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Monday, February 10, 2014


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     This Mexican chocolate cake with flan on top bakes up in a very cool way. You put the chocolate (or vanilla) cake batter on the bottom of the cake pan and then pour the flan (a rich creamy custard) ingredients on top.  Like magic, when it is done baking the custard and the cake have switched places.  I was afraid that it would not work with gluten free cake batter, but it did!  I am delighted with the results although the cajeta ended up between the flan and the cake instead of on top of the custard.  Besides looking beautiful, this cake is dangerously good. Nobody who tried it has yet been able to stop at just one slice.
     A couple of years ago I saw a photo of this cake in a magazine and I wanted to try making it.  There was one ingredient that I could never get my hands on, cajeta.  Cajeta is a thick caramel sauce that is sold in Latin specialty markets.  A few weeks ago I saw a jar of cajeta in Marshall’s* and I remembered this cake. 
This is the jar of cajeta I bought
You can make the cajeta from scratch if you can’t find a ready made jar.  Here is a cajeta recipe that I found on My Mexican Recipes site.  It offers both a slow and quick recipe.  On foodnetwork.com there was a yummy looking cake from scratch by Marcela Valladolid.  I converted this cake recipe into a gluten free version. 

*(Marshall’s is a store where they sell things for less than in a regular store.  They have everything from clothes and linens to food and furniture. You can find many unusual food specialty items at reasonable prices.)



1/4 cup Cajeta
1-2 Tbs. Butter - soft

10 Tbs. Unsalted Butter - at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 cup Sorghum Flour
6 Tbs. Tapioca Flour
6 Tbs. Chickpea Flour
3/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
pinch Sea Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk (or an equal amount of milk with 1 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice added and then allowed to sit for five minutes)

FLAN (custard)
1 can Evaporated Milk (12 oz.)
1 can Condensed Milk (14 oz.)
4 ounces Cream Cheese - at room temperature
3 large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup Cajeta
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans - I toasted the pecans first by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking in the oven for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 12-cup bundt pan by coating the pan with butter and then spreading 1/4 cup of cajeta on the bottom.
    Bundt pan with cajeta on bottom.
  2. In a bowl add the flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix together well.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg and the vanilla extract then beat in well.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk to the egg and butter mixture and beat together well. Repeat. Then add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until well mixed.
    Cake batter after mixing is finished.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread out evenly.
  7. Next make the flan.  Add all the flan ingredients into a blender and mix on high until well blended, about 30 seconds.
  8. Fill a roasting pan with 1” of water and place the bundt pan with the batter in the roasting pan.  Be careful not to get any water into the cake pan.
  9. Through a sieve, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter in the bundt pan.
    Bundt pan with flan poured over the chocolate cake batter.
    The bundt pan is in a roasting pan filled with 1-inch of water.
  10. Slide the roasting pan with the cake into the oven, being careful not to get any water onto the custard.
  11. Bake 1 hour (mine took 1 ½ hours - could be my oven) or until the cake surface is firm to the touch or a toothpick comes out clean.
    Baked Chocoflan cake cooling on a rack.
  12. When done, remove from the oven and cool the cake completely on a rack.  This will take at least 1 hour.
  13. To serve, place a serving platter over the top of the bundt pan.  Grasp the plate and pan firmly with both hands, jiggle a little, and flip over. Remove the pan.
    Cooled cake inverted onto a platter.
    Some of the cajeta is seen in random areas on top of the cake.
  14. Garnish by spreading 1/4 cup of cajeta over the top and then sprinkling with chopped pecans.  I warmed the cajeta in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make it easier to spread on top of the cake.

  15. Traditionally it is chilled for 24 hours before serving, but you can eat the cake right away if you like.  Store any leftover cake, well covered, in the refrigerator.


  1. Can you use all purpose gluten free flour instead of the 3 different flours??

    1. You can use the all purpose blend, but the texture may be a slightly different. I'm sure it will work out fine.


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