This flan de calabaza (or pumpkin flan) recipe is creamy, decadent, and features all the fall flavors we love. Is also super easy to make and the ultimate pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebrations!
Flan de Calabaza is a 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.
Flan is a popular dessert that has its origins in several different cultures. It is often associated with Spanish cuisine, and it is sometimes referred to as “Spanish flan.”
However, variations of flan can be found also in Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and many other Latin American countries.
- 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.
- Evaporated milk: This milk gives more creaminess to any type of flan, however, you can substitute it with regular whole milk or coconut 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.
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.
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.
Place pumpkin puree and eggs into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds until combined.
Top Tip: Make sure to not overmix as overmixing can introduce air bubbles into the mixture making the flan less smooth and creamy.
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.
Pour the custard into the caramelized pan. Don’t worry, it won’t mix with the caramel as this will be hardened by now.
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.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake flan 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 the flan 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 in a water bath: This is key for a perfectly 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: Flan needs time to set properly after baking, first to reach room temperature and then for chilling in the fridge, but this is key for perfect slices.
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 want to serve it for your Thanksgiving dinner (along with or instead of your pumpkin pie!), I recommend serving with:
- Whipped cream.
- A pinch of pumpkin spice or freshly grated nutmeg.
- Cajeta sauce.
- Fresh berries on the side.
How to store it?
You can store your flan leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to transfer the remaining dessert to an airtight container before storing it.
Can I make it ahead?
Yes! You can make flan de calabaza ahead of time and keep it in the fridge nicely wrapped with plastic wrap to keep it fresh. Making this recipe ahead of time can actually improve its flavor and texture, as it allows the flavors to meld and the custard to set properly. Just make sure to store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
What is the English name for this recipe?
Flan de calabaza is known in English as pumpkin flan.
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!
We hope you enjoyed this flan de calabaza recipe, please don’t forget to leave your thoughts and rate the recipe below in the comment section. And remember to follow this blog on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.
Flan de Calabaza
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- 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.
- Always use room temperature ingredients as they are easy to combine together without leaving lumps in the mixture.
- Make sure to not overmix the flan mixture, as this can introduce air bubbles and make the flan less smooth and creamy.
- When making the caramel, don’t stir the sugar. Be patient and it will nicely melt and become golden brown.