This Mexican dessert is a moist, dense chocolate cake, scented with cinnamon and cayenne layered with a creamy vanilla flan and a goat’s milk caramel sauce. It’s like two desserts in one.
As we all #stayathometogether, comfort food takes on a whole new meaning. I love making recipes I’ve collected from loved ones. It evokes fond memories, warm feelings, and tons of comfort and love.
This recipe comes from a friend’s mom in Houston. It was a Sunday staple in their home and one that I came to adore. It’s delicious and very different. It has a few extra steps involved, but it’s not a difficult cake to make. Well worth the effort, in my opinion. I had to do a lot of begging to get this wonderful recipe.
The best part of this Mexican dessert is that it goes into the oven layered first with caramel sauce, then the cake layer and the flan layer is last.
BUT, when it comes out of the oven, it is caramel sauce, flan, and then the chocolate cake. It’s fun to see the way it inverts layers as it bakes. For this reason, this dessert is also called “Impossible Cake” or “Magic Cake”. Okay yes, it’s official. I’m a nerd.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS MEXICAN DESSERT
- This is a big cake. Make sure that your bundt pan is a large one. I tried making this recipe in a standard bundt pan. It was a disaster. My smoke alarm went off as the batter burned on the bottom of the oven. Use a 12-cup pan.
- Use butter to grease the pan. It just works better than the spray. Take the time to get in all those little creases.
- Don’t skip the espresso coffee or cayenne. They add a perfect hint of flavor that enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
Looking for a few more decadent dessert recipes? Here are a few to try:Print
This classic Mexican dessert is like two desserts in one. A spicy, rich chocolate cake is topped with a layer of creamy, vanilla flan, and buttery caramel sauce. This delicious cake is easier than you think and well worth the extra steps.
For the pan:
- Butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup caramel sauce (Cajeta)
For the chocolate cake layer:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour
- ⅓ cup good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
For the flan layer:
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Prepare your oven for baking the cake:
Bring a large kettle of water to a full rolling boil.
Set one oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set a large, flat roasting pan in the middle of the oven. Fill it with about an inch of the boiling water. Keep the water at a simmer.
Generously coat the bottom and sides of a 12-cup bundt pan with the softened butter. Be sure to grease each crevice in the pan.
Pour the caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Make the cake layer:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a measuring cup, stir the buttermilk and instant espresso powder together. It won’t dissolve completely, but you want to moisten the espresso powder.
On slow speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, ⅓ at a time, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Don’t over mix the batter. Set aside.
Make the flan layer.
In a blender, pour in both kinds of milk, cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla paste. Blend on high for 30 seconds until smooth.
Scoop the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan on top of the caramel layer. Smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
Next, gently pour the flan mixture into the bundt pan on top of the cake layer.
Lightly butter a piece of foil and tightly cover the top of the bundt pan, butter side down against the cake.
Bring the kettle of water back up to a full rolling boil.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: desserts, cake, Mexican dessert, bundt cake, Cinco De Mayo, chocolate desserts, flan, flan recipes