Caramel Flan

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Caramel Flan

Flan is a rich, sweet custard topped with caramel sauce. It looks fancy, but it’s actually quite simple to make.

Flan

Michael and I had dinner recently at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse or churrascaria. While the open fire-roasted meat was wonderful, the South American flan we shared for dessert was hands down our favorite part of the meal.

Flan, also known as crème caramel, is a rich, sweet custard topped with caramel sauce. It’s similar to the French custard dessert, crème brûlée, only it is a bit denser and, instead of the brittle caramel top, the caramel is liquid. It’s one of those fancy desserts that looks intimidating to make, but it’s actually quite simple. The key is to bake the flan in a water bath, which regulates the temperature and evenly distributes gentle heat around the flan, ensuring that the eggs don’t curdle.

To recreate a Brazilian flan at home, I tried at least a half-dozen recipes. This classic Latin flan adapted from Cook’s Illustrated was my favorite. It’s prepared in a loaf pan rather than a wide cake pan, so it’s easy to unmold without breaking. And since it’s made up to four days ahead of time, it’s the perfect dessert for company!

How To Make Flan

ingredients for flan

To make this Latin-style flan, you’ll need three different types of milk: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk.  If you don’t have whole milk, you can substitute 2% or half-and-half, but skim is not recommended. The splash of bourbon is my addition to the recipe — it adds nice depth of flavor — but if you’d like to omit it, simply increase the vanilla by two teaspoons.

Since the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 5 egg yolks, you’ll have lots of leftover egg whites. If you’re looking for easy and delicious ways to use them up, check out my forgotten kisses (chocolate chip meringue cookies) and coconut macaroons.

bringing sugar and water mixture to a boil

To begin, make the caramel. Stirring the sugar and 1/4 cup water together in a medium saucepan until the sugar is completely moistened. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, without stirring. Continue cooking until the mixture begins to turn golden.

sugar and water mixture turning golden colorGently swirling the pan, continue to cook until sugar is a pale honey color.

sugar and water mixture turning honey color

Remove from the heat and swirl the pan until the sugar is a reddish-amber color and fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds.

sugar and water mixture turning to a caramel color

Carefully swirl in 2 tablespoons of warm tap water until incorporated – be careful as the mixture will bubble and steam. The water helps thin the caramel, so it doesn’t all stick to the pan after the flan bakes in the oven.

bubbling caramel after adding water

Pour the caramel into 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan and set aside. The caramel will harden in the pan.

caramel poured into loaf pan

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks in large bowl.

whisked eggs and egg yolks in mixing bowl

Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla, Bourbon, and salt and whisk until incorporated.

whisked custard mixture in mixing bowl

Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a larger bowl. The strainer will catch little bits of egg that you don’t want in your flan.

strained custard in bowl

Pour the strained custard into the loaf pan over the caramel.

custard poured into loaf pan and ready to bake

Place the loaf pan in the center of a 9×13-inch baking or roasting pan (preferably with high sides) to make a water bath. Place the nested pans in the oven; using a tea kettle or pitcher, pour hot water around the loaf pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. The purpose of the water bath is to moderate the heat and ensure that the mixture cooks evenly into a smooth and creamy custard. (Cheesecake uses the same technique.)

Bake the flan for 75 to 90 minutes, until the custard is set around the edges but still a bit jiggly in the center. The custard should not be completely set when it is removed from the oven; it will continue to cook as it cools. Remove the pans from the oven and leave the flan in the water bath for about one hour to cool.

baked flan cooling in water bath

Remove the loaf pan from water bath, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight or up to 4 days. To unmold the flan, carefully slide a knife around the edges of the pan.

loosening flan from pan with knifeInvert a platter with a raised rim on top of the flan and turn the pan and platter over. If it doesn’t release immediately, let it sit inverted for a minute and it should eventually slide out. Remove the loaf pan and, using a rubber spatula, scrape the residual caramel over the flan. You won’t be able to release all of it – that’s okay. Slice the flan and spoon the sauce over the individual servings. Serve with berries, if you like.

(Editor’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017 but updated in April 2019 with new photos.)

Flan

Caramel Flan

Flan is a rich, sweet custard topped with caramel sauce. It looks fancy, but it’s actually quite simple to make.

Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes, plus an overnight chill in the refrigerator

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 5 yolks
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup whole milk (half-and-half or 2% milk may be substituted but do not use skim milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. (This recipe should be made at least one day before serving.) Adjust a rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Stir together the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small heavy saucepan until the sugar is completely moistened. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until the mixture begins to turn golden. Gently swirling the pan, continue to cook until sugar is a honey color. Remove from the heat and swirl the pan until the sugar is reddish-amber and fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Carefully swirl in 2 tablespoons of warm tap water until incorporated – be careful as the mixture will bubble and steam. This whole process should take less than 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the caramel into an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan; do not scrape out the saucepan. (Note: The caramel will solidify when you pour it into the loaf pan. That's ok -- it will soften up again as it bakes.) Set the loaf pan aside. (To clean the hardened caramel from the saucepan, fill the pan with water and bring it to a boil.)
  4. Whisk the eggs and yolks in large bowl until combined. Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, vanilla, Bourbon, and salt and whisk until incorporated. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl to remove any bits of egg; then pour the strained custard into the loaf pan over the caramel. Cover the loaf pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  5. Place the loaf pan in the center of a 9x13-inch baking or roasting pan (preferably with high sides) to make a water bath. Place the nested pans in the oven; then, using a tea kettle or pitcher, pour hot water around the loaf pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake for 75 to 90 minutes, until the custard is set around the edges but still a bit jiggly in the center. (Don’t worry that it seems undercooked. The custard will continue to cook as it cools, and the center will set completely -- I promise!) Carefully remove the pans from the oven. Remove the foil and leave the flan in the water bath for 1 hour to cool.
  6. Remove the loaf pan from the water bath and wipe the pan dry. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight or up to 4 days.
  7. To unmold the flan, carefully slide a sharp knife around the edges of the pan. Invert a platter with a raised rim (to contain the liquid caramel) on top of the flan and turn the pan and platter over. If the flan doesn’t release immediately, let it sit inverted for a minute and it should slide out. If it still doesn't come out, try running the knife around the edges again. When the flan is released, remove the loaf pan. Using rubber spatula, scrape the residual caramel onto the platter. You won’t be able to release all of the caramel – that’s okay. Slice the flan and spoon the sauce over individual portions. (Leftover flan may be covered loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
  8. Note: If you would like to omit the Bourbon, replace with an additional 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 249
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Sugar: 39 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 224 mg
  • Cholesterol: 61 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This sounds delicious. Can I make individual portions in 6 oz ramekins?

    • — Trudy on October 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure! The bake time will be different so make sure you keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • I was so excited to try this recipe , and even though the taste was amazing! the flan didn’t set in the middle and it was like a pudding. I was so sad. I made it in a porcelain dish since i didn’t have a loaf pan, and followed the instructions exactly. i don’t know what could have went wrong 🙁

    • — Diana on October 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Diana, Sorry you had a problem with this! The recipe is pretty predictable. Is there any chance you made a measuring error?

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is absolutely delicious! i was looking all over for a flan recipe that didn’t require cream cheese. this was very easy to follow. i’ve made it multiple times both in the loaf pan and 8 oz ramekins (makes 4). thank you so much!

    • — Karla L on September 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi! Im looking to make this for the first time and was wondering if you can use fat free evaporated milk instead.

    • — sara on September 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • excellent recipe – both the clear, comprehensive instructions and the delicious results

    • — Eva Hess on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Would the flan still stand ok if baked in a loaf pan with more rounded edges vs. the sharper edged loaf pan? Could this be baked in a 9 inch round pan (and I’m assuming adjust the bake time? Any estimates of what that bake time range in minutes would be?)

    • — Julie on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, either of those pans should be fine. If you go with the 9-inch round pan, the bake time may be slightly different but not sure by how much so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is definitely one of the best flan recipes I’ve tried. It came out super custardy and really solidified well after resting. The suggestion to add a bit extra vanilla extract instead of brandy worked perfectly. Thank you for sharing!

    • — Taylor on August 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    As is this was exceptional, like all your other recipes. I’m wondering if there is anyway I could adapt this recipe to make it lactose free — this is my bff’s favourite dessert but she recently developed lactose intolerance and Im trying to find away to make it for her 🙂

    Thank you so much

    • — Mlak on August 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! This has so much dairy, that I don’t think it will translate well to a non-dairy version. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was AMAZING! I’ve served this a number of times and it leaves people moaning with pleasure. I omitted the bourbon and used the additional vanilla as the recipe suggests.
    One word of caution, don’t start making this at 9pm at night if you’re early to bed. I had to bake it the full 90+ minutes (until almost set) and then the additional 1 hour cooling time in the water bath made it for a later than expected bed time. Well worth it. Enjoy.

    • — EM on July 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn

    First I would like to thank you for such tasty and yum recipe.
    I made flan for the first time in my life yesterday and the result was perfect taste 🙂 but not so perfect texture 🙁
    I did exactly as you advised – cooked for 90 mins at 300 F, let it sit in the pan for one hour after taking out from oven, and overnight in fridge.
    But when i took it out today in the morning, the middle part was not set. It was more like pudding or thick soup but the sides were perfectly set and were holding their shape.

    I am not sure where I went wrong 🙁
    But the taste was heaven….

    Please advise or suggest what I can do better next time to keep the shape and texture perfect as well.

    • — Manasi Vashishtha on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Manasi, Glad to hear you like this but sorry that it was a bit underbaked. Did you by any chance use a glass loaf pan? (Glass is better at conducting heat than metal and sometimes that will cause the outside/edges of a baked good to get browned/baked before the center is fully cooked.

      • — Jenn on June 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi, can I bake this in a loaf pan made of stone?

        • — Abigail on August 14, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes, I think that should work. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on August 15, 2020
          • Reply
    • This recipe used to be perfect. Just recently, they added the step of covering it with aluminum foil. I tried it with the foil to see what the difference would be…. Undercooked and runny. I tried putting it back in the oven for another 15 min uncovered, but it was ruined. I have no idea why they changed it when it was perfect to begin with. Try it without the aluminum foil and cook it at 300 for 75 min. It will come out perfect.

      • — Jimmy on October 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi , can I bake this on a Bundt Cake pan ? I have made on the regular pans and it cane our amazing!!!’

    • — Natalia Pena on June 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalia, I wouldn’t use a bundt pan as I don’t think you’ll have enough custard to fill it (and it would be hard to run a knife along the edges to unmold it without butchering it). Sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for replying ! Is it possible to double this recipe ? I need to make a big flan for a family gathering . This recipe is the best I ever tried .

        • — Natalia Pena on June 9, 2020
        • Reply
        • So glad you like it! Yes, you cand double it. I’d just make it in 2 loaf pans (they may take just a tiny bit longer to cook). Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on June 9, 2020
          • Reply
    • Hi Natalia, I almost always make flan in my Bundt cake pan and always comes out perfect and have no issues with it. Give it a try!

      • — Christy on July 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello. Thank you for the recipe. It came out great. When I made the second time I did add one extra ingredient which was a piece of cream cheese because I wanted it to be a little firmer.
    I do have one question – if I want to make other variations of flavors of the flan, such as coffee, or guava, or passion fruit – should I reduce some of the milk and replace with the coffee or passion fruit juice so that is it not too liquidy? If so, which of the two should I reduce – the evaporated milk or the whole milk or both?

    • — Yadira on June 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Yadira, glad this turned out nicely for you! I wouldn’t recommend fiddling with the recipe too much but if you wanted to give this a coffee flavor, you could add 1 to 2 teaspoons of espresso powder. You could try to experiment a bit beyond that but not sure how forgiving the recipe will be.

      • — Jenn on June 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • I followed this recipe almost exactly. I did not have any bourbon, so I added the extra vanilla instead. I only baked it for 65 minutes, and it turned out perfect. I have tried other flan recipes and this one is our favorite, so far… thanks

    • — Sheena on May 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was absolutely AMAZING!! The first time I made it, I surprised my entire family with it, and they were in love. Ever since it is the only flan recipe I like to use. It is creamy, and sweet, and just every part fantastic. Thanks for the perfect recipe!

    • — Skylar on May 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I do this in an 8 inch round pan ? Thanks

    • — Natalia Pena on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure — the baking time may be slightly shorter so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello. Wonderful recipe as this was my first time. My caramel hardened at the bottom of my pan so when I went to invert it, it just stuck. What can I do to make sure the caramel sits well and comes out next time? Thank you.

    • — Anthiny on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! If you make this again and find that the caramel sticks, after releasing the flan from the pan, warm the bottom of the pan by setting it in a larger pan filled with some boiling water. It should loosen up and come out that way. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe. Well written, easy to perform and great to eat.

    • — John Costa on April 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this in ramekins rather than a loaf pan, the taste and texture are excellent. The only issue I had was getting the flan out of the ramekins, but they get out with minimum damage to the edges.

    • — Ilya Dimov on April 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • This is AMAZING!!!! Best recipe I ever tried. Can I double it?

      • — Natalia Pena on May 6, 2020
      • Reply
      • So glad you like it! Yes, you can double it – I’d do it in two separate loaf pans for even baking.

        • — Jenn on May 6, 2020
        • Reply
  • I wanted to thank you for the delicious flan recipe!! I made a different one a few weeks ago and it didn’t turn out the way we thought it would. I saw yours this time and tried it, SOOOO much better. I baked them in 8 teacups (instead of the loaf pan because that’s all I had) for almost the entire baking time and it turned out wonderful! Will use this recipe every time!! Thanks!

    • — Donald on March 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi! I don’t drink alcohol. Is it possible to eradicate the whisky?

      • — Maria on May 1, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure – you can replace it with an additional 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on May 3, 2020
        • Reply
  • I made this a few days ago. Follwed the recipe to the T, came out beautifully.. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Geeta on March 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello, Love the recipe. I did substitute the evaporated milk with heavy cream and it was perfect. This took away the sweetness of the evaporated milk for me

    • — Gillian McFarlane on February 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • Excellent 👍👍👍👍 👍

    • — Nicholas on February 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe! I used 2% milk instead of Whole Milk and followed everything as given. Perfect caramel, perfect sugar, everyone liked it. Next time i’m going to keep it for 80 minutes, instead of the 90 minutes I kept this time.

