What Exactly Is In Magic Cake, Anyway?

Although it’s actually been around for a while, “magic cake” has recently resurfaced as the latest viral dessert sensation to capture the internet’s rapt attention. But what’s in magic cake, exactly? What ingredients allow this dessert to go into the oven as just one type of batter, but come out as a three-layer wonder? Interestingly, there really aren’t many surprises here — but then again, maybe that’s what’s so magical about the whole thing

The recipe for magic cake varies a little depending on who you ask; the list I've put together here was drawn primarily from that video from EMOJOIE CUISINE we spotted last week teaching us all how to actually make one, but regardless as to which recipe you look at, most seasoned bakers will probably know what to expect. The ingredients are primarily those which go into any regular ol’ cake: Eggs, sugar, a lipid (butter in this case), flour, and the other usual suspects are all present here. It turns out that it’s the amounts of each and the way you combine them all together that help them, well, work their magic.

As Bustle’s Maddy Foley recently explained, baking is science. The fact that magic cake batter is both a little looser and baked at a lower temperature for slightly longer than your average fluffy cake batter is what really makes it all happen: It results in the mixture settling on the bottom of the pan as something dense and fudge-y, cooking in the center of the pan as something a little more custard-like, and then finishing off up top as a delightfully light sponge cake.

For the curious, though, here’s what you can expect to go into your typical magic cake. Check out the video below for the full instructions.

1. Egg Yolks

Three of ‘em. Separate your eggs to get them, but don’t just toss the whites — stick those in another bowl. You’ll need them later.

2. Water

One tablespoon. Add it to the yolks.

3. Sugar

90 grams, or a little less than half a cup. (According to this converter, 90 grams of sugar equals 0.45 cups.)

After you add those three ingredients to the bowl, whisk them together until they turn creamy and pale yellow.

4. Butter

90 grams of it again, melted. Slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the while.

5. Flour

Also 90 grams of it. (Seeing a theme here?) Sift it into the egg yolk mixture, then whisk it all together again.

6. Vanilla Extract

One teaspoon. (Also, yes, I am aware that this GIF features a bear eating vanilla ice cream, but you try finding a GIF that represents "vanilla extract." It's not as easy as you think.)

7. Salt

Just a pinch. Add both the vanilla and the salt and keep whisking.

8. Milk

375 ml, or about one and a half cups (1.58 cups, to be precise). Whisk, whisk, whisk.

9. Egg Whites

Remember those three egg whites you saved from earlier? Start whisking them in their own bowl until fluffy — they should “peak” when you lift your whisk out of the bowl. You could also use a mixer for this, if you want to save your arm some whisking. Then, add the egg whites to the rest of the batter and combine the two together.

10. Variations On The Theme

Interestingly, recipes actually vary for magic cake. This one, for example, uses different measurements of a number of key ingredients, along with the addition of four drops of white vinegar; this one uses boxed cake mix as its base and employs a few additional tricks to make the bottom layer into something resembling pumpkin pie; this one includes cocoa powder for a chocolate variation; and this one adds berries, because berries make everything better.

And that’s really all there is to it! Go ahead. Make it for your next pot luck. Everyone will be incredibly impressed — and you can still truthfully say, “Oh, this? I just whipped it up in a few minutes. It was nothing.”

Images: EMOJOIE CUISINE/YouTube; Giphy (10)