The secret to the magic trick? Science.
There’s a lot of chatter on social media lately about magic cake. This seemingly impossible cake mixes up in one bowl but ends up in three layers after it’s baked—as if some magic happens once it’s in the oven.
What looks like magic is science—chemistry, to be exact. Baking at a lower temperature than most cakes (325 degrees F or 163 degrees C) causes the batter to separate into three layers of varying texture and density.
The bottom layer is like a traditional, very moist cake. The middle layer is custard-like. And the top layer is spongy. The batter might seem too liquid when made, but it’s not. The ratio of liquid to flour in the batter is the other factor that causes it to separate into three layers rather than baking up as one consistency throughout.
How to Make Magic Cake
Precisely measuring the ingredients is essential in magic cake (which the French call gâteau magique). Follow the directions precisely, too. It’s not a difficult cake to make, but unlike some cakes—where you might perhaps dump all the eggs in at once instead of adding them one at a time per the directions and the cake still turns out okay—you do want to follow the instructions carefully.
Magic cake starts with separated eggs at room temperature. You’ll use both the whites and the yolks, but the yolks are mixed with sugar, melted butter, vanilla, flour, and milk in a precise order before the whites are folded in gently until just incorporated. Overmix and you may not end up with the three magic layers.
Bake for 45 to 70 minutes—you have to keep your eye on it—until the top is golden. After it cools, dust it with powdered sugar. The result is a white cake with a custard-like middle that’s delicate and oh-so-impressive to others. They’ll think you worked incredibly hard to get those three layers as they are. If you let them think you spent all day baking in the kitchen, we won’t give you away.
Baking Tips From Allrecipes Readers
The directions in the recipe are thorough, but two of our readers had tips worth passing along:
If the top is brown, but the bottom still seems liquid, place “foil on top of the pan (just rested on top) to avoid burning the top while giving the cake more time to bake in the oven.” That advice is from member Red, who baked the cake for 65 minutes before a knife inserted near the center came out clean.
An anonymous member advised about folding in the egg whites: “The trick is not to overfold the egg whites into the rest of the batter,” they said. “There should still be lumps. Not huge chunks of meringue. But lumps are perfect for the chemistry to work.”
Ingredient Tweaks From Allrecipes Readers
Being precise with ingredients will give you the best chance of having success with this cake. Still, some of our members have made tweaks and still found success. Here are some of their suggestions. Adding almond extract for a bit more flavor seemed the most common tweak.
Top the cake with strawberries, another anonymous member suggested.
“I tripled the vanilla (because I like the flavor). Next time I might try adding some lemon or coconut,” advised member pamsterkin.
Member missm1369 added a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and topped it with fresh whipped cream mixed with brown sugar and a little bourbon. They also made it with gluten-free baking flour and said it turned out great.
Whether you take some of these suggestions or make this cake as-is, you’re sure to be delighted by this “magic” cake that seems to—but really doesn’t— defy the laws of baking.
Read the original article on All Recipes.