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Chocolate Flan Cake

by on September 23, 2006 · 48 comments

For an “Ooohs and Ahs” cake, try this one. It looks complicated, but it is incredibly simple.

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When I poured the flan batter over the chocolate, Fuzz said it looked like “Alligators in a Swamp”. ….

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…but when I flipped it out she said “Wow”. So did Todd.

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Todd and I don’t really like flan. Maybe this cake will change that. I haven’t chilled it yet, so I’ll give you a full review tomorrow.

 

Chocolate Flan Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chocolate Flan Cake
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 11 ounces caramel topping, softened or at room temp
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese -- softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with flour-added cooking spray or grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour. Pour caramel topping into pan.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan over the caramel topping.
  3. Make the flan. Pour condensed, evaporated and fresh milks into a blender. Add softened cream cheese, vanilla and eggs and blend or process until smooth. Pour the flan mixture very slowly over the cake batter.
  4. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray (or just use nonstick foil) and cover the pan TIGHTLY with the foil. Covering tightly is very important. Set the Bundt pan into a large pan and set on the oven rack and slide in.
  5. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 2 inches (The Bundt pan will be sitting in 2 inches of water). Bake for two hours.
  6. After two hours, remove cake from water and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Peel off the aluminum foil. Invert cake onto a large plate with rim. The caramel topping should flow down the sides. Cool completely then refrigerate.

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Published on September 23, 2006

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy September 23, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Not like flan??? oh my…

TG September 23, 2006 at 4:10 pm

oh wow. like totally wow. (to the recipe, that is.) your interest, or lack thereof, in flan, it affects me not at all.

Steph Bachman September 23, 2006 at 4:16 pm

That looks so cool. I am going to try it!

Anna September 23, 2006 at 4:24 pm

I was hoping this cake would make me like flan. It’s not a dessert I hate, just something I don’t find as appealing as cheesecake.

At room temperature, this flan was kind of lumpy. After being chilled, it smoothed out quite a bit and had a much better texture. It’s not very sweet, so you may want to add some more caramel sauce.

In the meantime, I’d be curious to hear how a different but similar flan recipe works out. There’s a prize winning recipe in Southern Living which is similar, however it uses extra yolks, sugar and is strained. It might make for a creamier, velvetier flan. Here’s the link if anyone wants to experiment.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_25696,00.html

Obviously, you’d skip the sugar burning part and just use the method this woman uses for flan — separating eggs, straining, etc.

I think maybe a pumpkin flan or a chai-spiced flan would be interesting too.

Amy September 24, 2006 at 5:27 am

I have Marta’s pumpkin flan recipe, if you want it, drop me an email. It’s really, really good. I’ve made it for Thanksgiving a couple of times.

But this is The Perfect Flan.

dgeevanson September 24, 2006 at 10:44 pm

do you really bake this for 2 hours?? not a typo? It looks wonderful.

Cindy September 24, 2006 at 11:56 pm

Oh, this one I have to try!

Anna September 25, 2006 at 8:05 am

I’ll be interested to hear other reviews. 40 people on Recipezaar loved it.

D, the cook time is definitely 2 hours.

Leslie November 7, 2006 at 2:26 pm

I had trouble with this recipe. Seemed like the chocolate cake batter substantially filled the bundt pan, but as it turns out had room for the flan because it leaked out from my Cuisinart deluxe food processor. (huge mess) Finished the flan in the blender. Unless this is fabulous can’t see making it again. Leslie

Anna November 7, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Leslie,

Thanks for pointing that out. I have changed the instructions to say “blender” since food processors tend to link.

Linda October 23, 2007 at 11:57 am

This is the best tasting cake I have ever made!

Terri November 18, 2007 at 9:42 pm

This is THE BEST flan cake!! I’ve made it for family and friends, and everyone asks for it at parties and holidays. It gets easier the more you make it. I use an old original Bundt cake pan, ways a ton. But it has the room for all the ingredients. You have to slowly pour in the liguid onto the cake mix.

Anna November 18, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I’m glad you all liked it. I haven’t made this one in a while, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. It’s a great holiday cake.

Muffy December 9, 2007 at 3:41 am

Has anyone tried this with homemade cake batter? What were the results?

