How to Make Chocolate Magic Cake

One batter, two bowls, three layers: Now that's what we call magic—chocolate magic cake, that is!

You asked, and we were only too happy to oblige. Spurred by everyone’s resounding love for the original magic cake recipe, we’re sharing an equally delicious, decadent and easy chocolate magic cake.

If you’re new to the magic cake craze, this simple recipe creates a 3-layer cake from a single batter. The bottom layer is a decadent fudge, the middle layer is a light custard cream, and the top layer is an airy sponge cake created from fluffy, whipped egg whites.

Keep reading for all the magical details.

Chocolate Magic Cake Recipe

This recipe yields 9 servings using an 8×8-inch pan.


Chocolate Magic Cake ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (113g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (60g)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (40g)
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature (500ml)
  • Fresh berries and additional cocoa powder, optional for serving


Step 1: Prep and separate

Chocolate Magic Cake separated eggsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Then, grease and line an 8×8-in. baking pan with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to overhang slightly to make removing the cake after baking a breeze.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in one large bowl and the egg whites in another clean, dry bowl.

Step 2: Beat

Chocolate Magic Cake beaten eggsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks, and beat on medium-high until smooth and pale in color.

Step 3: Combine

Chocolate Magic Cake mixLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

While mixing on low, drizzle in the melted butter along with the vanilla (here are our favorite vanilla brands), espresso powder and salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated.

Step 4: Add dry ingredients

Chocolate Magic Cake dry ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Using a rubber spatula, stir the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture. Mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides as needed.

Step 5: Add the milk

Chocolate Magic Cake Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Next, gradually add the milk to the chocolate mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating until the batter is well combined and uniform in color. Set aside.

Step 6: Whip

Chocolate Magic Cake whipped egg whitesLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Take care not to under- or over-whip your egg whites.

Step 7: Fold

Chocolate Magic Cake folded togetherLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter. Mix with a gentle hand, so you don’t deflate the egg whites. The final batter should be thin, with distinct lumps of egg whites still visible throughout. Do not mix until smooth, or the layers will not form correctly.

Step 8: Bake

Chocolate Magic Cake ready to bakeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and the center jiggles slightly when shaken gently.

Step 9: Cool

Chocolate Magic CakeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Leaving the cake in the oven, turn off the heat and crack the door to allow heat to escape. Let the cake remain in the oven for 4-6 minutes, then remove and let it cool at room temperature completely, about 60 minutes. Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours.

Editor’s Tip: Allowing a magic cake to begin cooling in the oven with the door ajar will help keep the top layer of “cake” tall, light and fluffy. While the cake will still deflate a bit as it cools, this handy trick is the secret to achieving three perfectly defined magic cake layers.

Step 10: Slice and serve

Chocolate Magic Cake sliceLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Remove the cake from the fridge and then carefully lift it from the pan, using the overhanging parchment paper as handles. Slice into squares and garnish with cocoa powder (or powdered sugar) and fresh berries, if desired. Enjoy!

Tips for Making Magic Cake

Try these helpful tips and tricks to make the best chocolate magic cake every time.

Don’t Skip the Espresso Powder

While the espresso powder is optional, we strongly encourage you to include it. The espresso powder does not impart a coffee flavor. Rather, it intensifies the chocolate taste of the dessert for maximum decadence.

Stabilize Your Egg Whites

Adding up to 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to your egg whites before whipping them will help stabilize them (like when making meringue). This makes whipping them to stiff peaks easier and ensures they get maximum loft for the fluffiest top layer of magic cake possible.

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

To get three perfect layers, it is important to use room-temperature milk, eggs and melted butter. If these ingredients are too hot or too cold while mixing the batter, the eggs may start to curdle, or the butter could solidify, which will negatively impact the magic cake in the oven.

Adjust the Bake Time to Suit Your Oven

Not all ovens are created equally. While our chocolate magic cake was ready in roughly 45 minutes, some ovens may require the cake to be baked for up to 60 minutes. Start checking your cake for doneness around the 40-minute mark. This cake can be a bit finicky to get right the first time—but we just like to think that’s part of the magic. (You can also invest in an affordable oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is accurate.)

Try Magic Cake Cold and at Room Temperature

The magic doesn’t stop here, friends. An added bonus to chocolate magic cake is that it takes on different textures depending on how you serve it. Served chilled, the entire dessert is dense and fudgy. Served at room temperature, the cake is lighter, and the custard is creamier. Learn which way you like it best by trying it both ways.

Try our Lemon Magic Cake recipe next.

Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.