Gourmet Galley: Impressive dessert

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Impress guests with Vanilla Flan Cake, two favorite desserts baked in one pan. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Impress guests with Vanilla Flan Cake, two favorite desserts baked in one pan.

Impress your guests by bringing out Vanilla Flan Cake as dessert. The cake glistens with caramel, flan and a moist butter cake. In essence, it’s two delicious desserts, flan and cake, all in one.

No one will believe how simple this is to make. I had featured the devil’s food version of this cake awhile back and that’s a good one for chocolate lovers; but, I actually got more votes from my family for this vanilla version. You can use either vanilla or chocolate for the cake part.

Smucker’s Caramel Topping is spooned over the bottom of the pan. Next comes the butter cake layer, then a quickly blended flan of cream cheese, condensed milk and evaporated milk is poured over the cake mix. During baking, the flan settles next to the caramel and the cake rises to the top. When inverted onto the cake plate, you have the moist cake on the bottom with the flan and caramel on the top.

Simple flan cake tips:

  • Make this cake several hours or the day before you need it because it cooks slowly in a bain marie (water bath) for 2 hours, then it has to cool.
  • Use a 12-cup bundt pan or an angel food (tube cake) pan.
  • The cake plate should have a small rim around it for the caramel drips.
  • The cake pan and the hole in the center are tightly covered with foil during baking. No peeking until the cake is fully baked.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.