Flancocho or Flan Cake has playfully earned the nickname “the impossible cake.” It defies logic. Somehow layers of caramel, flan and cake are baked together and stay baked in separate layers. It’s a happy baking miracle that leads to a unique and delicious dessert.
The name Flancocho comes from joining the perfect custard dessert, Flan with bizcocho, the Puerto Rican name for cake. You can make your own vanilla cake but there is already a lot of work going into this so we suggest using a box cake mix. Think Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker.
If you want to go traditional just try our Abuela’s Flan Recipe!
A Flancocho is usually made in a bundt cake pan, which really makes the two layers shine, but you can use whichever pan you prefer. If you want to turn this into a “chocoflan,” follow these same directions, just use a chocolate cake mix instead. If you are someone who loves caramel, you may want to make an additional batch while the flancocho sets in the fridge. You can spoon extra caramel over the flancocho as your serve it.
One of my favorite things about Puerto Rico is how the island is very diverse with beaches and mountains. It’s old school vibe is effortlessly woven into a modern world keeping the soul of the island so bright. My second favorite thing – the bakeries. Puerto Rican bakeries are staked with sweet and savory breads, intricate and traditional pastries and a lot of cakes. Layered cakes, filled cakes and sheet cakes with different frostings all ornate the glass cases of humble bakeries. It is obvious, Puerto Rico has a sweet tooth!Ani
While flancocho is found in Puerto Rican bakeries it is much more a dessert made in someone’s home. Our recipe is an ode to our favorite Puerto Rican treat.
Our Tips for Making the most Delicious Flancocho (Flan Cake)
- Before making the flan set out your eggs, cream cheese and milk to be sure everything is at room temperature.
- The biggest tip we can give you is to use a cake mix that uses oil and not butter. The Flancocho needs to set in the fridge once it cools, but butter gets hard in the fridge and will make your cake dry and dense. Using oil will keep the cake more tender.
- When you remove the Flancocho from the oven, let it sit in the warm water for another 20-25 minutes to acclimate. Don’t skip this part.
Flancocho (Flan Cake)Course: DessertCuisine: Puerto RicoDifficulty: Moderate
1 14-oz can sweet condensed milk
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
4 oz of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 vanilla cake mix and all the ingredients according to the package directions (oil, milk, eggs)
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, divided
Non stick cooking spray
- CARAMEL INGREDIENTS
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- We will start by making the Caramel. In a small saucepot add the sugar and water. Turn the heat to medium high. If you are using a gas stove top it may need to be a little lower. You have to know how hot your stove gets. You want an even heat so the sugar caramelizes but doesn’t burn.
- Use the pot handle to move around the sugar. Don’t use a spoon. It should start to bubble and turn color. It will take about 7 -15 minutes for the sugar to turn into caramel depending on your stove’s heat. Continue swirling around the sugar until it’s ready. It should be a light amber color. Don’t let it get too dark.
- Once the caramel is ready, pour it into your bundt pan. Swirl it all over the pan so it can coat it as much as possible, especially the bottom and the sides. Set it aside and let it cool.
- In a blender add the evaporated and condensed milks, eggs, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and salt. Blend everything together until it is completely smooth. Scarpe down the sides and blend again. Set aside.
- Work on the cake portion by adding the cake mix into a new bowl, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and making the batter as the package directions state.
- Let’s Recap: At this point you will have your caramel cooled in the bundt cake pan, the flan mixture in the blender and the cake batter in a bowl. Now we assemble! Set the cake pan into an empty, deep, rectangular pan. This will be for the “Baño Maria.”
- Using the cooking spray, lightly mist the middle area of the bundt cake pan and the top sides of the pan. Spray wherever there is no caramel. This is to ensure that the cake will not get stuck to the pan once it cooks.
- Pour the flan mixture into the cake pan just as if you were to make a flan. Then carefully pour about 80% of the cake batter into the pan. Do not stir or mix it all. (You can make cupcakes with the remaining batter)
- Transfer the deep rectangular pan with the bundt pan inside it to the middle rack of your oven. This is a Baño Maria. Using a pitcher, fill the deep rectangular pan with warm water, about ¾ of the way up the bundt pan. Close your oven and bake for 50 to 65 minutes.
- Once you stick a toothpick in and only a small amount of crumbs touch the toothpick, you will know it is ready. Carefully remove it all from the oven once it’s ready. Let it sit in the warm water for another 20-25 minutes. Don’t skip this part.
- Remove from the water, and let it sit on a rack to cool off before placing in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to serve, remove from the fridge and dip the sides of the bundt cake pan in warm water. Run your knife along the middle hole and the sides to loosen the flancocho from the pan.
Invert the flancocho onto a plate. Be patient it may take a minute or two to come out completely. You can give it a gentle nudge to help it along.
- Slice and serve with extra caramel if you prefer.