A simple, easy to prepare recipe for a vanilla custard “magic cake,” which naturally separates while cooking to make a few different layers. This recipe uses more vanilla and has a larger center layer, which I think is the best part! It uses only a few common household pantry items, and is perfect for a last minute dessert or weekend treat.
I genuinely have no idea what inspired me to make this cake, as I essentially never bake anything. But I saw it posted on Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats‘ website, and so I decided to give it a whirl. It seemed easy, and it was. Generally anything involving baking or flour or powdered sugar turns my kitchen into a post-bust scene from Narcos, but this came together fairly easily and turned out great.
This recipe has been updated a bit, to give it a little more vanilla flavor and cooked it at a slightly lower heat because, while I like the idea of three layers, it’s the middle layer that I like the best, so I wanted it to be bigger than the other two.
By the way, I must ask, does anyone prefer having dessert for breakfast? Something about sweets just lend themselves to the morning time, enjoyed with a piping hot coffee rather than after a big savory meal at night. At my old job, I used to always eat a little piece of bread pudding straight out of the oven. I loved the way we served it, with a bourbon infused caramel sauce that my boss would whip up, but I really loved it dunked in a hot cup of fresh coffee.
Which leads me to realize, I poured myself a cup of coffee about 20 minutes ago, and it’s sitting next to me, cold as ice now. A moment of silence…
Easy Vanilla Custard Magic Cake
- 4 room temperature eggs, yolks and whites separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (don't use skim)
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- Electric handheld or stand mixer
- Two mixing bowls
- Baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 315 degrees, and grease (with butter or butter spray), a 8x8" baking dish.
- Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl, and beat until the whites form into stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat the yolks and sugar together until a light yellow paste forms.
- Add the vanilla and melted butter to the yolks, and mix again until everything is well incorporated.
- Add the flour to the yolks, and mix until everything is just incorporated.
- Add the milk gradually to the yolks, a little bit at a time, and continue to beat until incorporated.
- Use a spatula to fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, being careful not to knock the air out of the egg whites. It doesn't have to combine completely; the egg whites should be lumpy and floating on top of the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin, and bake. How long you need to bake this will depend on your oven; some people say 30 minutes is enough, and I personally needed to cook mine for one hour. The cake is ready when the center does not jiggle anymore, and the top is a light golden brown.
- Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving.
- Serve hot or chilled, but I prefer chilled.