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

Just what is Chocoflan?  It 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. When you are preparing the cake to bake, the first thing that goes in the pan is the caramel, the cake mix, and the flan mixture. When the cake finishes baking, the caramel is still on top, but the flan and cake mix layers switch like magic, with the flan on top and the cake on the bottom.


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 is very popular in Mexico.

The Chocolate Cake Layer

In my research and looking at many recipes, several made a homemade chocolate cake using either cocoa or chocolate melted with butter and buttermilk.  But I like easy:)  I used a triple chocolate fudge cake mix instead.

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. A thick, sweet caramel spread made from caramelized sugar and goat’s milk. You can also use dulce de leche, also known as caramelized milk made by slowly heating sugar and milk over several hours.

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 the can from the water and let the can come to room temperature, open and stir to combine the dulce de leche completely.

As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

I didn’t have either, so I just used a jar of Smucker’s caramel topping. I do plan on making this chocoflan again using cajeta in the future.  I couldn’t find it in any of my local grocery stores but I did find it on  Amazon, so I ordered it. I am curious to see if there is a difference in taste.

The Impossible Cake

Chocoflan is also called the impossible cake. As stated above, the caramel goes in the pan first, the cake mixture next, and the flan last. After baking and when you invert the cake onto a plate, the flan and cake mixture have switched.

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 for the process.


Chocoflan, also known as the impossible cake, is 2 desserts in 1. Chocolate Cake and Flan.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican


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

Flan Layer

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


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


  • 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 
  • 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. 

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.  This delicious dessert will disappear quickly if you like chocolate cake and flan.

Final Thoughts

Sadly I am the only one in my household that likes this cake.  My husband doesn’t like chocolate and 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 if you don’t like chocolate (heaven forbid), here is a dessert you might like.

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

And As Always

Keep On Baking!


Share The Love

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating