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A few desserts on this blog stick with me, often because I posted them a while back, but discovering that I’d like to tweak them a little to reflect my current tastes. As anyone who cooks or bakes knows, things change over time. New ingredients get introduced (such as bean-to-bar chocolates) and we learn better or faster ways to do things the more we make our favorite recipes.

Chocoflan has always fascinated me and over eleven years ago, I posted this recipe, based on one by my friend Fany Gerson in her terrific book My Sweet Mexico. When I got her book, I was wowed by it immediately. I was so taken with her book that I asked the same photographer, Ed Anderson, to shoot my next book, which was My Paris Kitchen. I’m happy the pastries of Mexico have been adequately explored in a whole book, with recipes from a notable pastry chef to boot.

When I posted the recipe I remarked that I thought I’d like a larger layer of chocolate and vowed up give it a few goes, trying it out again, which I did this week making four Chocoflans (!)

I tried out a few other recipes I saw online, I read some comments on social media (which is always ‘at your own risk’) when I posted a picture of one Chocoflan that wasn’t quite right, and toggled the ingredients in each, adding more cocoa powder, checking out if cream cheese was a good enough addition to the flan to ask you to buy that. I dialed down the sugar in one, and to be honest, custard that doesn’t have enough sugar is bland.

I also tried using my salted butter caramel sauce in place of the dulce de leche or cajeta. (And wondered if I’d get called out for mentioning one but not the other.) And because I’m such a sport, I made it in a round cake pan, for those of you who don’t have a bundt or tube pan so I could confidently answer, “Yes, it works!”

Speaking of the nomenclature issue, there is a difference between cajeta and dulce de leche. Cajeta is made with goat milk – which I love – but is very difficult to come by. If you’re fortunate to have access to fresh goat milk, I have a recipe in The Perfect Scoop for homemade cajeta. But it’s a challenge to find cajeta (or non-ultra-pasteurized goat milk) in Paris. But I’ve also had a hard time finding it, and dulce de leche, in multicultural shops in New York, San Francisco, and even Texas. (But you can find it online.) In France, there’s confiture de lait, which is the French version of dulce de leche, and it’s just as glorious.

So here it is, the revised Chocoflan, also called Flan Imposible because it seems impossible when you’re putting it together that the thick cake batter on the bottom will somehow float through the custard while it’s cooking, to create a chocolaty layer of moist cake that becomes the bottom again when you flip it out of the pan. Got that?

But somehow, it works beautifully. I did end up liking the cream cheese in the custard so included that, although you can leave it out. I decided that vanilla bean paste was a lot more interesting, and richer-tasting, than vanilla extract, but you can use either. And my hunch about wanting a bigger layer of chocolate cake paid off. That’s non-negotiable.

Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan

Adapted from My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed) by Fany Gerson I used natural cocoa powder here, which is what you generally use in recipes that call for baking soda, but you could use Dutch-process cocoa. More info on cocoa powder can be found at my Cocoa Powder FAQs here. The better the brand, the better the flavor. Vanilla paste gives the flan a deeper flavor but vanilla extract can stand in, in its place. If you don't have buttermilk you can make a mix of half yogurt and half milk, preferably using whole milk products. In France, dulce de leche is called confiture de lait (milk jam), which you can buy or make it yourself. I've also used my salted butter caramel in place of it in the recipe and it works just fine. If you use a standard round cake pan for this, the dulce de leche will absorb unevenly so you may want to have a little extra dulce de leche on hand to drizzle over the top of the finished Chocoflan.
Servings 12 servings

For the cake layer:

  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) neutral-tasting vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the flan layer:

