Chocolate Magic Custard Cake transforms into 3 layers of decadence with just one batter! Poured into a baking pan it bakes up separately into a fudgy bottom layer, custard middle and chocolate sponge cake top. Made with basic ingredients, it's easy to make super impressive too.
If you prefer gluten-free Chocolate Magic Custard Cake, I've got some exciting news for you. I tested the recipe with gluten-free flour, and it turned out absolutely fantastic. I've gone ahead and made updates to the post and recipe card below, including the gluten-free alternative. Enjoy!
For this cake, its important that all your ingredients are at room temperature. Get the eggs and milk out of the fridge at least an hour before baking.
However if you forgot to take the eggs and milk out of the fridge earlier, you can get it to room temperature within a few minutes.
- Here's how: Place the cold eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water, not boiling. Ensure that they are covered with the water. Within 10 minutes the eggs should reach room temperature.
- Seperate the eggs, yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
- Milk: Warm in the microwave for about 1 minute or on the stovetop, just until lukewarm, not hot, not boiling.
- Melted butter: You can use either salted or unsalted butter.
I use salted butter in this recipe plus I also scooped in an additional ½ teaspoon of salt to the egg whites.
If you are using unsalted butter: Then add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the flour and cocoa powder when sifting. Also add that ½ teaspoon of salt into the egg whites as well.
Melt the butter in the microwave or stovetop. You just want it to melt, not boil or bubble.
Remove it off the stove while it still has a few slightly solid pieces. Then stir, the heat in the pot will help melt the remaining solid pieces. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before using. The butter should only be slightly warm, not hot.
How to make Chocolate magic Custard cake
Here are step by step pictures so you can see what the batter at each stage should look like. The full printable recipe with amounts and instructions are at the end of this post.
- Separate the eggs. Yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
- Add sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl with the yolks. Beat until the mixture turns pale and creamy (about 4 to 5 minutes)
- Pour in the cooled melted butter and mix for 1 minute on low speed.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Beat or whisk to combine.
- Pour in the milk: Slowly pour in the milk while beating the mixture and until just combined.
Set the bowl aside.
- Preheat the oven now to 325°F / 170°C (150°C)if you are using a fan assisted oven)
- Egg white mixture: Rinse out and dry the whisk or beaters (if you were using for the yolk mixture) Beat the egg whites on medium speed for 1 minute. Then add in the sugar and salt. Continue beating for about 4 minutes.
When the beaters are lifted from the bowl, the whites should now form stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites past this stage. Or the result will be curdled egg whites.
- Combine mixture: Use a spatula to transfer the beaten egg whites to the yolk mixture. Fold the beaten whites (½ of the mixture at a time) gently into the yolk mixture with a spatula.
Don't worry if you see a few specks of egg white on the surface like this. Its fine. You don't want to overbeat it.
The mixture will look thin and quite runny as you pour it into the baking pan. This is also perfectly normal.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly before its baked, then shape foil into a dome and place it over the cake. It should not touch the batter.
- Check the cake at 40 minutes. The top of the cake should be firm to the touch. To make sure that its baked, very gently, shake the tin.
- There should be no movement of batter beneath the top of the cake. If there is, simply place it back into the oven, cover with foil (so that the top does not burn). Check on it every 5 minutes until firm.
- Once baked, turn the oven off. Open the oven door but leave the cake in the oven for 5 minutes. This prevents it from collapsing too harshly due to the sudden temperature change.
- Remove the cake from the oven, leave it in the pan to cool for 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate: Leave the cake in the pan and refrigerate for 1 hour, allowing the custard to set. cake will shrink down slightly as it cools and this is normal
- Remove the cake from the fridge, Sift cocoa powder or powdered sugar over the top if you like. Use the overhang of the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Then slice into portions and serve.
Frequently asked questions
Keep in mind that ovens bake differently. Some may bake a cake faster than others. Because my oven is really fast, it took between 40 to 45 minutes for this cake to be completely baked. It can take up to 60 minutes if your oven is slower.
Check the cake at 40 minutes. Then every 5 minutes after that. The top of the cake should be firm to the touch.
To make sure that its baked, very gently, shake the tin. There should be no movement of batter beneath the top of the cake. If there is, simply place it back into the oven, cover with foil (so that the top does not burn). Check on it every 5 minutes until firm.
When lining your baking pan, leave an overhang of parchment paper. This will make it easy for you to hold on to when lifting the cake from the pan once baked and cooled.
The slices can be enjoyed either cold straight out of the fridge or left to reach room temperature before serving. Eaten cold, the texture of the entire cake is firmer. At room temp, the texture of the cake is softer and the custard creamier.
Absolutely, just ensure you are using the correct gluten free ingredients:
It's extremely important for individuals with gluten allergies or gluten intolerance, to opt for brands that are officially certified as gluten-free.
Gluten free flour: I tested this recipe with Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour, and the outcome was great. This flour already has xanthan gum, so don't add any more or the cake might end up too dense.
If you go with a different brand, just read the packaging to make sure you're getting gluten-free baking flour that works well for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and brownies, and ideally has xanthan gum already added into it.
Although cocoa powder is naturally gluten free, there's a possibility of cross-contamination in the location where it was manufactured.
Check out the ingredients label to get allergen details. This step is essential for figuring out if a product might have been manufactured in a facility that handles other ingredients containing gluten.
If you're gluten intolerant, choose certified gluten-free brands.
How to store the baked cake
Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Serve cold or leave to warm to room temperature before serving.
Eaten cold, the texture of the entire cake is firmer. At room temp, the texture of the cake is softer and the custard creamier.
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