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Spanish flan recipe

Spanish flan recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Creme caramel

A delicious sweet custard-style Spanish flan that everyone will love! Pour any of the caramel sauce that's in the bottom of the dish over the top before serving.

842 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (400g) tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (410g) tin evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until it has dissolved and is golden in colour. Carefully pour hot caramel syrup into a 23cm round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Mix in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes or until the custard mixture is fairly set. Let cool completely.
  5. To serve, carefully turn the flan out onto a dessert plate. Pour any of the caramel sauce that's in the bottom of the dish over the top.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1008)

Reviews in English (799)

Simple recipe and easy to make. The obly changes i made is to bake in a water bath and next time i will bake for 50 mins rather than 60 mins. Mine was a little overbaked.-05 May 2018

Tasted nice.-16 Dec 2013

by artsychicany

Best recipe. Simple and the traditional way of making flan. Tips: Keep your baking dish warm/hot in the oven while you make the flan, so that when you do pour your caramel (melted sugar) into it, the caramel doesn't harden as quickly. When melting sugar, be patient and keep the heat LOW because the sugar may brown too dark. Don't fret if you still have small lumps of sugar in the end.. they will desolve when you bake the flan. As for the flan mixture, blend everything in a blender (adding the condensed milk last because its thicker) for the most effective and fastest way of mixing. Also, personally 3 eggs is not enough for me.. I add 5 (known people that add a lot more)... but the egg amount depends on YOUR density peference. Good Luck!-11 Jul 2006

Flan, Spain & Latin America’s Classic Caramel Custard Dessert

Also known as crème caramel, flan is a creamy custard made from eggs, sugar, milk, and sometimes vanilla. It has a crystallized caramel topping and is perfect for special occasions.

These days, flan is one of Latin America’s most popular desserts, but it was a healthy food during the Roman Empire’s dominion. They believed it could increase fertility, help the kidneys, reduce UTIs, and soothe the chest.


Wipe out the ramekins to ensure that there is no dust in them. Set them in a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish, which will be used for a boiling water bath while baking.

Heat 4 to 5 cups of water in a pot on the stove.

Heat a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar.

With the back of a wooden spoon, keep the sugar moving constantly in the skillet until the sugar is completely melted and caramelized to a rich medium-brown color.

Carefully spoon caramelized sugar into each of the 6 ramekins or a large baking dish.

Preheat oven to 325 F (162 C).

In a saucepan, scald the cream. Keep a close eye on the pan, so the cream does not boil over. Remove immediately.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, slightly beat 3 eggs.

Mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Stirring constantly, gradually add the hot cream to the egg mixture.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then blend in the vanilla extract.

Ladle the mixture into ramekins.

Carefully remove 1 or 2 ramekins to provide some extra room in the larger dish. Pour hot water until there is about 1/2-inch of water in the 9- by 13-inch baking dish for the water bath.

Replace ramekins. If the water level does not reach 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, carefully add more water.

Bake uncovered in the water bath for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted halfway between the center and the edge of the dish. To ensure the custard does not over-cook, check for doneness after 45 minutes, then every 3 to 5 minutes.

Carefully remove each ramekin from the water bath. Set on a cooling rack until lukewarm, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. This usually takes at least 1 hour.

When ready to serve, un-mold the flan by running a knife around the inside edge of each baking dish.

Place a small dessert plate on the top of the ramekin.

With one hand under the ramekin and the other on top of the plate, turn it over in one smooth motion.

Tap the ramekin and the flan should drop onto the plate. If it does not, carefully “prod” the flan out of the ramekin with a small paring knife. It should slide out and onto the plate.

Garnish with whole blanched almonds and a sprig of mint if desired.

Other facts about Flan

Now you know all about the recipe for Spanish flan. Next, you will learn some other interesting facts about the Spanish flan:

What is Spanish Flan?

