Recipes

dulce de leche chocoflan

If you spend any time on Pinterest or Instagram food searches, and who that hangs out here does not, I bet at least once in the last couple years, your Explore tab led you to the photogenic, decadent world of chocoflans. If not, let this post fix your suggestions right now. Chocoflans, sometimes called impossible flan (pastel imposible), are one part flan (a sweetened egg custard with caramel or dulce de leche) and one part plush chocolate cake. They’re considered a bit magical, not only because they combine two of the most wonderful desserts in the world, but because of what happens in the oven. Even though it goes into the oven with the cake batter in first and the flan in second, as it bakes, the batters flip. Once you invert it out of the baking pan, you end up with the flan on top and the cake underneath. I’ve read that this is because the cake, as it rises in the oven, becomes lighter than the flan layer, so the flan sinks and I, a non-scientist, based on little more than liking the sound of it, have concluded that it makes total sense.


what you'll needdulce de lechesift your dry ingredientsslowly add liquidsmixedsmooth in chocolate battergently ladle flan batter oververy full!water bath, then bakebaked

I had never never made one before this week because I was sure I’d mess it up in some way — I don’t have a great track record with flans, or bundts, and water baths are a level of fiddly I am happy to leave to the people with patience for them — but when I saw this one in Esteban Castillo’s first cookbook, Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen, I suddenly felt the confidence to make it. Maybe it’s the specificity of calling for “Diamond Crystal kosher salt” in them, and not just “salt” (because good recipe writers know that no two salts are the same), the inclusion of weights and other details that suggest he really pays attention to grit of recipe development, or the simplicity of a reverse-creamed cake, but it imbued with me with confidence and the proof is in the… chocoflan. It’s perfect.

dulce de leche chocoflan

A little more about the book: Chicano Eats is a vibrant cookbook that celebrates Mexican cuisine from a Mexican-American lens. Despite its cheerful appearance, it doesn’t skip the biographical and historical stories that, for me, makes a cookbook worth curling up with. Castillo talks about growing up going back and forth in his early years between California and Colima, Mexico, where his parents are from, and also Cuyutlán, a beach town on the Pacific coast, where he has family too. He talks about his parents’ enchantment with the American dream, but that achieving was, at times, a distant reality as they struggled to find enough work to succeed. Food wasn’t just nourishment, but his mother’s family’s livelihood. They mined sea salt, made cheese, had a taco cart, cooked for parties, and even have a makeshift restaurant in their backyard. When he moved from the Los Angeles area to Northern California for school, he was far from real Mexican food and missed homecooked meals, and discovered, to his delight, that he could make chiles rellenos just because he’d watched his mom make them so many times, even though her instructions were just “add a little of this and that” (something familiar to so many of us). He prefers to write his recipes down for future generations, and we, the reader, reap the benefits, as well as the arroz rojo, mole, juicy and crisp carnitas, chicken with soft masa dumplings, shrimp in garlic sauce, paletas, raspados, horchata, and aqua frescas.

dulce de leche chocoflan
dulce de leche chocoflan

Previously

Six months ago: Perfect Vegetable Lasagna
One year ago: Zucchini Quesadillas
Two years ago: Minimalist Barbecue Sauce
Three years ago: German Chocolate Cake + A Wedding Cake
Four years ago: Blackberry Cheesecake Galette and Eggplant with Yogurt and Tomato Relish
Five years ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
Six years ago: Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde and Bourbon Slush Punch
Seven years ago: Mama Canales-Garcia’s Avocado-Shrimp Salsa
Eight years ago: Peach Pie
Nine years ago: Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini-Radish Slaw
Ten years ago: Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin and Summer Succotash with Bacon and Croutons
Eleven years ago: Best Birthday Cake and Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad
Twelve years ago: Sauteed Radishes with Sugar Snaps and Dill and Nectarine, Mascarpone, and Gingersnap Tart
Thirteen years ago: Red Pepper Soup and Cherry Clafoutis

Dulce de Leche Chocoflan

    Flan
  • 1 13.4-ounce (380-gram) can La Lechera dulce de leche or 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) prepared dulce de leche (see directions at end)
  • 1 12-ounce (354-ml) can evaporated milk
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 1 1/3 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond is specified but you’ll be fine with any here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For serving (optional)
  • Dulce de leche, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and/or ground cinnamon

Heat your oven: To 350ºF (180°C).

Make the flan: In a blender, combine the dulce de leche, evaporated milk, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour in the eggs and blend for another 10 seconds until smooth.

Make the chocolate cake: Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon directly into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl for use with an electric handmixer. Mix on the lowest setting until just combined, then add the softened butter and continue mixing on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract, then slowly pour it into the flour-butter mixture with the mixer running on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture on high for a full minute.

Bake chocoflan: Liberally coat a 10-cup (2.5 liter) Bundt pan with cooking spray. [I’m using this one.] Add the cake batter, smoothing out the top with an offset spatula or spoon. Carefully ladle in the flan so you disturb the cake batter as little as possible. Transfer the Bundt pan to a roasting pan or baking dish large enough to fit the Bundt pan. Grease a piece of foil and place it greased side down onto the Bundt pan, folding it over the edges to loosely seal it. Transfer to the oven, then pour water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting pan or baking dish to come up 2 to 3 inches.

Bake for 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 hour 45 minutes, using a skewer inserted into the cake to make sure it’s baked through, with little to no crumbs sticking to the skewer when you pull it out.

Carefully remove the Bundt pan from the roasting pan and let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to cool completely, at least a couple of hours.

