperature
- 1 cup baker’s sugar superfine sugar
- ½ cup salted butter melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole milk lukewarm
- ½ cup heavy cream lukewarm
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8”x8” square baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the melted and cooled butter and vanilla extract and beat to combine fully.
- Beat in the flour.
- Combine the milk and cream together and slowly pour into the batter, mixing to combine.
- Beat egg whites in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
- Use a large whisk to lightly incorporate egg whites into the batter. Add in 2 to 3 additions and only whisk slightly. The batter will have two distinct textures – a very thin, runny batter with the lightly incorporated egg whites floating on the top of the batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done when the center is still jiggly, but the batter does not slosh in the pan. The top will be lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Allow the cake to sit for 2 to 3 hours before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into 9 pieces.