What is a Spanish flan?? The Spanish Flan is a baked egg and creamy pudding or custard dessert. Although it´s a very popular dessert all over the world, in Spain is cooked in a different way, but it´s also very famous. The easy Spanish Flan pudding is known for being very simple and for being the perfect dessert for your guests. In Spain is generally cooked with caramel.

How to eat flan?

There are many ways to eat flan. This time I am not talking about eating it on a plate with a fork or slurping it, like kids do.

Flans are normally served with caramel on the top but depending on where you eat it and on your taste this could be different. Another ways to eat flan is with an ice cream, with chocolate or Nutella, or even with nuts or coconut.

Different types of Flan

Photo by RitaE en Pixabay

As we were saying there are many different types of Flan, and depending where you eat it, this one will have a different flavor. These are the most typical types of flan:

Mexican Flan:

It is said that one of the first things that Spaniards brought to South America was its flan. Although these two are some of the most similar types of flan, there are a few differences between Spanish and Mexican flan. The Spanish flan contains more egg than the Mexican one, and the flan from Mexico is normally cooked with orange zest.

Coconut Flan:

It´s one of the most popular types of flan and it´s very common in Puerto Rico. As Coconut is starting to be more and more famous each day, we are sure you will love to try it. A quick tip that will help you with your coconut flan recipe is to add raspberry on top of it.

Dark Chocolate flan recipe:

Chocolate lovers can´t try a dessert that does not have chocolate on it. That´s why, if this is your case you should try making the Dark Chocolate flan recipe. It´s as simple as adding chocolate to the normal recipe!

Other flan recipes:

Although there are a million types of flan, other very popular flans are: The Cheese Flan, the Quesillo (Venezuelan flan), Coffee flan or Mango Flan. But again, these are just some of the most famous types of flan, but you can try to make your own type of Flan and who knows maybe it tastes delicious.

Where to buy Flan?

Photo by skeeze en Pixabay

Many people won’t have the time to learn how to make flan pudding, and their only way of eating it is buying it somewhere else. If you want flan for your daily life, we advise you to go to Mercadona, Alcampo or whatever supermarket you have around. We are sure they offer different types of flan and these are not so bad.

But if your goal is to taste a delicious and authentic Spanish flan, we recommend you visiting La Primera where you may try the best flan in Madrid. Or you can go to Tresss i no res (known for having the best cheese flan in Barcelona)

History of Spanish Flan

After learning everything about the flan custard, you may want to know a little bit about the Spanish flan history. The origin of flan comes from the Roman Empire, as they were the first ones who domesticate chickens and they have abundance of eggs.

The Spaniards were the ones who decided to add the sweet part with the caramel. Later they brought this famous dessert to South America where is very popular.

Spanish Orange Flan

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 9 H
  • Serves 8

Ingredients US Metric

  • 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange or clementine juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 large egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 300°F (148°C).

Heat the orange juice with the sugar in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks with a fork in a large bowl. Beating constantly, gradually add the citrus mixture in a slow, thin, steady stream and beat until well combined. Strain the mixture into another bowl, then ladle it into eight 6-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large shallow roasting pan and place it on an oven rack that’s pulled partway out. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the orange flan for 30 minutes, or until the tops are set. Take the ramekins out of the pan and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or until ready to serve.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

As described, this definitely was a “refreshing, slightly tangy, creamy custard.” It was delicious, light, and so fast to assemble. I used freshly squeezed orange juice and added 2 teaspoons of orange zest. We ate half of them at room temperature (couldn’t wait for them to chill after baking!), then ate the others after chilling overnight. We preferred them softer and at room temperature. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

With three ingredients, this recipe really couldn’t be simpler. It has a light, tangy, refreshing taste, perfect for after dinner—or as a snack, I might add. Freshly squeezed orange juice is best here, though I had to use both freshly squeezed and ready-made to get the amount required. I also used some orange zest in the recipe, and strained the custard before pouring it into the ramekins. I halved the recipe without problems, baked the custards for 50 minutes, and chilled them for 4 hours before serving. This recipe was easy to make and a delight to serve. Delicious!

