Though simple and unassuming at first glance, this cake-custard pie hybrid actually harbors a delicious secret. It cuts open to reveal three different layers: a dense, chewy crust on the bottom; soft, creamy custard in the middle and delicate, fluffy sponge cake on top. 

Another dirtier secret remains privy to the baker (that’s you!). The cake’s batter magically separates into these three layers in the oven — no assembly required.

Fool your friends into thinking that you slaved over a hot oven baking each individual layer, toiled over the stove cooking the perfect custard filling and spent hours meticulously assembling the three into one seamless dessert.

Then, while they’re busy marveling over your extraordinary baking prowess, slip away and cut yourself another slice (or two).

3-Layer Magic Cake

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:1 hour
  • Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings:9
  • Medium


  • 4 eggs (separated), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup milk, lukewarm
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.

  • Step 2

    In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.

  • Step 3

    In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.

  • Step 4

    Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the egg yolk mixture and beat until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Mix in the flour until fully incorporated.

  • Step 6

    Slowly beat in the milk until fully incorporated.

  • Step 7

    Gently fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. The batter will be very thin and slightly lumpy. Don’t freak out.

  • Step 8

    Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 40-60 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

  • Step 9

    Cool completely before serving, topped with powdered sugar (if desired).

  • Step 10