  • 1 can (12 ounces, 340g) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces, 395g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces (115g) cream cheese
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC.) Spray a bundt cake pan with a 10 cup/2,5l capacity with nonstick spray or lightly butter it, making sure if using butter you get in all the creases. (You can also use a 9-inch/23cm cake pan with 2 1/2-inch/6cm sides, but not a springform pan, which can leak.)
  • Dribble the dulce de leche in and around the bottom and up the sides of the cake pan. Place the mold or cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a double boiler for baking. Some dulce de leches are very thick and some aren't. As it sits it may sink to the bottom, which is fine. Don't worry about it.
  • To make the cake layer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and vanilla.
  • Use a spatula to stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Give the pan with the dulce de leche in it a swirl if it's very liquid, then scrape the batter in the mold over the dulce de leche. (Okay if the dulce de leche has sunk back down to the bottom. It'll end up fine.)
  • Make the flan layer by blending together, with an immersion or standard blender, the evaporated and condensed milk, cream cheese, 4 eggs, vanilla, and salt, until smooth.
  • Pour the flan mixture over the back of a large spoon or spatula over the cake layer, using the spoon to diffuse the custard as you pour so it doesn't disrupt the cake batter too much*.
  • Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray. Cover the mold or cake pan loosely with the foil, fill the roasting pan with very hot water so it reaches halfway up the side of the mold, and bake until the center of the cake layer feels done, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.
  • Remove the cake from the water bath and set it on a wire rack to cool for about an hour. As it's cooling, run a utensil (use a silicone one if so you don't ruin the finish of your cake pan, depending on what it's made of) around the rim of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Refrigerate the Chocoflan until well-chilled, which will take several hours or overnight.
  • To remove the cake from the pan, place a large dinner or serving plate over the top of the cake, with the "public" side of the plate (as Julia Child once said) facing down over the cake pan. Grasping both the cake pan and plate, flip them both over. You may need to jiggle and shake the flan a little under you feel it slide out of the mold.


Serving: I like to serve the Chocoflan chilled.
Storage: The flan can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.
*You'll notice in the picture in my post, I'm pouring the custard right over the cake without pouring it over a spoon. I only have two hands, so wasn't able to do that while taking the photo, but I recommend doing it.

Related Recipes & Links

Chocolate Mole

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche

Why you should use aluminum-free baking powder

What is the difference between evaporated and sweetened condensed milk? (Home Cooking)

Cocoa Powder FAQ


    • dinners& dreams

    I can finish a jar of dolce de leche in no time and flan is one of my absolute favorite desserts so I have no excuse not to make this scrumptious flan.

    Happy to be able to get on your site after a few failed attempts.


    • Sandy

    I’m still trying to lick the screen-thank you so much for sharing now I know what to do with the left over dulce de leche I have from the Muchas Leches Cake I just made. Better do it quick though, can’t stop tasting the dulce de leche…fabulous blog !

    • the French

    Whether “they” would describe it as delectable, delightful or exquisite, this flan belongs in my life now. And I imagine the first word out of my mouth will be….yummy. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bret Bannon

    HI David – Definitely sounds like something I need to make and soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Kavey

    This cake looks fantastic and I love the sound of the book too… must look into that, though I’m MEANT to have agreed a moratorium on the purchase of cookery books. My caveat is that it doesn’t count if the book is sent to me for review or gifted by friends, so I’ve been quietly adding to my collection despite the moratorium!!!!

    Thanks for making me hungry this Sunday afternoon!

    • mari

    YUMMY :) !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jessica @ How Sweet

    Out of this world! That is all I can say.

    • Nicole

    I’m so excited to hear this is a good cook book. I pre-ordered it back in April and have been anxiously awaiting. The flan looks delicious, tasty, and yummy!!!!! :)

    • joudie’s Mood Food

    This looks incredibly naughty and incredibly bad for my hips. But zomethign that i am going to have to try. Scrumptious!

    • Nathalie (spacedlaw)

    That sounds truly wonderful and majestic.

    • Jun Belen

    Truly decadent. And it’s perfectly okay with me to call this cake majestic! I’d have to give this one a try. Lovely!

    • Jose Manuel

    Who doesn’t love that Pastel Imposible…this is one of my Mom’s favorite homemade desserts…
    Just one thing in Mexico is cajeta and in Argentina is Dulce de Leche.
    But for the argentinans cajeta is a bad word.

