As part of an ongoing mission to determine whether viral Internet food trends actually deliver on their promises, we’ve taken to testing a variety of strange creations (here’s looking at you, two-ingredient Nutella brownies). So we were pleasantly surprised when the 3-layer “magic” cake turned out to be incredibly easy—just 6 ingredients!—and downright delicious.
The magic happens when the cake batter separates into three distinct layers in the oven. Thanks to a low oven temperature (325°F), the liquid-y batter settles into a thick, fudgy bottom layer and a custard center. The whipped egg whites, which are folded into the batter just before baking, rise to the top to form the layer of delicate sponge cake.
Because the order and preparation of ingredients are crucial to success, be sure to separate your eggs cleanly—that means no yolk bits in your egg whites—and beat the whites in a clean, dry bowl (metal or copper is best).
When folding the egg whites into the batter, don’t over-mix. In fact, the egg whites should make the batter quite lumpy. Finally, let the cake cool down completely before slicing it, which allows the custard to firm up so it’s easy to serve.
Once you’ve mastered the basic magic cake recipe (we tried this one), feel free to experiment with seasonal flavors and add-ins. See our favorites below!