To serve: Once you’re ready to serve, carefully run a knife around any edges that are still sticking, then invert onto a serving platter, gently shaking it up and down if it’s being difficult. If desired, serve with dulce de leche and a sprinkle of chopped nuts or with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

To make dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk: I could not find a can of dulce at the grocery store so I needed to make my own for this recipe; give yourself time if you need to do this too. Even though you only need one can of dulce, and the volume will be the same as the volume of a can of sweetened condensed milk, you lose some volume when you make it, so I recommend making two cans worth. You’ll definitely have extra — it makes a little over 2 cups. You won’t regret it.

Pour the contents of 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk into a pie or medium casserole dish, and cover snugly with foil. Set plate in a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up the smaller dish. Bake in a 425°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it takes on a caramelized color. Set aside until cool, then whisk until smooth. For this recipe, you’ll need to measure 1 1/2 cups from the dulce de leche you’ve made. Save the rest for serving (a few flakes of salt will really liven it up). It will keep for weeks in the fridge, if not longer; rewarm in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir, adding more time if needed.

To make dulce de leche fully from scratch (milk and sugar, no sweetened condensed milk): The Smitten Kitchen has you covered!

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226 comments on dulce de leche chocoflan

    1. Francoise

      Sue, It’s sweetened condensed milk that is needed for this recipe, not evaporated milk which is a whole different product. You’ll see at the bottom of the recipe that Deb included a link to her recipe for homemade dulce de leche which does use whole milk. I hope this helped!

      1. Karen

        I have wanted to make this ever since a trip to Cabo over a decade ago where I ate it for almost every meal! Do you think it would work with any flan recipe? I like the ones that have you make a caramel sauce that bathes the flan once it’s inverted. I’ve also never made a flan with cream cheese in it so I’m a little skeptical about the texture that will result.

        1. Mary Jackson

          It likely won’t as you already have two layers that flip while baking. The third layer would not survive the transition. I’ve seen many recipes for chocoflan and the flan is good, but it is not the same as traditional flan.

          1. Amy

            I have a recipe that calls for the caramel with pumpkin flan and chocolate cake. I’ve made it twice and it works! It’s not as perfect as the photo of it, but it still works great! See my other comment on this post for the link.

          2. Elle

            It does work! I always make my chocoflan with a layer of caramel on the bottom, flan, chocolate cake. The trick is the consistency of the caramel before you add everything else.

        2. Alexandra

          I have very limited cake pans.. Ie. one 8inch round, and one 10 inch saucepan… Would this work in a round tin? And if so, can I halve the recipe?

        3. Liz

          When I lived in Mexico my friend taught me to make flan with cream cheese and it is very common. It makes the flan more stable and forgiving, plus just a little more rich.

      2. Sarahb1313

        I grew up having flan for dessert my whole life. My mother made an almost French version, just eggs milk and sugar, with lemon zest. It was always a little lighter than the traditional Latin recipes. This strikes me almost like a cheesecake! I will indeed wait for this heatwave to be over but with the pandemic i am afraid i will eat the whole cake! And alas the joy of sharing my baking, something that gives me so much pleasure, is missed….

      3. Maggie

        Francoise, there is sweetened condensed milk to make the dulce, but there is also a can of evaporated milk.
        Sue, I’m not sure if it will work. I’ve just tried it (as the recipe dictates) and I’m waiting for it to cool!

      4. JoElle

        The recipe actually does call for both. 1 can of dulce de leche or SCM- made into dulce de leche and 1 can of evaporated milk.

      5. Wendy Dodson

        The flan portion of the recipe does call for evaporated milk as well as Dulce de Leche or homemade Dulce de Leche made with sweetened condensed milk.

    2. Amanda

      Evaporated milk is not the same thing, but you can make it easily yourself. Just bring whole milk to a simmer over medium, drop to medium low and barely simmer, occasionally stirring, for about 25 minutes until reduced. It’ll be a creamy, tanish color. Then just run it through a strainer, let cool, and use. I usually start with 3 1/4 cups and take it down to 1 1/2-1 1/4.

  1. cindy

    In my youth I remember a generation of Impossible Pies (sweet and savory) from the back of Bisquick boxes that worked on this principle, where the crust ended up on the bottom and the filling ended up on the top. They weren’t great, but they were sure intriguing! This looks great…

    1. Anya

      In the area that I live, Funny cake pies are popular, as they apply a similar principle, where the chocolate sauce switches places with the cake batter. I agree, this chocoflan looks better than the funny cakes! :)

      Does anyone have experience with using something other than a bundt pan? I don’t have one…

        1. Ruth

          Angel food cake pans are usually in 2 pieces. I think the batters are too liquid for it to work in one. A plain tube pan probably would work. Or a savarin mold.

          1. Valerie Briglia

            Ok so I made this, for myself, for my birthday. Maybe it was user error but the cake was super dense, and the coffee and cinnamon flavors that were bursting in the batter mellowed too much in baking. The flan was more textured than smooth and creamy and overall it was meh. Did anyone else have this happen, or did I just mess it up big time?

            1. Ruth

              I haven’t made this recipe. I did make the one from Cook’s Country a few years ago. The people who I made it for loved it. And the Mexicans among them were especially happy, because it’s very popular there. But I also found it kind of meh. Or maybe just not as good as it sounded from reading the recipe. The cake part was good, but not great, and the flan part was more solid and less creamy that other flans I’ve made.

              I do want to give this recipe a try, when I have people to make it for. I find SK recipes have been tweaked to make them somehow more than other recipes for the same thing. They seem to have more oomph.