This was dead-simple to make. It was light in texture and beautiful in color. The taste was clean, with a pure orange flavor. I used an heirloom variety of oranges because clementines weren’t available. I baked them for exactly 30 minutes, and they were just a tad overcooked (I don’t think anyone noticed but me). I’d have liked them just a bit softer. Because I love the combination of caramel and orange, I served these custards with Alfajores de Dulce de Leche, the Peruvian caramel cookies. The pair was perfect served with strong coffee and Quady’s Black Muscat.


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Hello, if I made this Portuguese style with a caramel base, like a traditional Portuguese flan, pour in the orange mixture, bake, refrigerate, then turn out onto a platter, do you think it would work?

Pauline, I’m not sure because we’ve never made it that way. I’d hate to say yes and it flops. If you do try it, please let us know, and we can add a note about it.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.

To prepare the caramelized sugar coating, spread the sugar evenly in the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place over medium-low heat. It may take several minutes before the sugar begins to melt. Without stirring, watch the sugar closely as it begins to liquefy at the edges. All of it will slowly turn first into a yellowish and then golden syrup and finally into a brown caramel sauce.

When the liquefied sugar is turning from golden to brown, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. (If you miss this point, the sugar will quickly turn too dark and taste bitter and you will need to discard it and begin again.)

Working swiftly, pour the liquid caramel into 12 custard cups each 3 1/2 inches in diameter and tilt to cover the bottom and sides evenly. It is important to do this transfer quickly, as the change in temperature causes the caramel to solidify rapidly. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the milk with the flavor of the seasonings. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a bowl, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar and whisk until foamy. Pour the cooled milk through a fine-mesh sieve held over the egg mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour the mixture into the coated custard cups.

Arrange the custard cups, not touching, in a large, deep baking pan or roasting pan. Pull out the oven rack, put the baking pan on it, and pour boiling water to a depth of about 1 inch into the pan to create a water bath. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until set when tested with a thin-bladed knife in the center. Carefully remove the water bath from the oven, and then carefully remove the custards from the water bath and set aside to cool completely.

You can cover and refrigerate the cooled custards and serve them cold, or you can serve them at room temperature. One at a time, run the knife around the inside of each cup to loosen the edges of the custard and then invert the flan onto a dessert plate.

Spanish flan recipe - Recipes

Add the milk to the original caramel pan with the lemon peel and heat until small bubbles form around the side.

Mix together the eggs and sugar. Pour the milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Strain. Add the vanilla. Pour, carefully, so it doesn't foam into the prepared souffle dish.

Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan with sides. Put the souffle dish on the towel in the middle of the pan. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the souffle dish. Place the pan in the center of the oven and cook approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until custard is set. Do not let the water boil, as the boiling will overcook the custard and make holes in it, if necessary, add cold water to the pan. Remove the pan from the oven remove the souffle dish from the pan. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.

When dish has chilled completely, run a knife around edge, then shake the dish or pull the custard lightly away from the sides with your knife. Place a shallow serving plate on top, then invert the dish so that the custard unmolds. The caramel will form a topping and sauce. Serve chilled.

TIP: If the custard clings to the dish and will not unmold, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes until the caramel softens.

Spanish flan recipe - Recipes

In a small iron skillet, place the 6 tablespoons of sugar. Place skillet over low heat and cook until a foamy golden caramel is obtained (be extremely careful not to burn the sugar). Immediately pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole and quickly coat the bottom of the casserole by rotating and tilting it until it is completely coated. Allow to set. This will only take a few seconds.

Strain egg mixture into casserole. Place in shallow pan with hot water. Set oven at 275 degrees and place pan in center of oven. Cook for approximately 1 hour, or until custard is set. When the custard achieves a delicate golden yellow crust, it is an indication that it is ready to come out of the oven. Do not allow water to boil. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Yield: 6 servings.