    • Sally Pasley Vargas

    Photos! gorgeous! Recipe! Yummy and indescribably delicious sounding!! The whole thing is beautiful! I am DYING to make this! Technology: Excruciating! Congratulations on getting through it!!!

    • Liz @ Butter and Onions

    Anyway, the pictures look good, and will you please make the corn ice cream? My boss is from Brazil and she goes on and on about corn ice cream.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Glad you all like this, it is an interesting recipe. I do think I would like it better if there was a thicker layer of chocolate cake, so perhaps figuring out a way to combine a few recipes might be in order. So I hope to give it another go shortly. Unfortunately I’m all out of dulce de leche at the moment!

    • Maya

    as usual, reading your post made my day ! (i haven’t even finished reading yet !)

    talking about dulce de leche, have you tried Alfajores ?

      • Sandra H.

      Wow! That looks so pretty! Would love to try this and especially would love to eat it. I think the Bundt pan you used is ideal to showcase the two distinct layers.

    • TaraTakesCake

    wow looks fantastic!! thanks for sharing. i worry about swapping out dulce de leche for cajeta…the goat’s milk used to make cajeta really adds something special and unique so for others out there who have the option of either/or, go for the cajeta!!

    • Neomi

    This recipe seems heavenly though and it may prompt me to conquer my fear of flan and try making it.

    Also just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your book. I’ve had it only 2 weeks and I’ve made three ( three!!! ) recipes already– It is so much fun, thank you!

    • Dime Store Foodie

    What a delicious looking recipe, and there’s my favorite, Dulce de Leche. I love pairing fruit with Dulce de Leche, maybe you could turn this cake into smaller cakes and top the caramel with fresh raspberries and serve the cakes with a fresh raspberry sauce? A good “fudgey” dense cake layer would be nice. Thanks for all the great recipes!

      • Lin

      Combining chocolate cake with flan with dulce de leche with raspberries with raspberry sauce: I have a hinge Romain would definitively not approve ;-)

    • Anna

    Can I just say, thank you for being so unpretentious! Who makes up these food blog rules anyway? This flan is very beautiful. Er, uh…marvellous?

    • Cooking in Mexico

    David, you made a wonderful choice for your dessert. This Friday, September 16, is Mexico’s Bicentennial, marking 200 years of independence.

    Dulce de leche is commonly known as cajeta (ka-HAY-ta) in Mexico, and cajeta has been declared the Bicentennial dessert of Mexico.

    ¡Viva México!


    • Cooking in Mexico

    Whoops! I mean “this THURSDAY, September 16, is Mexico’s Bicentennial.

    • Kim

    I can definitely see “their” point. I would definitely be more apt to try a recipe that the author presented in a straightforward, dry, precise manner. No need to tempt my taste buds with any photography, either. After all, why pretend that food and cooking is anything more than fuel for the body?

    (Yes, read that tongue-in-cheek. And thanks to DL and all of the other food bloggers who “get it” and let us know how excited–or not–they are about particular recipes and other post topics!)

    • Lynn in Tucson

    I’ve seen this in a restaurant downtown (and I wasn’t in the mood for dessert). I can’t wait to try this!

    • Cakelaw

    This looks delicious – what other word is there for it? A must try – I know what to do with leftover dulce de leche too.

    • Vicki B

    !!!!! Dang!!!!

    • Gabriel Hummel

    with dark chocolate on the bottom and a dulce de leche-caramelized top……

    Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, gain 200 pounds at this dish

    Nothing but gold David

    • Amy B

    Glad you are back! Just wanted to let you know that Sweet Life in Paris has turned out to be THE book to give to friends and family. I was absorbed in a virtual life in Paris for at least a week. Funny how not everyone is as interested as me in hearing about life in Paris. I also got myself Ready for Dessert as a treat during a difficult spell at work. While I’ve made the upside down cake which was very well received, it’s my 12 year old daughter who has commandeered the book for her own. I felt a twinge of envy when I tasted the best brownies I have EVER had from her hand (and your’s). She has bookmarked at least 80% of the recipes to try. I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy. By the way, coming from a family that reads cookbooks for fun, not just to cook from, your dessert book is her First. ;-)

    • Stephanie – Chocolate and Toast

    holeymotherofgawwwwwd that looks good. now I don’t want dinner. bad david. very bad david.

