Layered Chocolate and Flan Cake


This dessert marries the two all-time favorite desserts of every Mexican kid I knew growing up: a moist chocolate cake and a custardy flan. It is a very traditional chocolate cake and the flan is ridiculously creamy thanks to the addition of cream cheese. My mother always baked cakes growing up and this was everybody’s favorite. At one point, my mom’s flan cakes got so popular that our neighbors even started to put in orders for their own chocoflans. To this day, it remains our best-selling dessert at the restaurant.


For the Caramel

  • ½ cup (85 g) white sugar

For the Flan

  • 1 can (430 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (360 ml) evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) canola oil
  • cup (85 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of sea salt


Make the Caramel

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water over medium heat. Stir constantly until the color starts to change to a dark-brown caramel color. Have your 10-inch (25 cm) round cake pan at the ready and carefully drop the caramel into the pan. You might need to spread the caramel all over the pan. Set aside.

Make the Flan

Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Lightly blend in pulses for about 1 minute until the ingredients are combined. Slowly pour the flan mixture into the caramel-lined cake pan.

Make the Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Put the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until evenly mixed. Add the milk and oil and keep mixing until thickened. Once all the ingredients are well mixed, lower your mixer’s speed to the lowest setting and gently drop in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and lastly, the vanilla and sea salt. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is mixed in. (Small clumps are okay.)

Drop the cake batter into the cake pan on top of the flan mixture. Make sure that it is evenly distributed, using a spatula to create an even layer of chocolate cake batter.

Fill a roasting pan with water and gently place the cake pan in it. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a fork inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and hot-water bath, and let cool to room temperature. Place the chocoflan in your refrigerator and wait until it is completely cold to slice and eat.