    • — Anjali A on February 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi, thank you for sharing this amazingly yummy flan recipe!
    That said, I’ve made the recipe 2 times now, still not able to get the sugar caramelized like in your photo. I would be grateful for you to tell me how to improve on what I am doing. The key part, in my opinion, is your sentence ” this entire process should take only 10 minutes”
    The first time I thought my saucepan was too heavy and did not allow the sugar to caramelized in that 10 minute window. So my next attempt I used a copper, stainless lined saucepan, still not achieving the dark caramel color in the 10 minute window.
    Please advise me with your suggestion as to what I need to do to achieve the lovely dark, and flavorful caramel sauce on the flan.
    While my 2 tries have yielded a lovely texture flavorful flan, I believe the layer of flavor a true caramelized sugar will add, has been missing from what I am doing.
    Thank you for your help!

    • — Lucy on January 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lucy, I would either cook it longer or increase the heat; there’s always some variation with the timing, depending on the type of pan and stove. Just go by color and don’t worry about the time. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2020
      • Reply
    • What temp for the oven?

      • — Mary Ann Dugan on February 15, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Mary Ann, the flan should be baked at 300°F/150°C. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on February 16, 2020
        • Reply
    • Hey Lucy, if your still wondering how to get that honey color on your caramel I can tell u step by step.
      1. You need a nonstick white sauce pan
      2. Put 2/3 C of sugar with 1/4 C of water in there till the sugar is completely covered by water
      3. Let sit over medium high heat and DO NOT TOUCH IN ANY WAY
      4. Kepp still until sugar starts to darken
      5. Start moving your pan in a circular motion ACCATUINALY
      6. Keep going until it get that honey brown color
      7. Then start following the rest of the recipe

      • — Kaydon on March 8, 2020
      • Reply
  • Bravo! This is a fantastic and very easy recipe. I’ve never made flan before so when I saw the great photos, I felt I could try this. So easy and so delicious too!
    Only one problem and that was because I used too heavy a saucepan to make the caramel. After 2 tries, I just used it even though the caramel never darkened. It also cooked down so the amount was almost not enough to coat the loaf pan. I used a small cast iron ceramic coated pan which was my problem. Next time I am using my saucepan that is stainless so caramel will properly darken. BUT even this small problem did not dull this delicious dessert. I received rave reviews from all the dinner guests! This recipe and great tips will be in my collection forever. Thank you

    • — Lucy on January 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe and it turned out absolutely perfect and delicious. I followed the recipe to a T. It was So beautiful I almost didn’t want to cut it. Everything about it was spot on. I am now wanting to make a chocolate flan. How would I go about doing this using this recipe? Is that possible? Do you have a recipe for a chocolate flan? Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • — Beth on January 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this, Beth! Instead of tweaking this recipe to make a chocolate version, I’d just look for one that’s designed to be chocolate. I think you’ll have the most success if you go that route. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • I totally understand. We enjoyed this one down to the last drop of caramel sauce lol. Thank you so much for this recipe and your advice on making a chocolate flan as well.

        • — Beth on January 12, 2020
        • Reply
  • For the first time in my life….. my caramel sauce came out perfectly! I have tried so many times and failed. Must have been the water in the recipe! Your recipe is easy! Thank you!! Also, straining the liquid was brilliant. Egg particles are caught! My flan is baking…. to be continued!

    • — Bonnie Campos on November 23, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Thank you for this recipe. It was my first time making flan and it turned out exactly as seen on your photos, the texture is silky, smooth and jiggly, and tastes just like I imagined it would.
    After reading Heather S. comment here about a traditional version from New Mexico, I decided to use a bit of bitter almond flavoring (which I happened to have at hand) instead of Bourbon (which I didn’t). It added quite a strong amaretto-like flavor that balanced the sweetness of the caramel sauce just perfectly for me. I also used real vanilla seeds instead of an extract, and brown cane sugar for making the caramel, so the color turned out really rich, deep brown.

    Thanks again for your hands-on instructions!
    Greetings from Hungary!

    • — Anna on November 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have a question about a Crème Brule I made on the weekend. I have made it before and it turned out perfect but at the time, I didn’t have a convection oven. When I made it on Sunday, the top of the custard browned a little and I don’t know why. I turned the temperature down from 350 to 325 and covered them. What would you have done differently? I like the convection for some things but baking is always tricky. I had the proper amount of water for the bath but it’s like the oven was cooking the top instead of steaming it like a custard. Thanks Jenn. I guess this question would apply to this recipe too.

    Thanks, Cathy

    • — Cathy on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Cathy, You did the right thing in reducing the oven temp by 25° while using the convection setting. Does your oven still have the traditional/non-fan option? If so, I’d go that route as you know that you will get a predictable result. (I develop and publish all my recipes using the traditional/non-fan option.)

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Your caramel doesn’t work, it never came brown, and I tried 2 times.

    • — Miley on November 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Miley, Sorry you had a problem with the caramel! It sounds like maybe you didn’t cook the sauce long enough to get caramel-colored. Is it possible you took the sauce off the heat too soon?

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2019
      • Reply
    • I’ve been making this flan for a few years now and it is spot on every time (minus the aluminum foil step). Add the sugar to a 1qt stainless steel pot with the water. Mix it until it’s sludgy. Then cook it on med/high without touching it until it turns golden. Then slowly swirl the pot and it will darken a bit. Once it begins to darken, remove it from the heat but keep swirling. It will turn reddish. Add the two tablespoons of cold water to it and keep swirling for about 15 more seconds. Pour into your loaf pan right away. Don’t start preparing the rest of the ingredients until you’ve done this, as it needs time to set before pouring the egg mixture on top of it. Good luck! 🙂

      • — Jimmy on October 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn
    Recently made this for the first time.
    Video was great, very helpful and so on minute to minute explaining when caramelizing the sugar.
    Folks were amazed presentation,
    and how amazingly good it was.

    made it last night. AMAZING!
    This is going in my top 10 saved receipts😊

    • — Mikie on August 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    So I’m making this recipe for the hundredth time seems like and I got to thinking about autumn. Too early? I’m in Texas and as we slowly roast with no rain in sight, I’m trying to stay sane by thinking about cooler weather. Is there any chance that you might consider giving your flan fans a pumpkin pie version of this? I’d love to try it! This is my most requested dessert and I’d like to mix it up a little 🙂 Also, instead of using Bourbon, I’ve been using Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract and it’s wonderful!

    • — Turtle on August 15, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoy the flan enough to make it in August in Texas! I will add a pumpkin version to my list of recipes to potentially develop–thanks for the suggestion!

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hello Jen,
    I want to make this recipe in small 2.5-Inch ramekins. Do I need to adjust the baking time at all?

    • — Suparna Valecha on July 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • HI Suparna, I’m not 100 percent sure how long they’ll take but I’d start checking at about 25 minutes give or take. Just keep a close eye on them!

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn. Strangely enough I was craving this dessert a week ago and came across your article the day after making it using a simpler recipe. I do look forward to uping my game with that shot bourbon, sounds delicious. Pudim or Pudim de leite condensado (Flan/creme caramel) is one of my top food memories of Brazil 💕 Thank you for sharing!

    • — Crystal on July 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hope you enjoy if you make it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • perfect recipe! easy to print and switch between metric and cups.