    • bunkycooks

    Can I say fabulous or delectable? Words to describe these sorts of desserts (especially with all of the dulce de leche) are hard to come by! I think I need to go back to school or buy a Thesaurus!

    • Cecilia

    this looks fantastic I can not wait to make it, But I can only make it if I am going to have ten over for dinner because I can not have any leftovers – I could not trust myself with that in my house. But I am glad bathing suit beach time is over in the northeast.

    • Jenn

    Thank you for writing and inspiring me. Whenever I make anything of yours it turns out perfect. Room for dessert is my favourite book! J.

    • Alanna

    Word, Shari.

    David, how considerate of you to post this recipe when I have just spent the past week researching “chocoflan” to put on the menu at the Nuevo Latino restaurant where I make desserts. The recipe that’s been posted on various blogs (for example: calls for butter in the cake, but since the dessert is served chilled, I was thinking that an oil based cake (such as the one you post here) would retain a more pleasant texture. Thanks for doing my work for me. It looks yummy, and delicious, too.

    • Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    This dessert looks very ambrosial or palatable or maybe even toothsome or lip smacking. I got a little help from my thesaurus just for fun. I think this desserts looks delicious and downright tasty.

    I will make this dessert because I truly believe it will be so friggin yummy. Thanks for this recipe. What about in another flavor like coconut? Maybe even a combo chocolate/coconut or vanilla. That might be scrumptious.

    • Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    Oooh, this is that flan that switches layers with the cake layer when cooking. Took me a minute. I still like the coconut idea, now just figure out how?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Tara and Cooking in Mexico: I love goat milk cajeta, but have not been able to find fresh goat milk in Paris (nor goat milk pre-made cajeta). But you’re right; it is the best!

    Alanna: After I made this, I searched around and saw that, and a few other recipes, with the thicker cake bottom. I do think that’s the way to go, and next time (well, once I finish off this dulce de leche…) I am going to experiment a little more.

    • Amanda

    Oh – deliciously tasty looking dessert and just the excuse I need to make up some yummy dulce de leche in the Thermomix and get baking!! Thanks! ;)

    • Gavrielle

    Looks incredible! Here in New Zealand, the makers of sweetened condensed milk do a caramelised version, which is dulce de leche but at a third of the price. Score!

    • CM

    I need to make this! But we just moved and my kitchen isn’t ready for baking yet. David, I hope you will report back if you do any successful variations of this — I’ll be waiting. As soon as I can find my baking pans and have a surface to put them on, this is going in my oven.

    Since I only comment here once in a while, I should also take the opportunity to say that your recipes and your writing are both wonderful. Sometimes when I read how-to posts like the one you posted recently about baking substitutions, it reminds me of how generous you are with this blog — it’s not just a place where you can write down those between-book recipes, you’re actively trying to educate and help your readers. (And make us fat.) So, thank you.

    • DessertForTwo

    I’m a big Fany Gerson fan! Thanks for promoting her! Have you seen her in Fine Cooking this month making pan de muerto?

    • GSB

    So, let me get this straight – the cake is on the bottom of the pan, custard on top. When baked and then flipped over onto a plate, will the cake will be the top of the dessert and the flan part on the bottom? Am I a total numb nut here in the middle of the night asking this question? In your photos, it looks like the custard flan is on top and cake underneath with plate below cake…hmmm…

      • Jeanne

      GSB: You are not a numb nut haha! You read correctly. When you put the batters in the cake pan, you put in the chocolate first and then pour over the custard. Then during the baking, the ingredients switch places!! So when you turn the cake out, it will look like the photo. You will see other titles calling it the Magic Cake or Magic Flan Cake etc because it does the switcheroo bit

        • Jeanne

        Oh my gosh. I didn’t look at the date of the comment! 12 years ago! Who’s the numb nut now haha

    • Hannah

    Oh dear heavens. Sometimes I think you’re the cruelest man in the world, not one of the best. Your site is pure torture, and yet I can’t drag myself away. Smiley face.

