I have seen magic cakes online for years and have always been intrigued.  There are magic cakes that are basically loose cake batters that bake into three distinct layers.  Or cakes, like this one, where the flan layer and the chocolate layer “magically” switch places during baking.  In any event, they are fun, rich, and extremely delicious.

My magic cake is gluten free.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for this recipe.  Bob’s flour makes my gluten free baking easy as the flour is a direct replacement for all-purpose baking flour.  Only one bag to buy and the flour gives beautiful results every time.

For this recipe, you will need a 12-cup Bundt or angel food non-stick cake pan, a large roasting pan, and a digital thermometer.  Plan ahead as cake must cool and set overnight.

This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Country.  I made a few adjustments which include making the cake gluten free.

Makes one large Bundt cake

Caramel Sauce

You will need 1/2 cup of sauce for the cake.  Refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.

1 cup (7 oz) brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 oz) half-and-half

4 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. (3 1/8 oz) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour

1/3 cup (1 oz) cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup (4 oz) buttermilk

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract


2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk

2 1/2 cups whole milk (do not substitute lowfat or other types of milk)

6 oz cream cheese

6 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel sauce: Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Add the vanilla and cook another minute. Turn off heat, cool slightly, and set aside.  This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups, you will need only 1/2 cup for the cake recipe.  Remaining sauce can be placed in covered jar and stored in refrigerator.  Use to pour over cake when serving.

Caramel layer
Chocolate cake layer

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees.  Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt or angel food pan.  Evenly pour warm caramel sauce into greased cake pan.  Combine gluten-free baking flour mixture, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Combine chopped chocolate and butter in large bowl and microwave at low power.  I like to cover the bowl just in case the butter “explodes” and makes a mess in the microwave.  Heat about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally until butter and chocolate mixture is fully melted and smooth.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Carefully pour batter over caramel mixture in cake pan.

For the flan: Process all flan ingredients in blender until smooth, about one minute.  Gently pour flan over cake batter in cake pan and place cake pan in roasting pan.  Place roasting pan on oven rack and pour warm water into roasting pan until the water level reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.  Bake until toothpick inserted into flan comes out clean or flan registers 180 degrees, 75-90 minutes.  Check often beginning at 75 minutes to avoid over baking.  Keep roast pan in oven and transfer cake pan to wire rack and let cool to room temperature about 2 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and place cake pan in refrigerator to allow to completely set overnight.  (Remove roast pan from oven until water has cooled.)

To remove cake from pan, place bottom half of  Bundt pan in hot water for one minute to loosen.  Invert on cake platter.  If cake does not come out the first time, place in hot water again for another minute.

To serve pour a little remaining caramel sauce over cake right before serving, if desired.