Authentic Mexican Flan

This easy Mexican flan recipe is the perfect dessert for any occasion. With a silky custard texture and topped with a rich caramel sauce, this easy dessert is a favorite for everybody and is made with only 4 ingredients!

Mexican flan served on a plate and drizzled with caramel.

Alongside cortadillos (Mexican pink cake) and Elote Ice Cream, this dessert is one of my family’s favorite of all time.

What is Flan?

Flan or crème caramel is a dessert that originated in France that consists of an egg custard layered with a light caramel sauce. Even though the french recipe is still well known all around the world, many countries have developed their own versions.

A whole silky Mexican flan drizzled with caramel on a plate. Seen from above.

In Mexico flan is made in a simple way by beating eggs, sugar, and vanilla together, pouring the mixture in a caramel covered pan, and cooking it on the stove in a water bath (baño maría).

The silky and smooth texture of this delicious dessert is something you should really try once, especially since it is so easy to make!

Authentic Mexican flan sliced on a serving plate.

How To Make Mexican Flan

Start by making the caramel. In a small saucepan add sugar and water. Place the pan over medium heat and cook until you’ll have a nice dark caramel.

A collage with two stages of caramel being cooked on a sauce pan.

Important: Pay attention to this step as you don’t want the sugar to burn, so, if you see the center is getting too dark but there’s still clumped sugar on the sides, low the heat and rotate the pan to cook evenly the caramel.

Carefully, pour the caramel into the flan mold while trying to distribute as evenly as possible on the bottom and a bit of the sides. The caramel will harden very quickly, so you need to be fast when doing this step.

Caramel covering the bottom of a pan.

Now you need to make the flan mixture. Place eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract into a blender. Blend at medium speed until everything is nicely combined.

NOTE: If you want a nice, silky Mexican flan texture, try to not over mix, otherwise you’ll end with a very “bubbly” flan texture once cooked and not the smooth, silky texture it should be.

Mexican flan mixture in a blender.

Carefully, pour the egg’s mixture into the mold with the hardened caramel.

Pouring the flan mixture into the mold.

Next, fill a pan large enough to place inside the mold with the flan. Pour in warm water to fill about 2/3 of the pan capacity.

The pan inside of another pan with water, before going to the oven.

Cover the flan with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the flan will seem a little uncooked in the center, it will continue to cook while cooling down.

Allow the flan dessert to cool down and then refrigerate for a couple of hours or even better, overnight. This is a very important step as the resting time will help when unmolding the dessert.

How To Remove The Flan From The Mold

This is the most difficult part of the recipe as you don’t want the dessert to fall apart when you transfer it to a serving plate, so just do the following steps:

  1. Gently, run a knife along the edges of the mold.
  2. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and, with a smooth move, quickly flip it over.
  3. Lift off the flan pan and there you go, your flan will be sitting in the caramel ready to slice and serve.
Unmolding the flan on a plate.

How To Cook Flan In The Stove

Nowadays, most of the recipes (including this) for Mexican flan says to cook this dessert in the oven since that’s the most convenient way to do so.

But, do you know that there’s also another method to cook this delicious recipe even if you don’t have or want to use your oven? Let me tell you how:

  1. Fill a large pan or pot 1/2 full with water.
  2. Place the flan mold inside and bring the water to a gentle simmer.
  3. Cover the mold with a lid and cook for about 1 hour or until you’ll notice the flan has set.
  4. Proceed as suggested in the section above to remove the flan from the mold.
Authentic Mexican flan on a serving plate.

Tasteful Variations

There are some delicious variations to make this authentic Mexican flan recipe, check them up:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest to the flan mixture for a nice citrus touch.
  • Replace 1 1/2 cup of milk with 1 -5oz package of cream cheese for flan napolitano version.
  • If you like coffee, add 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the flan mixture.

Storage Tips

If you have some leftovers or want to make this authentic Mexican flan recipe ahead and bring it to potlucks you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Just make sure the flan is nicely wrapped with cling film, either you leave it in the serving plate or carefully transfer it to an airtight container.

More Easy Mexican Dessert Recipes

Mexican Flan

This easy Mexican flan recipe is the perfect dessert for any occasion. With a silky custard texture and topped with a rich caramel sauce, this easy dessert is a favorite for everybody.
PREP 10 minutes
COOK 1 hour 15 minutes
chill 3 hours
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 8
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 6 medium eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water

Instructions

Make the caramel

  • In a small sauce pan add sugar and water. Place the pan over medium heat and cook until you’ll have a nice dark caramel (see note 1).
  • Remove the caramel from the heat as soon as its done.
  • Carefully, pour the caramel into the flan mold while trying to distribute as evenly as possible on the bottom and a bit of the sides.

Make the flan mixture

  • Place eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract into a blender. Blend at medium until everything is nicely combined (see note 2).
  • Pour the mixture into the mold with the hardened caramel.
  • Fill a pan large enough to place inside the mold with the flan. Pour in warm water to fill about ⅔ of the pan capacity.

Bake

  • Cover the flan with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (see note 3).
  • Allow the Mexican flan to cool down and chill for about 3 hours (or overnight).

Serve

  • Run a knife along the edges of the mold.
  • Place a serving plate on top of the pan and, with a smooth move, quickly flip it over.
  • Lift off the flan pan and your flan will be sitting in the caramel ready to slice and serve.

NOTES

  1. Pay attention when making the caramel as you don’t want the sugar to burn, so, if you see the center is getting too dark but there’s still clumped sugar on the sides, low the heat and rotate the pan to cook evenly the caramel.
  2. If you want a nice, silky Mexican flan texture, try to not over mix, otherwise you’ll end with a very “bubbly” flan texture once cooked and not the smooth, silky texture it should be.
  3. Don’t worry if the flan will seems a little uncooked in the center, it will continue to cook while cooling down.
Nutrition
Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 168mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    SO EASY! I couldn’t believe how easy this flan was to make and I was a little bit skeptical it will turn out good but oh my! It was delicious, just as you said: silky.

    I used regular milk, even though I had some evaporated milk in my pantry but I wanted to try this simple recipe and see if really was as good as you claimed, and YES! it was, thank you, thank you. Definitely one of the best Mexican flan recipes out there, authentic, easy, and even cheap! Can’t ask for more.

  2. 5 stars
    It was my wife’s birthday and I wanted to surprise her with an easy recipe from her country. After looking for some Mexican desserts I found this and it looked good: little ingredients, easy method.

    It did not fail. Thank you.

    PS: I had a little bit of trouble when removing the flan from the mold but managed to do it.