Chocoflan aka impossible cake

Chocoflan piece

This blog has made so many things possible for me over the past 4 years. Besides the fact that I have become more experimental with my cooking, I am learning about photography, and improving my writing in English, which is my second language. I am also no longer afraid of complicated desserts! In that spirit, I took on this challenging Chocoflan, or “Impossible Cake”, as it is sometimes called. In the end, I was totally amazed at how well it turned out!

Rich, creamy, and luxurious, Chocoflan is the perfect way to end any meal. So, what is Chocoflan anyway? It is a wonderful dessert that combines a layer of chocolate cake, with a layer of flan, topped with dulce de leche. Are you drooling yet? Okay then, I won’t keep you in suspense any more…here’s the recipe.

Buen provecho!



  • 1 cup of dulce de leche, cajeta or arequipe
  • Chocolate cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sour cream or buttermilk
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Flan layer

  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocoflan


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush or spray an 8-inch cake pan with oil.
  2. Chocoflan

  3. Spread the dulce de leche around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a water bath during baking.
  4. To make the chocolate cake layer, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  5. Chocoflan

  6. In a different bowl, with the mixer on low speed, mix together the sour cream or buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
  7. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter in the mold, over the dulce de leche.
  8. Chocoflan

  9. Make the flan layer: Place all the flan ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Pour the flan mixture over the cake layer. Cover the with foil and fill the roasting pan with hot water, reaching halfway up the side of the cake pan, and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Chocoflan

  12. Let the Chocoflan cool in the water bath then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  13. Chocoflan

  14. To serve, run a thin sharp knife around the rim of the flan. Place a platter or large plate on top of the flan and gently flip over so the plate is on the bottom.
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  1. bhavi says

    Quick question. You mention to use a 8″ cake pan, however i see you are using a glass mixing bowl to make the chocoflan. Please advise will the 8″ cake pan be the right size?


  2. says

    Sorry if this comes up multiple times, moderation thinks I am s p a m. I thought I knew what cake I was making for the 24th but now this looks tempting. Great, thanks Erica 😉 This is a really great and fun cake.

  3. Andrea Klein says

    I made this yesterday for our Christmas Eve celebration….decadent and delicious. I used a large Pyrex bowl and it was perfect! Thank you!

  4. says

    Merry Christmas Erica! This recipe looks amazing, I’ll give it a try for New Years. I enjoy your blog very much. Thank you for a wonderful year of recipes and a delicious window into Colombian family life.

  5. LeeAnn says

    The photo shows the cake on the bottom with the flan and arequipe on top but the directions layer the arequipe – cake – flan and when you turn it over it would be flan on bottom with cake and arequipe on top. Or does the order of the flan and cake matter?

    • Erica says

      it is scary when you mix the chocolate with the flan mixture because you think it won’t turn out, but it does! It’s a miracle cake!

  6. Cindy Santos-Mendoza says

    I made this dessert for New Year’s Eve and my husband LOVED it! It was a little rich for my taste (too sweet) but it absolutely reminded me of the “Brownie con arequipe” from Colombia.
    Thanks for the recipe! It was super easy to make

  7. susy says

    Hi Erica, I love your blog! I have a question about the cake part of your chocoflan. I have tried to make this before with other recipes and the flan turns out great, but the cake is hard and way too dense. My aunt makes it with a boxed cake mix, but I refuse! So anyway just wondering about the texture of your cake and if you could give me any advice!

    Also for anyone who things the dessert is too rich. Instead of using dulce de leche you can just make a quick caramel, like you would if you were just making flan. It works the same way and still tastes good :)

  8. mery says

    Hello erica,
    I don’t have buttermilk right now, can I use whole milk instead? I am looking forward to make this cake today for the first time! I can’t wait!

  9. Maria says

    Hi!! This recipe looks fantastic!! I was wondering it is possible doing it in little casseroles instead of Pyrex? I have 6 mini casseroles with its lids. ;););););) thanks in advance. By the way I tried the classic flan and it was awesome!!

  10. maria says

    hi Ericka, Thank you for answer, but I have a question. the order wouldn’t be the dulce de leche, flan and then chocolate cake? because the instructions are quite different from the pictures. or you just put the dulce de leche or caramel at the moment of serving?

    • Erica Dinho says

      The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom.

  11. says

    Ahhh… cuanto he bendecido este sitio las muchas veces que he hecho este pastel( por lo menos seis en menos de un mes), gracias a la receta que lindamente nos comparten! Pues pienso algún día hacer negocio con él ¡¡¡ DIOS TE BENDIGA, NIÑA!!


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