          2. Stacey

            I made this for my granddaughter’s birthday cake. It turned out well. I did have to put the pan in hot water to loosen the cake and then it came out of the pan perfectly. I’d had it in the fridge overnight. I used a pampered chef stoneware Bundt. But my favorite chocolate cake is still my sourdough chocolate with penuche frosting.

  2. Julie

    I think I’m overtired, but it looks from the photo like the cake is on the bottom and the flan is on top, topped by cocoa powder. That would suggest dusting the pan with cocoa powder, then adding the flan, then the chocolate cake batter. But the directions say to add cake batter, smooth, then carefully add the flan. What am I missing? Because this looks amazing and I need to make it!

    1. Meredith

      Deb explains in her first paragraph its magic:

      Even though it goes into the oven with the cake batter in first and the flan in second, as it bakes, the batters flip. Once you invert it out of the baking pan, you end up with the flan on top and the cake underneath. I’ve read that this is because the cake, as it rises in the oven, becomes lighter than the flan layer, so the flan sinks and I, a non-scientist, based on little more than liking the sound of it, have concluded that it makes total sense.

    2. A

      Julie–if you read Deb’s copy at the start of the post, you’ll see that the cake is sometimes called “impossible” because during backing, the cake rises to the top of the pan and the flan settles. The batters actually invert themselves during the bake to the opposite of their original positions.

      1. Cara

        Yes. I have seen where people just used a regular cake pan because they didn’t have a bundt pan. Not as pretty, but perfectly effective.

    3. Amanda

      I’m pretty sure Deb just sprinkled the finished cake with cocoa powder before serving, rather than dusting the pan with cocoa powder.

    4. Amanda

      Actually, nevermind! Zooming in on the finished photo, it looks more like just cake batter residue that clung to the bottom of the pan and ended up on the flan portion.

    1. Cara

      I think red wine would be a worthy experiment. Deb’s red wine chocolate cake is a favorite sophisticated dessert around here. We love how the wine enhances the chocolate, which is the point of the coffee I think.

  3. Alexandra

    The flan sinks to the bottom during cooking? I was surprised the cake seems to be at the bottom once you invert it!

  4. Brooke W.

    Any thoughts about how long this would keep in the fridge? This looks so good, but with only two of us at home right now I’m a little hesitant to make it.

  5. Kathleen

    Is there a different pan I could use instead of a Bundt pan? Or is a Bundt pan critical for this recipe’s success?

    1. Deanna

      A tube pan (like for angel food cake) would work, but I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen this made as bars in a 9×13 in other parts of the internet. If I’m remembering correctly, White on Rice couple went through a real phase with impossible cake a few years ago, so you might start there for how to adapt it to other pans.

      1. Lucy

        I am intrigued by this….can anyone tell me what the texture of the flan part is like? Is it ‘claggy’ – sticks to the mouth, like cheesecake?
        In the UK a flan is a large open tart, so we dont really have an equivalent.
        Thanks!

        1. Gemma Llewellyn

          Spanish flan is what we (uk) call creme caramel so imagine it is a similar texture to that….a bit like a set custard or blancmange

          1. Lucy

            Thanks Gemma, that makes it much more appealing :) when I saw the cream cheese in there I imagined cheesecake texture.

      1. Wendy Bayliss

        I don’t know quite what happened but mine did! I bought the bundt tin you linked to and my cake went up and up and through the hole in the middle into the water bath. I don’t quite no why, but hopefully it won’t make it too hard to debundt tomorrow! Tastes good though 😊

  6. Pola

    You can make dulce de leche also in a pressure cooker. Just place as many cans as you can standing up in one layer in your pressure cooker and cover with water. Once the water is boiling gently, leave it for about 60-70 minutes. You can do this too with a normal pot, but it will take longer, like 3 houra maybe, and it’ll be neccesary to keep an eye on the water level, replenishing as neccesary.

    1. Danielle

      I have read this before bit as most cans are lined with BPA boiling it or pressure cooking it seems like a recipe for carcinogen stew! :/

  7. Laurence

    Any idea how far in advance I could make it? I have a first birthday party coming up for a tiny human too small to order his own flavor, and I love this idea! I saw someone has already asked about a substitute for coffee. Use all buttermilk? Just plain milk?

  8. Emmy

    What are you using for cooking spray? I don’t have a ton of experience with them and I’m not sure which is best for this recipe – typically with a bundt pan I brush on butter and then flour the pan thinly but thoroughly, but it seems pretty clear that’s the wrong choice for this cake. Looking forward to making this!

    1. KC

      This might also be the wrong choice for this particular dessert, but I’ve used unsweetened cocoa powder instead of flour for dusting after greasing the pan when baking dark desserts. Unsweetened cocoa powder is fairly non-stick when baked – although of course, with fancy pans, if you miss greasing-and-dusting one little cranny, you may lose a chunk of cake, sigh.

    2. Marcia

      I’m not Deb, but for years I used Baker’s Joy baking spray because Rose Levy Berenbaum recommended it in The Cake Bible. It’s now become incredibly hard for me to find, so I use Pam Baking Spray, which I can find in local supermarkets. They both work well, so I’d suggest either one.

    3. deb

      I used Pam with flour spray. (Not a fan of it because it’s scented like artificial vanilla/cake but it’s what I’ve got in my Pandemic Kitchen.)

    1. P

      Hi Deb,
      Was your chocolate cake moist after cooking for so long? The once I have made this (not from your recipe tho) the cake was really dry…

      1. deb

        So, so, so moist. It’s a bit of a Devil’s food cake formula, and they rarely dry out, IMHO. Ours is now almost one week in the fridge (we’re trying to eat it slowly!) and it’s still great. Plus, the custard on top probably helps too.

