Food & Cooking Blog

Flan-tastic: How to Make Homemade Flan

If you’re looking for an impressive dessert to serve that won’t take a lot of time to make, you’ve simply got to learn how to make flan. True, there’s a bit of fuss involved in caramelizing sugar and then placing ramekins in a water bath, but it’s worth it once you overturn your ramekins to reveal beautiful, creamy flan.

Homemade Flan Recipe on Craftsy.com

Photos via CakeSpy

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Here’s an easy homemade flan recipe that comes together in mere minutes.

This simple caramel custard is a food and cooking staple in many countries and goes by a variety of names. In France it’s known as crème caramel, whereas in Spanish speaking countries, it’s more frequently referred to as flan or even flan de leche. And, just in case you were wondering about pronunciation, “flan” rhymes with “don” rather than “dan.”

No matter what you call it, one thing is certain, this is a simple yet sophisticated recipe that will bring panache to the dessert course.

How to make flan

[Want to save or print this recipe? Click here to download the PDF version.]

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Supplies:

  • 6 ramekins
  • Large Pyrex-style pan (used as a water bath)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 13-ounce cans evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Gather your ramekins and Pyrex baking dish. You want to have them handy.

Step 2:

You actually start with the topping for the flan by caramelizing the sugar. Pour 1 cup of sugar into a pan and heat on medium until the sugar begins to caramelize. Once the sugar has turned medium brown, remove it from heat. It will darken a bit more after being removed from the heat.

Working quickly, pour about 2 tablespoons of the caramel mixture into each ramekin. Rotate each ramekin to ensure that sugar covers the entire bottom (not the sides, just the bottom).

Carmel for Flan- Recipe on Craftsy

Note: If your caramel starts to harden too rapidly, simply reheat it. You can also pour the caramel through a strainer to ensure no hardened bits of sugar make your flan tops too crunchy.

Straining Hardened Pieces of Carmel for Flan

Making caramel can be a bit of mad science. For a full tutorial on caramelizing sugar, refer to this post.

Step 3:

Set the caramel-lined ramekins to the side for the moment.

Step 4:

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, whisking until they are combined and lightly frothy. Add the two types of milk, mixing until completely combined. Now, add in the rest of the sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Custard Mixture for Flan

Step 5:

Pour the custard into the caramel-bottomed ramekins.

Step 6:

Now, pour about 1-inch of hot water into your baking pan. Gently place the ramekins in the pan. The water should reach at least half the height of the ramekins; if needed, gently pour in more water.

Flan in Ramekins Baking in the Oven

Step 7:

Gently place the dish in the oven, taking care not to slosh any water into the ramekins. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted to the side of the center of the flan comes out mostly clean.

Flan done baking - Recipe on Craftsy.com

Note: Why the water bath? See the picture below. This is what happens if you bake your flan without a water bath. It’s not pretty; the caramel bubbles up the sides of the ramekin. While it actually still tastes fine, it’s definitely not the elegant dessert most people aim for when making flan.

Flan Without a Water Bath

Step 8:

Remove the pan from the oven and gently remove the ramekins from the water. Refrigerate for at least an hour to help the individual servings further set. When you’re ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin.

Removing Homemade Flan

Step 9:

Place a plate on top of the upside-down flan. Now, holding the ramekin and plate together, invert the two so that the ramekin is on top.

Inverting Flan from the Ramekin

Step 10:

Gently lift off the ramekin. The flan should come out easily and cleanly. Let the caramel drip on top of the flan. Serve immediately after inverting.

Complete Homemade Flan Recipe - Craftsy.com

There you have it! A beautiful and elegant dessert to add to your dessert repertoire, perfect for serving at your next dinner party!

Make creamy, dreamy custards at home!

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8 Comments

Chris

my first time making Flan for my family, and my mother in law who is a hell of a chef said it was the best flan she has tasted since leaving Puerto Rico 20 years ago

Reply
Geovanna

I liked that this website told me everything to make a Spanish flan and it was really good

Reply
m.venkateshwarrao

not understand

Reply
Rooby

Fyi I’ve always heard it being called Flan that rhymes with Dan. And yes I am Hispanic.

Reply
Parlov Dickens

I prepared this for my wife on her birthday. She just loved it!! Your measurements and instructions were precise and clear. I did a small change here as I added 5 gms of cardomom powder and little drops of honey to add the taste. It was really yummy. I have shared your site with my friend milan who loves making these type of recipes.

Reply
Stephen Ristow

I just wanted to say thank you for having a total and complete recipe with all the little details that make an aesthetic flan. I just tried baking flan without a water bath and it came out exactly the way you have it in the picture. Thanks for reason why it didn’t work out so well, I’m going to bake another one now properly

Reply
Cuong

I made this but after cooling, i tried turning it over and the melted sugar is completely hard and wouldn’t come out. How do you keep it melted and soft and gooey? Also, how do you remove hard sugar from pan/ramekins? I dont cook much so i dont know much. I tried to follow your recipe as directed. Also, my flan turned out very thick. A quick reply would be greatly appreciated

Reply
Mary Hines

To remove the caramelized sugar from the ramekins and pans, I soak in HOT water with a little soap and it always cleans up good for me. I don’t know about the sugar being hard after the water bath, the heat melts the caramelized sugar back into a liquid. Maybe the sugar was caramelized too long, water got in the ramekin, the heat may have been to high to caramelize the sugar. I would definitely try it again!

Reply

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