This Mexican flan recipe is the perfect dessert for any occasion. With a silky custard texture and topped with a rich caramel sauce, this dessert is a favorite for the family and is incredibly easy to make from scratch!

Mexican flan is an easy and decadent dessert made of eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Once the ingredients are mixed together, they’re poured into a caramel-coated mold and cooked in the stove or oven in a water bath called baño maría.

This delicious dessert has a silky and smooth texture with a vanilla flavor that everyone loves. You should really try this recipe, especially because it’s so easy to make from scratch!

To make things easier, I’ve included the instructions to make this recipe in the oven AND on the stove, just as the authentic Mexican flan is made.

Mexican flan sliced showing the silky texture in the inside.

Ingredients

  • Eggs: Use medium eggs, mine weighed about 55g each.
  • Milk: I used whole milk, but you can substitute it with plant-based beverages like soy or coconut milk.
  • Sugar: You will need white sugar for the custard and for the caramel.
  • Vanilla: Use vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds for a strong and authentic flavor.
  • Water: Just a little bit to make the caramel.

How To Make Mexican Flan

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

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

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, set the heat to the lowest and rotate the pan to keep cooking the caramel until done.

Carefully, pour the caramel into the mold while trying to distribute it as evenly as possible on the bottom and a bit on the sides.

TIP: The caramel will harden very quickly, so make sure you are fast when doing this to allow the caramel to coat well the bottom.

Caramel covering the bottom of a pan.

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

TIP: If you want a nice, silky texture, try to not over mix, otherwise you’ll end with a very “bubbly” flan texture once cooked.

Mexican flan mixture in a blender.

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

Authentic Mexican flan on a serving plate.

How To Cook It In The Stove

Nowadays, most of the recipes (including this) for Mexican flan say to cook it 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 mold with the custard inside and bring the water to a gentle simmer.
  3. Cover the mold with a lid and allow to cook for about 1 hour or until you’ll notice the custard has nicely set.

How To Unmold

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 follow those 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 pan and there you go, your flan will be sitting in the caramel ready to slice and serve.
Unmolding the flan on a plate.

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 custard mixture for a nice citrus touch.
  • Replace 1 1/2 cups of milk with a 1 -5oz package of cream cheese for a creamy version.
  • If you like coffee, add 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the custard mixture.
  • Make it creamier by replacing 1 or 2 cups of regular milk with evaporated milk.

How To Store

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

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

Mexican flan served on a plate and drizzled with caramel.

What country is flan originally from?

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.

What is flan usually made of?

Authentic Mexican flan is made of eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.

What is the difference between Mexican and Spanish flan?

The main differences are that Mexican flan is made with whole eggs and cooked on the stove, while the Spanish version uses only yolks to make the custard and is baked instead.

More Mexican Desserts

Authentic Mexican Flan

8 servings
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

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor
  • 1 8-9 inches round baking mold

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 saucepan 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 it's done.
  • Carefully, pour the caramel into the flan mold while trying to distribute it as evenly as possible on the bottom and a bit on the sides.

Make the custard

  • Place eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract into a blender. Blend at medium speed 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 it.
  3. Don’t worry if the flan will seem a little uncooked in the center, it will continue to cook while cooling down.
  4. Read the post for step-by-step instructions to make this flan on the stove!
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | 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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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This Mexican Flan recipe is a game-changer! The creamy custard and gooey caramel are a dream. I love how easy it is with both oven and stove options. It’s our go-to dessert now. Will definitely try this again!

  2. Hello, I really want to try this, sounds just like creme caramel, my favourite dessert! I am wanting a pan like you use here. Cannot seem to find one online – they are have removable bottoms, which is not good if you are flipping the flan over. Any suggestions on where a Canadian could buy a similar pan?

    1. Hi Joanne, I really don’t know where you could find a pan like that in Canada, mine is an old pan my husband’s grandma bought a very long time ago.
      But you can make this recipe in a 8-9 inches round cake pan too, just make sure to coat well the bottom and a bit of the sides with the caramel so it will be easier to unmold.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.