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!

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

What is Flan?

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

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 in the stove in a water bath (baño maría). The silky and smoothy texture of Mexican flan is something you should really try once, specially since it is so easy to make!

Mexican flan sliced on a serving plate.

How To Make Mexican Flan

Start by making 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.

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, 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 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.

Pour the mixture into the mold with the hardened caramel.

Pouring the flan mixture into the mold.

Now, 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 seems a little uncooked in the center, it will continue to cook while cooling down.

Allow the Mexican flan to cool down and then refrigerate for a couple of hours (or even better, overnight).

How To Remove The Flan From The Mold

  • 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 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 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:

In the stovetop: Fill a large pan or pot 1/2 full with water, place the flan mold inside and bring the water to a gently simmer. Cover the mold with a lid and cook for about 1 hour or until you’ll notice the flan has set. Proceed as suggested in the recipe above to remove the Mexican flan from the mold.

Mexican flan on a serving plate.

Variations

  • 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.

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
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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