This Chocoflan is a rich chocolate cake with an orange hint topped with creamy vanilla and coffee flavored flan dripping with decadent dulce de leche and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

Pouring deliciousness over the Homemade Chocoflan

Chocoflan is the best of three worlds – dulce de leche, flan, and chocolate cake. Chocoflan is also called the impossible cake, because it truly is incredible.

Picture this – you pour caramel sauce (dulce de leche or cajeta) into a 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.

Pouring caramel sauce over the delicious cake


Once the dessert is baked in a water bath you invert it and the caramel and flan is back on top. Magic, right?

Let me tell you how many times I have tried this magical dessert and failed miserably. What I should have done is test a tried and true recipe instead of trying to develop my own. I tried three times (maybe four) to develop a recipe and each time they were flops. And when I say flops, they literally flopped – either under cooked, stuck to the pan, caramel disasters, or just not pretty and kinda tasteless.

Chocoflan walnuts and dulce de leche in the process

I shared my latest flop on Instagram and as much as I prayed to the Chocoflan Gods my cake again did not work.

Then, Karista, a lovely blogging amiga sent me a link to this Dreamiest Chocoflan made by her sister-in-law’s mother, in Colombia.

Sure, I could have found an easier recipe online made with boxed chocolate cake mix for the cake layer, but I wanted to give it another try with a homemade recipe. The orange juice in the chocolate batter and pinch of coffee in the flan really piqued my interest in her recipe.

Mexican dessert - impossible cake topped with caramel sauce

The trickiest part about making Chocoflan (in my opinion) is the caramel layer – you need to caramelize sugar and pour that in the bottom of the pan and swirl it around until it has coated half way up the sides and bottom of the pan.

Chocoflan - delicious Mexican cake missing one piece

To be honest, feel free to skip this part or purchase a squeezable dulce de leche bottle that can be drizzled in the pan instead. Or skip it entirely and once the Chocoflan is baked and inverted, pour a warm dulce de leche glaze over the cake.

A piece of chocoflan served in a very nice plate with a fork on a side


Chocoflan collage with text overlay

Chocoflan (Impossible Cake)

5 (1 rating)
Have your cake and eat your flan, too, with a recipe that combines both! This Chocoflan is a rich chocolate cake with an orange hint topped with creamy vanilla and coffee flavored flan is dripping with decadent dulce de leche and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.


Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, or 1/2 lb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 14 onces whole milk , measure it out in the sweetened condensed milk can
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch instant coffee

Dulce de Leche Glaze:

  • 1 cup dulce de leche
  • milk, regular milk or almond milk, as needed
  • chopped pecans or walnuts, optional


Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In an electric mixer blend the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy, almost white. Whisk in the eggs, one at time until incorporated.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder and then slowly add this to the creamed sugar. Once the flour has been added, stir in the cocoa powder.
  • Next mix in the orange juice and vanilla. Once it’s well combined, pour the cake batter into a well-greased cake pan.


  • In a blender, add all the ingredients and blend well. Pour this mixture on top of the cake batter, very carefully so you don’t disturb the cake batter.


  • Place a larger cake pan or baking dish in the oven and fill it with about 1 inch of water. Then place the chocoflan pan in the water bath (bain-marie or bano de maria). Let the cake bake for about 75 to 90 minutes or until the cake is done.
  • Let the cake cool for about an hour. Then when you are ready to flip the chocoflan, pour some hot water into the larger pan and set the chocoflan pan in the hot water for about 30 seconds.

Dulce de Leche Glaze:

  • Pour dulce de leche or cajeta in a small sauce pan on low heat. Stir in milk slowly to desired constancy.


  • Flip the chocoflan onto a cake plate and serve. This cake holds well in the frig for several days.
  • Drizzle with caramel (dulce de leche or cajeta) and sprinkle with nuts, if using.


Shortcut: purchase a squeezable dulce de leche bottle that can be drizzled in the pan.  Or skip the caramel layer in the recipe and pour warm dulce the leche glaze over the cake once the Chocoflan is baked and inverted. 
Recipe by Nelly Rodriguez de Galofre
Calories: 386kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 207mg, Potassium: 158mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 743IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 2mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks