Impossible cake

    2 hours 30 min

    This magic cake seemingly impossibly transforms while baking! The chocolate layer rises to the top, while the creme caramel layer sinks to the bottom. The result is as gorgeous to eat as it is to look at! Also called chocoflan or magic chocolate flan cake, this is a popular Mexican recipe.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • For the cake
    • 150g butter, softened
    • 190g caster sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons strong coffee
    • 200g plain flour
    • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 230ml full fat milk
    • For the creme caramel
    • 4 tablespoons dulce de leche caramel sauce, melted (see tip)
    • 600ml evaporated milk
    • 1 (397g) tin condensed milk
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Extra time:1hr  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and lightly flour the base and sides of a 23cm Bundt cake tin; tap away any excess flour. Prepare a water bath testing that the cake tin will fit inside and the water will come up to about 1/3 of it's height. Place the water bath in the oven to warm up while preheating.
    2. For the caramel bottom:

    3. Warm the dulce de leche in a microwave or saucepan to melt to pouring consistency. Pour gently into the base of the prepared tin, covering completely (see tip for alternate method).
    4. For the cake mixture:

    5. Beat the butter in a mixing bowl using a handheld electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and coffee and beat until creamy.
    6. Into a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and baking powder. Alternate adding the flour and milk to the butter mixture, until the ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.
    7. For the creme caramel:

    8. To prepare the creme caramel, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, eggs and vanilla into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
    9. To assemble and bake:

    10. Over the caramel in the base of the tin, spoon in the chocolate cake mixture, distributing evenly, then smooth the top making sure there are no gaps between the cake mixture and the cake tin either around the sides or in the middle.
    11. Through a fine sieve, gently pour the creme caramel mixture over the chocolate cake mixture.
    12. Place inside the waterbath and bake for 1 hour (avoid opening the oven). Towards the end of baking you will notice that quite magically the creme caramel is now on the bottom and the chocolate cake is on the top - WOW! When the cake is done a skewer inserted into the chocolate cake should come out clean.
    13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour. To serve the cake, carefully run a thin knife around the edges to loosen then cover with a serving plate and carefully and quickly flip over. Add more melted dulce de leche on top for serving if you wish.

    Dulce de leche or sugar

    There are two options for covering the base of your cake tin: dulce de leche caramel sauce or caramelised sugar. If you wish to opt for the caramelised sugar, use a metal cake tin and melt 100g caster sugar in the bottom of the tin gently over the hob, or alternatively melt in a saucepan and then pour into your greased and floured tin.


    Impossible cake
    Impossible cake

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (22)


    This is a delicious cake. I made it yesterday and the recipe was fantastic. The measurement of the ingredients and cooking times were spot on. I used Ghirardelli caramel sauce that didn't need to be microwaved. This is quite possibly be my favorite cake recipe.  -  03 May 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Yum! I was so happy to find and try this recipe. I had made this before once in Mexico, with a boxed cake mix, and it came out great, but I've since become sort of a baking purist and I like to make things from scratch. So I tried making it with the Hershey's cocoa cake recipe, and perhaps because that is such a runny batter, the pastel imposible didn't come out right at all - the cake and the flan just mixed up and baked that way. But now this! I tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out perfectly! I followed it almost exactly - the only change being that I used my own flan recipe, which has 6 eggs instead of 4, and a little bit less evaporated milk. It worked wonderfully. Thank you! Such an impressive cake!  -  27 Apr 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Excellent dessert. Presentation and flavor were great.  -  26 Apr 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

    Write a review

    Click on stars to rate