Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (2024)

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Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (2)

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Layers of creamy custard cake on top and soft custard on the bottom. All the flavors of a real gingerbread loaf cake, but made like a magic cake.

To recipe

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (3)

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (4)

Recipe insights & TIPS

This will be my fourth version of the magic cake. Ever since I saw itI made a vow to turn anything (well, almost anything) I could into some kind of magic cake. Since we're almost into gingerbread season, I thought that this would be a great addition to the list.

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (5)

Gingerbread has always been a favorite for me. My mom would bake three or four loaves at a time, and there was always one in the cake tin when I opened it. I'd cut a thick slice and slather it with butter. Back home we use treacle in the recipe, which is the same as molasses here in the U.S., and it tastes very rich and dark like a 90% chocolate bar. I also remember eating it by the spoon straight from the container when I was little - no wonder I love molasses!

I'll be baking more of the traditional gingerbread soon, but for now I wanted to try the flavors in this magic cake.It's hard to describe this cake, but if you've never heard of it here's the skinny: Eggs yolks beaten with sugar are mixed with whipped egg whites to create a runny, curd-like batter. As it bakes in the oven the layers separate, and you end up with a cakey top layer and a custard-flan kind of base. I suppose it would belong to the brownie family if you had to categorize it.

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (6)

Magic cake should be stored in the refrigerator, but it's best eaten at room temperature to let those bottom layers get back to being soft and gooey.

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (7)

Adapted from White On Rice Couple,

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (8)

Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (9)


Gingerbread magic cake is really magic




55 minutes

Total TIME:

75 minutes




20 minutes




  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 cups milk (slightly warmed)
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredient Swaps


  1. Grease an 8 x 8 brownie pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter. Add the molasses to the warm milk and stir until it dissolves.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until light and fluffy. While this is mixing, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks.
  4. Add the melted butter and tablespoon of water to the beaten egg and sugar. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and the spices until well combined. On low speed add the milk and vanilla.
  6. Fold in the egg whites 1/2 at a time making sure there are no large lumps.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until the cake is a dark brown on top and the center is not jiggly.


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Gingerbread Magic Cake Bars Recipe - Foodness Gracious (2024)


Why does magic cake separate? ›

What looks like magic is science—chemistry, to be exact. Baking at a lower temperature than most cakes (325 degrees F or 163 degrees C) causes the batter to separate into three layers of varying texture and density. The bottom layer is like a traditional, very moist cake. The middle layer is custard-like.

Why does wacky cake work? ›

Yet, despite these 'wacky' differences, the cake is a delicious dessert. Why does wacky cake work? An eggless cake batter relies on the gluten structure of the flour and the lift provided by vinegar and baking soda.

How do you fix a separated cake mix? ›

Curdled cake batter

If this happens, place your mixing bowl over a saucepan of hot tap water for a few minutes. This will help warm all the ingredients through. You can then try to beat the mixture again. Another fix for a curdled mix is to add a tablespoon of flour, stirring in until the batter emulsifies again.

How do you keep cake batter from splitting? ›

The ultimate way to prevent your cake batter from breaking is to bring all of your ingredients to room temperature. This is why recipes specify “room temperature” in the ingredient list. A good rule of thumb is to take all of your ingredients out of the fridge one hour before you plan to prepare the cake batter.

Why is it called depression cake? ›

Depression Cake, also known as Wacky Cake or War Cake (among other names), originated in the Great Depression. It is a cake made without milk, eggs, or butter. These were all ingredients that were hard to come by during the Great Depression and at wartime.

What is a goofy cake? ›

Rich chocolate cake coated in thick chocolate ganache. Delicious decadence in every mouthful.

What is the dumb cake ritual? ›

The ritual of Dumb Cake was associated with several dates like Hallowe'en, Christmas Eve, the Eve of St Agnes (20 January), St Mark's Eve (24 April), and Midsummer Eve. It was believed that baking the cake on these days would help unmarried women find their desired partner by decoding the initials of their name.

What happens if my cake mixture splits? ›

The good news is, while curdled batter is certainly a cake-baking problem, it can still be baked and produce a cake. But the crumb or texture of that cake will be uneven because the fat isn't dispersed evenly throughout the batter. You might find pockets of cake that seem dry or others that seem slightly gummy.

Why did my fairy cakes collapse? ›

Overbeating, Overmixing, or Undermixing Your Cake Batter

Too much air and your cake will collapse because it simply can't hold onto all that air. Overbeating can add too much additional air and/or large air bubbles which the cake can't support, causing it to collapse in the oven.

Why do my cakes rise and split? ›

1. My cake has peaked in the middle and is cracked. This happens when a/ there's too much raising agent, b/ the cake tin's too small or c/ the oven temperature is too high.

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