    • — andrea on June 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is an amazing flan. I did not do the caramelizing that she suggested. I wasn’t successful with adding the water. I used Cooks Illustrated. Calls for 1/4 cup of water to 1/2 cup of sugar. Put the water in pan 1st. Add sugar,but don’t let it touch the sides. Moisten sugar with spatula. Cook on med. high heat without stirring until a very pale golden hue. Cut down to medium low. Cook til a rich amber color,stirring occasionally. Worked perfectly. This flan wins accolades every time.

    • — Meg on May 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!

    Your recipe is really awesome! And the instructions are fantastic. I made this flan for Mother’s Day and while the caramel turned out to be on the blonde side(my first time making caramel), the flan was still sooo delicious- creamy and rich. I am currently trying my hand at it again without the bourbon. Sadly I burned my first batch of caramel- took it too far and my second one is a little too light. Oh well- hopefully I’ll get the caramel just right soon!
    Thank you!!

    • — Jessica S. on May 26, 2019
    • Reply
  • Wow. WOW. This was my first flan and I thought it was superb! I used the bourbon and worried it would be too sweet per the reviews, but it wasn’t! The only issue I had was the carmelized sugar. For whatever reason, it took about 20 minutes to come up to color. I am making this for Mother’s Day!

    • — Diane Knight on May 6, 2019
    • Reply
  • Question…I made this recipe once before but tripled the ingredients and still baked it for the same amount of time. It came out perfect. I want to make it again for a pot luck at work but instead, I want to make it small, 4 oz foil cups. Do you think I would need to adjust the baking time at all? Thank you in advance

    • — Angelica on May 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Angelica, I do think you’d definitely need to reduce the baking time. I’ve never done it so I can’t say for sure how long they will take to cook; just keep an eye on them. I’d love to know how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2019
      • Reply
  • This recipe wasn’t successful for me. First, I probably didn’t cook the caramel long enough so it didn’t have the luscious golden color, instead mine was loose and blond. Not sure what else I did wrong, but my flan turned out too dense and the sweetness level was a lot sweeter than I thought it would be. Perhaps I need to look for a lighter creme brulee recipe.

    • — Sue H. on April 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • So sorry this didn’t turn out well for you, Sue. Latin American-style flans are definitely dense and sweet.

      • — Jenn on April 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • The flan is in the oven and I just started reading the reviews. In your instructions it says to cover tightly with foil before putting in the oven, but in the reviews you say NOT to use foil. Should I take the foil off?

    • — Tina on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sorry for the confusion Tina – keep the foil (although the recipe will work fine either way).

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • O…..M…..G…..! My wife said this is the best flan she’s ever had and this is coming from someone who’s favorite dessert is flan, so she’s tried quite a few. I followed the recipe except for the bourbon. I didn’t have any so I just added the extra vanilla. I cooked it for 75 minutes, checked it and then added an additional 7. You have to keep checking it to make sure it doesn’t over cook. Let’s just say that it didn’t make it overnight….my wife wanted to try it. But no problems at all with getting it to slide out of the pan, it was beautiful! It was perfectly creamy and I served it with fresh strawberries from our garden. My wife said she’s going to request this every day 🙂 Thanks Jenn! You are my chef hero; I’ve literally taught myself to cook by following your blog. I also bought the cookbook and it’s wonderful!

    • — Turtle on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • I would like to make this flan in small ramekin (individual serves) like creme caramels- how long to cook them?

    • — Rosalie on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • It really depends on the size of the ramekins but I’d start checking around 25 to 30 minutes.

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. We followed the instructions as stated, only substituting extra vanilla for liquor, and the result was a creamy flawless flan. We used raw turbinado cane sugar for the caramel and had no issues with hardening or achieving the suggested amber color. We did bake for the full 90 mins and switched off the oven leaving flan with water bath inside for another 30 minutes or so as oven temp came down. As a part Cuban family we felt the recipe was authentic and if for someone reason it cannot be considered authentic then so be it…it can at least be considered delicious.
    Thank you again!

    • — Cristina on March 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • I make my flan in a cazuela. When I invert the flan and end up with some hardened caramel in the bottom of the cazuela, I just add a little water, and heat in the microwave for a minute or two. It releases the remaining caramel sauce! And I love me some extra caramel goodness. Mmm hmm. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with a metal loaf pan. Maybe you can add water and heat over the stovetop? I don’t know.
    I can’t rate this recipe, as the one I have is from a New Mexico cookbook from home. It doesn’t call for any evaporated milk, just the sweetened condensed milk, and 1 cup of whole milk along with 3 eggs, 3 yolks, and almond and vanilla extracts. The almond is traditional. No salt in our recipe. But anyway, thanks for this – looks as if it’s very similar in consistency. The reason most flan are rubbery is because of the egg whites, not the canned milks so much. The omission of half the egg whites reduces the protein and keeps the flan silky and less eggy tasting.

    • — Heather S. on March 3, 2019
    • Reply
  • I cooked this recipe thinking it was the same recipe I had used several times before ( busy oven recipe). I thought it cane out too overcooked, especially around the edges. The busy oven recipe is cooked at 300 degrees for the same amount of time and you cover the flan in the oven, which makes for a more evenly cooked custard. More creamy and less rubbery, like the America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

    • — Chris on February 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • Aweful recipe – condensed and evaporated milk from cans? It has poor taste and poor texture.

    • — Disappointed on February 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • To “disappointed”

      You must not have ever had flan from a latin American source. Or friends for that matter? Don’t knock down evaporated and condensed milk convention because it’s not a part of YOUR cooking. Move on to someone else’s recipe.

      • — Dan on May 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • I only made the caramel in this recipe. To it, I added 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 cups walnuts for a candied salted caramel walnut mix. It was so crunchy salty sweet. Another keeper Jenn. Thanks!

    • — Zee on January 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • As a lover of Cuban cuisine, I’ve had the pleasure to visit some of the most authentic Cuban restaurants in and around Miami since I lived in South Florida. I’ve always loved flan and the best flan ever–before I made this recipe–was the flan I got at a small restaurant on Calle Ocho in Little Havana. I tried for years to find another restaurant whose flan lived up to that standard, but never could. This recipe is the real deal. It is, hands down, the best flan I’ve ever had.

    • — Patrick on January 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • I saw this recipe and I really wanted to try it. I’ve never made flan before and it turned out very nicely and it tasted delicious. I had a little difficulty with the carmel. I tried it twice following the directions. The first time, the carmel seized when I added the warm water. It was the right color, but turned hard as soon as I added the warm water. The second time I tried adding the warm water into the carmel earlier, which gave me the right consistency but was not the rich amber color. I didn’t give up. I tried it a third time, but I didn’t add the warm water into the carmel (even though I really wanted it to work using the water!!). I skipped that step and poured the syrup into my baking dish and continued the recipe as directed. I didn’t have an 8×4 loaf pan (my loaf pan was too big… 9×5) so I used my 6”x6” dish. It turned out great!

    • — Alelei on January 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • I love this flan!! I’ve made it many times and is now my go-the recipe. The only issue is that every time I get little air bubbles or holes on the outer sides of the flan. Do you have a trick to avoid this and get a flan as pictured with the recipe? Thanks!

