Pastel Imposible (Impossible Cake)

Pastel ImposibleYesterday was Mother’s Day.  It was the perfect opportunity for me to try a new recipe because even if it bombed, everyone has to be nice to me.  Good thing they liked it!  I know because Grandchild #5 helped himself to 3 servings!  He’s a track star, so he can afford the calories.

This is a recipe I had been wanting to try for quite some time and finally decided it was time.  I usually go to my son’s house for Mother’s Day and the women are forbidden to lift a finger for just one day.  I have a hard time with that, because I love to cook.  So it was agreed that I would bring dessert.  

Pastel Imposible, Impossible Cake, Flan Cake and Chocoflan are some names you will see for this cake.  It derives it’s name from the fact that it “impossibly” reverses itself in the pan while it bakes.  The cake is loaded into the baking pan starting with the cake mix and then the liquid flan mixture is poured on top.  As it bakes, the flan sinks to the bottom and the cake is on top, so that when you invert it, the flan becomes this rich, decadent “icing”.

You will find many recipes online, but for my first attempt, I decided I would use a boxed cake mix to make it easier.  This really did come together easily and if you are entertaining, you can make it a day ahead of time as I did and it will still amaze.

Pastel Imposible (Impossible Cake)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Caramelized Sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. You will need a 12" round cake pan or a 10" Bundt cake pan and a roasting pan large enough to fit the baking pan. Move the oven rack to it's lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat sugar in small heavy-duty saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until sugar is dissolved and caramel colored. Immediately pour onto bottom of baking pan or Bundt pan and swirl to coat bottom. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add cake mix, oil, water and 3 eggs. Mix until ingredients are well-blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared cake pan, over the hardened caramelized sugar.
  4. In blender, add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, 6 eggs and vanilla. Gently pour over cake batter in pan.
  5. Place filled cake pan into a larger cake pan or roasting pan. Place on bottom rack in the oven. Pour hot water in roasting pan half way up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove cake pan from roasting pan and allow cake to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  7. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake pan and invert cake onto serving platter. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Et cetera:  This recipe was adapted from the one on the Nestle website.