I don’t use box mixes, and was wondering if anyone had done the scratch route yet. If not, I guess I will have to be the guinea pig and let you all know!

Muffy December 23, 2007 at 2:23 pm

My results using SCRATCH cake: EXCELLENT!
It was served at a holiday party and 4 people requested the recipe.

However, My favorite cake recipe uses 1 & 3/4C Flour, 3/4C Cocoa and 1 & 3/4C Milk … which made too much batter for the pan. So, if you do use a scratch recipe; I would say use one with smaller quantities of flour (and cocoa) and milk, use a larger Bundt pan or, as I did, use less of the cake batter.

Brittany May 1, 2008 at 10:43 am

This looks great i havent cut into it yet but i was just going to say if you want instead of using carmel you can go the mexican way and use cajeta it has a little more of a creamy flavor and instead of evaporated and condensed milk you can use la lechera and evaported just to make it more origial hope its good oh and just wondering do put the cajeta{carmel} straight into the bundt pan or into a seperate? please respond fast!!!!

Lorna June 16, 2008 at 10:19 am

if i have to pour the cake mixture first how come the flan mixture is on top of the cake mixture that is in the pics above?

Anna June 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

Hi Lorna,

The flan mixture sinks to the bottom, thus ending up on the top when you flip the cake.

jorge August 20, 2008 at 10:38 pm

add the cajeta inside the pan before you bake it but make sure you warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds then add it to the pan. i sprinkle some choped pecans after i inverted.

Mrs Baez August 27, 2008 at 5:48 am

I make chocolate Flan all the time and I have never hear of putting a cake into it. I’ll try it and get back with you. My husband makes the regulate Flan. But since I have tried my hand at it, chocolate is the only one for us. But I would say the carmel syrup you speak of is not as sweet as real sugar, so to get the sweetness you should try it with the real sugar glazing.

Chryllynn September 14, 2008 at 8:13 pm

I just recently stumbled across your blog and am amazed by all of the wonderfully yummy recipes!

This cake is great for entertaining–it is easy and the end result is very impressive! I made mine with Banana cake and drizzled on some extra caramel! It smells, looks and tastes FANTASTIC!

Thanks!

lana April 7, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I love the choco-flan cake! Try it with yellow cake mix. yummy too!

vanessa May 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

i want to try this recipe but with another chocolate cake recipe. the cake recipe i want to use is poured into two 9 inch round cake pans baked at 350 degrees for 35 minutes….so do i still bake it at 350 for 2 hours or do i need to adjust the time+degrees? sorry im a beginner baker!

Anna June 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Just got a comment from someone who didn’t like this cake. Not sure if the person actually tried it, but she said she did and that this flan was not authentic because of the cream cheese. Here’s a tip. This cake is a fun, gimmicky cake. If you’re looking for authentic flan, try a real authentic flan recipe.

Liz July 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Hi Anna
I just made a version of this cake for Canada Day (July 1st)and we loved it. The recipe that I used omitted the fresh milk and it used only 3 eggs but otherwise was the same. It overflowed my Bundt pan but since it was in a water bath it didn’t really matter too much but the next time I will remove some of the batter and the flan to a separate smaller pan-sort of like a taster cake. I liked the ideas of using different flavors of flan and cake that other commentators mentioned. I agree Anna-it’s hard to beat a good cheesecake but this cake has a WOW factor going for it that is a big payoff for a relatively simple preparation.

Tracey December 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

HI, i just wanted to say that i have tried this reciepe before but with german chocolate cake and with the carmel and coconut and pecan on top of the flan.You must eat it cold. VERY VERY EXCELLENT!!!

Melanie February 2, 2010 at 5:39 am

I have made 4 attempts to make this cake. 2 times it was great, but 2 times the cake did not set up properly during baking and was a gooey mess. Once, when this happened, I served it as a type of “cake pudding,” because I didn’t have time to make anything else. I didn’t do anything different the 4 times I made it. Any thoughts?

Anna February 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hi Melanie,

My first thought was that you switched Bundt pans, but you said you didn’t do anything differently so I’m stumped! I haven’t made this one in a while, but it’s become quite a popular cake so you might want to look around for some clues.