    • — Iesa on January 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lesa- Some air bubbles are completely normal so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. That said, do you strain the mixture before pouring it into the loaf pan? If for some reason you skip that step, that can help. Also, it helps to pour the flan mixture very slowly into the loaf pan so as to not create any additional air bubbles. Last, air bubbles can form on the sides if the flan is slightly overdone, so you may want to try reducing the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 6, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is the best and only flan recipe I make for the holidays. My Latin mother in law finally gave up her annual Christmas flan which we all suffered through until 2 years ago when I offered to make it with this recipe. She admitted defeat after trying this and looks forward to it every Christmas when we host. Thank you for an amazing recipe!!

    • — anita on December 27, 2018
    • Reply
  • Relatively easy to make. I was a bit challenged in make the Carmel base. The sugar kept clumping amid crystallizing before turning into a golden syrup ad then cooled in pan/dish before I could distribute evenly. I may try warming the pan before pouring Carmel syrup to allow time to distribute evenly. The custard was easy and to make and finished desert was both beautiful, rich with a velvety texture. I did not add bourbon nor did I add additional vanilla as some receipies left vanilla as an option being condensed milk sweetness and adds flavor to the custard. I will definitely make this again.

    • — Mae on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this flan this morning 12-25. It came out wonderful. I haven’t made flan in years and found this fantastic recipe online. A lot of other recipes called for cream cheese which is not a traditional ingredient in a true flan. My only flaw was when I inverted the pan over the plate to disperse, there was a little bit of the candied sugar in bottom of pan that didn’t come out. It was delicious and great texture! Thank you!

    • — Tonya Naranjo on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • I can’t find a loaf pan the correct size. Only 9.25 x 5.25. Can this be made in this or in a round pan?

    • — Jennifer Amick on December 24, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, I think a 9×5-in pan will work but it will be very short. For best results, I’d get an 8×4-in pan.

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2018
      • Reply
  • First – Jenn…… I love all your recipes, you are my go to chef for a few years. Second – I keep laughing at myself because this is my first flan – Amazed at how easy the recipe is and how easily I can mess up an easy recipe. I just made it earlier today – and my caramel was rock hard after hitting my pan, and that just didn’t sit so well with me. I start reading all the comments….I am not alone and I am guessing when I turn it over tomorrow night it won’t look like the picture above :-). ALL OK though – hubby running back to store to get me more ingredients. Otherwise it looks stunning so far! I will have 2 or more tomorrow night lol! Will let you know how it (they all) come out.

    • — Laura on December 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Good luck, Laura – I think it’ll be fine. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2018
      • Reply
  • I did this recipe three times and every time, it comes out great, everyone loves it.

    • — SUNA TERCIOGLU on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Just waiting on my flan to get ready, although I’m sure it will be great!

    Question: I love the loaf pan but what if I want to make more, for a party of 20. I could double the recipe and cook it in a square pan that’s almost as deep right? Would I have to double the cooking time as well?

    • — Rosh on December 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Rosh, To be honest, I’m not sure how well that would work without testing it first. I’d use two loaf pans to be safe. Either way, you’d need to increase the cooking time a bit.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe last weekend and the kids loved it. I thought the flan had a great taste, but came out quite evenly dense. Cooking time was 75 mins and I didn’t think of checking since that was on the lower end. Doh! If I cooked for a shorter time, will be be softer? Should I substitute any ingredients?

    • — Lee on December 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lee, Yes, if you remove it just a few minutes earlier, it should be a bit softer (and not substitutions would be necessary).

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • just getting used to my new convection oven, which considerably shortens baking times. thoughts about the temperature setting and baking time? thanks!

    • — deb l on November 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, When using the convection setting, the rule of thumb is to reduce temp by 25°F. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I am planning to make the Latin flan for a party on Saturday evening. You mentioned the flan can be made ahead of time. Do you think making it Thursday night and keeping it in the refrigerator is too early? Thanks!

    • — Marianne Muller on November 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Should be perfectly fine for Saturday, Marianne. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • Just two whole eggs needed besides the yolks?

    • — Maria Wiberg on November 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes that’s correct, Maria. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • This flan is excellent!!!

    • — Dali on November 21, 2018
    • Reply
  • I was looking for a real traditional flan recipe because it was my first time making Flan. Using this recipe, I can say that my boyfriend and I absolutely loved it!!! I mixed in a tablespoon extra of vanilla and bourbon, for a stronger taste. I also put it in the oven at 325 degrees.
    I’m going to make more for Thanksgiving!
    Thank you

    • — Shay on November 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Scrumptious flan!
    As a Spanish woman, I grew up seeing my mom make flan all the time. Unfortunately I never had an interest in the kitchen and never stopped to ask how she was making it. I also never liked flan, so I suppose that would make me doubly uninterested.
    Anyhow, as a “grown-up” I’ve learned to appreciate the kitchen seeing as I’m in it everyday, most of the day.
    A friend asked me if I could bring a flan to a dinner party and I immediately said “uhhh… I’ve never made one, but I’m sure I can come up with something” – as soon as I said that, I came to where I always go first, Once upon a Chef and looked up “flan” in the search. I’ve always viewed flan as a very difficult latin dessert to tackle. Boy was I relieved to find that you had a flan recipe Jenn!

    So my first flan (yes, I made a “tester” flan) came out delicious… except… I made the mistake of not adding the 2 tablespoons of water to the caramelized sugar and although the whole flan came out beautiful there was no delicious caramel top. All the sugar hardened on the bottom as soon as I poured it in. When I initially poured the sugar in my pan I realized what was going to happen so I made a little more of the caramelized sugar and dumped it on top of the hardened one (half hoping it would melt it a bit and maybe mix in) and at least that created a little bit of the “sauce” for the flan. But it was obviously a big boo boo.
    My second flan is in the fridge waiting for our dinner party tomorrow and I am just hoping that once I invert it it will have that caramel top.
    Regardless, I already know it will taste delicious, which is what matters in the end.
    I did share a piece of my “tester” flan with my very much Puerto Rican mom in law (who happens to be one of the best cooks I know) and she liked it! So it’s a winner!

    Thanks Jenn for another winner!
    ————————————
    Some subs or differences in my process of making the flan were these:
    -I used an 8×8 glass pan (it’s what I had)
    -I baked in the water bath at 300 for 45 minutes and then I raised the temp to 350 for another 35-40 minutes. I felt like this created a bit more of the yellow color flans are known for instead of just light cream color, which was how my first one came out. My oven is a convection oven.
    -I tried using organic cane sugar to make the caramel the first time around, it did not work for me. Stick to white sugar if you’re wondering.
    -DO NOT MISS THE 2 TBSP of water for the caramel! Can’t stress it enough.
    -I strained my mixture twice, never realized how much “chunky” stuff eggs have until making a flan 😯.
    -I used rum instead of Bourbon.
    -I used all natural vanilla extract by Spice Island which is pricey (for me anyways) but worth it. It gives a very natural vanilla flavor to everything.

    Hope those points can help someone! Don’t be scared of making this flan, it’s super easy and delicious!

    • — Celeste on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much! This turned out creamy and dreamy! I used half and half instead of evaborated milk as I didn’t have any.

    • — Maram on October 29, 2018
    • Reply
  • What final temperature should the be when it is done?

