Mission: Impossible Cake

How do they make it? That was the first question that popped in my mind the first time I had a piece of the so-called Pastel Imposible (Impossible Cake). I love flan and I love chocolate in any form. Chocolate flan was just an idea back then, but a flan and a chocolate cake baking together and yet not mixing together was something that really seemed like an impossible thing to do, a very tasty dream.

I did what I always do when I have a culinary blockade. I called my mom. It turned out that the impossible task was not so impossible after all. It actually was a very easy recipe that has become one of my favorites since. Ladies and gentleman, the only, the original, the Impossible Cake!

Mission: Impossible Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8-10
  • **For the Flan
  • •4 eggs
  • •1 can sweet condensed milk
  • •1 can evaporated milk
  • •1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • •4 oz. (100gr) cream cheese
  • •chocolate sauce
  • **For the Chocolate Cake:
  • •1 cup devil’s food cake mix
  • •½ cup vegetable oil
  • •½ cup milk
  • •1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)
  2. Blend together eggs, milks, vanilla and cream cheese until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl prepare devil’s food cake mix by mixing all the ingredients together until you obtain a smooth batter.
  4. Pour about 2-3 TBSP of chocolate in the bottom of a baking pan. (You can use some non-stick spray in the pan)
  5. Pour the flan mix over the chocolate sauce.
  6. Pour the chocolate batter slowly and evenly over the flan mix (it will go straight to the bottom, but it will raise while baking)
  7. Place the pan into a larger pan with about ½ cup of water in it to bake in bain Marie or double boiler.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour. The chocolate cake will move to the top and you can check readiness with a knife or toothpick.
  9. Remove from oven and let it cool.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before inverting the cake over a cake dish. The chocolate sauce will flow over the cake.

As you can see this Impossible Cake is not as tough as its names suggests. I like to use chocolate sauce for this particular flan, but you can use caramel as the original recipe calls for. I also like to make it Neapolitan flan (cheese flan) instead of just the egg custard. So this is a tree-recipe cake in one, if you look at it that way, a flan, a chocolate cake and a not so impossible cake.

Buen provecho!



  • Oh that is just gorgeous and I bet it is delicious! Well done!

    • Hi Kristen,

      It was delicious, thank you. My mom is such a great baker, I love being in the kitchen because of her.

  • OMG! Finalmente tu blog quedô super bien estructurado. Muy buen trabajo. No sabîa que este pastel se invertîa mientras lo horneas. Pensaba que se hacîa en dos partes… Lo que es la ignorancia gastronômica.

    Saludos, Ben!

    • Hola Ed!

      Gracias por tus comentarios! Yo cuando lo probé por primera vez también pensaba que se horneaba separado y que era muy difícil de preparar. Pero resultó todo lo contrario.


  • This looks wonderful. I love chocolate and always have a stash lurking in my kitchen. I would love to try the recipe but instead of using the devil’s food cake, I would try using flourless chocolate cake recipe.

    • Hello Malou,

      I love chocolate too, is there anything better? I don’t know if the flourless chocolate cake would rise to the top. That is something that I’d like to know. Let me know how it turns out.

  • […] from Under the High Chair, Roasted Oatmeal with Walnuts and Apricots from What Did You Eat?, and Impossible Cake from What’s […]

  • Amazing! I’ve been meaning to make that Pastel since a while… Terribly tempting and really delicious!



  • hey I think your recipe looks absolutely wonderful and I cannot wait to try it I am actually going to make it today, thanks for the recipe

  • It is quite popular in Brazil, called bolopudim, and also made with different cakes, like coconut, orange a pineapple…
    Yours came out beautiful.

  • Wow! That dessert does seem like it would take some doing to make but in reading the directions and ingredients list it really isn’t so impossible!

    Thanks for posting the recipe!

  • this looks so good, impossible or not, i am definitely adding to my recipe list :) your photos are fantastic-and making me crave some chocolate!

  • Impossible cake…good title. And the images make up for it.

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