Nutella Magic Custard Cake
I’m completely in love with magic cake.

Magic Cake has been really popular on food blogs lately. It’s called “magic cake” because it magically becomes a three layer cake during the baking process.

Nutella Magic Custard Cake
The top layer is a soft cake. The middle layer is a silky custard. And the bottom is a dense crust.

I had the recipe bookmarked for a while. But every time I got around to it, I’d re-read the instructions and then I’d get lazy and put it off. It’s not a hard recipe, but you have to separate the eggs and that instruction always makes me super lazy.
Nutella Magic Custard Cake
Well, I finally got around to doing it this weekend, and I’m so glad I did. This is one seriously delicious dessert.

It also gave me a chance to try out my new OXO egg separator, which worked surprisingly well. I love that it just hangs off the mixing bowl.
OXO Egg Separator
There have been many variations on the dessert out there and I decided for my first one, I’d try making a Nutella one, modifying some of the recipes I came across. I worried it wouldn’t work with all my little tweaks, especially since my finished batter looked like this unappetizing lumpy mess.

There were definitely many steps along the way where I thought I had done something very wrong, but it ended up magically turning out beautifully.
Nutella Magic Custard Cake
I love how this cake came out. It even has three separate colors for the different layers. I was so busy admiring it that I only realized now that I didn’t decorate the cake slices with sugar or fruit. I still think it’s quite pretty on its own.

Nutella Magic Custard Cake

It’s pretty impressive to present this cake which takes less effort than a normal three layer cake. I would love to make this one again, especially to bring to a party. I already have a couple of other variations I want to try out.

Nutella Magic Custard Cake

Print Print Recipe

Nutella Magic Cake


1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
4 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon distilled vinegar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Nutella


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 8 x8 inch baking dish.

2. Whip the egg whites and vinegar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3. Melt butter and set aside to cool. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.

4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light in color. Beat in the melted butter and Nutella until smooth.

5. Mix in the flour on low speed into the batter until smooth. The batter will be very thick. By hand, whisk in the milk slowly about 1/2 cup at a time. By the time you finish, your batter will be very liquidy. If you have lumps in your batter, turn your mixer back on at low speed to beat out the lumps.

6. Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time, trying to mix in as much egg white as possible into the batter. The batter will be lumpy, with little bits of egg whites remaining. (See my photo above).

7. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. When you move the cake, it should shake slightly from the custard layer. If it moves too much, then the custard is not yet set. If you aren't sure if the cake is completely finished, insert a knife or toothpick and pry a little slit into a small section of the cake until you can see the custard layer to check.

8. Let cake cool completely (at least an hour) before cutting and serving.


27 Responses to “Nutella Magic Cake”

  1. Jinxi — April 9, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Oo that sounds super yummy! Also I wonder what the role of the vinegar is… (I’ve been reading too many science of cooking books haha)

    • Kirbie replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 10:36 am

      It’s to help keep the egg whites stiff.

  2. Dina — April 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    creative take on magic cake!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

      I was surprised no one had tried one yet that I came across. It was the first thought that came to my mind!

  3. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen — April 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, there are so few ingredients. Looks really yummy. I think its time I finally pick up some nutella (i’ve never bought it, but eaten it loads of times)

    • Kirbie replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

      Yes this cake isn’t very hard to make. It took me a while the first time since I never made it before and I questioned every step wondering if I did it right. But I’m pretty sure my second time will be a breeze now that I know.