    • Hi Lanny, I’ve never used a thermometer to test this for doneness, but I read a recipe online that indicates it should come in at about 180 degrees. Hope that helps!

  • I made this last night. It was in the oven from 9:00 to 10:30 pm and then I took it out to cool until 11:30 pm. Finally I placed it in the fridge overnight. I took it out this morning and carefully inverted it onto a dish. It was not fully set; i tried to slam back the pan over it but I couldn’t contain the liquid on the sides. Edges were nice and flan like but middle was more like pudding. After 10 minutes I had a tray with some solid pieces and even more pudding and syrup floating about. As an emergency measure we stuck it in the freezer hoping it would solidify more. Instead the pudding sections just got colder and spread out even more. My husband just laughed and said he won’t eat it. My nephew (age 20) picked out some solid chunks and said “dont worry it’s ugly but the taste is good”. As for me I was hoping to get a nice presentable dish. I am not sure what went wrong. I did not change any aspect of the recipe other than using vanilla liqueur instead of bourbon.

    • Hi Sidra, I’m so sorry you had trouble with the flan. I’ve never had a problem with this recipe setting. I don’t think the vanilla liqueur would have an impact – is it possible your oven temperature is off?

      • Hi, I think I realize the source of my error now. I used small eggs, not large, so probably there was not enough egg in the flan to help it set. Thank you for keeping my comment up though. I go to many blogs and sometimes the blogger deletes my comment when I don’t rate the recipe 5 stars. . I like that you keep all the comments; it actually makes me trust your site more. 🙂

        • Ahh, the small eggs make sense. Glad you got to the bottom of it!

        • Hello Sidra, I have made many flans in the past and never came out good until I tried this recipe. I cooked this for thanksgiving and everyone wanted more. I think the secret is to never give up. 😉

          • — Vilma on November 26, 2018
          • Reply
        • Sidra, I live in Texas (originally from NM), and I have to cook my flan longer. I cook at 325 for 1 hour, but usually have to cook longer than that to get the flan to set. When you’re time is up, don’t pull the flan out! Pull the rack out a bit and wiggle the pan with the flan. If the flan is still jiggly, just give it more time. Another 10 minutes or so. Test again. Continue until your flan is not jiggly, and then do the toothpick test – insert a toothpick in the center of the flan, and if it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, give it another 5 to 10 minutes. Once it’s set, and only once it’s set, you take it out of the oven. Every oven cooks differently! I’m surprised Jenn didn’t note this.

          • — Heather S. on March 3, 2019
          • Reply
          • Great advice, thanks for sharing!

            • — Lolli on May 2, 2019
  • Hello! I’m planning on trying this recipe out myself (even though I’m a fairly new baker). I wanted to make the flan for a party in the evening and was planning to make the flan earlier in the day to bring later. I’ve read a few other recipes and many don’t even mention letting the flan refrigerate overnight. Is this necessary? Or will a few hours (most likely around 4-5) be enough to serve?

    • Hi Isabel, I’d give it at least 6 hours in the fridge to set up. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn, I made this flan yesterday. I don’t why took more than 2 hours to cook- maybe because my oven is convection.

    • Hi Fanny, It shouldn’t take over 2 hours to bake, particularly if you are using the convection setting on your oven. How did it turn out?

  • I just made 2 of these to bring to a Spanish dinner and everyone said it was the best flan they have ever had. I used half/half instead of the milk, delicious. Thank you for this recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟🌟

  • This recipe (as are ALL your recipes) is awesome! With your help I’m more than just a cute apron in the kitchen.😁Thank you and rest assured I always give credit where credit is due. Question: Could you use a fruity or citrus liqueur such as Cointreau instead of the bourbon?

    • Hi Laurie, so glad you enjoyed this (and like the others you’ve tried too)! Yes, it would be fine to swap the bourbon with another liqueur.

  • Thanks so much for your recipes, Jen! I’ve made several from your site, and they always turn out beautifully. I just pulled my flan out of the oven and suspect it will be wonderful, but I really struggled to make the caramel. I tried three times only to have it seize up when I added the water at the end. I wound up using another method. Any idea what I was doing wrong?

    • Hi Jaclyn, Are you by chance adding cold water? If not, it sounds like you might be taking the caramel too far before adding the water. I’d try cooking it for less time. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for your reply! I did use hot water, but it’s certainly possible the caramel was too “done” before I added it. The flan came out delicious, though–I’m making it again today, in fact. Thanks again for the great recipe!

  • Tasted amazing. I made this for a large crowd. Those who eat flan loved it.

    • I want to amend a part of my review.
      1. On making the sugar for the caramel sauce. I do not use any water. I put on low flame . For kicks I put in some fresh lemon drops.

      2. I don’t use the bourbon.

      Most of my family come from India and Pakistan. They have there own recipe. But when I made this flan everyone who ate it raves about it.

  • Great easy recipe to follow. I have made it a few times now and it came out deliciously perfect every time. I didn’t use the bourbon though. Thank you.

  • I’m making the Flan right now…do I spray the loaf pan with oil or anything to keep it from sticking?

    • Hi Cathy, No need to spray the pan. Hope it turns out well!

    • Oh wow was this amazing!
      So keep in mind I don’t even like flan…at least the ones I’ve tasted in restaurants. I live in the mountains of NC and last night friends had a Cinco de Mayo/ Derby party for 8 at their home up a steep, windy road, where 4 wheel drive is recommended. I decided to make the Latin Flan after seeing Jenn’s email. It was so easy to make and it tasted creamy and decadent not rubbery and bland like its predecessors. Turns out flan was the host’s favorite dessert and he orders it everywhere they travel. He said it was the best he’s ever had…and he isn’t the type to flatter needlessly. My mistakes were 1) not making two so we could have one at home.
      2) plating it before we traveled up the mountain. The sauce slid around like a water slide and ended up in the jelly pan I put under the platter
      3) not knowing whether it needed to be refrigerated when we arrived. The hostess asked and I said probably since it contained eggs. I guess it should be served cold?
      I confessed to the group that it was the first time I ever made flan but with Once Upon a Chef, it really wasn’t a gamble because Jenn painstkingly tests her recipes and I’ve yet to have one that wasn’t tasty.

      • So glad you enjoyed this (and that you officially like flan now :). Sounds like it was a nice finish to a Cinco de Mayo meal! It’s perfectly fine to serve at room temperature, but if you prefer it cold, that’s fine as well. If you are storing leftovers, they should be refrigerated.

  • By reading the recipe not sure if this is a heavier flan or a lighter-more like a creme burlee consistancy flan. We have just returned from PV and the flan at one little restaurant was amazing. Much better than the heavy flans that the other restaurants make. Can you give me a bit of guidance please.

    • — Connie Karpowich
    • Reply
    • Hi Connie, I would say this is right in between. It’s heavy enough to neatly slice but still very creamy.

    • Why the 3 stars if you are just asking a question?

      • — Deniza on April 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    What size eggs do you use?
    Thanks 🙂

    Alia

    • Hi Alia, I use large eggs. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Thanks for your reply Jenn. I made it yesterday and I was quite surprised at how dense and sweet it was. Unfortunately I don’t think this is to my liking. It almost tasted like eating thick condensed milk.

        • So sorry you didn’t care for it, Alia…thank you for the feedback.

