Impossible? No Way!

Picture this… you pour caramel sauce into a cake pan, then you pour chocolate cake batter over the caramel, and flan on top, and then magically, in the oven, the flan separates and sinks to the bottom to reunite with the caramel. It goes into the oven one way and comes out another. Impossible right? Well no actually, it’s very simple.

Mexican Chocoflan Impossible Cake, also known as Pastel Imposible (but I like calling it Chocoflan), is a dense, rich chocolate cake stacked with creamy vanilla custard, known as flan, dripping with a delicate layer of rich caramel sauce. What makes it “impossible is that the layers separate and settle in opposite directions during the baking process. 

It may sound a bit more complicated than it really is, but we will be using boxed cake mix for the chocolate part, and sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and evaporated milk for the flan half. This cake isn’t all that hard to make, just follow my steps, and you should have the perfect Chocoflan. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

For Chocolate Cake Part

  • ½ cup of Caramel Topping or Sugar – You can use a store-bought kind or make your own. It’s easier to buy it, but I think it tastes better when you simply melt the ½ cup of sugar.
  • 1 box of Chocolate Cake Mix – You can use the store-bought cake mix, which is faster or make your own chocolate cake batter from scratch. We will be using the cake mix in this recipe.
  • 3 Eggs – The eggs will help make the cake rise as well as act as a binder for the other ingredients
  • ½ cup of Oil – I typically will use vegetable oil, but you can use a variety of other oils too if you like.
  • 1 ¼ cup of Water – You can use whatever water you’d like.

For the Flan Part

  • 6 eggs – The eggs are the main ingredient for the flan. The eggs are what gels the milk and gives the flan a custard texture.
  • 1 can of Sweetened condensed milk – The milk is what gives the flan its sweetness without using sugar. I typically use the generic brand.
  • 1 can of Evaporated milk – If you can’t find evaporated milk, you can substitute it with a combination of whole milk and half and half.
  • 2 Tbsp of vanilla extract – The vanilla will give the flan a nice essence and flavor. 
  • ½ a bar or 4 oz of Cream Cheese (Optional) – Cream cheese gives the flan a delicious creamy texture, which I love, but is not necessary. 


  • 15 x 10 cake pan or a 12-cup bundt cake pan (I will be using a glass cake pan with a glass cover)
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Foil
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Roasting pan

Step 2: Prepare Pan and Oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add caramel sauce to the bottom of the 12-cup bundt pan or cake pan. If you choose not to buy the caramel sauce you can simply melt 1/2 a cup of sugar on the stovetop with a tablespoon of water. Once melted, spread evenly and quickly because the hot caramel hardens very fast.

Step 3: Making the Chocolate Cake Part

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions using the water, oil, and eggs. Add the eggs, cake mix, oil, and water to a large bowl and use a whisk to mix the ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula at the end. Once well combined, pour the chocolate mixture slowly and evenly over caramel topping.

Step 4: Making the Flan Part In the Blender

Combine cream cheese, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla in the blender. Then, blend the flan mixture until it is blended and until the texture is smooth.

Step 5: Pouring Flan Mixture Into Baking Pan

Slowly pour flan over cake batter. Here is where the impossible happens. Notice that before the Chocoflan goes into the oven the flan batter is on top of the chocolate cake batter, which essentially will be the bottom of the cake once it is baked. However, as the cake bakes the flan will go down to the bottom, which will be the top of the cake when it is flipped over. Isn’t that amazing?

Step 6: Finish Prepping the Pan and Bake

After adding the flan mixture, cover the top of the pan with foil and place the pan in the large roasting pan. Pour warm tap water into a roasting pan until it is about half the length of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Cooling

Once completely baked, pull out of the oven and allow Chocoflan to stay in the roasting pan with the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove foil and allow it to completely cool. To speed up the cooling process you can put the Chocoflan in the freezer for an hour and then place it in the refrigerator.

Step 8: Serving

Once the cake is cooled completely, invert onto a serving plate. There, now you have a beautiful Chocoflan. Next, slice into that cake and serve it up. You can drizzle more caramel sauce on it if you like. Enjoy!

Citlalli (Talli) Alaniz – Fenwick – DMSF