    • Amber

    I have have had something almost exactly the same on the last trip to Puerto Vallarta with family. I have been a few times, mostly during the Processions after Thanksgiving. It is an amazing experience, so many people night after night, walking a long distance, dressed in white and carrying candles, singing this beautiful song, some doing traditional dances and dressed as their ancestors protecting their way to the cathedral. These are poor people, yet their faith is their core and they bring offerings of fruit or whatever they can to Christ and Mary to help those with even less. My father eats everywhere on the streets and I am almost as brave. I have heard that if you drink enough Tequila it will kill any ‘touristas’ (the dreaded poopies). Anyways, the last trip I saw a woman on the street selling chocolate cake layered with flan. I judge restaurants by their desserts because dessert is my purpose for living, so I bought 2 pieces from her. Fool! I should have bought the whole thing. Simple and one of the best things I have ever had.
    If you go to PV, have a lunch of shrimp tacos at the little place with an outdoor counter, across from the Super Mercado by the Rio Cuale, caddie corner from the roast chicken shop. We went every day once we found it. She makes a nice flan also.

    • Linda

    I had to stop using the word wonderful except on rare occasions. It was in just about every paragraph I ever wrote.

    • Jo

    I can’t believe it! Iwas going to search your website for details on how to make dulce de leche (without the exploding tins of condensed milk and because it’s the first place I think to go for desserts) and I find syncronicity. Wonderful! I’ve had a craving for dulce de leche, but wondered what I should make with it – caramel slice? Your dulce de leche brownies? I think I’ll have to go with this cake. Thanks David!

    • Geraldine Toltschin

    Wow, what a way to return from a restful, delicious vacation! Scaaaaarrreeeee.
    I know everyone is going to SCREAM reading the next comment, trust me it’s true. However Goats milk would be good for people with allergies, I guess? Out on the Patagonian Pampas here is what is done.

    Cajawhattie? Dulce de Leche is made from COWs MILK :-) It is prefereable to make it from your own cows milk, but. . . For those without benefit of a herd, here’s how I’ve made my dulce de leche since hanging up my huge copper pot used for that purpose. AND BY THE WAY, it should only be coveooked/prepared over a wood burning cooker! :-) Ah, life in the boonies. Cooking on a wood burning stove is the total cooking experience, love it.

    Simply take one can of condensed milk (here in Spain it comes in 1 liter sizes so I do 5 at the same time). Put the can/cans in a huge pot of water covering it totally.
    Cook at a low simmer for at least 2 hours for a small can, 4 hours for larger one kilo cans. KEEP AN EYE ON THE WATER LEVEL AT ALL TIMES. When the can is removed from the water, let it cool. THEN, take the entire contents out of the can putting it into a VERY large bowl, begin beating with either a small electric beater or your big one. Give it a good beating, it will appear rather strange for a bit, then,
    add some butter and a bit of vanilla essence (I also make my own w/vodka and vanilla beans). Continue beating the contents until it’s looking once again like dulce de leche. You may now put what is left after you have tested it 500 times in a container.

    I loved your link to Rosa Jackson, her reviews and blogs are fun and very entertaining. THE FOOD LOOKS DELICIOUS :-) <<<<<< That's for "them".

    • Geraldine Toltschin

    By the way, the cake looks amazing. I’m going to make a real custard instead of using the evaporated milk, and more condensed milk. Wish me luck. Cooking for 1 1/2 hours would most certainly dry out the cake below? You are correct in thinking it should have a slightly larger layer of cake.

    Will get the book, Mexican food and deserts are always very creative and ah, good to eat.

    • shyanne

    Thank you! Thank you!! Your recipes are always inspiring me, a new and learning pastry chef. This recipe will definitely be my dessert special this week.

