Chocoflan, aka Magic Cake, aka Chocolate Flan Cake, aka Hell Yeah

I found this chocoflan recipe on Betty Crocker’s website. But wait, don’t judge me yet.
It also involves a box cake.

"Chocoflan," from Make It Like a Man!

If you’re still with me, I modified the recipe to use a from-scratch cake, so you can stop clutching your pearls. I have to tell you, though, the box cake was delicious. The flan lends moistness and density to it. My cake is better: richer, darker.

I had never heard of this kind of cake until recently. I found it in a Mexican restaurant last spring. It had a flan layer in between two layers of chocolate cake. I have no idea how to do that. The chocoflan I’m presenting today has only two layers, but it’s every bit as delicious.

This chocoflan is called “magic,” because you pour the cake batter into the pan before the flan batter, exactly the opposite of what you’d expect. Science makes the flan sink to the bottom and separate from the cake, et voila. I’ve searched and searched, for, like, literally 15 minutes on the internet, looking for someone to tell me what would happen if you poured the flan in first. Word on the street is that the flan would burn and stick to the pan and that, furthermore, it might not attach itself to the cake layer. I have my doubts about this, but not so much that I’ve been willing to test it.

"Chocoflan," from Make It Like a Man!

This cake, considering how easy it is to make, is unbelievably good. I mean, first of all, flan. Amiright? It’s the crack cocaine of comfort foods. And dense, rich chocolate cake … it’s two desserts for the price of one … with caramel on top. But it’s not just about flavor. The texture is mind-blowing: custardy, dense, rich, and a tiny bit gooey.

What you need to to make 8 nice-sized or 16 dainty servings:


1/4 cup caramel sauce
One batch of batter for Darker-Than-Black® Profoundly Chocolate Cake


1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup milk
4 eggs

How to do it:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease up a standard-size bundt pan (12-cup) with butter. Pour caramel topping in bottom of pan. (Optionally, manipulate the pan to roll the caramel around, so that you get an even swath that’s at least 2 inches wide.)

Pour batter over caramel topping in pan.

"Chocoflan," from Make It Like a Man!

Pour flan ingredients into blender; blend on “blend” speed until smooth, about 40 seconds. Slowly pour mixture into the pan, right into the chocolate batter, circling the pan as you pour.

Place cake pan in large roasting pan; add 1 inch of hot water to roasting pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove cake pan from water bath to cooling rack. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. Once cool, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, fill kitchen sink with hot water. Place the cake into the water – taking care that water doesn’t seep into the pan, of course – and hold it there for one minute. Remove to a towel. Place serving plate upside down on cake pan; turn plate and pan over. You may have to tap and shake a few times until the cake falls out of the pan.

Store in refrigerator, where it will remain absolutely perfect, untouched by the ravages of time, for one full day. On the second day, you might imagine that you detect a subtle degradation in quality, but you won’t be sure. It’s only somewhere between the third and fourth days that you’ll notice that the flan has begun to oversaturate the cake, and that the two flavors have begun to meld.


  1. You may add other flavors to the flan, such as vanilla, grated orange peel, or your favorite liqueur.
  2. If you can’t make your own caramel sauce, store-bought is fine. But if you’ve never made your own caramel sauce, you have no idea how superior it is to even the best store-bought.

"Chocoflan," from Make It Like a Man!


Credit for images on this page: Make It Like a Man! This content was not solicited, nor written in exchange for anything. I’m telling you, though, if you want some chocoflan, you’d better bake one right away. I mean, half of it’s Mexican, and the other half is dark chocolate. In Trump’s America? Don’t be surprised if ICE is tracking condensed milk sales. If this post suddenly disappears and is replaced with a recipe for white cake with vanilla frosing, you’ll know they’ve gotten to me.

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"Chocoflan," from Make It Like a Man!

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31 thoughts on “Chocoflan, aka Magic Cake, aka Chocolate Flan Cake, aka Hell Yeah

  1. This is a “company” dessert. If I prepare one with no one else seated at the table, I’ll devour it in no time. WIth guests, I’ll be forced to share it … well, part of it, anyway. If I serve ’em a heavy dinner, they’ll only want a sliver for dessert. 😉

  2. *Boom* Science. Love this cake! I must admit that I’ve never heard of mixing flan with chocolate cake, but I could get on board this train…and ride it all the way to Delicioustown. Not sure if that’s a real place, but it should be. Also, I wouldn’t complain about a white cake with white frosting. After all, it’s cake. And cake is delicious! 🙂
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Rustic Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

    • David, if there is such a place is Delicioustown, I think you already live there.

  3. It should be illegal and I mean HIGHLY illegal for you to post this and me read it while I’m stuck at work.

  4. Ok. I’ve had magic cakes before that were a cake and more like a curd. My mom called it a lemon pie cake (or a lemon cake pie??). I’ve also had the the flan in the middle Mexican cake. But this beauty is new to me. Thanks GREG

  5. OMG look at that caramel topping. I need this cake in my life Jeff.

    Added to the list of “must tries”!

    It’s just before breakfast here in Scotland. Surely it’s not against the rules to eat this for breakfast? Seriously tempted!

  6. It’s been a while since I donned a pearl necklace, so there was no clutching over here. I have seen variations of this flan-cake combo as we travel through South America, but none looked as appealing as yours. This is a winner, as far as I’m concerned. Damn marvellous!
    John | heneedsfood recently posted…Chilean cocada with chocolate

  7. Good stuff. This looks excellent — a real winner. Although I’m disappointed you didn’t try a version adding the flan first! Can’t see how it’d burn — after all, that’s where the flan ends up anyway when you pour it in after the chocolate. It’s fun playing with specific gravity of ingredients (which is why the flan sinks — it’s denser than the chocolate, meaning it’s “heavier” — gravity exerts more of a force on it). You probably know those layered drinks (like those layered shots). All part of the “pousse cafe” class of drinks (I really need to write a post about them one of these days). They are all possible because different liqueurs, booze, etc have different specific gravities, and if you pour them carefully, will remain in distinct layers in the glass. OK, I’ve exhausted 100% of what I know about this subject. 🙂
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

    • I agree with you; I’m really curious to test it, too. I don’t understand why it’d burn, since this is essentially how you make a flan in the first place: in an oven, in a water bath. But my first test was just to see if the from-scratch batter would behave the way the box batter did. The fact that I need to continue to fit into my pants prevented a third test right away … but I’ll get round to it. But if your calculations are right – and I think they are – we may not be able to bake this one in space.

  8. That looks heavenly ! I must say so far I have not used a box cake mix, I love baking from scratch. Although I have not used a box mix, I have tasted it many times at my friends and aunts and there is no doubt it is moist and delicious 😉
    Magic cake is in my to make list and hope to try it soon. Thanks for sharing Jeff 🙂

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