        1. Kristina

          Can I cook the condensed milk Tom make the dulce de leche in a Pyrex with a glass lid, instead of the foil? And this is in a glass casserole dish)

          1. deb

            I think so but there might be more evaporation. I’ve only made dulce as shown once or twice, however, I’m definitely not an expert on best practices.

            1. Kristina Ramsey

              It worked! I used a CorningWare with glass lid and just kept checking until it looked like a lightly toasted caramel. The cake is amazing and you are my go-to chef by the way. Thank you thank you thank you.

  9. deb l

    you can also make dulce de leche by simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk (label removed) in water to cover for 3 hours. make sure there is always 2 inches of water above the can, cool before opening.

      1. Eva

        Yes. I have goats so I also have cajeta coming out my ears. This looks like a great way to use it up. Fingers crossed. I do wish I had read the bake time before I decided to do this at 9:00pm though.

      2. Tanya

        Mine just came out of the oven and I’m so excited! Waiting for it to cool to room temp before I put it in the fridge. I did forget to grease the foil but it came off. Question – what other pans could I use, and what size? Thanks!

          1. Tanya

            Thank you!! By the way, my entire family and I think you’re amazing. Your article on parenting during this pandemic really hit home. We love you.

        1. Jen D.

          I made this last night, subbing cajeta for the dulce de leche. I am ridiculously excited to unmold it tonight – we’re having paella for dinner and I thought dessert should be just as spectacular as the main dish. I made it in my 12-cup celebration bundt pan and it was done after an hour and 45 minutes of baking. My house will never be cool again, but it will be worth it, I’m sure!!

  10. Lulu

    Are there other kinds of pans one could make this in? Also any tips: I have never successfully gotten cake out of a bundt before.

    1. Jill Nielsen

      I have many different Bundt pans including the one Deb used for this recipe. I spray my pans with Baker’s Secret and never have a problem getting them out. I also use the stuff when I make loaf cakes and sweet breads like Deb’s Ultimate Zucchini Bread. Works like a charm.

    2. Ash

      Have you ever tried baker’s goop? It’s like a homemade Bakers Joy that you brush onto the pan, made of equal parts flour, oil, and shortening. There are tons of blog posts out there about it. *Nothing* sticks when I prep my pans with goop first.

    3. deb

      I have seen them in regular cake pans, however, I do not have a perfect success rate with bundt pan removal (and I’ve tried everything, from bakers goop to bakers joy to prayer) but it was not a concern here. The flan — the part in the sticking-est part of the pan, the crown — does not want to stick. The cake might want to, but you can loosen those parts.

  11. Jill Nielsen

    I have many different Bundt pans including the one Deb used for this recipe. I spray my pans with Baker’s Secret and never have a problem getting them out. I also use the stuff when I make loaf cakes and sweet breads like Deb’s Ultimate Zucchini Bread. Works like a charm.

  12. JP

    I have been thinking about this dessert since 2013 when it came out in “Cook’s Country” magazine in the December/January issue entitled “Magic Chocolate Flan Cake”. The recipe is a bit different (no coffee, caramel sauce poured into the pan first, etc) but the outcome looks delicious. I have never tried it, mainly because that recipe serves 16, a bit much for my 2 person home. Still, it does look like magic! A fun dessert for a crowd. Thanks for reminding me about it Deb, and please stay safe!

  13. Krithika

    As many others have asked, an alternate pan suggestion would be great! I apparently have a 12 cup bundt and a 6 cup bundt, and REALLY don’t have space for yet another bundt pan, as lovely as this looks! I’m leery of playing with the volumes here with all the different ingredients.

    1. Wendy Dodson

      I only had a 12 cup Bundt pan so that is what I used when I made this yesterday. The cake turned out just fine and it came out of the Bundt pan intact only requiring a little loosening of the cake around the edges.

  14. Jill C

    My sister has requested this for her birthday cake in a few weeks. We’ll see how it goes down since I will be making it! *fingers crossed*

  15. Amy

    Hi! This looks incredible and I’m intrigued to read the cookbook, too. Have you ever tried making Dulce de leche in a pressure cooker? I think Melissa Clark has a recipe.

  16. Linda

    This looks so nice but I’m usually reluctant to using so many eggs in one recipe. Do you think I could cut the recipe in half and use a smaller pan? How would this affect baking time? Thanks for any help on this!

  17. Sabrina

    It’s gorgeous! I’ve been meaning to make a chocoflan and this is a sign! Were I come from, there’s a version called ‘quesitorta’.
    Another way to make dulce de leche: if you have a pressure cooker, with a can of condensed milk standing on the pot add enough water to cover it. Close the pot, bring to a boil and remove from heat after 1 hour. Without pressure cooker is about 4 hours from when it starts to boil.

  18. Bernie

    When looking at your pictures I believe you filled the pan with flan (first layer) and then with batter. This way the flan is on top when you serve it or do the pictures. Is that correct?
    Your description of assembly is the other way around.

    1. Lucy

      Hi Bernie

      I believe it is assembled batter then flan, as per the pictures. As Deb explains, during cooking the flan sinks to the bottom and the batter rises to the top. When you turn it out, flan will be on top. I think. :)

  19. Cara

    This is the second cookbook I have ordered this month based on your thorough review. I’m going to need to increase my book budget! But, who am I kidding, we’re in the midst of a pandemic (and I live in a current hot spot) an increased book budget was probably inevitable. At least thanks to you I’m sure of getting good books!

