5 from 4 votes
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Creamy and custardy, flan is a dessert my kids and husband love to see on the table. It’s delicious and easy with just a few ingredients you’ve likely got at home already. When we have guests for dinner, this homemade flan recipe is one of my favorite desserts to whip up because everyone just loves it!

Best Flan Recipe

The best flan recipe comes out with a creamy custard texture. Also known as crème caramel, this sweet Latin American dessert is topped with caramel to finish it all off. And speaking of finishing it all off, that’s what will happen when you serve it. I seldom if ever have any leftover!

What are the ingredients for flan?

Flan ingredients are as follows:

  • Sugar – Measure out one cup.
  • Water – You’ll use this with the sugar to make the caramel topping.
  • Cream cheese – Left it soften before you work with it.
  • Eggs – Grab 5 large ones and get ready!
  • Canned milks – You’ll need one can each of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • Vanilla extract – Rounds out the sweet taste.

I think you’re Flan-tastic!

Easy Flan Recipe

While it does take a little while to make, most of that time is inactive for you. Plus with so few ingredients, once everything is combined, that’s it. You’ll soon be pulling this stunning dessert out of the oven soon enough and then letting it chill.

How do you Make Flan from Scratch

You’ll make the caramel topping by combining the sugar and water for 15 minutes on your stove. When it becomes golden, it goes in a glass baking dish. Then you’ll get the oven ready and make the flan mixture. Beat your cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add the eggs one at a time. After that, in goes both cans of milk and the vanilla extract. You’ll pour it over the caramel in the baking dish. Then take your baking dish and put it in a water bath (made with an inch of boiling water). It will bake for 50 to 55 minutes then needs to cool. When it is cool, you’ll refrigerate it overnight. The tricky part is flipping it onto a platter to serve but you’ve got this!

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Caramel Flan Recipe

  • Watch your caramel. When making the caramel on your stovetop, it can go from perfect to burnt in just seconds. This is not the time to multitask. Keep an eye on it!
  • Don’t skip that water bath. Flan is cooked like many cheesecake recipes you see. The water bath is what helps it cook to that perfect texture without becoming overdone.
  • Use a knife. When you’re ready to serve your flan, running a butter knife along the edge will help loosen it so you can flip it onto a serving dish and reveal its impressive caramel-coated top.

What makes a good flan?

Flan should be creamy, smooth, and silky. The sauce itself needs to be a golden caramel without tasting burnt. If you’ve ever had a good flan at a restaurant, you will know just how it should taste. 

What is flan called in English?

In English, flan is called ‘crème caramel.’

Is flan Mexican or Spanish?

Well, it’s a little of both. The Roman Empire is credited with first making it and it spread to Spain. The Spaniards eventually brought it to Mexico and now most people associate flan with Mexico.

What is the difference between Mexican flan and Filipino flan?

Both Mexican flan and Filipino flan have similar ingredients, including caramel on top. The biggest difference though comes down to the eggs. Mexican flan will use the whole egg while Filipino flan uses more yolks which makes it more dense.

How to Cook Flan

Flan starts on your stove top with the caramel but the rest is in the oven with a water bath. Prepare for cooking flan by using the right materials which will make it easier to create.

What’s the best pan to cook flan?

A glass baking dish or a souffle dish is the perfect vessel for cooking your flan.

Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk for flan?

If you don’t have evaporated milk or condensed milk, you can use regular milk and cream. For each cup it calls for, mix half a cup of cream and half a cup of fresh milk.

What is the liquid in flan?

Flan shouldn’t be liquidy though the caramel may be slightly runny and that’s OK!

What does egg yolk do in flan?

Egg yolks make it a more dense creation, like the Filipino style of flan.

How long does it take for flan to set?

It will take about 50 to 55 minutes when you follow this recipe to get your flan to set.

How Long to Bake Flan?

At 350F temp, flan needs to bake for about 50 to 55 minutes. Make sure you check on it toward the end of the baking time.

Why does flan take so long to bake?

It takes time for the water to do what it does in that water bath plus for the steam to get to the point where it takes the flan from just a bunch of ingredients to the custard dessert we love.

Do you cover flan while baking?

No, you do not cover the flan while baking. You will put it in a 1-inch water bath.

Why is my flan still liquid?

Your flan is still liquid if you didn’t bake it long enough with a water bath. Follow this recipe and your flan will turn out the way it’s supposed to.

How do I make flan more firm?

Make sure you’re cooking it for the proper length of time and using a water bath. By using this method, your flan should come out at the perfect firmness.

Why is my flan not creamy?

You may have created bubbles when mixing your custard together. You don’t want bubbles because they make holes in the flan which leads to a texture that isn’t custardy. Whisking should be done in a stirring fashion rather than whipping to keep the texture right.

What goes well with Flan?

Some people serve ice cream or fruits along with flan though I find it stands alone quite nicely. I usually make flan when we have company though so I’ll always put these options out in case anyone else wants them.

How to Store Flan

Flan needs to be refrigerated. You can’t leave it out beyond serving it so once everyone has had their fill, cover it and put it in the fridge.

How Long Does Flan Last?

Flan will last about 2 to 3 days in your fridge. I have honestly never had this problem as it is gone gone GONE before it gets to that point.

Can You Freeze Flan?

Believe it or not, you can freeze flan. It needs to be wrapped well and then it can keep for about 4 months.

How to Reheat Flan?

Frozen flan won’t be quite as good the second time around but it’s better than wasting it. You can thaw it in your fridge to standard refrigerator temperature. It will not need to be warmed up from there since it’s a cold dessert.

Watch How To Make Flan (Video)

Classic Flan Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 158
Easily the BEST Flan Recipe I've ever made! If you love that rich creamy custard type of flan coated with a delicious flavorful caramel sauce then you will love this dessert recipe. Its traditional Mexican Flan recipe that you know and love.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • First, prepare the caramel topping. Using a saucepan, cook the sugar and water over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until golden. Once the sugar has melted and become golden in color, pour the mixture into a glass baking or souffle dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Now, make the flan mixture. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Then, slowly beat in the eggs, just one at a time. Once the eggs have been thoroughly combined, add the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, and the vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the baking dish with the caramel. It’s important that the flan is baked in a water bath. Place the baking dish in a baking pan and pour about 1 inch of boiling water in. Bake at 350F until the center is set but still slightly jiggly, about 50-55 minutes.
  • Once baked, allow the dish to cool for an hour before refrigerating overnight. The next day, run a knife around the entire edge of the baking dish to free the flan. Carefully flip the baking dish upside down onto a platter. Slice into wedges and serve.
Calories: 158kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 53mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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