Flancocho (aka the Impossible Cake)
Updated: Jul 16
Flancocho is the perfect combination of flan and cake (bizcocho). Growing up in Puerto Rico, I saw this dessert as one that only the great bakers could achieve, it just looked so magical. Thankfully, starting this YouTube channel gave me the courage to learn how to make this one. The best part is that I learned how easy it is to make and I want to share it with all of you.
¾ cup of sugar
1 pkg cream cheese (room temperature)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 chocolate cake mix plus ingredients listed in the back of the cake mix box (eggs, oil and water)
The first step in making flancocho is to prepare the caramel. Here, we are following the same process as we did in our flan video. You can find the full recipe in the video description below. Add the sugar in an even layer to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the sugar at the bottom starts melting, begin stirring continuously with a heat-resistant spatula - here we are using a silicone spatula. As you are stirring, make sure to scrape down the sides of your pot, as well as dislodging anything that gets stuck to the bottom.
After a couple of minutes of stirring, the sugar may clump up and form hard, rock-like chunks. Don’t worry, all the sugar will eventually melt -- just press down on the larger clumps to break them up so they melt faster.
Continue stirring constantly, until the caramel is an even golden brown. This usually takes me 4 to 5 minutes.
Once your caramel is the right consistency, take it off the heat and then, while it is still hot, pour the caramel into a bundt pan in order to coat the bottom and sides of the pan..
To do this, hold the pan with oven mitts - it’s going to get really hot - and tilt the pan from side to side, until the caramel coats all sides of the pan.
In preparation for this video, we tried a lot of different pans, and we found that a bundt pan gave us the best results in terms of separation and not overcooking the flan. Also, remember that the pan will need to fit inside a tall baking tray while we bake it, so keep that in mind when you select your baking pan.
Once you have finished spreading the caramel across the bottom of your bundt pan, set it aside to cool.
Now let’s prepare the cake and flan mixes. The flan in this recipe is what we call in Puerto Rico - flan de queso or cheese flan, just like the one we did in our previous flan video. Start by adding the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream cheese to the blender and blend until smooth. This will take approximately 2 minutes. You want to make sure that the cream cheese is well incorporated and there are no clumps to ensure a smooth finish to your flan. Once the mixture is smooth, add the eggs to the blender. Blend your mixture until just incorporated, approximately 15 seconds. Once mixed, set it aside while we prepare the cake mix.
For the cake mix, we are using Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist chocolate cake. In preparation for this video, we tried a lot of different cake mixes, including cakes we made from scratch. And although we would never dissuade you from trying this with your favorite cake recipe, we’ve had the best luck just using a store-bought cake mix. And in line with the theme of our channel, it makes it super easy.
Simply add your cake mix to a large mixing bowl, and follow the directions in the box - add the eggs, oil and water and mix it all together with a whisk. Mix your batter until it's smooth and all of the clumps are gone -- but be careful to not go too much far, as we don’t want to overmix the batter.
Once the cake mix and flan mix are done, you’re ready to put the flancocho together. Take your bundt pan, which has the caramel in the bottom, and add the cake mix, until it has come half-way up the side of your bundt pan. Depending on the size of your bundt pan, you may not need all of your cake batter. Once you’ve added the cake batter, give the bundt pan a couple shakes side-to-side, to evenly distribute the batter in the pan.
Now go ahead and add your flan mix on top of the cake. We want to gently add the flan mixture, in order to avoid any splashing. To do this, pour your flan mixture onto a spoon, that you hold close to the cake mix. This way, the spoon breaks the fall of the flan mixture and avoids unnecessary splashing. Try to get the spoon as close as you can to the cake mix.
Now you’re ready to bake your flan. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Like you do with regular flan, you want to bake your flancocho in a bain marie, which is just a fancy name for a water bath. This helps prevent the flancocho from getting too hot, which would cause the eggs in your flan to overcook.
To set up your bain marie, place a large, deep baking pan into the oven. Fill the pan with hot water to about ¼ of the way up the side.
Then, place the bundt pan inside the baking pan and add more water to the baking pan until the water level is about half-way up the side of the bundt pan. Be really careful when adding the water making sure not to splash any water into the flan.
Bake for one hour or until you insert a cake tester or toothpick and it comes out clean.
Once cooked, remove your flancocho from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Once it reaches room temperature, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
To unmold, lightly shake the bundt pan, if the flancocho is not loose then run a butter knife along all the edges of the bundt pan. Lightly shake the mold again to make sure that the flancocho is loose.
Next, grab your serving tray. The tray should be at least an inch larger than the bundt pan. Put the tray container on top of the baking mold and flip the flancocho onto the tray.
And it worked!! You can see a clear line of separation between the cake and the flan. No wonder some call this the impossible cake! You are now ready to enjoy this!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.