• Vanilla and grape flan cake is definitely a unique dessert. An interesting combination of set custard on top of a moist vanilla cake all baked at once, it’s unexpected and delicious. Give this deliciously light cake a try. 

    Vanilla and grape flan cake

    Serves: 8
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins + overnight in the fridge


    • 200g (1 cup) sugar
    • 125ml (½ cup) water
    • Cake

    • 2 large eggs
    • 250ml (1 cup) sugar
    • 125ml (½ cup) milk
    • 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
    • 150g cake flour, sifted
    • 7,5ml (1½ tsp) baking powder
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) vanilla extract
    • Flan

    • 1 x 358g tin sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 x 380g tin evaporated milk
    • 3 large eggs
    • seeds from ½ vanilla pod
    • Grapes

    • 60ml (¼ cup) honey
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) water
    • 500ml (2 cups) loose grapes
    • seeds from ½ vanilla pod
    • fresh mint, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a deep, 25cm diameter bundt pan.


    Heat the sugar and water over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat up and let the sugar mixture bubble away until thick and golden. (Do not stir once you have turned up the heat.) Pour this into the prepared bundt pan.


    For the cake, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the milk, oil, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract. Set aside.


    For the flan, whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla seeds.


    Pour the cake batter into the bundt pan on top of the caramelised sugar. Now add the flan mixture by gently pouring it down one side of the pan. The flan should go to the bottom of the pan and raise the cake batter slightly.


    Set the bundt pan in a larger baking dish or tray filled with hot water that will act as a bain marie in the oven. Bake until it pulls away from the side and has formed a golden top, about 45 – 60 minutes. Test with a cake tester and if it comes out sticky then put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. If it comes out clean, it is ready.


    Remove from the oven and cool completely, then place in the fridge to cool for three hours or overnight.


    Remove it from the fridge about an hour before serving. Turn the bundt pan over onto a serving platter while it warms to room temperature. The bundt pan should then lift off easily.


    For the grapes, place all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the grapes are tender but retain their shape.


    Serve the flan cake with the cooled grapes and garnish with fresh mint.


    Cook's tip: If the caramel layer formed hard sugar crystals while in the fridge, take them off before adding the grapes on top of the flan.