  20. Vicky Garfinkle

    I have made this before, but put a layer of dulce de leche on the bottom of the Bundt pan before the cake mixture goes in. That way the flan has a glistening top of caramel when it’s turned out. Cooks country recipe. Trader Joe’s makes a nice dulce de leche for those wanting to trim that step😉

    1. deb

      I used natural cocoa (Hershey’s Special Dark) here but I hesitated to specify (Castillo does not) because I think either will work. Dutch cocoa is only a concern where there is baking soda but no acidic ingredients to activate it and that’s not the case here.

      1. Jen Doyle

        I made this last night, subbing cajeta for the dulce de leche. I am ridiculously excited to unmold it tonight – we’re having paella for dinner and I thought dessert should be just as spectacular as the main dish. I made it in my 12-cup celebration bundt pan and it was done after an hour and 45 minutes of baking. My house will never be cool again, but it will be worth it, I’m sure!!

  21. Andrea

    So amazed by the photo, I can’t even get to the recipe yet! Thanks for posting and bringing some wonder to the day. Must make this!

  22. Rachel

    I made this last night! When assembling, I was a little worried about how it was going to look, because some of the cake batter looked like it was floating to the top of the flan mixture, but it baked up perfectly.

    I followed the recipe as written, and my cake was done at the 1 hour 45 minute mark.

    Thank you for sharing another great recipe and cookbook!

  23. Liz

    I love that you tried one of the recipes from Chicano Eats! I LOVE cooking Mexican food – in fact, your site is virtually the only place I get recipes other than from Pati Jinich – and I’ve been considering buying this book! I just love seeing food bloggers that I like supporting each other! *crying emoji*

  24. Amy

    I kind of flipped when I saw this, because it looks like a simpler version of the recipe I swooned over almost two years ago. http://www.chicanoeats.com/spiced-pumpkin-chocoflan/?mc_cid=f5ba5dc7fc&mc_eid=8a5e89e108 That one won me second place at the Christmas food contest at my local photo studio, good for 1/2 price tuition for the next semester! I had barely ever tasted dulce de leche, and certainly had never made any sort of caramel. But I made it from scratch (easy), and made the cake (though I barely got the cajeta to unglue itself from the pan). After that success, I added your Apple Cider Caramels to my repetoire. I’m obviously hooked, and can’t wait to make this. Delicious + stunning is the BEST combination. Thank you!

  25. OMG. I have to make thia. I just live and my kitchen is still packed, but I’ll organize it just so I can make this. Chocolate and flan? What’s not to like??? Noms

  26. Jennifer

    Anyone else have the problem of the cake batter floating above the flan a bit when you ladel the flan on top before baking? I’m assuming this is going to mess up my cake after it’s finished, but there was nothing I could do? Any suggestions?

    1. TriciaPDX

      When you look at Deb’s photos you can see that some of the chocolate cake does float to the top of the flan and kind of infiltrates through the flan. It’s not pure cake and pure flan, which is why it’s so pretty when it’s turned out. And so tasty!

    2. Emily

      All of my cake batter rose to the top after carefully adding in the flan– I greased the pan with regular Pam oil spray, not a baking type, which might have been the difference– and it baked perfectly. Not as magical, though. 😉

  27. Julie

    I am surprised I haven’t heard of this before. It looks fabulous! Caramel, chocolate and flan…hard to beat all three in one dessert! Now to find the gumption to make this because I want it in my mouth right now ;)

  28. Sally Groverman

    Long time Smitten Kitchen fan. Looking to replace rubber rings on jars that are pictured in this post. Any suggestions? I have not been able to find a resource.

    1. Amy

      I would google “rubber rings for canning jars” to see what you get. Look at a site that has the full Ball jar line–I would suggest Ace Hardware Stores, and farm stores–does Farm and Fleet still exist?
      Also, maybe Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, or World Market would have them. They exist, but they are sold in places you wouldn’t expect to find them.

    2. deb

      There are jars here from several brands, but I know that all sell replacement rubber rings. Just Google the brand (check the bottom) and size.

  29. Mary Jackson

    I have questions about the bake time. I have made other chocoflans that bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. I made this recipe last night and it was completely done at 55 minutes. Turned out great. Given how hot it is where I am, I didn’t want the oven on for another hour.

  30. Laurel

    First let me say the cake was delicious. But, I made so many mistakes even though I did mise en place to avoid them! I ended up driving to four grocery stores before I found the La Lechera dulce de leche at Target. Making the flan went smoothly. The mistake was with the cake. I put the butter in the microwave just to soften it. I didn’t turn the microwave on, but I did forget the butter was in there, so I completely forgot to mix the butter in the batter and didn’t realize until the cake was already in the oven. I also splashed some water in the flan when I was pouring hot water in the pan for water bath. About half hour after cake was in the oven I realized I forgot to put foil over the cake, so I just put a piece over the pan, but didn’t seal it. At one hour 45 minutes I checked cake with cake tester and it wasn’t done. I ended up cooking it for about 2 1/2 hours. I cooled it completely. When I turned it out, thankfully it didn’t stick, but there was cake still on the bottom of the pan, so the flan had a coating of cake on it. I will definitely make this again and despite all my mistakes, I’m happy with how good it tastes!

  31. Julie Kelsey

    This looks great and I can’t wait to try it, but I’m actually more intrigued by the book—mole, carnitas and chocoflan!😃

  32. Anna

    Made this today and it’s so so so so good! I think my oven was up a bit high (on fan too because I can’t turn it off) and i had filled the water bath with boiling water out of habit so it only took an hour and 15 or so. Glad I checked it when I did.

