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Caramel Flan. The best flan recipe. How to make the perfect flan. www.modernhoney.com

Caramel Flan Recipe

Creamy Caramel Flan is a traditional Mexican, Spanish, and Puerto Rican dessert. It is a rich sweet custard baked with caramelized sugar. 

When I was a little kid, I would sneak over to my neighbor’s house when she was making her famous flan. She was from Puerto Rico and made a traditional Puerto Rican flan. Even though I was most likely only 8 or 9 years old, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I would pile a big dish full of her Puerto Rican flan and load it with whipped cream.

I am pretty sure that I loved food straight out of the womb.

I recently ran into her at the DMV, of all places. It was so wonderful to catch up and you better believe it, I asked for her perfect flan recipe. After studying the recipe, I realized there was one ingredient that set it apart — cream cheese.

Caramel Flan. The best flan recipe. How to make the perfect flan. www.modernhoney.com

This began a process of playing around in the kitchen to create the perfect flan recipe. I made five caramel flan recipes to ensure it was absolute perfection. We have been eating a ridiculous amount of flan these days!

I started off making a flan with 16 ounces of cream cheese which made it have a cheesecake texture. It was absolutely delicious but not a traditional flan texture. I tried to go back to the basics and tried a straight egg custard with two types of milk and even though it had silky smooth texture, I missed the creaminess. I even tried canned coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs to create a rich custard. It was heavenly but the coconut milk flavor came through a little too much.

I am telling you…I am picky in the kitchen! So, I decided to try a combination of ingredients and techniques. The ultimate Creamy Caramel Flan is made with caramelized sugar, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, a touch of cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla. The four ounces of cream cheese gives it a touch of creaminess without tasting like cheesecake. This flan has the silkiest smooth texture and melts in your mouth. This is the best caramel flan recipe!

Caramel Flan. The best flan recipe. How to make the perfect flan. www.modernhoney.com

How to make the Perfect Flan:

  1.  Start by caramelizing the sugar. This is the key step as it is the base for the perfect flan. Add sugar to a heavy-bottomed pan and cook on medium-low heat until the sugar is melted and a golden brown. Lift up the pan and swirl it around to ensure even melting. Get the pan ready so as soon as the sugar is melted, it can be quickly poured into the pan.
  2. Make the filling by mixing softened cream cheese, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. This filling can be whipped up in a blender to make sure it is creamy.
  3. Pour the filling on top of caramelized sugar.  Place the pan on a larger baking sheet or roasting pan. Place in oven and carefully add hot water to reach at least 1-2 inches on the sides.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Carefully remove flan from oven, leaving behind larger pan filled water. Once flan is removed, carefully remove the pan of hot water. Place flan back inside roasting pan, filled with water, to slowly cool for 30 minutes.
  5. Place flan in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, overnight is ideal. 
  6. When ready to serve, take a knife and run along sides of the pan.  Take a cake plate or serving platter and place it on top of the pan. Flip it over and the flan with release so the caramel is now on the top. The caramel will slowly drip off of the pan so make sure you get all of the caramel.
  7. Serve with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. 

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4.80 from 5 votes

Caramel Flan

By: Melissa Stadler, Modern Honey
The perfect silky smooth caramel flan recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • vitamix blender
  • baking sheet
  • 9 inch round cake pans
  • emile henry pie dish

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • (2) 12-ounce cans Evaporated Milk
  • (1) 14-ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • Garnish:
  • Fresh Whipped Cream
  • Fresh Strawberries

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 1 cup of sugar, and cook on medium-low heat until sugar is completely melted and a deep golden brown. Pick up the pan and swirl it around to ensure the sugar is evenly melted.
  • Once the sugar is melted, immediately pour into a 9-inch cake plate, pie plate, or flan pan. Swirl around until evenly coated. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or blender, combine the filling ingredients. Whip until creamy. Pour into the baking pan.
  • Place the pan on a larger baking sheet or roasting pan. Place in oven and carefully add hot water to reach at least 1-2 inches on the sides.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Carefully remove flan from oven, leaving behind larger pan filled water. Once flan is removed, carefully remove the pan of hot water. Place flan back inside roasting pan, filled with water, to slowly cool for 30 minutes.
  • Place flan in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, overnight is ideal.
  • When ready to serve, take a knife and run along sides of the pan.  Take a cake plate or serving platter and place it on top of the pan. Flip it over and the flan with release so the caramel is now on the top. The caramel will slowly drip off of the pan so make sure you get all of the caramel.
  • Serve with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 12
Calories: 157
Keyword: caramel flan

Caramel Flan. The best flan recipe. How to make the perfect flan. www.modernhoney.com

I can’t wait to hear what you think about this Caramel Flan Recipe!


Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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8 Comments

  1. After removing the flan from the hot water and removing the pan filled with the hot water that was in the oven baking the flan in, do you put the flan back into the hot water that it cooked in in the oven originally?

  2. We all got it from our European ancestors as we also had native indians on our land in the caribbean. I thought it was original to Cuba.

  3. Flan is neither Mexican nor Puerto Rican. It originated in ancient Europe, particularly ancient Rome.

    Flan is delicious.

  4. 4 stars
    As a Puerto Rican native, this recipe definitely takes me back to mí pátria! Only thing missing is Abuelita’s love!

    I prepared/served it to my family and friends during the holidays; with it becoming a customary dessert every other weekend at the dinner table or this Abuelito is in major trouble!

    Thank you for bringing back una tradicíon to our family!

  5. 5 stars
    I made the flan for the first time a month ago. It was delish!

    I was only able to find a 10” x 3” pan. I baked per the instructions. Do you think I can double the recipe and still have it fit in this pan? How would this change the cooking time?