    • Daria

    Oh no you didn’t?! Looks amazing… Tried your chocolate chip cookie recipe this weekend. Huge success!!! I never thought to slice them: much better, more even cookie! Thanks!

    • Barbra

    Can’t wait to hear how your further experiments go because, frankly, this sounds delicious. There, I said it.

    • Roberta

    You make me smile, every time. And the cake is yummy all right!

    • Charissa Reid

    This looks great…and reminds me a little bit of that old fashioned chocolate cake that was in one of Molly Katzen’s books that required pouring boiling water over the cake batter before baking – it made a mess in the pan and then, when it was baked, came out with this amazing spongey chocolate cake and a pudding “bottom”. This looks like a much richer, tastier sort of chemistry problem! Thanks for sharing – it’s risen to the top of my to do list!

    • Gavrielle

    After reading that you’re not supposed to say “yummy” et al, I turned over my New Yorker cartoon calendar and found a cartoon of a dinner guest saying “Revelatory, Michael – such airy meatballs.”

    After I’d stopped giggling, I made a resolution to start using “airy” in every food-related situation. That should fox the food-writing police.

    • Pam @ Cooking world

    Love this chocolate flan, it is amazing and I love the step by step guide and picture as always.

    • Joe @ Eden Kitchen

    Chocolate? Dulce de leche? Flan? This is the holy trinity!

    • msmarmitelover

    Hi David,
    I’m coming to Paris on 24th September till the 27th to visit some Parisian supperclubs. Do you know of any that are run by French people? Thanks in advance.

    • Nicky

    I can see why you would choose this recipe to try from your new cookbook. I fell in love with dulce de leche a couple of years ago. It’s such a phenomenal ingredient to have in your baker’s cupboard. I make a cheesecake I named the Caramel Latte Cheesecake and it uses 3/4 cup dulce and instant espresso powder and it is by far my favorite cheesecake ever.

    • sillygirl

    When you work out a recipe for a more-chocolate-cake version will you please post it?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Here it is!

    • Krysalia

    Oh, there’s river cottage books somewhere ?! I think my wallet just popped out my pocket and ran hiding under the couch at this very idea. I’m gonna be broke soon -errr, I mean more than I already am if this is possible.

    I must say that the dulce de leche is mouthwatering, but I kind of don’t like those cakes which are not cakes, and which are not flans either. I feel like they could’t make up their minds or something :D

    • Kris Mulkey

    That looks frickin amazing. I seriously want to invent an interactive monitor where I can lick the bowl too. A Judy Jetson type of thing!

    • Edna

    Hi from Mexico!!!

    We call this dessert Pastel Imposible and usually the flan layer is thinier than the cake layer and it’s delicious!

    • Edna

    Sorry, my fingers type too quickly and I miss some letters

    By the way in Argentina “cajeta” is a terrible word that’s why they call it dulce de leche, in México they call it cajeta because a long time ago the people used to sell the cajeta in little round boxes (cajita in spanish) and the word cajita became cajeta.

    • Edna

    You should cook a tres leches cake and decorate it with goat’s milk cajeta… mmmmm

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Edna: It’s interesting how those words get swapped interchangably, but some folks are pretty adamant that they aren’t the came thing. I think the French have it right by just calling it confiture de lait…ie; milk jam.

    berit: It’s doesn’t bother me, I just find it is limiting to say which words you can’t and can use when writing about food. As I mentioned a bit above, Maida Heatter used every kind of word to describe her cakes, from stupendous to luscious, and we all love her dearly for it.

    sillygirl: I did post links to recipes out there on the web that have a thicker cake layer. I will probably give one a try at some point, but I’m still on Dulce de Leche overdose!

    Krysalia: Am not sure if the River Cottage books are available in France. I know a US publisher picked some of them up, but I have seen them at Librarie Gourmand in Paris, in English.

    mrsmarmitelover: I don’t know of any French folks who have started a supper club; the only ones I know of here are run by Americans. If anyone does know one, please let us know as it’d be interesting to hear about them.