        • Thats exactly what flan is…super sweet aka dessert!

  • Hi there
    So I’ve only made flan twice and I’d like to try your recipe. I’ve cooked for 1 hour at 350 w water bath. Can you discuss the diff that oven temp may have in texture or anything else? Thx!

    • Hi Marga, baking the flan for a bit longer at a lower temp makes for a silkier, softer, less rubbery texture. Hope you enjoy if you try it!

  • Thank you for this recipe! It turned out wonderfully! I found your recipe after trying a five-star one from Allrecipes that was a complete fail for me. The other one turned out the texture of a kitchen sponge and had large craters on the top. I believe that was due to using multiple whole eggs and not cooking it in a water bath. I was bringing this to a Mexican food event at my daughter’s school and it looked too disgusting to eat. However, with your recipe, using mostly egg yolks, not covering it and cooking it in a water bath at a lower temperature for a longer period, yours turn out very creamy and very smooth (no air pockets at all), and it looked nice like the picture. Absolutely enjoyable to eat. Both the kids who have never had it before and the ones who have grown up eating it every holiday said it was great. Thank you! ..P.S. I forgot to add the couple tablespoons of water to the caramel after cooking it, and it turned out perfectly fine. For those who are wondering, don’t throw it away.

    • How long did u cook for?

  • I followed the recipe exactly as written and it ended up looking as in the pictures. However, it was so sweet, that we ended up throwing it out after just one spoonful. It was quite embarrassing. A recipe not requiring sweetened condensed milk would be better. Find a different recipe.

  • Dear Jenn,

    Can you please tall me how can i replace evaporated milk (which i can not find in Israel).

    Thank you.
    Love your recipes ♥

    • Hi Michal, you could substitute with half and half here. Another option is to make your own evaporated milk; you can read how here. Hope that helps!

  • Hello,
    Would it be possible to bake this in individual ramekins in a water bath? If so how would you adjust the cook time?
    Thank you.

    • Sure, I would start checking them for doneness at about 35 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • Will do- planning on it for Christmas! Can I still do them in advance if I use the individual ramekins?
        Thanks again.

        • Sure!

          • So I made the loaf version for Christmas…and then again for New Year’s Eve. It’s easy elegant and delicious. Thank you!

            • — Lara
  • Can it be made in a 1.5 quart casserole dish?

    • Technically I think you could but I’m not certain how it will affect the cooking time. (Because the flan won’t be as deep, it shouldn’t take as long, so make sure you keep your eye on it.). Please LMK how it turns out!

  • One big difference between your recipe and Cooks’ is that they cover their flan with foil before cooking in the oven. Can you speak to this? Did you omit that because you found it better to not cover the flan? What is the difference in the outcome?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Marie, I tried baking it with the foil and, because the flan comes to the very top of the baking dish, it stuck to the foil. I tried it without the foil and was just as happy with the result. Hope that clarifies!

  • Hello! Can one use a glass loaf pan for this recipe?

    • Sure, Lacana – that should work.

  • If I forgot to add the warm tap water into the caramel, should I re-do it? Will it make that much of a difference if I don’t?

    • I would, Meghan – it will be too hard without it. Sorry!

  • Hello. I made this last night and it turned out very tough and a bit curdled. . The taste was nice but the consistency was wrong . It look a bit pock marked- what did I do wrong ?

    • Hi Leeann, So sorry you had trouble with the flan. By chance did you make any substitutions? Did you use the water bath method to cook it?

      • I made no substitutions but I think my water bath may not have been deep enough

        • Yes, Leeann, if the water bath is too shallow, it could cause the flan to overcook. I suspect that’s what happened here.

  • Hello I have a nonstick loaf pan- would that work? Your loaf pan– where did you buy it? Do you remember?

    • Hi Judith, Yes, a nonstick loaf pan would work here. The loaf pan I use is by Chicago Metallic (but I don’t actually recommend that brand for this recipe as they tend to leak a little with a thinner batter like this one).

      • Hello my loaf pan if 8×4 would it work or a 9×5?

        Thanks!

        • Hi, is your loaf pan 8 x 4-inches rather than 8½ x 4½-inches? If it is, I’d suggest the 9 x 5 to ensure that this doesn’t pour over the top. (Because the batter comes up so high in the pan.)

          • Okay awesome want to make sure I could use a 9×5 since I don’t have a 8 1/2 to 4 1/2. Thanks

            • — Judith
          • It will work, but it will be quite flat – you also may need to reduce the cook time a bit.

            • — Jenn
  • Delicious, light, and not too sweet! Definitely will be added to my dessert recipes.

    • — Christina Vives-Jordan
    • Reply
  • Do you think the Eagle Brand fat free condensed milk would work in this recipe? Thank you.

    • Hi Phyllis, Unfortunately, I don’t think fat free condensed milk would work well here. Sorry!

  • My son loves Flan and he loves this flan. Made it minus the bourbon.

  • I’ve always been intimidated by the caramel-making process, but Jenn’s crystal-clear step-by-step instructions (with photos!) emboldened me to try this recipe. I made it for a Cinco de Mayo gathering of friends; the process was truly easy and the flan turned out perfectly. I base my evaluation on the fact that when I served it, the group went silent except for murmurs of ummm…. and ahh….. and oh my goodness! all around. This goes in the Standard Desert for Special Occasions file!

  • Making this again for Mother’s Day Brunch! Best flan ever…..receives raves every time I serve this….serve with berries for finishing touch!

  • Hi! I’m planning to surprise my family for mother’s day with this recipe. Do you need to cover the pan with a foil to keep the flan moist?

    • Hi Kathy, Good question. I know most recipes call for foil but I’ve tried it both ways with this recipe and there’s no difference. Hope it’s a hit on Mother’s Day!

  • I make a flan with cream of coconut and after it’s made and in the pan, I sprinkle in chunks of coco rollado in heavy syrup, drained. (This can be purchased in Hispanic stores and is grated coconut in syrup.) I use a bundt pan and when plated, fill the center of the ring with strawberries. I never make it than I’m asked for the recipe.

  • This is the best recipe for flan I have tried. I love flan!

  • Hi Jenn,

    Can I use a a loaf pan made from silicone for this recipe?

    Thanks!

    Alia

    • Hi Alia, I think this would work best in a regular (hard-sided) loaf pan. Sorry!

  • This recipe was delicious. My family doesn’t like anything that is overly sweet and this was perfect because it wasn’t super sweet. The only issue what that my family said the syrup had somewhat of a bitter taste to it. Is this from the bourbon?

    • Hi Diana, That’s from cooking the sugar – you may have let it go a little too far. A little bitterness is nice to cut the sweetness but next time try taking it off the heat a little sooner.

  • I made this and it was perfect. Everyone that I shared it with also enjoyed it.

  • Delicious. I made this Saturday and last night. Everyone kept asking…. you made this. It’s so creamy and delicious. Perfect in a way because I make my omelette with the egg whites. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  • Loved these. I might make a little more caramel next time since a pretty significant amount stuck to my pan when I flipped it. But overall it was an easy and tasty recipe for my first attempt at flan.

  • The flan was delicious but when I turned it upside down the caramel color wasn’t there. Did I do something wrong? Do you put sauce again after getting it out? Thanks again!

