Seriously one of the best desserts! This is a latin dessert that consists of a creamy cool custard that is topped with a rich caramel sauce. It is melt in your mouth delicious. And can be served alone or you can add more, like strawberries and whipped cream. Basically, it is delightful, and this Flan recipe is going to become a favorite in your home.
Not only is this flan decadent and delicious, I love that it’s actually a make ahead recipe, requiring it to cool in the fridge the night before. This way the next day I can make a great meal and have dessert already done.
While I love a classic dessert like Chocolate Chip Cookies, it’s nice to have a more impressive and decadent dessert like Flan from time to time.
What is Flan? What Does it Taste Like?
Flan is a European and Latin dessert, that has a rich, caramel flavor topping with deep, toasted sugar undertones, and then a creamy, milky, sweet, eggy base. It is really similar to creme brûlée. As it is made with milk, eggs and sweetener. But the caramel topping is what makes it different. Flan is typically prepared by baking it in a water bath, and chilling it to let it set. To serve it is inverted onto a plate or serving platter, and sliced.
What You Need to Make Spanish Style Flan
With just a handful of basic ingredients, you can create a dessert that is anything but basic. Yes, you use three kinds of milk, (like tres leches), and eggs and egg yolks. Trust me, this decadent line up makes for a really amazing dessert.
- Eggs and Egg Yolks
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Evaporated Milk
- Whole Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Medium Sauce Pan
- 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch Loaf Pan
- 9 x 13 inch Baking Pan
- Fine mesh strainer for removing lumps in eggs
- Aluminum foil for covered loaf pan
- Instant read thermometer to know when flan is done.
- Pairing knife for unmolding the flan
- A platter with raised edges for serving
How to Make Flan
The total time to make this recipe is 13 hours and 55 minutes. But don’t let that scare you. This is because you let it set up overnight before you unmold it.
The actual prep or hands on time is not very long so do not stress my friend. It is a few simple steps
- First, stir sugar and water together and then boil.
- Once the sugar and water are done boiling, remove from heat and continue to swirl until the sugar mixture’s desired color and fragrance are reached.
- Then combine warm tap water and pour caramel into a pan.
- Next, prepare the oven and make the custard and bake.
- Leave custard in a water bath and then once cool, remove from the bath and refrigerate overnight.
- Then unmold the custard and enjoy!
Step one: Stir Sugar and Water in a Saucepan and Boil.
- Stir sugar and ¼ cup of water in a medium saucepan until sugar is completely moistened.
- Bring dampened sugar to a boil, 3-5 minutes.
- Cook for another 1-2 minutes, without stirring, until the mixture begins to turn the color of peanut butter.
Step two: Remove from Heat and Swirl.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and swirl until the sugar is a reddish-amber and fragrant.
Step three: Incorporate Warm Tap Water.
Swirl two tablespoons of warm tap water into the saucepan. Mixture will bubble and steam.
Step four: Pour Caramel into a Loaf Pan and Prepare the Oven.
- Pour caramel into an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan, making sure not to scrape caramel out of the saucepan.
- Set aside the loaf pan and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Then line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with a dish towel, folding the towel to fit smoothly, and set aside.
Step five: Combine Whisked Eggs, Milks, Vanilla, and Salt in a Bowl.
Whisk eggs and yolks in a bowl until combined. Then add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until incorporated.
Step Six: Strain Mixture, Cover in Pan, and Bake.
Strain the egg and milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the prepared loaf pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake at 180 degrees for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Step seven: Remove from the Oven and Leave Custard in a Water Bath.
Take custard out of the oven and remove the foil. Leave custard in a water bath until the loaf pan has cooled completely.
Step eight: Remove from Water Bath and Chill Overnight.
Remove the loaf pan from the water bath, wrap tightly, and chill overnight or up to 4 days.
Step nine: Unmold
To unmold, slide a paring knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the serving platter on top of the pan and turn the pan platter over. When flan is released, remove the loaf pan. Enjoy!
Step ten: Enjoy!
You can pour more caramel sauce over the top if you want, but this is one of those delicious recipes that doesn’t require a whole lot to be delicious.
Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy, but here are a few things you should know to get perfect results every single time…
- You can sub out 2 percent for whole milk: If you don’t have whole milk on hand, you can use 2 percent. However, skim milk is not a suitable substitution.
- Do not skip running the egg mixture through a strainer: No one wants lumpy flan. Do not skip the step of running the flan through a fine mesh strainer or sieve. It really makes a big difference in texture. I tried it both ways during my testing, and well, just do it.
- Add toppings for an extra flare: Flan is great on its own, but you can also top it with a variety of things like berries, whipped cream, or drizzle with chocolate sauce. Be creative.
- Remember Flan will continue to cook while cooling: Do not overcook your flan.
- Serve Flan cold. Flan is a dessert that is best not right out of the oven. It is served cold. So give it time to set before unmolding. Plan ahead so you have tons of time.
Make Ahead and Storage
How to make this recipe ahead of time:
You can store flan wrapped tightly in the pan for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Plus, since flan is served cold, this makes for an easy dessert to just pull out of the fridge once ready to eat.
Make Ahead and Freeze:
Can you freeze flan?
Technically yes, but my recommendation is just make it when you want it. Freezing it changes the texture, and it just isn’t as good.
However, if you really need or want to freeze it, I’ve got you covered.
How to Freeze Flan:
- Set your freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing time for the temperature to reach the desired temp. Note: This will take 2-3 hours.
- Follow recipe instructions like normal.
- Let flan cool completely.
- Wrap flan in laminated freezer paper prior to wrapping with plastic wrap.
- Then transfer the wrapped flan into a gallon size freezer bag.
- Place in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Defrost in the fridge and eat.
Note: Store flan in a freezer that is not crowded to allow the necessary air circulation.
Whether you eat Flan the next day or a couple days later, or even after freezing it, either way I am so excited for you to try this delicious dessert!
Other Great Recipes:
- Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle
- Mini Caramel Chocolate Cake Bites
- Key Lime Pie
- Turtle Pound Cake Trifle
- Banana Pudding
- Medium Saucepan
- 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan for flan
- 13 by 9 inch baking pan
- Fine mesh strainer for removing any clumps of egg
- Aluminum foil for covering loaf pan
- Instant read thermometer for judging doneness
- Paring knife for loosening flan from pan
- Platter with raised edges for holding flan and caramel
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 5 egg yolks large
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Stir together sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium heavy saucepan until sugar is completely moistened. Bring to a boil over medium heat, 3-5 minutes, and cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to turn golden, another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Gently swirl the pan, continue to cook until sugar is the color of peanut butter, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and swirl until sugar is reddish-amber and fragrant.
- Carefully swirl 2 tablespoons of warm tap water into the pot. The mixture will bubble and steam.
- Pour this caramel into 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan, but do not scrape out the sauce pan.
- Set the loaf pan aside.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with dish towel, folding the towel to fit in well, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks until combined. Add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla, and salt and whisk until incorporated.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the loaf pan that has the caramel in it.
- Cover loaf pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the prepared towel lined baking pan.
- Turn oven down to 180 degrees F and bake flan at 180 degrees F, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Remove foil and leave custard in a water bath until the loaf pan has cooled completely. Remove loaf pan from water bath, wrap tightly and chill overnight or up to 4 days.
- To unmold, slide the paring knife around the edges of the pan. Invert serving platter on top of pan and turn pan platter over. When flan is released, remove the loaf pan.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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