The other thing could be your oven. Have you noticed it baking things slower lately? Maybe it’s just not getting as hot as it should be? For a while, my old oven was overcooking everything. I bought an oven thermometer and found it was about 40 degrees off!

Cynthia Bell February 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

On this Chocolate flan cake…..on some of the notes it says bake for 1 hr. and on the others it says bake for 2 hrs…..can you please clarify…..

Anna February 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Cynthia, this one is baked for two hours.

Kingfish February 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

Hi. Baked this last night and it turned out less than expected, mostly because my oven temp crept too high. I’m making another one this morning since I’m cooking for friends tonight. What’s the reason for the aluminum foil covering the pan? And why such a long cook time? (novice guy-cook here)

Anna February 22, 2010 at 7:25 am

Hi!

Sorry your first one didn’t turn out. I am not an expert on flan or custard making and I only made this cake a couple of times, but I’m pretty sure the foil is to hold in the moist heat so that the custard will kind of steam rather than dry out?

Before you start the second cake, you might want to check some other bloggers renditions of this cake and they might have better advice for you.

Shawn March 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm

You can also make this cake without the cream cheese. In a blender, add 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of sweet condensed milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 6 eggs, 2 spoonfuls of sugar. Blend until incorporated, then add slowly to the cake mixture. Bake for 1 1/2 hours with foil. Also it’s better if you can find cajeta instead of the caramel because the consistancy is better, or use a can of dulce de leche. This flan recipe is better than the above….I don’t care for the cream cheese flan…

Atanashi ayaka Moka April 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

ahh … you doing it good job … but you know … its had should be not shrink .. even when u flipped it …. well better to study more … and nice mte you ahh i’m a patisier … in japan … and i’m really good at cooking or bakeing flan … ^_^ try to do it more … and studying it …

lily April 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Hi I just want to know if the chocolate mix supposed to turn out soft and fluffy or kind of thick like a brownie?

angie November 10, 2010 at 9:29 am

I have mine in the over follow the recipe let you know how it turns and to a comment above about the cream cheese its not original for the flan recipe well see

Tammy April 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I love love this cake. The cake is rather moist and the flan it smooth and creamy. It’s a long process from start to finish and then to eating it but it’s so worth it. I have made this cake 3 times and will make it again next week for my mom’s bday, who has never had flan. I know she will like it though.

Anonymous July 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm

johanna

if u have problems with the flan u can buy a flan mix that u just add the milk , there is a different brands i use , is royal flan or jell-o . its really smooth and less work ..!

nada January 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

can i just use the flan mix for this recipe instead of actually making the flan??

Anna January 27, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hi Nada,

I’ve never tried it, but it might work.

Ela May 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

Hi Anna, your flan cake looks beautiful and delicious. I make Leche Flan Cake (that’s how we call it) from scratch using chiffon cake and the procedure is different from yours. I got it from another blog and it’s one of our favorite desserts.

Janice May 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

This cake always makes me laugh as I remember Rick Bayless tweeting the recipe.
I do LOVE this cake~could almost eat the entire thing; alone;-)

Anna May 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Really? Rick Bayless tweeted this?

Cat May 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Just FYI, don’t use the Pampered Chef springform bundt cake pan!! You end up with just chocolate cake! The custardy flan part leaked out and cooked itself in the water. :( Will definitely try again though because it smells amazing and the cake part turned out pretty good.

Cathy May 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Made this today. My bundt pan held just over 10 cups of liquid, so I removed 3/4 cup of the choc cake mix, after it was prepared but before I poured it into the bundt pan. Followed all the other directions (actually used skim milk, because that is all I had). Baked for 2 hours. Cooled it about 45 minutes, then put it in fridge for one hour before serving. It was Awesome! Looked so pretty, too! Thanks for the fun recipe. It is a new family favorite.

Anna May 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the review! Happy Cinco de Mayo :)

Lolenca January 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Ok, so I more hour to go using this recipe for the first time. I had it at work over the holiday and I loved it. I decided to use your recipe tonight. my 9 year old daughter was excited to help and bake with mom. sure hope this turns out good….. I will let you know.

Lolenca January 11, 2013 at 2:12 am

Success! Yuuuummm, this recipe came out awesome! nice to look at and tastes heavenly! thank you for sharing!

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