Magic Pandan Custard Cake – Recipe

Whoever invented magic cake was a genius. Seriously, a cake that separates into a sponge, custard and kueh layer in the oven? Amazing.

Magic custard cake seems to work in the same way as impossible pie, with the heavy flour in the mixture sinking to the bottom to create a dense, pudding-y 'crust', the lighter coconut (or in the case of magic cake the whipped egg whites) floating to the top, and the rest of the batter becoming a rich custard in the middle. Yes, please.

Of course I had to start the new year off with something brightly coloured, and what better way to pair a custardy dessert than with green pandan extract?

There are many recipes on the interweb for magic cake- here is my take on it, using a few duck eggs for extra richness (and a regular chicken egg just in case the custard became too firm from all that extra protein from the duck eggs). Be wary though- duck eggs are a little bit more tricky to separate than chicken eggs as they're a bit structurally tougher inside. Be careful not to get any yolk in those whites! Also, don't be tempted to use a loose bottomed or springform pan for this recipe- the cake batter it far too runny and will just end up escaping.


-130g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
-500ml milk
-3 duck eggs + 1 chicken egg, yolks and whites separated (or 5 chicken eggs if you can't get duck eggs)
-115g plain flour
-30g + 125g caster sugar (each used at different stages of the recipe)
-2tsp pandan paste/ extract (good old regular vanilla is also good)
-Pinch of salt


1) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line and grease an 8x8" square baking tin, giving some overlap with the baking paper to make lifting the cake out easier later

2) Make a meringue mixture by whipping up the egg whites in a large bowl, whisking until they form stiff peaks, then thoroughly whisking in 30g of sugar

3) Add the pandan flavouring and whisk well

4) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 125g caster sugar until pale and fluffy (the mixture will form a thick trail when you lift the whisk up)

5) Whisk in the cooled melted butter, and swap your electric whisk for a balloon whisk: now gently fold in the flour and salt, and gradually whisk in the milk

6) Pour this liquid slowly into you green meringue mixture and gently incorporate using large folding movements with your balloon whisk

7) Pour the batter into the tin (don't worry when it reaches near the top, this cake won't rise too much), and bake for about 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and puffy

8) Let cool to room temperature (it'll deflate a bit but don't worry), and refrigerate for four hours to make sure the custard is well chilled and set

9) Lift the cake out of the pan and trim off the edges so each slice is even and pretty on all sides

10) Dust with icing sugar, slice into 9 squares and enjoy!

Look at how lovely and sharp my pictures are with my new camera. <3 Mostly. A few are a little blurry because I forgot to get the tripod out and I don't have the steadiest of hands! I was hoping to post this on my new computer but, alas, transferring everything from A to B has already taken me nearly all day today and my new computer still isn't quite ready- so I'll have to upload the images to this machine and remember to transfer them over tomorrow with everything else.


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