Mexican Flan de Calabaza (pumpkin flan)

This Mexican flan de calabaza recipe is creamy, and decadent, and features all the fall flavors we love. Pumpkin flan is also super easy to make and the ultimate pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebrations!

Flan de calabaza served on a black plate with some pumpkin and falla decorations in the background.

About

Flan de Calabaza is a Mexican dessert made of pumpkin puree, eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and spices. It has a subtle pumpkin flavor with hints of earthy spices and is coated with a delicious caramel sauce.

The recipe is popular in many Latin-America countries and has some small variations like using cream cheese, orange zest, coconut, and other ingredients.

We wanted to keep it simple and easy to make, so we used only 7 ingredients in this recipe, all of them easily available in many countries.

We believe flan de calabaza is the perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving meal or for any fall-themed dinner party, after all, everyone loves flan, right?!

A slice of flan de calabaza drizzled with caramel sauce on a plate.

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin: Use a 15 oz can of plain pumpkin purée, or you can also use homemade puree with fresh pumpkins available to you.
  • Eggs: I used 5 medium eggs that weighed about 55g each.
  • Sugar: You will need granulated sugar to make the caramel.
  • Condensed milk: A 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk or you can also make our recipe for homemade condensed milk.
  • Evaporated milk: A 12 oz can, or make also our recipe for homemade evaporated milk.
  • Pumpkin spice: This is a mixture of spices, if you can’t find it you can use ground spices like cinnamon, whole cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
  • Vanilla extract: Make sure you use vanilla extract and not “vanilla flavoring” as that is a poor imitation or real vanilla.
Pumpkin flan de calabaza ingredients placed on a kitchen countertop and with names written over.

How To Make Flan de Calabaza

Place granulated sugar in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan from time to time (read notes) until it starts to bubble and change color to a golden brown.

Cooked caramel in a sauce pan.

As soon as it is ready, carefully pour it into a baking round pan or flan mold to create a layer of caramel. Swirl the mold so the caramel will coat also a bit on the sides.

A flan mold coated with caramel.

Place pumpkin puree and eggs into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds until combined.

Collage with two photos of pumpkin puree blending process for flan de calabaza.

Now, add condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spices to the blender with the pumpkin mixture and pulse a few times to nicely combine all ingredients.

Flan de calabaza mixture in a blender.

Pour the custard into the caramelized pan. Don’t worry, it won’t mix with the caramel as this will be hardened by now.

Pouring flan de calabaza custard into the caramelized pan.

Take a large baking pan and place it inside the mold with the custard. Pour hot water into the larger pan, enough to fill until halfway of the pan with the flan mixture.

The pan with flan custard inside a larger pan and pouring hot water into the larger pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until nicely set on the sides but a bit giggly in the middle.

Flan de calabaza baked in a water bath (baño maría).

Remove the mold from the water bath and place it on a cooling rack. Allow to reach room temperature then chill in the fridge overnight.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges of the mold to loosen up the flan.

Take a serving plate with a slight lip over and place it over the pan. Quickly flip them, then lift the mold so the flan will easily slide out with the caramel covering it all.

Flan de calabaza placed on a serving plate with caramel sauce drizzled over.

Slice and serve your flan de calabaza with the caramel sauce spooned over each slice.

Notes & Tips

  • Use room temperature ingredients: They are easy to combine together without leaving lumps in the mixture. And because they mix better and quicker, it also helps to prevent cracks on the baked custard.
  • Do not stir the caramel: I know is tempting, but you don’t need to stir the sugar, just be patient and it will nicely melt and become golden brown.
  • Bake it at baño maría: Aka water bath, is key for the perfect smooth and creamy pumpkin flan as the steam will add moisture and bake slowly preventing a chunky texture.
  • Give it time to set and chill: Pumpkin flan needs time to set properly after baking, first to reach room temperature and then for chilling in the fridge, but this will give you the perfect texture to slice it!

How To Serve

Pumpkin flan is so delicious on its own with the simple caramel sauce drizzled on each slice before serving. But if you wanna take it over the top, serve with:

  • Whipped cream.
  • A pinch of pumpkin spice or freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Cajeta sauce.
  • Fresh berries on the side.
Mexican flan de calabaza, aka pumpkin flan, served in a black plate with fall decorations on the table. Seen from above.

How To Store

If you have any leftovers you can cover them right on the platter with cling film and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can transfer them to an airtight container.

This recipe is also incredibly make-ahead friendly, so you can plan your Thanksgiving dinner or party days ahead and keep the flan de calabaza in its original baking pan for a few days in the fridge.

More Pumpkin Desserts

If you’re a pumpkin spice lover like I am, try also our favorite recipes for the fall season, I promise you will love them!

  • Pumpkin tamales. Soft, slightly sweet, and popular in many Mexican households, those tamales de calabaza are a must!
  • Pumpkin empanadas. Made from scratch with homemade pumpkin purée, they are also perfect for gifting to your friends and family.
  • Atole de calabaza. This traditional Mexican drink is sweet, thick, and cozy. Children love it with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top.
Flan de Calabaza Recipe.

Flan de Calabaza (Mexican pumpkin flan)

author Maricruz
6
This super creamy Flan de Calabaza is made with pumpkin purée and flavored with pumpkin spice. It makes the perfect pumpkin dessert for your Thanksgiving table!
prep 10 minutes
cook 1 hour 10 minutes
Chilling time 8 hours
total 9 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1-15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1-12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1-14 oz can condensed milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Place sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan from time to time (read notes) until it starts to bubble and change color to a golden brown.
  • Carefully pour the caramel into a baking round pan or flan mold and swirl the mold so the caramel will coat also a bit on the sides.
  • Add eggs and pumpkin puree to a blender and process for a few seconds until combined.
  • Add condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spices.
  • Pulse a few times to combine all ingredients.
  • Pour the custard into the caramelized pan.
  • Place the pan with the flan mixture inside a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan, enough to fill until halfway of the pan with the flan mixture.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until nicely set on the sides but a bit giggly in the middle.
  • Remove the mold from the water bath and place it on a cooling rack. Allow to reach room temperature then chill in the fridge overnight.
  • When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges of the mold to loosen up the flan.
  • Take a serving plate with a slight lip over and place it over the pan. Quickly flip them, then lift the mold so the flan will easily slide out with the caramel covering it all.
  • Slice and serve with the caramel sauce spooned over each slice.

Notes

  • Use room temperature ingredients: They are easy to combine together without leaving lumps in the mixture. And because they mix better and quicker, it also helps to prevent cracks on the baked custard.
  • Do not stir the caramel: I know is tempting, but you don’t need to stir the sugar, just be patient and it will nicely melt and become golden brown.
  • Bake it at baño maría: Aka water bath, is key for the perfect smooth and creamy pumpkin flan as the steam will add moisture and bake slowly preventing a chunky texture.
  • Give it time to set and chill: Pumpkin flan needs time to set properly after baking, first to reach room temperature and then for chilling in the fridge, but this will give you the perfect texture to slice it!
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 11364IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg
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