Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Magic Cake (No Butter or Oil)

This magic cake is a fun and unique cake to make. The cake is made with just 4 ingredients and doesn’t require butter or oil. You only need to make one cake batter but it magically becomes a 3 layer cake when it is done baking. There is a light sponge cake on top, a creamy filling in the middle, and a firm flan layer on the bottom.
a slice of magic cake.

This is my favorite cake to make right now. It is such a delicious and fun cake to serve to friends and family. I made this cake in many different flavors a few years ago. This version I’m sharing is actually a simpler version with fewer ingredients. The batter only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Milk

Eggs: The egg yolks and whites will need to be separated. The egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks and folded in which is what creates the structure for the cake.

Flour: This recipe uses regular all-purpose flour.

Sugar: This cake is sweetened with regular granulated white sugar.

Milk: I used 1% low fat milk. Other milks and dairy milk alternatives should work.

Normally magic cake also contains butter and vanilla and sometimes a few other ingredients depending on the recipe. I found that the cake still turned out well without butter or oil. I also was able to achieve a much thicker and fluffier sponge layer by eliminating the butter. And you can add vanilla for more flavor but it is great even without it.

What is Magic Cake

Magic cake is a French dessert known as gâteau magique. It is a cake that forms three layers when baking: a sponge cake on top, a cream layer in the middle and a custard/flan on the bottom. The cake became quite popular a few years ago in the US.

The cake can be eaten the same day it is baked or served chilled the day after. If you eat the cake soon after it is baked, the layers are as described above. If you eat the cake cold or the next day, the bottom two layers become more firm. The cream layer becomes a creamy thick custard. And the flan layer becomes firmer, almost like a pie crust.
a piece of cake with the rest of the cake in the background.

How to Make Magic Cake

The egg yolks, flour, sugar and part of the milk are added together and beaten with an electric mixer until smooth. Once you have a smooth batter you add in the rest of the milk.

The egg whites are beaten separately until stiff peaks form. They are then folded into the batter. The batter is then poured into a square cake pan and ready to go in the oven to be baked.
a slice of magic cake on a small white plate.

More Unique Cake Recipes

4 Ingredient Magic Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
This magic cake is very unique. It only requires 4 ingredients to make the batter. When the cake bakes, it separates into three different layers. It is a delicious and fun cake to serve to family and friends.
4.74 from 23 votes

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, separated straight from fridge
  • 3/4 cup (96 g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (148 g) granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups (16 oz) low fat milk I used 1%

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, add egg yolks, flour, sugar and 1/2 cup (4 oz) of milk. (Make sure to only add 1/2 cup right now. If you add all of the milk you will not be able to mix your batter.) Beat on high speed until batter is smooth and no flour lumps remain. Once batter is smooth, add in remaining milk (1 1/2 cups). Reduce speed on mixer and mix until milk is incorporated into the batter. Your batter will be very thin.
  • In a separate clean mixing bowl, add egg whites. Beat egg whites on highest speed until stiff peaks form. Your mixing bowl and mixer must be completely clean before adding and beating the egg whites, otherwise the egg whites will not turn into stiff peaks. See notes section for more tips on beating egg whites.
  • Gently stir and fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter with a spatula. Because the cake batter is so thin, you do need to swirl and fold to make sure the egg whites are fully incorporated. Make sure to fold all the way from the bottom of the bowl, otherwise the liquid batter at the bottom won't get fully mixed with the egg whites. Fold until no egg white streaks remain. Repeat with the next 1/3 and then final 1/3. For the final 1/3, you do not need to mix until no egg white streaks remain. It's fine to have some small lumps of egg whites in your batter. Your batter should look very light and airy.
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until cake is done (mine took 45 minutes). If you are unsure if your cake is done, it is better to bake a little longer (5 minutes or so) to make sure it is done so that your cake does not deflate. When the cake is done, a cake tester should come out clean. The top should be evenly browned. Let cake cool before removing and cutting. As the cake cools it will deflate a little around the sides. That is normal.
  • Cake can be served the same day it is baked or the next day. See notes for the difference in texture. If serving the same day, let cake for 1-2 hours before cutting and serving. If serving the next day, store cake in fridge overnight. Before serving cake, you can dust cake with powdered sugar.

Notes

  • Make sure you don't beat your egg whites until after the rest of your cake batter is ready. You need to fold them in immediately.
  • In order to get your egg whites to reach stiff peaks, you need to make sure your mixing bowl and beater are completely clean. I used the stand mixer to mix the cake batter and a hand mixer for the egg whites. You can also do the reserve. If you are using a stand mixer to beat your egg whites, use the wire whisk attachment.
  • If you only have one mixer, make the cake batter first. Then pour your cake batter into a different bowl and thoroughly clean your beaters and mixing bowl before making the egg whites. Do not make the egg whites first.
  • The texture of the cake does change a little. When it is first baked, you have a light sponge on top, a cream filling in the middle and a firmer flan layer at the bottom. If you let the cake settle overnight, the bottom two layers firm up more. The middle layer becomes a creamy custard. The bottom layer becomes something like a pie crust. The cake can be served at room temperature or cold. Any uneaten leftovers should be stored in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 114kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 42mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, NET CARBS: 19g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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149 comments on “4 Ingredient Magic Cake (No Butter or Oil)”

  1. This turned out great!! Made it for my parents and they loved it.

  2. Wouldn’t cook so I was left with a raw cake, tried many times to cook it but failed, 1 star

    • We’re sorry you had trouble – are you sure you had the oven temperature set correctly? It sounds like either your oven wasn’t working right or you made a mistake with the ingredients, perhaps not enough flour or too much milk. As you can see by the comments left by others, the cake works. And this is the first time someone has complained about the cake not baking.

  3. I love the concept and flavor, not overly sweet.  The bottom layer is  chewy/ rubbery. What did I do to ‘create’ that? 

    • The bottom layer will firm up after the cake is chilled, but it shouldn’t be rubbery. It’s hard to say what might have happened – maybe it was overbaked?

  4. Loved this magic cake, added 1 tsp vanilla to the egg yoke mix. Will try again with lemon or almond flavor.

  5. NEVER NEVER USED 1% MILK ALWAYS USE WHOLE WOULD THAT STILL WORK HOPE SO AS I AM ANXIOUS TO TRY

  6. How much vanilla can I add to the recipe and when should it be added?

  7. One recipe I read said you needed a deep 8×8 pan. Is that the case? I have a standard 8×8 pan and really want to make this cake.

  8. this would be so nice with lemon flavour, can lemon juice be added somehow without the lemon curdling the milk?

  9. I need to make a dessert (9″x13″) for a potluck. Can the recipe be doubled and cooked in a large pan or better to make two different cakes?

    • We haven’t tried doubling the recipe. It may be difficult to do because of how liquidy the batter is already which could result in issues trying to incorporate the egg whites. Also, a 9×13 pan would result in a much thinner cake. Since the original is made in a 8 x 8, if you did make double, you’d want to make it in an 8 x 12.

  10. Can u freeze cake. Is your all purpose flour our plain flour. Want to try soon.

  11. Do you have to use the parchment paper in the pan? I found it to be a bit awkward.  Was also wondering if you could use extracts for flavoring?

    • We use parchment to make it easy to lift the cake out for slicing – you can grease the pan instead. Also, extracts would work well in this recipe!

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