Have you ever heard of magic cake? Apparently, it is quickly making its rounds across the internet and is the fad of the moment. Essentially it is a single batter that separates into 3 distinct layers after baking – a top cakey layer, a soft custard middle, and a dense crust layer on the bottom. I was very skeptical about this cake, so I had to make it and see if the recipe actually worked.
I’ve seen many flavor variations on this cake, and those of you who know me probably should have known that I would try the Nutella version first. I mean, who can resist a Nutella cake, right? Not me.
The lovely folks at OXO sent me this fancy 3-in-1 egg separator for me to test out, and I was so excited to use this awesome tool for the cake since I had to work with the whites and yolks separately. As you can see, it sits nicely on the edge of my mixing bowl, and there is even a little ledge in the middle that I can use to crack my egg (no more eggy countertops or bowls!). The egg whites gently fell into my bowl while the egg yolks remained intact in the little egg yolk catcher. The OXO people have thought of everything!
I baked my cake for 55 minutes, and as you can see from the photo above, I didn’t get a distinct bottom crust. It’s there, but it’s not quite as thick as some of the others I’ve seen on the internet. Perhaps if I had baked my cake for a bit longer, then I would have achieved a taller crust. Regardless, the recipe worked.
Although this recipe was a success, I have to tell you that the cake was just OK. My husband tried a bite and said that the Nutella flavor was too subtle. We both were expecting the Nutella to pop, but it just wasn’t there. I did like the crispy top layer and the texture of the custard, but the cake overall was lacking in the flavor department. I’ll probably try this cake again but attempt a different variation – perhaps lemon or chocolate orange. I am still happy to have tried this magic cake and am thrilled that it worked. If you make this, please drop me a comment and let me know how yours turned out.
Nutella magic cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 and 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs separated
- 1/8 teaspoon distilled vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 8 x8 inch baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and vinegar on high speed until you achieve stiff peaks. Set aside. If you only have one stand mixer bowl, I recommend carefully transferring the beaten egg whites to another bowl so you can re-use the bowl again. No need to wash the bowl!
- In a small bowl, melt butter and set aside and allow to cool.
- Measure the milk and heat it in the microwave so it is lukewarm (I microwaved for about 45 seconds) and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (the one you previously used) or in a separate large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until the mixture turns a pale yellow. Add in the melted butter and Nutella and mix until smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add in the flour until the flour is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth and thick. Stop the mixer and gently whisk in the milk by hand - about 1/2 cup at a time. The resulting batter will be very runny and liquidy. If your batter still contains lumps, turn the mixer on low speed to whisk them out.
- Turn off the mixer and gently fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Be careful and try not to deflate the whites. The final batter will look curdled or lumpy.
- Transfer the batter into the greased pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. When the cake is done baking it should jiggle slightly (due to the custard layer). If the cake jiggles a little too much or still looks runny, then bake for a few minutes more. If you are still unsure if the cake is done baking, gently insert a knife or toothpick and make a tiny slit into the cake to check on the custard layer. It should be somewhat wet but not runny.
- Let cake cool completely for a minimum of 1 hour before cutting and serving.