Google the words “choco-flan” and you will instantly find a dozen recipes for the famous Mexican dessert. Composed of two layers, one chocolate cake, one flan, the dessert is creamy, moist and absolutely perfect when it comes out of the oven. What you won’t find however is this story and this recipe.
One of my former students and I (I’m a high school English teacher) were talking about recipes one day and she was sharing some of her favorite Mexican desserts. Lus (her name means “light”) was born in America to parents originally from Mexico. She has learned to be an amazing cook from her family, as well as from Youtube videos. Now, let me backtrack a little. Last semester, Lus brought me a piece of choco-flan to try. The slice was the stuff of dreams – I had never tasted anything like it. I’m a flan and custard lover anyway, but the moist chocolate cake on the bottom and a little chocolate drizzle on top took the flan to the next level. I praised it so much that a few months later, she offered to share her personal recipe. So we sat down together at school one day (she was multitasking with some vocabulary homework) and watched a Youtube video for choco-flan. Lus translated (the video was in Spanish) and told me every step she does differently, so that I could write down her secret recipe.
No matter how many choco-flan recipes I’ve seen online, nobody’s is exactly like Lus’s. Even my first try wasn’t quite as delicious as hers, but it sure did come close. Here follows the choco-flan recipe of your dreams, as created by Lus, and written down by me. Enjoy!
Pans and extras
Bundt cake pan
13×9 glass pan
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
1 box of devil’s food or fudge cake mix
½ cup oil
1 can evaporated milk (14 oz.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 package cream cheese
1 pinch coffee
Prep the Pan
- Take a Bundt cake pan and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan on low/medium heat. Then pour into the Bundt pan and coat all sides of the pan with the sugar mixture.
Make the Cake
- Mix in a large bowl: the cake mix, eggs, oil and evaporated milk. (The evaporated milk is used in place of water.)
- Pour into the Bundt pan.
Make the Flan/Custard
- Use a stand mixer, hand mixer or blender to blend the custard ingredients. It may be helpful to soften the cream cheese at room temperature (or in a microwave for a few seconds). I started with the cream cheese and milks, then added the eggs, vanilla and coffee at the end.
- Pour the flan mixture on top of the cake mix carefully. Do not be alarmed if the cake mix rises up a bit – everything will even out when baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and place the Bundt pan in a 13×9 pan.
- Pour 1 inch or so of boiling water into the 13×9 pan around the Bundt pan. You may cover the Bundt pan with a little tin foil, but be sure to spray it with cooking spray and tent it so it doesn’t stick to the cake mix as it cooks.
- Bake for 50 minutes, then check every 10 minutes until cake is fully cooked and a toothpick comes out clean. This may take up to 1 ½ hours, depending on your oven. The cake part will be on the top.
- When the cake is done, let it sit on the counter until cool. Then, refrigerate for a few hours.
- Finally, it is time to invert the choco-flan. Use a butter knife to go between the outer edge of the cake and the pan to loosen it a little. Put a plate on top of the Bundt pan and while holding them together, flip the pan. Jiggle it until the cake has come out of the Bundt pan and is on the plate. Slice and eat plain, or drizzle with caramel sauce or chocolate syrup. Enjoy!