What Is Chocoflan?, And Why Is It Called The Impossible Cake?

Just what is Chocoflan?  Chocoflan is a combination of chocolate cake on the bottom with a delicious flan on top.  It is also called the impossible cake because the layers magically change or switch when baking. 

An example when you are getting the cake ready to bake the first thing that goes in the pan is the caramel, then the cake mix, and lastly the flan mixture. When the cake finishes baking, magically the caramel is still on top, but the flan and cake mix layers switch with the flan on top and the cake on the bottom.

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Chocoflan

Chocoflan, pronounced choh-koh-flahn is a Mexican dessert, a combination of chocolate cake on the bottom and a delicious and lush flan on top. A sweet ending to birthdays and other special occasions and very popular in Mexico.

The Chocolate Cake Layer

In my research and looking at many recipes several made a chocolate cake homemade using either cocoa or chocolate melted with butter and buttermilk.  If you have read any of my articles then you know I like the easy way.  I used a triple fudge chocolate cake mix like this one in my chocoflan.

The Flan Layer

Flan has a very rich history.  Did you know know that the Spaniards brought flan to Mexico during the Spanish conquest and occupation? I didn’t but you and I know now. Since then flan has become a truly beloved dish among Mexicans in all regions of the country and most consider it a dessert.

What is Flan?  Flan is a baked custard dessert topped with caramel similar to the French crème caramel and is made using eggs, sweetened condensed milk, cream, or whole milk, plus flavorings such as vanilla.

The Caramel Topping

It is recommended to use  Cajeta is a thick, sweet caramel spread made from caramelized sugar and goat’s milk. You can also use dulce de leche which is also known as caramelized milk made by slowly heating sugar and milk over a period of several hours.

I did not know this when making my chocoflan, but you can make your own dulce de leche by simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water.  Cover the can with water by at least 2 inches and simmer for several hours. Make sure you watch the water level and add more water as needed.  Remove can from water and let the can come to room temperature, open and stir to completely combine the “dulce de leche”.

I didn’t have either on hand so I just used a jar of Smucker’s caramel topping. I do plan on making this chocoflan again using cajeta.  I couldn’t find it in any of my local grocery stores but I did find it on  Amazon so I ordered it and waiting for it to arrive. I am curious to see if there is a difference in taste. Maybe it will arrive and I have made the chocoflan before I finish writing this. Stay tuned.

The Impossible Cake

The reason Chocoflan is also called the impossible cake is that when it first goes in the oven with the flan on top and the chocolate cake batter on the bottom but comes out of the oven completely reversed, with the baked chocolate cake on the top and the cooked flan on the bottom. And then when you invert the cake on a plate, and there is the flan once again on top of the cake. The layers magically reverse.

Why does it do this? The cake is less dense than the flan. So the lighter cake layer rises and the denser flan layer sinks. The Chocoflan is baked in a water bath, which is essential to make the process occur.

Chocoflan Recipe

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box triple chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

Flan

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

1/4 cup of Cajeta, dulce de leche, or caramel topping of your choice

Directions

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. I have also heard that brushing the inside of the pan with butter helps to remove the cake from the pan after baking. Pour caramel into the bundt pan.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs together until combined. Pour cake mix on top of the caramel in the bundt pan.

In a blender add all flan ingredients and blend for at least 1 minute until blended well.  Pour flan contents slowly and evenly over cake content in the bundt pan.  To make this easier, pour the flan mixture slowly over a spoon while adding to the pan. Carefully place the bundt pan into a larger pan that will accommodate the bundt pan and 1 inch of boiling water.

With cooking spray, spray a piece of foil and place sprayed side down onto bundt pan, securely tighten the foil around the top of the pan.  Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 20 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place on a cooling rack and remove the foil.  Cool to room temperature for about 1 hour.  Then refrigerate, uncovered for at least 2 hours to eight hours.

To remove the cake from the pan, place a plate onto the pan and gently turn the plate and pan upside down.  You may have to jiggle it a little.

And there you have chocoflan or impossible cake. The flan layer will be on top with the chocolate cake on the bottom.

How Long Will Chocoflan Last In The Fridge?

Chocoflan will only last in the refrigerator for about 4 days.  But I’m sure it will not last that long.  If you like chocolate cake and flan, this delicious dessert will disappear quickly.

Final Thoughts

Sadly I am the only one in my household that likes this cake.  My husband doesn’t like chocolate. and he won’t even try the flan part. Sad sad sad.

My daughter came over the other day and she tried it.  Sadly, she didn’t care for it either.  She liked the chocolate cake part, but not the flan.  I think it was a texture thing for her.

I don’t know what is wrong with these people! I mean come on. It’s chocolate and flan. Two desserts in One.  In my book, that’s heaven.

I sure do hope that you enjoyed this article and you try to make this impossible cake. If you like chocolate and flan I don’t think you will be disappointed.

But on the off chance, you don’t like chocolate (heaven forbid) here is a dessert you may like.

Or maybe this one.

Sadly my cajeta hasn’t arrived yet. When it does and I have made another chocoflan, I will let you know regarding the difference in taste from using cajeta as opposed to the Smuckers caramel topping

Please leave me a comment below and let me know if you have tried this wonderful dessert or are at least thinking about it.

See you in the next one and as always

Have A Wonderful Day!

what is chocoflan?

Update

I am so excited. My cajeta caramel arrived today. August 25, 2021

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