Mom’s Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake

Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake | Pinky's Pantry
When I was growing up in the Philippines, there was a bakeshop called Cookie Monster Bake Shop. They were famous for their delicious chocolate cake. The moist and tender cake wasn’t overly sweet, but it was the perfect base for the yema-like filling inside it and the rich chocolate frosting that covered it. My Mom tried to imitate their cake and came up with this recipe which tastes very similar to Cookie Monster’s. Mom would fill it with her coffee-scented mocha filling, and frost it with her silky chocolate icing. Our family called this Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake, but I honestly think my Mom’s version was better than the bake shop’s.

I hope you don’t mind the odd format. Out of nostalgia, I decided to type out the recipe the same way my Mom had it written in her old, stain-spattered recipe notebook. Read it all the way to the end before starting so you can gather all your ingredients together.

MOM’S COOKIE MONSTER CHOCOLATE CAKE

1. Grease bottom and sides of two 9×13 rectangular baking pans. Line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper.

2. Sift into a large bowl and mix together well:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

3. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring to a boil:

  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ stick margarine
  • ¾ cup canola oil

4. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Add, but don’t mix till all ingredients are in:

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking soda (mashed in small bowl to remove lumps)
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla

6. Blend thoroughly and pour into prepared pans.

7. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool. Carefully peel off parchment paper. The cakes will seem rather flat. That’s because my Mom baked the cake in two pans instead of baking it in one pan and then having to split that big cake in half to make two layers. Don’t worry. After you stack one layer on top of the other with the filling in between, it will be fine.

9. When cakes are completely cool, fill with Mom’s Mocha Filling and frost with Mom’s Chocolate Icing.

MOM’S MOCHA FILLING

1. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan and using a wire whisk, whisk together:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 can (12 ozs.) evaporated milk

2. Place saucepan over low heat and add:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine

3. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. This burns fast so watch carefully!

4. Keep cooking till mixture begins to bubble; then let boil for 3-5 minutes, all the while stirring slowly and continuously with the wire whisk.

5. Remove from fire and allow to cool completely before using. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the filling, or stir it constantly while it’s cooling to prevent a skin from forming on the top.

MOM’S CHOCOLATE ICING

1. Using a wire whisk, mix together in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups cocoa powder
  • 2 cans (12 ozs. each) evaporated milk

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

3. In a small bowl, beat:

  • 6 egg yolks

4. When chocolate mixture just begins to boil, pour one-third of it into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks and mix well. This tempers the yolks which keeps them from turning into scrambled eggs.

5. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan and combine with the rest of the chocolate mixture.

6. Return to flame and add:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

7. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes back to a boil.

8. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering, stirring till mixture reaches spreading consistency.

9. Cool completely before frosting cake. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the frosting, or stir it constantly while it’s cooling to prevent a skin from forming on the top.

Chocoflan Cake

Chocoflan Cake | Pinky's Pantry
Growing up in the Philippines, we ate Leche Flan Cake all the time. Filipino Leche Flan Cake is a rectangular sponge cake with a thin layer of flan on top of it. It was a special treat and one that we kids loved. There was a canteen at my Lolo’s (grandpa’s) office that sold it for a few cents a serving.

I had never heard of “Chocoflan” Cake until I came to the United States. It’s apparently a Mexican favorite and is just like Filipino Leche Flan Cake only made with chocolate cake and with a much thicker layer of flan. It’s also baked in a bundt pan instead of a rectangular cake pan.

When I originally learned to make Chocoflan Cake years ago, you poured cajeta sauce over the cake before serving. I didn’t like that very much. I thought the cajeta sauce was way too sweet and had a flavor I didn’t particularly care for, so I dropped that step. We also used whole milk in the flan but I like the richness imparted by evaporated milk much better. One day I thought, “what if I add some dulce de leche as a surprise layer in the dessert?” That idea turned out to be a big hit with my kids so I’ve done it that way ever since.

I have to warn you, whenever I make this cake, the dulce de leche layer never ends up in the same place! Sometimes it ends up right at the top of the cake, sometimes it sits in the center between the flan and the cake, sometimes it’s thicker on one side than on the other, sometimes it’s all pooled on one side with nothing on the other! I have tried numerous times to make it end up consistently at the top of the cake to no avail. I finally gave up. Who cares? The point is, the cake is to die for and the little surprise bites of dulce de leche are absolutely scrumptious! You’ve really got to try this recipe. I promise it’s worth every bite!
Chocoflan Cake | Pinky's Pantry
Chocoflan Cake | Pinky's Pantry

CHOCOFLAN CAKE

  • 1 can dulce de leche (storebought or homemade)
  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix, plus ingredients listed behind box to make it
  • 4 ozs. (½ box) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14-oz. can condensed milk
  • 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  1. Prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan half full of water into oven.
  2. Turn oven on to 350ºF to preheat.
  3. In a medium bowl, prepare flan by mixing together cream cheese, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and eggs until well blended.
  4. In another bowl, prepare chocolate cake mix according to package directions. I don’t bother using an electric mixer for this step. I just stir the batter together with a wire whisk or a wooden spoon.
  5. Spray a 12 to 15-cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
  6. Empty dulce de leche into a small glass bowl and heat in microwave for a minute to soften and make it pourable.
  7. Pour dulce de leche into bottom of bundt pan.
  8. Pour chocolate cake batter over dulce de leche in bundt pan.
  9. Slowly pour flan mixture over chocolate batter. Don’t worry if it sinks or causes the batter to separate in clumps.
  10. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover bundt pan tightly.
  11. Place pan into water bath in oven.
  12. Bake for 50 minutes. Do not uncover during baking.
  13. Remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature; then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  14. Invert cake onto a large serving platter.
  15. If desired, stir a little milk or cream into some dulce de leche to thin it to a pouring consistency and drizzle over cake right before serving.

NOTE:  Chocoflan Cake is best prepared a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to serve.