This luscious Chocolate Flan Cake is a truly unique dessert–the first layer is a hybrid of silky flan and creamy cheesecake. The second layer is a rich and dense chocolate cake, almost like a brownie. The combination of the two layers with the caramel sauce on top is a cake that is decadent, creamy and every sugar addict’s dream. With the holidays coming up, I recommend you make this cake and share it with family and friends. Otherwise you’ll end up eating the entire cake yourself. 🙂 Enjoy!
Notes on the Chocolate Flan Cake Recipe, Tips and Tricks
What is the magic behind this cake that causes the layers to get switched after it’s baked? It’s the combination of ingredients, weight difference of the batters and use of the water bath. With that said, please don’t alter this recipe too much. The chocolate layer is really thick on purpose so it doesn’t get combined with the flan layer when the mixture is poured on top. Also, don’t skip the water bath. It is needed to evenly heat the chocolate layer so it can float to the top.
Please be very careful when cooking sugar. It is extremely hot. Handle it with care–stand back when pouring it into the cake pan and do not let it touch your skin. If you’re nervous about making the caramel sauce, buy the ready-to-eat sauce at the store. It’s usually stocked with the ice cream cones and other ice cream toppings.
If you want to make this cake healthier, try the following: use fat-free condensed milk or evaporated milk, low-fat cream cheese, reduced-fat milk and cut back on the sugar.
Make your own buttermilk by combining 1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice. Let stand for 15 minutes. Combine together add as per the recipe.
This is a very thick cake so it may take longer than 1 1/2 hours to bake. Use a toothpick to check for doneness. If the cake is still moist, bake for another 10 minutes and then check again.
This cake tastes best well-chilled so don’t rush the process. Plan to make the cake a day or so ahead if serving for a party or gathering.
Refrigerate any leftover cake and consume within the week.
Watch the video for instructions.
Chocolate Flan Cake
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp lemon juice
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 (14) oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
non-stick cooking spray
12-cup bundt cake pan
Making the Caramel Sauce: Add the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Cook on Low until the sugar is melted. Swirl the syrup in the pan every minute. When the syrup starts to bubble, add the lemon juice. Continue cooking the syrup and swirling in the pan until it starts to turn a honey color, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, lift the pan from the stove and swirl the syrup in the pan for another 1 minute allowing the syrup to deepened in color. Transfer the saucepan to a cool burner.
Spray the bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray making sure to cover it completely and evenly.
Carefully pour the caramel sauce into the cake pan. Tilt the pan slightly to distribute the sauce around the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Making the Chocolate Cake: In a microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate chips. Microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir the mixture. Microwave on High for 30 seconds. Combine the mixture together making a smooth and creamy chocolate sauce.
In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside for now.
Add the eggs, vanilla extract and buttermilk to the chocolate sauce. Using an electric hand mixer, mix on Low speed for 30 seconds or until well-combined.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on Low for 1 minute or until well-combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix together making sure all the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.
Making the Flan Cake: Add the cream cheese, whole eggs and egg yolks into a blender. Blend on Medium speed until mixture is smooth, approximately 30-40 seconds. Add the sweetened condensed milk, milk and vanilla extract. Blend on Medium speed until well-combined, approximately 30 seconds.
Transfer the chocolate cake batter into the bundt pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter into an even layer.
Slowly pour the flan cake mixture on top of the chocolate cake batter. Leave some room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise.
Cover the cake pan with foil and wrap it securely.
Fill a large baking pan halfway with hot water and place into the oven. Place the cake pan in the water bath.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake and it should come out clean.
Remove the cake pan from the water bath and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.
Cover the cake with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Overnight is best.
Removing the cake: Fill a large baking dish with hot water. Place the cake pan in the water bath for 2 minutes. During this time, run a knife around the cake, separating it from the pan. Invert a cake plate over the cake pan and then flip it over. Jiggle the cake pan a few times to loosen the cake.
Serve the cake with more caramel sauce or whipped cream. Optionally, top with fresh fruit or nuts.
Yields: 8-10 servings
Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen
This looks SO good. But is it possible to make with Chocolate cake mix and jarred caramel sauce?
It’s definitely worth a try but I would try. If it works, please stop back to share your results!
Hi Trang, can I make this in an instant pot? If so cook time?
Thanks in advance !!
It’s possible but I haven’t tried it.
Hi Trang, I’m a newcomer to your recipes. (Don’t know what took me so long!) Is it possible to omit the cream cheese but leave everything else as is? I love banh flan and chocolate but not cheesecake. Thanks!
Hi Don, welcome to RunAwayRice! This is a good question and I have not tried making this cake without the cream cheese. Without the cream cheese, if would be flan. It’s worth a try! If you decide to experiment, please stop back to share your results. I’d love to hear about it.
Hi Trang, I just tried it. It ended up great! It was exactly a banh flan on a brownie. Not too sweet and not too dense. Thank you so much for the recipe. As a fellow Vietnamese, I look forward to trying out your dishes. (I also did your tâm bi, and it was excellent!)
I am really happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for kind words and support! 🙂
hi. can i use 1 can of condensed milk instead of 2 because i’m thinking it might be too sweet. will that affect the texture of the flan?
You can use 1 can of condensed milk but replace the second can with 1 can evaporated milk. This way it will be less sweet but it won’t alter the recipe and texture too much. Good Luck!
hi! do I have to use only one or two cans of sweetened condensed milk? because the way it’s written in the ingredients list it’s kinda confusing…
2-14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
The recipe requires 2 cans of condensed milk, each can is 14 fluid ounces. Hope that helps.
Hi! can i use the Triple Chocolate fudge cake mix ( in a box) for the chocolate cake?
Yes, you can use prepared cake mix. It’s a great shortcut!
I’m new to the cooking world n just tried your recipe. The cake turned out nicely shaped n tasted well.
However the chocolate layer didn’t go down to the bottom!!!
Do you know what did I do wrong to cause that?
Hmm…that’s usual. Can you think of any substitutions or changes you may have made to the recipe?
Hi Maam. I don’t have a bundt pan but would very much want to make this cake, can I use a regular round baking pan? Thank you
You can use any pan that is deep enough. Good Luck!
Thank you for the quick response I hope to make this soon. Thank you again
After caramel you pour choclate mixture then cream cheese , then how come the outcome of the cake comes like caramel sauce followed by cream cheese then chocolate cake
That’s the magic in this cake. The flan layer and chocolate cake layer gets switched during baking. Hope you give the recipe a try 🙂
Doing a practice run with this recipe tonight for a party I am having Saturday. I had about a cup of the flan batter left over. Can I reduce the milk to one cup and the whole eggs to five?
Yes, you can reduce the milk and reduce the eggs to 5. Let me know how the cake turns out for you! 🙂