Gluten Free Vanilla Custard Magic Cake

Published on Sep 11, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

21 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 9
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Gluten Free Vanilla Custard Magic Cake, the simplest dessert recipe with extraordinary results. This is a vanilla three layer gluten free custard cake from a single batter. The base is a light creamy vanilla custard topped with a layer of spongy cake and finished with a super thin crust.

slice of vanilla magic custard cake

Finish this dessert with a light dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy it as a truly delicious dessert, or add it to your brunch spread for something new. And the best part is, it takes very little effort to make and I have included a dairy-free option.

What is gluten free vanilla custard magic cake?

This gluten-free vanilla dessert has three distinct layers that magically form during baking from a single batter. 

Custard Layer: 

At the bottom, you have a creamy, vanilla custard-like layer. This layer forms as the heaviest ingredients in the batter sink to the bottom during baking, creating a smooth and velvety custard layer.

Cake Layer: 

A soft and spongy cake layer develops in the middle as the batter bakes and sets. It’s lighter than the custard layer and provides a nice contrast in texture.

Top Layer: 

The top layer is a thin crust that forms from the remaining batter. It’s golden and adds a delightful texture to the dessert.

overview of 9 cake squares dusted with powdered sugar

FAQs about Gluten Free Vanilla Custard Magic Cake:


Can I make Vanilla Custard Magic Cake dairy-free?

You can make a dairy-free version by substituting dairy milk and butter with non-dairy alternatives like almond or rice milk and vegan butter. I don’t recommend using coconut milk or coconut oil.

How do I store Vanilla Custard Magic Cake?

Store it in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, or in an airtight container. It’s best consumed within five days.

Can I freeze gluten free Vanilla Custard Magic Cake?

This cake does not freeze well. I don’t recommend it because the texture will change.

Why is my Vanilla Custard Magic Cake not setting properly?

If the custard layer doesn’t set, it may be due to underbaking. Ensure you bake it long enough until the top is lightly golden and the cake is set. Also, make sure your oven temperature is accurate.

Can I make variations of Vanilla Custard Magic Cake with other flavors?

You can experiment with different flavors by adding ingredients like cocoa powder for a chocolate version, maple extract for a maple flavor, and all-spice for a holiday dessert.

Can I make it ahead of time?

You can make it a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. It often tastes better the next day and will keep up to 5 days when refrigerated.

Can I use a different size of baking dish for this cake?

You can use a different size baking dish, but the thickness of the layers may vary, and you will need to adjust the baking time accordingly.

whipped egg whites on a whisk

Why should you add a pinch of salt to egg whites when whipping them up?

Salt helps to stabilize the foam created when beating egg whites. Egg whites are primarily composed of water and proteins. When you beat them, you incorporate air and create a foam structure.

Salt interacts with the proteins in the egg whites, causing them to unfold. This helps trap air bubbles within the foam, making it less likely to collapse. As a result, your whipped egg whites will hold their shape better.

Please note that you only need a small amount of salt when whipping egg whites, typically just a pinch or a small amount for each egg white. Adding too much salt can have the opposite effect and potentially interfere with the formation of the foam, so it’s important not to overdo it.

cross section of vanilla custard magic cake

Tips for making the best vanilla custard magic cake

Gluten free Vanilla Custard Magic Cake is a super easy recipe. Here are some tips for making the best Vanilla Custard Magic Cake:

 Use Quality Ingredients: 

Use fresh, high-quality ingredients, including fresh eggs, good-quality vanilla extract, and fresh milk. The quality of your ingredients will significantly impact the flavor and texture of the cake.

Accurate measurements

For best results, weigh the flour using a kitchen scale. But if you don’t have a scale, fill your measuring cup with a spoon and level off with a knife. Make sure all the other ingredients are measured precisely. No guessing in this recipe.

Separate Eggs Properly: 

When separating the egg yolks from the egg whites, ensure that no specks of yolk get into the whites. Even a small amount of yolk can hinder the whipping of the egg whites.

Temperature Of Ingredients: 

Ensure your eggs are at room temperature and the milk is lukewarm. Cold ingredients can cause the melted butter to solidify and affect the batter’s consistency.

Whip the Egg Whites Correctly:

Use clean, dry beaters and a dry bowl when beating the egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form, but be careful not to overbeat, as this can affect the texture.

Gradual Folding: 

Do it gently and gradually when folding the whipped egg whites into the thin batter. Fold a small portion of the egg whites into the batter first to lighten it, then fold in the rest in stages. Be gentle to avoid deflating the egg whites.

Precise Baking Time:

Bake the cake until it’s just set. The top should be lightly golden and spongy. Overbaking can result in a drier cake.

Cool and Set: 

Allow the cake to cool completely in the baking dish before transferring it to the refrigerator. This cooling and setting process is crucial for the custard layer to develop fully.

Chill Before Serving: 

Let the Vanilla Custard Magic Cake chill for a few hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the custard layer to set properly.

Sharp Knife for Cutting: 

When cutting the cake, use a sharp knife. This will help you achieve clean and neat slices.

a bite taken out of a vanilla custard magic cake

Serving suggestions for Vanilla Custard Magic Cake

This dessert should be served chilled. You can do it plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra indulgence.

If you love custard desserts, you will LOVE is the Gluten and Dairy Free Coconut Crème Brûlée or the Gluten-Free Boston Cream Pie.

close up of vanilla custard magic cake

Why is it called magic cake?

The “magic” in the name comes from the surprising transformation of a single batter into these three distinct layers. The flavor is typically dominated by vanilla, and it’s a stunning dessert that won’t disappoint!

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Laura, I would add 1/3 cup of pure cocoa powder to the eggs, sugar and vanilla mixture. I would not add any more vanilla.

Laura Baum

How much cocoa powder and vanilla extract to add to make this cake chocolate?


yes Sonia, but please add 2 extra tablespoons of flour


Can this be made with normal flour as I am not a celiac


plain Hannah.


I am in the Uk is the flour plain or self raising ?


Did you use 1 cup or 3/4 cup like I did? But I agree, I often make it with just with 1/2 cup. Thank you

Magic Sponger

Really nice but too sweet for my taste. I’d halve the sugar


Rania, pure maple syrup, or honey are liquid sweeteners, while sugar is a dry ingredient, so they have different properties in recipes. Without testing, I don’t know if it will work. If I were to replace the sugar, I would use 2/3 cup of pure maple syrup for 1 cup of sugar. Please let us know how the cake turns out if you replace the sugar with liquid sweetener. Thank you


Lou, I have not tested this recipe with cornflour. However, it may work. If you try this recipe with cornflour, please let us know how the cake turned out. Thank you


Can I use maple syrup or honey in place of the sugar ?


Could this be made with cornflour ?


Karen, I don’t think it will work with aquafaba. However, if you make it using aquafaba please let us know how it turns out. Thank you

Karen Bishop

You could perhaps substitute the egg whites with aquafaba?


Lisa, yes it should work. However, we have not tested it with stevia.


Jennifer, approximately 300 calories per slice, but we don’t guarantee accuracy.


Aileen, I am sorry, the eggs are very important to form the custard layer :-(


Any chance this could be made vegan/no eggs as well as no dairy?


Do you know how many calories a serving is? Did I miss it? This was amazing! Thank you for sharing!


Could I replace the sugar with stevia?


A winner dessert, I didn’t think it would turn out this good!!!!


yes Brittnie, the egg whites are folded into the batter at the very end


So we are using two separate bowls? One for egg yoke mixer and one for egg white? Then combine at the very end?


enjoy Jenna!


Thank you for sharing this wonderful easy dessert recipe. Couldn’t stop eating it. My family LOVED IT! Will make it again, probably today lol


Now I know why this dessert is called magic. It is super easy to make and omg soooo good!

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