  4. what katie's baking — April 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    i’m in love with the idea of magic cake, but i’ve been looking for a good recipe to start with. this looks fantastic! i’m going to bookmark it and hopefully make it asap!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

      I really enjoyed this one though I can’t wait to try out some other ones too

  5. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — April 10, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I’ve still never tried making magic cake, I think I need to get on that! Yours looks delicious, I love the idea of adding nutella!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:20 am

      Magic cake is very magical. definitely try it out =)

  6. Judy — April 14, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I’ve never even heard of Magic Cake. So quaint! I’ve heard of Dump Cake and Congo Bars but this really is something new to me. I really want to try this out now. I’m one of those rare people that never seem to make it to the bottom of a Nutella before the contents dry out on me. I’ve tossed many a Nutella jar out because it’s never finished before the Use-By date, maybe this Magic Bar recipe will give Nutella a new purpose in my kitchen.
    I always come to your blog for the best and most honest restaurant reviews and your very cool recipes.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 14th, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

      Aw, I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. I hadn’t heard of magic cake but then White On Rice Couple found a recipe and adapted it on their blog. And since they are such a big blog, it started spreading like crazy and I’ve seen maybe dozens of variations in a span of a few weeks. I have the exact opposite issue with Nutella! I am always coming up with finding way to incorporate Nutella into everything that I go through jars like crazy. I get panicked if I have less than 3 large jars at home and when I stock up on more my husband is constantly like “Didn’t you just buy some? Why are you buying so many?”

  7. Dru @ Teenage Cakeland — April 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I have wanted to try magic cake for the longest time! It must be heaven with Nutella :)

    • Kirbie replied: — April 14th, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

      Everything is better with Nutella in my opinion. =)

  8. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats — April 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Pinning this to try later! What a neat idea.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 8:22 am

      It’s definitely a fun cake to bring to a gathering!

  9. Brandy — April 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Okay, I’m a newbie when it comes to anything in the kitchen, but I thought I would give this recipe a try. (First my egg whites fell and separated and then I noticed that my flour was a year old past its expiration date…)

    Needless to say, my three layer magic cake turned into a tiny cake layer on the top and all custard on the bottom with a tiny cake crust on bottom. I was wondering what sort of flour does the magic cake require. All purpose or self-rising? My magic cake looks more like a beefy version of your Nutella Custard Pie where it lists all purpose flour.

    Thanks, and I will not give up. I’m just kicking a cocoa pebble in frustration down the dessert street.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 22nd, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

      This one uses all purpose. It sounds like you had it close, but it was just your egg whites. When the egg whites are beaten properly and mixed in, that is what gives that top cake layer. Good luck on your next attempt!

  10. Claire L — May 7, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Made this the other day and it turned out pretty well. Nice, subtle Nutella flavor and great texture. Strangely enough, though, it only had two layers: a very fluffy cake layer and an incredibly creamy custard one below. I liked it, but thought it was odd that the third layer never formed. The custard might have been a bit thicker at the bottom, but nothing else. I followed the recipe exactly (other than that I halved everything and made it in a loaf pan). What do you think might have gone wrong?
    I made a half a recipe with some crunchy Trader Joe’s cookie butter, but I couldn’t taste the cookie butter flavor at all. I think I’ll stick to Nutella. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kirbie replied: — May 7th, 2013 @ 11:05 am

      Hmm, that is strange. Usually people have problems getting the cake layer but not the bottom crust layer. I’m not quite sure how that happened.

  11. Kris — May 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Hi what a great idea…question what is all purpose flour – self raising or plain or something different? Also can white vinegar be used instead of distill? I use white when I am making pavlova s.?

    • Kirbie replied: — May 9th, 2013 @ 8:19 am

      plain flour. and yes, I think white table vinegar should work.

  12. Albmaine — May 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Unable to get Nutella where I live – what can I use as a substitute?

    • Kirbie replied: — May 9th, 2013 @ 8:19 am

      You can make a chocolate version or a vanilla.

  13. Cheri — August 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

    i tried this thing. It tasted like a uber-moist cake and ( It was cupcake shaped) in the middle it had a glop of some chocolatey stuff, and the base tasted A LOT like a chocolate cheescake base.
    Just wondering what it was.
    It was

  14. Cheri — August 15, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I just made this. I filled my tin right to the top. Will it overflow?

    • Kirbie replied: — August 15th, 2013 @ 11:42 am

      Eek, yeah it might overflow!

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