Decadent Layered Chocolate Flan Recipe

All baking is science, chemistry to be specific, and this decadent layered chocolate flan cake is testament to that fact. This cake goes by a few different names: "magic chocoflan" or the "Impossible flan cake." It is both a delicious culinary creation and a fun science project served up in one delightful Bundt tin. Of course, we all know that baked goods rely on chemical processes to cook, but this is a particularly special cake and here's why. 

This decadent chocolate flan cake is comprised of two separate batters; a chocolate cake batter, and a vanilla flan batter. When the cake is prepared, the chocolate batter layered into the bottom of the Bundt tin, with the liquid flan then poured on top. When the dessert begins to bake, however, the less dense chocolate cake rises and the denser flan sinks, essentially causing the two batters to swap places. When the cake is turned out from the Bundt pan, the result is a beautifully creamy set flan sitting on top of a dense chocolate base: magic!

And, with the delicious additions of caramel and cinnamon, this cake is a showstopper in both looks and taste. Read on to find out how you can make this decadent layered chocolate flan at home, created by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye.

Gather the ingredients for this decadent layered chocolate flan cake

To create this decadent layered chocolate flan cake, first you will need to gather the ingredients. For the chocolate cake batter you will want flour, cocoa powder, baking power, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. For the flan layer you will require cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, a vanilla pod, and salt. As well as this, you will need caramel sauce, and you may wish to use chopped pecan nuts to decorate.

Make the chocolate cake batter

To begin this recipe, you will want to mix the chocolate cake batter. To do this, first combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt in a large bowl. Then, beat the butter and the sugar together for a couple of minutes until it is light and creamy. The creaming stage is particularly important to introduce air to your batter, giving the resulting cake crumb more lightness. Then, beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract, before incorporating the flour mixture and the buttermilk in increments, to create a beautifully thick, dark cake batter.

Prepare the flan batter

To create the flan batter, beat together the remaining 3 eggs with a balloon whisk, then add the cream cheese and combine until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk into the bowl, and then scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them. Whisk everything together to throughly combine the ingredients, and then prepare to assemble your chocolate flan cake for baking.

Assemble the chocolate flan cake

To assemble the chocolate flan cake, you will want to use a large Bundt tin. This specialist cake tin is vital to cook the cake properly as it requires heat through the centre of the batter to cook everything properly; this chocolate flan cake won't work in a normal tin. Thoroughly grease the Bundt tin, and then smear some caramel sauce around the base of the tin. Transfer the chocolate cake batter to the Bundt tin and smooth it out, before gently pouring the flan batter on the top. Cover the Bundt tin with a layer of aluminum foil; your chocolate flan cake is now ready to bake.

Bake the chocolate flan

The best way to bake this chocolate flan cake is in a Bain Marie. You don't need any complicated kitchen equipment for this, you can simply use a deep oven tray. Place the Bundt tin inside the oven tray, and then pour water into the oven tray until it reaches roughly two inches up the side of the Bundt tin. Then, simply close the oven door and allow the heat to work its magic for an hour.

Once the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and allow it to sit and cool for an hour or two, before gently inverting the cake onto a serving plate. Finish off this decadent chocolate flan cake by drizzling with the remaining caramel, and for best results, store the cake in the fridge for an hour or two before serving it chilled. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Decadent Layered Chocolate Flan Recipe
5 from 42 ratings
Learn how to make this flan with both chocolate cake and vanilla flan layers.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Slice of layered chocolate flan
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 1 (397 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (400 g) can evaporated milk 

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, divided
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Thoroughly grease a large Bundt tin with butter, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, the cocoa powder, the cinnamon, the baking powder, the bicarbonate of soda, and the salt until combined. Set this to one side.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar for three to four minutes, until it is lighter in color and throughly creamed.
  4. Beat in 2 of the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, and mix until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Mix in half of the flour and cocoa mixture until it is combined, and then add the buttermilk and mix again, before adding the remaining half of the flour and cocoa mixture, to form a thick chocolate cake batter. Set this to one side.
  6. In a large, clean bowl, add the three remaining eggs and whisk them with a balloon whisk for 30 seconds. Then add the cream cheese and mix until they are well combined and there are no lumps of cream cheese.
  7. Pour in the sweetened, condensed milk and the evaporated milk, and scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add these to the bowl. Add the salt and then whisk everything until a smooth, creamy liquid batter is formed.
  8. To prepare the chocolate flan for baking, smear ¼ cup of caramel sauce around the base of the greased Bundt tin. Then transfer the thick chocolate batter to the Bundt tin, and gently smooth it out using the back of a spoon. Finally, transfer the flan batter to the bundt tin, carefully pouring it on top of the chocolate batter. Cover the top of the Bundt tin with foil and place it into the preheated oven in a Bain Marie, with water ideally coming two inches up the sides of the Bundt tin.
  9. Cook the covered chocolate flan for 1 hour, until the chocolate base has risen, and a skewer comes out with just a few crumbs when inserted. Remove the chocolate flan from the oven and allow it to sit for one to two hours until cool, before carefully turning out onto a plate.
  10. Slightly heat the remaining caramel sauce and drizzle it around the top of the chocolate flan, and decorate with chopped pecans if desired.
Calories per Serving 566
Total Fat 23.3 g
Saturated Fat 13.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 155.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 79.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 56.7 g
Sodium 499.2 mg
Protein 14.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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