    • Francheska

    Corn ice cream is sooo so good, I buy a scoop almost everyday after lunch and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top is always a must!

    Anyway this dessert, I have to forget I ever saw this, ill die

    • lolo

    I’m gonna dream of this dulce de leche pic all night :).

    • Dee

    Hi David

    Thanks SO much for posting that recipe! Like several others on your site, I made it and much to my pleasant surprise, my recipe ended up with an even 50/50 split of cake and flan. I dont’ know why, but i’m not complaining!

    I’m serving it tonight with company, and I can’t wait to try it! It looks amazing and i’m sure it will taste incredible!

    • Jesus medina

    Hi David,
    This is a great recipe, but you are right; here in Mexico the chocolate cake layer must be thicker :)

    And I’ve seen how my grandma made it in the stove in a water bath, or in the oven…I hope we can see more recipes from this book.

    • Lisa

    I love flan
    I love chocolate
    I love your blog, it makes me smile!!!

    ……..Lisa : )

    • Edna

    You should try a flan de cajeta or a gelatina de cajeta I have such a great recipe that you could try

    • Giovanna

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried it with some strawberries on the top.
    It was just delicious

    • carol copeland

    I made the recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s website. (and my DIL gave me that cool bundt pan as a gift).
    It looked great, that straight line where the chocolate and flan met was astounding. I thought that recipe tasted a little catered event for me. The cake was too light , in taste and heft. Deb’s was a dulce de leche flan and I made that from scratch, and I thought it was a little dry. It looked so great maybe I’ll give your version a try. (We did eat it all)

    • Lisa Henderson

    Are you kidding me?!! This looks so good, and I don’t really like desserts! The combination sounds perfect and I will make it just to frustrate my Keto husband!

    • Laurie G

    Hi David,

    I’ve never failed or failed to receive glowing raves with any of your recipes!
    Just one “stupid question:” In Step 6, by “blending” do you mean in a blender, or simply by hand? Which utensil would you recommend using?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It means in a blender. It sounded awkward to say “Blend in a blender” but I added the right tool (an immersion blender or standard blender) to the recipe. Hope that helps!

    • Haneul

    Wow, this looks and sounds delicious — I can’t wait to make it!! When you say you can leave out the cream cheese if you don’t have it, should it be replaced with anything?

    Thank you so much for posting!!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Nope, you can just skip it. It just makes the custard a little richer.

        • Haneul

        Super!! I’m looking forward to making this soon :)

    • Garrett

    I tried the ATK version too and it came out great!

    • Ikue

    So funny, I just was testing chocoflan recipes myself at home too! I just made two batches, and tried in my round cake pan as well. I found the flan part was a bit too thin though, and was wondering it was because of the use of cake pan instead of bundt. I’ll try your recipe as well soon when I feel like eating more of this! LOL!

    • Anne

    I viewed a similar recipe recently on Nadia Bakes (Netflix). Your recipe is very similar but adds cream cheese. Will try that as I do love a tang.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      A few others mentioned her and I hadn’t watched her show but watched the episode since a number of people were referring to it. I use almost twice as much cocoa powder in mine here, but it would be interesting to try her version too!

    • Ginger

    I can buy cajeta in my local dollar general store!!! :-)

    • Angela Price

    This dessert sounds delicious. I love chocolate and I love flan so the perfect combination! Also the use of the salted caramel had me hooked

    • Blanca

    Chocoflan is made with cajeta, which gives a distinctive flavor. Cajeta is made with goat milk, so different from dulce de leche!
    Also, Mexican vanilla works better!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Blanca, I noted that in the sixth paragraph. I also love to use (real) Mexican vanilla too!

    • Chris K.

    This came out really well. When I unmolded it and then put it back in the fridge, it left a strong chocolate scent in the kitchen.
    Oddly, it used to be easy to find dulce de leche in the supermarkets here (SoCal), now nobody carries it.