  33. Niloufar doroud

    Hello
    Great appreciation for your always lovely recipes+photos

    Does this recipe work with half amount of the flan mixture, or in the shape of usual or mini cupcakes?
    Thanx in advance…

    1. Munich Girl

      I just made 1/2 of this recipe and baked it in a regular cupcake tray — baked for 30 minutes.

      Turned out perfect!

  34. Hilary

    This was delicious but a bit of a mess. The cake batter started to float as soon as I added the flan mixture, and a fair amount of it rose entirely out of the bundt pan (same size as the one in the photos) and ended up in the water bath. Some stuck to the top edge, but the rest of the cake fell in, more the texture of a brownie than I had expected with all that leavening. It tastes great, and looked OK once it was flipped over, but the cake is definitely not the texture I was expecting. Any ideas what I did wrong? Thanks!

  35. Sarah

    Delicious recipe and your instructions made it a lot less intimidating! For info, I made the dulce de leche from the sweetened condensed milk and mine took about 2 hours to reach a light caramel color. My cake also only took 1.5 hours in the oven, and it probably could have come out a bit sooner. Thank you for (another) great recipe!

  36. Leah

    I’ve made dulce leche in the microwave. It’s possible and much faster, as in minutes compared to hours in the oven. You just really have to babysit it and watch it like a hawk, make sure it does not overflow from your bowl.

  37. Linda Lew

    Had never heard of choco-flan before this, and it was a delight to make (and eat), will check out the cookbook this is from. Kind of reminded me of a poundcake, in terms of it’s heft (small portions will fill you up), but not overly sweet, and seems like it will last awhile. Added bonus, since it is chilled, it’s an especially nice refreshment on a summer afternoon!

    Liked the chocolate/coffee/cinnamon flavors in the cake. Would up the salt a bit on the flan — I ended sprinkling a teeeny bit on the cooked cake.

    Used the instant pot method for making dulce de leche, which has always worked out great for me, and is easier than having to pay attention to the stovetop.

    1. deb

      It’s my absolute favorite — not too heavy but weighty enough, not particularly expensive, washes up great. I confess I now own three. I like them so much that, if I get a good price on them, I have brought a friend a lasagna and told him to keep the dish because he’ll be glad to have it.

  38. Michelle Caviglia

    It was absolutely delicious!! It was also Mexican in-law approved. The chocolate cake had a subtle cinnamon flavor. The flan was perfect and not too “eggy”. I also felt that it wasn’t too sugary. You could taste all of the subtle flavors without all the sugar.

  39. Debby

    Deb, so many recipes call for just a little buttermilk, and we are not buttermilk drinkers. What is your opinion of the dried buttermilk powder sold with baking goods in the market? Your advice would be much appreciated.

    1. deb

      It’s fine, but I find it less acidic. I’d use more per cup of milk than it suggests. I think that thinning yogurt with a little water works, too. Re, buttermilk, I talk about it here, but I don’t believe in buttermilk expiration dates; I ignore them. You can also freeze buttermilk in portions for future recipes.

    2. Caroline Jarrett

      I made this and it didn’t work even though I followed the recipe carefully. I got a rim of yellow flan at the edge of some of the spirals, and a rather boring puddingy cross between a cake and a flan for the rest of it. Disappointed.

  40. Brittany

    So excited to make this this weekend for the hubs’ birthday! If I use the SK homemade dulce de leche recipe, is a single batch enough or should I double it just to be safe?

  41. Mari

    I just took this out of the oven, yay! I put it straight in the fridge, because it will need to be ready to eat in 3 hours time. Fingers crossed.

  42. Summers Pendarivs

    Made this yesterday and I did not have a 10 cup bundt pan so used to smaller ones. Cooking was reduced to about an 1:30 minuets. It was fantastic. Shared with the COVID bubble and everyone enjoyed it. Gave the extra cake away to two other households.

  43. Susan Thomas

    I’ve recently moved to 6,000 feet altitude. Do you have any suggestions for how this recipe would need to be altered to turn out here?

  44. Janice

    I have the same Bundt pan and have a terrible time getting cakes to turn out cleanly. I’ve used cooking sprays, liberal amounts of butter and flour to no avail. Is there something I could possibly be doing wrong? I would LOVE to bake this, but I’m scared. I suppose if it were a mess once turned out it would still be very decadent regardless!

  45. Kora

    It turned out beautifully!! And is so tasty. I ate it for breakfast. It worked like a charm and I made my dulce de leche with sweetened condensed milk. Amazing, smooth, not too sweet. Thank you. I ordered the cookbook too and can’t wait to cook from it!

  46. Dana

    Made this yesterday and it came out nicely. Fully baked at 1hr 45 minutes and I will check even earlier next time. I reduced the sugar in the chocolate cake to about 120g, which was plenty for my taste. As the recipe states, remove the cake from the Bundt pan before chilling in the fridge. Otherwise it will not come out of the pan, as I just learned!

    1. Katrina

      You want to leave it in the bundt pan to chill. otherwise I fear you’d have flan soup! The ‘remove’ step is to take the bundt pan out of the water bath pan to cool.

  47. Susie

    Ok, I made this for our Friday night outdoor socially distant dinner. Amazing! I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out perfectly!

    It is a long process though, 2 hours in the oven plus 3 hours to chill,not to mention 2 hours the day before to make the dulce, so plan ahead!

