Sunday, November 25, 2012

Magic Chocolate Flan Cake

I was browsing through my latest issue of Cook’s Country magazine and came across a recipe with three of my favorite things: caramel, chocolate and cream cheese. AND it called for cocoa, so I knew this was the recipe I wanted to try for November’s challenge.

It’s a layer of chocolate cake, topped with flan and dripping in caramel. The cool part is when it goes in the oven the chocolate cake layer and flan layer switch places, hence the magic.

I know I preached thinking outside of the {dessert} box when using cocoa as an ingredient, but I couldn’t resist this! It was a simple recipe and really delicious - I love anything swimming in caramel. Plus who can resist magic?

Recipe from Cook's Country, Serves 16

½ cup caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce and had a jar of Fran’s caramel sauce to drizzle on top when serving)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 (14-ounce cans) sweetened condensed milk
2 ½ cups whole milk
6 ounces cream cheese
6 large eggs plus 4 large yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Microwave caramel until easily pourable, about 30 seconds. Pour into pan to coat bottom. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in bowl; set aside. Combine chocolate and butter in large bowl and microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture until incorporated. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter over caramel in prepared pan.

2. FOR THE FLAN: Process all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Gently pour flan over cake batter in Bundt pan and place pan in large roasting pan. Place roasting pan on oven rack and pour warm water into roasting pan until it reaches halfway up side of Bundt pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean and flan resisters 180 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes (I did 75 minutes and next time would try a little less). Transfer Bundt pan to wire rack. Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. (Remove roasting pan from oven once water has cooled.)

3. Place bottom third of Bundt pan in bowl of hot tap water for 1 minute. Invert completely flat cake plate, place platter over top of Bundt plan, and gently turn platter and pan upside down. Slowly remove pan, allowing caramel to drizzle over top of cake. Serve with extra caramel sauce drizzled over the top.


  1. I feel like anything served in a bundt cake cannot be bad. But this looks amazing! Caramel, chocolate and cream cheese -- yes please!

    1. This looks amazing but the cake is dry and the flan is bland and I would not make it again.

  2. Are you kidding me? That looks so freaking good. Even to the one beauty who is luke warm on dessert. I want that in my pie hole NOW!

  3. I made 3 of these and they all looked great
    when I unmolded them, but after a few minutes
    the flan fell and went every where? I followed
    the recipe to the letter every time. I can't figure out what I did wrong?

    1. I'm sorry to hear that! Did you let it cool to room temp and then refrigerate for 8 hours?

    2. Did you use a name brand condensed milk? I used the recommended Eagle brand, and it set perfectly.

    3. In watching Cooks Country and their review of different brands of Sweetened Condensed Milk...the reviewer noted that some brands will not set the flan--it will fall apart when serving. Brands preferred: #1 Eagle Brand #2 Carnation

  4. Thank you so much for publishing the recipe. I recently subscribed to the Kindle Fire version of Cooks Country but got frustrated that I couldn't expand the view enough to be able to read the recipe while cooking. Couldn't access the Cooks Country online version without another subscription. So, you have solved my problem. Hurray!

    1. a-men on that, it's like that every time i try to get a recipe from cooks or america's test kitchen.i've subscriped more than once!!!!

  5. I made this this weekend and here are some tips and observations. It is very yummy and not low calorie but the wow factor makes it worth it. The cream cheese makes the flan somewhere between traditional flan and cheese cake..a really good middle ground.

    1) I hate buying 32 oz. of buttermilk when I only need 4 oz. Next time I'll make a substitute with milk and vinegar or just use whole milk.

    2) The flan mix did not fit in my 12-cup blender. I had to blend twice and then combine in a separate container prior to pouring onto the cake.

    3) Pour the flan VERY carefully onto the uncooked cake batter. The cake started to float before I even had it in the oven. It still came out okay though.

    3) I used semi sweet chocolate chips. They worked fine and are much cheaper than the bars.

    4) He cake shrunk quite a bit after cooling and the cake portion collapsed. I guess I have to work on this part.

    5) I loosened the cake from the pan and put it in the warm water before flipping it. It came out so easy that I'm not sure I would do the warm water treatment again.

  6. My husband and I saw this a few weeks ago on a rerun of Cook's Country. He got so excited about it that I decided to make it for his birthday tomorrow. I'll be waking up bright and early to get it going. I hope it turns out okay! Thanks for the recipe and for the tips!

  7. Third time I am trying this! Which temperature do you bake it at? The 350 or 180 degree? Please advise as I would love to make this for Christmas, Thanks!

    1. Hi, you bake it at 350 degrees, but you 1) do the clean toothpick test on the cake (which is now on the surface) and also do a temp check on the flan to make sure it has reached 180 degrees.

  8. Thanks for posting this information. I'd love to hear what your experience was baking it. Thanks everyone else for posting about your successes or failures.