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.

Leche Flan Cake

Leche Flan Cake | Pinky's Pantry
We ate Leche Flan Cake all the time when we were growing up in the Philippines. There was a canteen near my Lolo’s (grandpa’s) office that sold it for a few cents a slice. It was always such a treat to go visit my Lolo at work because he invariably would give us some money to run down to the canteen for a slice of Leche Flan Cake. Looking back, I think it was probably his way of getting rid of a bunch of noisy kids so he could work in peace for a while. LOL! Either way, I always thought the cake was the best part of visiting my Lolo at his work. Now, I make my own leche flan cake and hopefully, it’s created some fond memories for my own kids to look back on, too.

Traditional leche flan cake has a thin layer of flan on top of a thick layer of cake, but my Old Goat would always ask if I could make the flan layer thicker (like I do with Chocoflan Cake). So I finally gave in and that’s why my leche flan cake doesn’t look anything like traditional Filipino leche flan cakes. I have to admit he was right though. I do like it better with a thicker layer of flan. The fam sure does, too. And so will you!

FILIPINO LECHE FLAN CAKE

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  1. Pour sugar into 9×13-inch metal baking pan and set on stove over low heat.
  2. Cook sugar until it melts and begins to turn caramel colored.
  3. Tilt pan so caramel coats the bottom evenly. Use oven mitts! The pan will be hot!
  4. Set aside to cool. The caramel will harden and could crack as it cools. Don’t worry. This is normal.

For the Leche Flan:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites for another use)
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. In a bowl whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, evaporated milk, condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Pour the mixture over the cooled caramel in the baking pan.

For the Cake:

  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites to make meringue)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the well of dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Set batter aside and make meringue.

For the Meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high until frothy.
  2. Decrease speed to medium and gradually add the sugar.
  3. Continue beating on medium until eggs whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
  4. Take a third of the meringue and carefully fold it into the cake batter to lighten it.
  5. Fold the rest of the meringue into the cake batter until no more white streaks remain.
  6. Pour batter slowly over the leche flan mixture in baking pan.

To Bake:

  1. Place baño maria (water bath) inside oven. You can use a large roasting pan for this.
  2. Fill with enough water to come at least halfway up sides of baking pan.
  3. Turn oven on and preheat to 325ºF.
  4. When oven is ready, carefully lower baking pan with batter into hot water in baño maria.
  5. Close oven door and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
  6. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely; then chill in refrigerator overnight.
  7. Run a knife along the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan.
  8. Turn cake out onto serving platter with a rim to catch any caramel sauce that might drip.