  48. Debby

    Couldn’t resist trying this. It looked challenging but worth the time and effort. I followed every step including, after a failed search for dulce de leche, making my own. Turned out exactly as shown! Decadent and delish! I did bake it for the full time, and the cake still came out very fudgy, not necessarily a bad thing. Thanks Deb for another winner!

  49. Emilyadi

    Super yummy! It was a long process between making the dulce de leche, the long bake, and then cooling, but it was fantastic. It was fully baked when I checked at 1hr 45m.

  50. Noemi

    This is delicious. The flavors are not over the top, it wasn’t so rich that I couldn’t finish my slice for breakfast :) I bought a Bundt pan specially for this recipe, and I am glad I did. I mixed the cake by hand due to several kitchen mishaps, but it all turned out well in the end. I had no problem getting this out of the pan after letting it cool in the fridge overnight. Thank you for this recipe!

      1. Sabrina Redwine

        Made this today and didn’t have good results. In going back over the recipe I’m wondering if not covering in foil during baking was the problem. When I turned the bundt pan over to release the cake to a cooling rack, the cake and flan separated and the flan stuck to the pan so really wasn’t salvageable :( (and I oiled the pan well!) The chocolate cake is absolutely fabulous though! Wish I hadn’t forgotten the foil, but will give it another try after seeing all the positive posts.

  51. TARYN BULSARA

    I made this over the weekend for friends and it was a huge hit. I followed the directions as written and my choco-flan turned out picture perfect. Thank you for another excellent recipe to add to the rotation.

  52. Laurel T.

    We successfully made this gluten-free by using a 1:1 flour blend (in this case Bob’s Red Mill). It worked perfectly. Ultimately we were underwhelmed with the flavor of the flan in particular but the rest of our guests loved it and we were all impressed with how gorgeous it looked.

  53. Vishakha Parvate

    The DD and I made this because I was so fascinated by the “flipping cake” LOL. Because we made our own dulce de leche, it took so long that we were ready to never make it again – until we tasted it! It tastes as delicious as it is fun.

    It made a huge cake – bake for a crowd – we shared it with our neighbours.

    Also ours took over 2.5 hours to bake – time for a new oven methinks!

  54. Sarah

    Having tons of trouble getting this out of the pan after buttering it and letting it cool in the fridge overnight. Any Additional tips before I go at it with a spoon?

    1. Callie

      I just posted below, but I also had trouble, and what worked was rubbing the top of the pan with a hot rag. After that, the flan separated from the pan and the whole cake slid out.

    2. Laurel

      I used a knife to run along the edge of the cake as far down as I could go and then turned it over on the plate and gave it a couple of shakes and it came right out. I thoroughly sprayed the pan, too.

  55. Callie

    A decade ago I made a chocoflan and it was just… ok. I was thrilled to use this as an excuse to revisit the concept, and it was *perfect.* Thanks! One helpful piece of advice to others: I made mine a day ahead, stuck it in the fridge, and when it came time to unmold it, no go. I slipped a knife in, but with the fancy shape of my pan (another Nordic ware bundt, but with what look like petals), it was no help. What finally got it out–and beautifully, without a crack!–was running a towel under hot water and rubbing it on the top of the pan. After that, the cake popped out without trouble.

  56. Stephanie

    As soon as I saw the beautiful photos on this recipe, I knew I had to try it! I found that the flan and cake portions were straightforward to make (I used canned dulce de leche) and I love the hint of cinnamon in the chocolate cake. It does make quite a big cake though! Deb or other commenters, any thoughts on freezing the baked cake for later defrosting? I am a bit hesitant for how the flan will hold up in the freezer but would hate to have any of the cake go to waste. Thanks!

  57. Jessica

    I made this for Mexican night — it was really a hit, and not too sweet at all. Caramel sauce to spoon over the top was a good idea. I had a moment of pure panic when it wouldn’t come out of the bundt pan after resting in the fridge all night. I left it resting over a platter and went to freak out to my husband in the other room, and when I came back it had plopped down onto the platter, totally intact and beautiful.

  58. Maraha.K

    Made this yesterday and it was spectacular! The cake is rich and bittersweet enough to really complement the caramel flan, which is also not overly sweet. I found the balance of flavours perfect!
    I only had a 7-inch bundt so I made the whole recipe but only put in 2/3 of the batters in the pan. The cake was done in about 1 hour 15 min. I divided the rest of the batters in 4 muffin cups, which took about 25 minutes.

  59. Jill Nielsen

    For all you folks who say “I don’t have that kind of pan”: Bite the bullet and get one. Everyone will think you make the coolest cakes on the planet.Trust me on that. And you can then become the queen of bundt cakes. That’s all I make anymore. I have a collection of cool bundt pans and I never have to frost a cake. Yippee!

  60. Jaime

    I cannot say enough good things about this cake! I made it 2 weeks ago and just ate the last slice tonight. It wasn’t dry at all and still delicious. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend making it 2 weeks in advance, but properly stored, it is just as good on day 15 as it was on day 1, both the cake part and the flan.

  61. JP

    I made this for my own birthday during COVID. It turned out so good and beautiful. The only thing I did differently is that I poured a small bit of jarred caramel into the bottom of the bundt pan before adding anything else. When I turned it out (it came out perfectly), there was some oozing caramel over the top of the flan section. I read about doing this in another recipe and it worked.
    Other than that, I didn’t change a thing and it was delicious. I may add a bit more coffee to the next one though for a more pronounced flavor.

  62. AliciaS

    Hi Deb, the link for the pan you have is showing a 6 cup pan. Is the Amazon description wrong or is it a different pan? Thank you!