    • Ilana Schumacher

    Hi David, the recipe sound delicious!
    Is there any substitute for the evaporated milk? We have only the sweetened or milk powder
    Thanks in advance

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I read here that you can boil down 2 1/4 cups of milk until it’s 1 cup so you could try that. (This recipe requires more than a cup of milk so you’d want to scale it up.) Here it says you can use powdered milk, mixing 1 1/2 cups of water with 1 cup powdered milk. Using half-and-half is another possibility.

    • Serena

    I just made this as some friends of mine want me to contribute to their desert menu at their Peruvian restaurant and I was very pleased. I used a local goat milk caramel from Vermont but it was too goaty for my liking so I think I’ll just make my own dulce du Leche and maybe add a few tablespoons of finely ground coffee or rum to the flan part to offset the sweetness. Very impressive and deceptively simple dessert!

    • Mimi

    Just wondering how full your bundt pan gets… I have the same one but it is only a 6 cup capacity and wondering if it would work ok. thanks!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      My bundt pan has a 10-cup capacity (you can see the specs on it here). 6-cup is a little over half the size so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you do some math and whittle down the recipe.

    • mimi

    thanks! that’s what I was thinking… but couldn’t tell by the pics if perhaps there was enough extra room.

    • Taymour

    I had a problem getting this out of my bundt tin. I greased it well. Wondered if I should flour (which Nadya does in her recipe) – but didn’t because i didn’t want the flour to stain the cake layer. Loosened the flan while it was cooling. When I turned it out after a night of chilling, the dulce de leche stuck to the pan so the surface was super uneven. I covered it with thinly sliced strawberries and it was tasty though.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve never seen anyone use flour on a bundt or tube pan when making Chocoflan. I would imagine it would leave a residue but I’ve not had it stick to the pan.

    • Patti

    This turned out well for me. I did have to loosen the cake at the sides to get it out. The dulce de leche that I used was VERY thick (an expensive one that is more fancy than normal I think that was in my pantry so thought I should just use that). Enough of it stuck to the pan and the rest seems to be sitting on top of the flan when I guess I thought more would be absorbed into the flan while baking. Is that right? I will definitely make this again, but next time I will get a can of Eagle Brand Dulce de leche, it’s not as thick and cheaper too! Thanks David!


    This is a delicious dessert. A real harmony of textures and great flavors. I’ve seen chocoflan online for many years and thought it would be gimmicky but this is a great dessert. I used La Lechera dulce de leche from Nestle and it is very thick. It was easy to spread around the bottom of the pan. Unmolding was tricky but I put the mold into a large pan of hot water for 90 seconds and that helped it loosen up and come out in one piece. Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Susanne

    I made the flan 3 times now and all my guests loved it! It has become a standard dessert in my repertoire, it looks spectacular and can be prepard in advance! I used a silicone mold and it came out perfectly fine. Thank you so much David!

    • david

    Mine failed. The cake and flan combined into a super rich dessert. I suspect the reason is I used buttermilk powder in water (instead of buttermilk) so the chocolate cake batter was too liquidy and also not acidic enough to trigger the required chemistry to expand the cake. I suspect a spoonful of sour cream wouldve worked better for me.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      oh no! Powdered buttermilk is a different beast and I haven’t used it but agree with your suspicion that it was too watery. Live and learn! But thanks for reporting back so others don’t fall into the same trap if they want to try powdered buttermilk.

    • Jennifer

    I made this yesterday. We loved it! I desperately would like to know the science behind the dark magic that makes the flan and cake components reverse in the oven but doesn’t cause them to mix.

    • Kinhawaii

    I think my end result had the correct textures but at an hour & 15 minutes the chocolate cake was like pudding. After another hour, the toothpick then had a few moist crumbs. I was worried that the flan part would be overcooked but it was creamy & yummy. My roasting pan gets too heavy so full so I couldn’t fill the water half way up the side of the bundt pan- it was more like 2 inches deep- was that why it took longer? I used your caramel recipe – which I have made many times. We really enjoyed this!

    • Mehreen Yusuf

    I’d love to make a cake like this! I think my sister has a copy of the book so I’ll try and borrow it :)


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