Chocolate Souffle Custard Cake, a.k.a. Chocolate Magic Cake

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So remember how last week I wouldn’t shut up about this Vanilla Souffle Custard Cake (a.k.a. “Magic Cake”) that I made, and then some of you tried making it right away and it was a total hit?

This week I made the chocolate version (AGAIN–yes, this is a repeat recipe, it’s that friggin’ good) and nobody else who tried it will shut up about it, either. So really, I’m just the messenger here, and all chocolate lovers in your life will thank you for it. Cue the Chocolate Souffle Custard Cake choirs!

For those of you who are wondering why this recipe is called “Chocolate Magic Cake,” let me sum it up for you: one simple batter -> pan -> magic happens in oven -> three-layered dessert. Cake on the bottom, creamy chocolate custard in the middle, and a pillowy chocolate souffle on top! If that isn’t science magic, I really don’t know what is.

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This Chocolate Magic Cake, which I also adapted from the wonderful Jo Cooks, holds a particularly dear spot in my recipe file. The first time I made it, I shared it at a friend’s farewell party before she left the States and headed home for Spain. The second time was this past weekend, when a huge group of us gathered for a Friendsgiving party filled with dance battles, a wooden table groaning under dessert dishes, and one very boozed-up Mannequin challenge. And now I’m making it for our Thanksgiving family dinner, alongside the original Magic Cake that will forevermore remain in my top 10 favorite desserts.

What makes each of these experiences so beautiful for me (besides the obvious fact that they involve a chocolate dessert!) are the incredibly mixed feelings of love that I associate with them. I miss the old days when I would bake the same recipe over and over again because it was a significant other’s or close friend’s favorite dessert everbut sharing this single cake with so many amazing people in my life recently has been a whole new kind of blessing: it has been a reminder to me that as we grow older, we continue to love in new and even bigger ways than we ever imagined possible when we were young. Once I graduate, I know that I will also miss the days when friends lived just a phone call and two blocks away, with a freshly-baked cake waiting on my stovetop for their arrival. All the same, I have no doubt that we’ll keep learning to open up our hearts and reach out to each other even as our lives drift, and not only during the holiday seasons.

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For now, though, I’m sending all of my love to each and every one of you and your families this Thanksgiving! Served, of course, with a side of this magical chocolate cake.

What will you be bringing to the table this Thanksgiving?


Chocolate Souffle Custard Cake, a.k.a. Chocolate Magic Cake

Chocolate Souffle Custard Cake, a.k.a. Chocolate Magic Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This vanilla souffle custard cake really is magic! One easy-to-make batter bakes into three layers in the oven: a chocolate cake base, a creamy chocolate custard middle, and an unbelievably airy chocolate souffle on top. Best of all, it's so elegant and delicious that everyone will want the recipe, especially the chocolate lovers in your life! Recipe slightly adapted from Jojo Cooks.


  • 4 eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a metal bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds, then add 1 tablespoon white sugar and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, use hand mixer to beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and butter; continue mixing for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Fold in flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly beat in milk until completely incorporated.
  6. Gently fold egg whites (1/3 at a time) into batter. Note: this will seem extremely difficult to do gently since your egg whites will float around in the batter as you fold. Don't worry: you should still see some white bits in the batter when you're finished. Be sure not to whisk the egg whites, since doing so will deflate your cake.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-55 minutes in preheated oven, or until custard layer has set and the center of the pan jiggles only slightly when shaken.
  8. Serve warm or allow to chill overnight for at least 6 hours before dusting with powdered sugar and serving. Store leftovers in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator.


19 Replies to “Chocolate Souffle Custard Cake, a.k.a. Chocolate Magic Cake”

  1. I first heard of and tried this magic cake at z friends house. She didn’t have much success and wanted me to try it to see if it was any good or where she went wrong.
    I told her I would try making it. Uuuhh… still haven’t made it! Terrible friend, I know
    But you have made a strong case for it! It look great and easy. I’ll give it a try here soon!
    Thanks for the reminder 🙂


    1. hahaha please do! I don’t think your friend will have any more doubts after you show her the results 😀

  2. chocolate souffle is the best (have you had the one from roy’s? that’s the only reason i go there), so it’s completely justified to make (and post!) a chocolate magic cake, even though you just did a vanilla version (; i’m making mashed potatoes and an apple cranberry cake for thanksgiving!

    1. No, where is Roy’s and how do I get myself a slice of this deliciousness??? Also, your Thanksgiving menu sounds AWESOME!

  3. Now for the big decision. Which to make first?????! They BOTH look amazing!!!

    1. If you have chocolate lovers in the house (which I recall you do!), you should totally go for this version 😉 but I’m more of a vanilla gal myself, so if it’s for you and that’s more your speed–then that one, definitely!!

  4. Given your Harry Potter love, I’m not at all surprised all your recipes are becoming magical. 🙂

    1. hehe next up should be a magical recipe for treacle tart, right? 😉

  5. Oh yes she says this end!!! yes to both, but this one does look pretty magical to me. The pics are beautiful, mouth wateringly so & if I had a kitchen on this island, I’d be ready to give this one a good go.

    1. ohh I forgot about your island kitchen-lessness! If you were here, I’d share both with you in a heartbeat!

  6. Chocolate magic! Just perfect for friends and family, who are the best kind of magic. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. xo

    1. Same to you, Kate! <3

  7. They both look perfect and seriously magical! I’ll take one of each 🙂 Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. hehe happy Thanksgiving, Kelly! xo

  8. Holy moly! This chocolate cake look fabulous. I gotta make it to fix my chocolate addiction!

    1. yes. oh yes indeed-y you do, Denise! I hope you love it when you do! xo

  9. OH JEBUS THIS IS PERFECTION. I need this in my life. Now. It seriously looks like it has the best texture ever.

    1. It IS kind of the most amazing texture ever, not gonna lie!!

  10. This cake looks like it would just melt in your mouth!!! Fabulously smooth texture and I bet the flavor is awesome!

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