To serve: First remove from casserole by running a knife around edge, shake lightly, and invert into a shallow serving platter. The caramel will drip gracefully down the sides of the custard to form a delicious sauce. For individual custards, divide the caramel quickly among 6 custard cups allow to set, then pour strained egg mixture into each cup and cook as directed above.

Authentic Spanish Flan Recipe

Popular in Spain, Mexico, South America and these days many other countries, this authentic Spanish flan recipe is a classic. This silky smooth, sweet dessert goes perfectly after any type of meal. It’s rich but not too heavy. You can serve it as it is or with some whipped cream.

How to Make Mexican Flan

An authentic Spanish flan recipe, or Mexican flan recipe, whichever you know it as, is simple to prepare. First you make the caramel syrup by melting sugar, then combine eggs with two kinds of milk and some vanilla to make the custard mixture.

The whole thing then needs to bake in the oven for an hour until set. It should be quite set, which means a bit jiggy still.

Cut the Spanish flan into 6 pieces to serve. Another alternative is to use individual little pots to make individual portions. Either way is fine. The smaller ones might have a shorter cooking time so keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven.

A Handy Tip

Keep the baking dish hot in the oven while you are making the flan, so when you do pour the caramel syrup (melted sugar) into it, it won’t harden too fast.

When you’re melting the sugar, you should be patient and keep the heat very low because otherwise the sugar may brown too fast and end up burnt. Don’t worry if there are little lumps of sugar after making the syrup because they are going to dissolve while the flan bakes.

Components of a Leche Flan


  • If you are familiar with cooking leche flan, you would know that the custard is served in a container called a llanera. Llaneras are oblong shaped tin pans used specifically for cooking leche flan and are can be found in local markets, specialty shops for cookware or supermarkets. They need to be covered in foil so that the custard retains in shape.
  • Ramekins are small ceramic glass bowls that make good replacements for llaneras.


Sugar. This ingredient is placed in a pan or ramekin/llanera under low to medium heat and turns to a brown caramel that becomes the base of the flan after the custard is poured.

Caramel. This is the hardened syrup formed when sugar is heated at the bottom of the container where you put the flan in. Leche flan can have either a dry caramel or wet caramel.

Dry caramel forms when only sugar is cooked under the heat to melt evenly. Wet caramel, on the other hand, is sugar with water/milk or corn syrup that makes the consistency thicker. Caramel runs the risk of being burnt so it is important to watch over it. For the recipes below, we have focused more on the wet caramel.

Eggs. Leche flan uses the yolks and white of eggs independently. In some recipes, more egg yolks used make for a richer and softer flan while more egg whites make it bouncier and firm. Depending on the ratio between the yolks and egg whites in the recipe, the finished product will be a balance of textures.

When cooking the custard, it is important to mix the custard by hand using a spatula as a good assurance that it would not be over-mixed. Stir it occasionally until the egg yolks are fully incorporated into the milk and sugar or else it will easily crumble after it is cooked.

Milk. Evaporated or fresh cow’s milk is the type of milk commonly preferred when making leche flan. For an additional sweetness, condensed or coconut milk is used. Most often, a combination of two or three types of milk will be used for taste.

Additional Ingredients. Several flavors can be used to create different variations of leche flans. Banana, vanilla, chocolate, pandan, cream cheese and coconut are just a few of those ingredients.

Cooking Method

Steaming has been a common method in making Philippine desserts, adapted from the Japanese way of creating steamed custard.

How To Steam Without a Steamer:


Aluminum foil, formed into three golf sized balls

  1. Fill the medium-sized pot with 1/2 inch of water
  2. Place the 3 balls of aluminum foil inside the pot
  3. Put the heat-proof deep dish on top of the foil
  4. Cover the pot
  5. Turn up the heat

Tip: If following this recipe for leche flan, put the llaneras or ramekins inside the heatproof deep dish to steam.