    • Hi Alpana, It sounds like maybe you didn’t cook the sauce long enough to get caramel-colored. Is it possible you took the sauce off the heat too soon?

  • What temperature do we bake it at?

    • Hi Alpana, It gets baked at 300°F. Enjoy!

  • I made this for a New Years party. It tasted so good, dense and I like it that way. Enjoyed by all! Thank you Jenn.

  • I can’t find the ingredient amounts also if I leave the booze out will it still work thanks in advance

    • Hi Kimmi, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, you can click the “recipe” button right under the recipe title. And you can omit the Bourbon- just replace it with an additional 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

  • Absolutely delicious! Made this for Christmas dessert and everyone raved over it. Will make it again for sure.

  • I made this twice over the holidays, it is fantastic and exactly like I have had out at our favorite Brazilian restaurant.Easy to prepare and delicious!!Thank you for another hit!

  • Just wanted to update – I googled “how to make caramel” and realized that I had been stirring, not swirling, too much. The site also suggested more sugar which I did, although I’m not sure that was the issue – I think it was the stirring. When I finally got it right (I would never give up on one of the Chef’s recipes!), it was super easy and the lightest, best flan I’ve ever had.

    • So glad it worked out, Bonnie!

  • This is the real deal. Made for a dessert party. Everyone raved. Not one drop left. Super easy to make. Followed instructions exactly. Yummy

  • I have the same problem as Bonnie. My sugar remains colourless, not the honey coloured shown in your picture. Also felt that the condensed milk taste is too strong and overall too sweet. It’s like eating condensed milk in its solid form. Overall easy to make but taste not as good though. Thanks

    • Hi Teresa, So sorry you had trouble with the caramel. It will eventually change color, you just need to give it more time.

  • Like many others, …I followed your recipe exactly (except I used rum instead of bourbon because that’s what I had) and ended up with the best flan I’ve ever eaten. I’ve made flan in the past following directions that were more difficult, less clear, and not as good. Thank you.

    • — Richard Schinella
    • Reply
  • Quite easy to prepare and love that it can be made days in advance!
    Really good! Not too heavy. Just the right sweetness.
    We served this on Christmas Eve to everyone’s delight.

  • Hi,
    I’m making this recipe to serve on Christmas day. Can you clarify the measurements of condensed and evaporated milks, please. Your picture shows a can of evaporated milk larger than the can of condensed milk. However, your written recipe calls for a 14 oz can of condensed milk and a 12 oz can of evaporated milk.
    Thanks!

    • Those are correct, Beatrice – sweetened condensed milk is much thicker (and heavier) than evaporated milk.

  • I cooked it about 5-7 minutes, watching it so it so it wouldn’t burn but would turn.

    • Hi Bonnie, I’m guessing you need to increase the heat a bit and cook it longer. It will eventually turn color.

  • just tried this and the sugar-water got hard but never turned golden. Advice?

    • Hmmm, not sure Bonnie. Anytime you cook sugar it should eventually change color — how long did you cook it?

  • My grandma uses the same recipe but she uses a bundt pan? Will that still work?

    • Hi Jerrika, I wouldn’t use a bundt pan for this recipe, as I don’t think you’ll have enough custard to fill it — and it would be tough to run a knife along the edges to unmold it without butchering it. Sorry!

  • I’ve used the original Cook’s Illustrated version of this recipe several times now, and I am always amazed at how easy it is to make yet how impressive it turns out. The perfect crowd pleaser! I am looking forward to trying out your variation. What were the significant differences that you found in your version versus the original?

    • Hi Rachel, The Cooks Illustrated recipe is wonderful as is but I wanted a little more depth of flavor, so I reduced the vanilla extract and added Bourbon. A little booze in custard goes a long way :). I also simplified the instructions/process a bit – I love Cooks Illustrated but find some of their recipes to have unnecessary steps (such as lining the pan with a dishtowel). And I always add my own notes to recipes if adapting from another source, just to help people along where I think there might be some confusion.

  • Greetings. I am Puerto Rican and here I send my own recipe for cheese flan. It is delicious.

    1 cup sugar, for caramel.
    5 eggs.
    1 can of condensed milk.
    1 can of evaporated milk.
    1 pack of cream cheese (Philadelphia).
    2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

    Follow Jenn Segal’s instructions. Enjoy!!!

    • Hi Carlos, I have seen many flan recipes that call for cream cheese; I imagine it makes it more “cheesecake-y.” Look forward to trying your version!

  • I haven’t tried this with coconut milk, but I think it should work; it would be the same amount as the milk. If you’re dealing with family members that are sensitive to lactose, though, this recipe does have a lot of dairy.

  • Very, very similar to my mom’s recipe… the only major difference is the water bath. My mom cooks her flan in a stovetop water bath instead of the oven. To my taste, the consistency of mom’s flan is a little silkier, not as heavy… is there really a difference, Jen? Nothing says Christmas in a Latin household more than a holiday flan! And BTW Jen, anything I make following your recipes is always 5-star!

    • Hi MC, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes. I’ve never tried cooking a flan on the stovetop so I can’t say for sure what the difference would be. Are the quantities of all the ingredients the same? Does she cook hers in a loaf pan?

  • Jenn, this looks wonderful! Do you think that I could replace the bourbon with Grand Marnier?

    • Definitely! Please let me know how it turns out.

  • This recipe looks delicious. I’ve recently went to a churrascaria and I had Brazilian cheese bread. Do you have a recipe for that?

    • Hi Evelyn, I also tried Brazilian cheese bread at a churrascaria and it was delish! Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for one, but will keep it in mind as something to potentially develop in the future.

      • Hi Evelyn and Jenn,
        Sorry to intrude in your comment. I’m actually from Minas, cheese bread land, and I now live in Alexandria, VA. After trying lots of recipes, I’ve finally found a good one that I’ll be glad to share. It’s silly that I tried recipes when I grew up making it by eye-measuring ingredients but for whatever reason not a single Brazilian recipe I’ve tried here (nor American that I’ve tried in Brazil) worked well, it might be the ingredients and the climate, who knows.

        Jenn, I actually took some Libby’s canned pumpkin to Brazil to make your muffins so it could be as close to the original as possible and although it turned out really different, everyone still loved them!

        • So glad, Bianca…and please do share :)!

        • Bianca, I’d love to have your Brazilian cheese bread recipe. How can I get access to it?

      • Jenn, this recipe is the best of several I’ve tried by a long shot. It had a phenomenal texture, and a great condensed-milk taste with depth of flavor. The method for making caramel here took longer than others, but I found I had more control over the process and color. I was also surprised by the egg bits that the strainer caught. I thought you were just being fussy by including that step because I hadn’t cooked the eggs over any heat yet. I was so wrong. I really just can’t get over the silky texture and ease of the recipe. Everything came out just as you said. Thank you!

        Using the all-vanilla variation, I swapped out 1tsp of vanilla for almond extract. Although I like a pronounced almond flavor, I’d probably just use a half teaspoon next time to make the flavor more subtle and complex.

        • — Harry on December 31, 2019
        • Reply
  • I sometimes add a little cocoa to my flan, as well. Not as traditional, but yummy

    • A little espresso powder is good too 🙂

  • Looks good. What size loaf pan?

    • Hi Nancy, This requires an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan. Enjoy!

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