    1. Kate

      This confused me too but it appears to be a standard pic on all Nordic wares pans of this style, but if you read the description it says 10 cups

  63. K

    Made this yesterday. It was truly an all day affair, but I would make it again and plan to. I had to do the dulce from evap and it took over 2 hours to get to the right color and consistency. That was probably the suckiest part, but now that I know what to expect, no bigs. No issues sticking for me, but I sprayed that sucker liberally. Totally delicious and impressive. Going to use it on the dinner party rotation for sure. I’ve never made flan before so thanks for giving me the inspiration to get brave about it!

    1. kate

      Oh man I made this today. It was A MESS. dulce went perfectly, round 1 flan was a disaster cos the 5th egg was rotten, chucked the lot and started round 2 (thank goodness made 2tins dulce as suggested) with scaled 4/5 quantities. But it just didn’t come out the tin. And when it did, it was a HOT MESS and tasted eggy (despite being 4 eggs not 5) and the cake was dry! Soooo confused. Gonna try again next week. Deb is the culinary oracle so I must be doing something wrong. I blame my mother in law’s scratched AF bundt pan.

  64. Mallory

    Hi Deb! My mom and I love your site and all of your books! I’m making this the night before to bring to a get together late tomorrow afternoon. Is it best to leave it in the Bundt until I get to the location tomorrow? Can you leave it in the pan too long? I worry about it losing its beautiful shape if I take it out and transport it in the car…. If anyone else has had a similar situation and had advice please let me know. Thanks!

      1. Mallory Mortillaro

        Deb- thank you so much for another great recipe! Mine came out PERFECTLY! And you are totally right- it didn’t lose its shape at all! It was a hit! I love when you follow a good recipe and get great results! Thank you!

  65. Joanne Andresen

    I just put my chocoflan in the oven and decided to check out Chicanos Eats from which you adapted your recipe. You said to use tap water for the water bath. He said to use hot water from the tap. Mine was not hot. If this makes a difference, please edit your recipe to say” hot tap water.”
    Thank you.

  66. Alicia Grefenson

    Made this for Mexican-themed social bubble dinner last night. Delicious! It would have been super easy had I not decided to make the dulche de leche from scratch. Well worth it. I have one of those elaborate Bundt pans and was worried about sticking but the flour baking spray did its magic. Wish I could post the picture of the two bubble kids dancing with glee as I cut it. Winner!

  67. Laurel

    I made this for the second time and I didn’t make any of the mistakes I did the first time (forgot To add the butter, used inactive baking powder, splashed water in the flan, forgot the aluminum foil). It turned out perfect. Cake rose and was so moist. Flan was delicious and when I easily slid the cake out of the bundt pan, it looked beautiful! This is such a perfect recipe and my guests loved it.

  68. Alison

    I thought I would share my good results with an improvised water bath. I don’t have a baking dish wide enough to fit my Bundt pan, so I used a 4-qt Pyrex mixing bowl. It worked, no explosions! I set the bowl on a sheet pan, the Bundt in the bowl, and filled with tap water. Carefully used the sheet pan to lift the whole thing in and out of the oven. And now it smells amazing in my house but I have to wait for it to cool…

  69. Heidi Costello

    I made this today with dulce de leche I purched and it was a fairly straightforward affair. I did have some trouble getting to release from the pan. I thought I sprayed it enough but I don’t know what happened there. So it wasn’t the prettiest it could have been but oh the flavor! It was so delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

    We bought a cheap aluminum roasting pan from the grocery store and it worked great.

  70. Annabel

    Deliciousness! I made the dulce de leche myself as directed in the recipe and we really enjoyed the remainder with the flan.

    I had to learn an important lesson though: let it get back to room temperature before eating after taking it out of the fridge. Makes a HUGE difference!

  71. Molly

    I made this a few weeks ago, and it turned out beautifully. The only issue was getting it out of the pan, which I know has been a problem for other people too. (It came out in the end, without too much damage, but it was pretty terrifying for several minutes there.) It might have been that I didn’t grease thoroughly enough, but just to clarify: are we supposed to unmold the cake AFTER it’s been refrigerated, or before? I did it after the cake had sat in the fridge overnight, and I’m wondering if that was the problem. Thoughts, anyone? (With apologies if this was already answered, but I didn’t see it in the comments.)

    1. Laurel

      I sprayed my bundt pan really well. I took the cake out after it had been refrigerated. I ran a knife around the edges and turned the pan over on a plate and gave it a couple shakes and it fell out on the plate intact.

  72. Lydia

    I think a shorter bake time like others mentioned would have helped. I baked for the full 2 hours and cake was dry and the flan was a little eggy/gritty.

  73. DriverB

    We ate some yesterday when it was just cool enough – it had been in the fridge about two hours. But I snuck a little slice this morning and can confirm it is even better – more flavorful – after sitting overnight.
    I used a liberal coating of canola oil spray and it came out of the pan after a few taps and jiggles.

  74. LS

    To get the cake to release from the cake pan: I filled a larger bowl with hot water and submerged the bottom of the cake pan into it for a little bit (30 secs?) then flipped it. Came out perfectly. Took about 1:45 to bake.

  75. Lisa Arakaki

    Made this for a friend who loves dulce de leche. I was very careful when I ladled the flan into the pan but the cake batter started to float to the top with the last two ladles. I was sure it was going to end up looking like a marble cake but it turned out perfectly. Checked at 1 hr 45 mins like others and it seemed done but gave it another five to be sure. Huge hit with my friend!