Sprinkleandadash.wordpress.com | Impossible Cake

Impossible Cake (aka Rick Bayless’s Chocoflan)

I hope you had a very happy Holiday.  I know I haven’t posted in quite some time. Life sometimes forces hobbies to take a back burner.

October began with a birthday, then puppies, then I entered the work force for the first time in ummm….22 years.  That was unexpected, but something I couldn’t pass up.  I am asked all the time what am I going to do when my youngest graduates from high school; since I home-school that has been a good question.  In my planning, via checking job boards in my area, I came across an opening for an After-School Culinary teacher position. How cool is that?  New problem was it’s open now, so my man and I talked it over and he agreed it was the ideal position for me and we couldn’t pass it up.  If I got it, well wonderful….if I didn’t, well it was good practice.

I am happy to announce, I did get the position and I love it.

I don’t plan on discontinuing this blog, but it will be changing.  I won’t be posting as often, and I may just share a recipe with out much dialogue, but I am finding as I follow other blogs, I head straight for the recipe, I don’t need a diary to go with it.

Sprinkleandadash.wordpress.com | Impossible Cake


With that shared, lets get to the recipe….. Son #2 always asks for something out of the norm and this is one of his favorites, the Impossible Cake.

Chocoflan - Impossible Cake - Sprinkle and a Dash

BTW, it’s not Impossible, it turned out one year baked in the the oven, then moved half way through cooking to the BBQ after the oven stopped working.  Not ideal, but quite edible still.

I used to bake it in a springform pan, but found much of the caramel and flan leaked into the waterbath while it baked. A 10 inch x 3 inch round pan is ideal.

Impossible Cake (AKA Chocoflan)

Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time

Servings: 12 generously


  • little softened butter and some flour
  • cup cajeta (goat milk caramel), store-bought or homemade


  • ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • tablespoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water OR 3 tablespoons espresso
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (Unlike Rick Bayless – I like Dutch process – cocoa)
  • ounces buttermilk
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • teaspoon Mexican vanilla or pure vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the mold. Set the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round cake pan (you need one that’s 3 inches deep), sprinkle with flour, tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides, then shake out the excess. Microwave the cajeta for 30 seconds to soften it, then pour over the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Set a kettle of water over medium-low heat. Set out a deep pan that’s larger than your cake pan (a roasting pan works well) that can serve as a water bath during baking. I line mine with a kitchen towel to keep the water from sloshing.
  2. Make the cake. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light in color and texture. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the egg and espresso. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture, at medium-low speed, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat. Scrape the bowl, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Make the flan. In a blender, combine the two milks, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  4. Layer and bake. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread level. Slowly, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. (I find it easiest to pour the mixture into a small ladle, letting it run over onto the batter.) Pull out the oven rack, set the cake into the large pan, then set both pans on the rack. Pour hot water around the cake to a depth of 1 inch. Carefully slide the pans into the oven, and bake about 55 to 60 minutes, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, except for the very center. It may need more time. Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  5. Serve. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. Scrape any remaining cajeta from the mold onto the cake.
  6. Garnish.  When cool garnish with shaved chocolate for an extra special touch.

2 thoughts on “Impossible Cake (aka Rick Bayless’s Chocoflan)

    1. I think caramel would work. Or make a homemade version. The Cajeta is very thick though, so something else might run off quickly.


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