Cuban Food/ Recipes/ Sweets

Cuban Flan

Cuban flan, flan recipe, flan with caramel sauce

If you’re looking for a Cuban flan recipe that is authentic, you’ve found the real deal! This flan recipe has been in my family for many years. My Abuela (grandmother) Consuelo got the recipe from her mother and it’s been passed down and made hundreds of times for so many of our friends and family.

flan with caramel, flan recipe

Can you bake flan?

A lot of Cuban flan recipes are made in a pressure cooker but this one gets baked in the oven. It’s so much easier and safer. The result is a lighter (less dense) custard. And since it’s how my Abuela Consuelo made it, it’s how we make it!

If you’ve never had flan before, you might be wondering:

What does flan taste like:

Flan tastes like a creamy, vanilla/caramel custard. It’s a rich dessert with a homemade caramel sauce!

The flan has two main parts: The caramel sauce, and the actual flan custard. Both are easy to make and just take a little bit of time.

Ingredients for flan:

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the flan:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make Cuban flan:

The first part you’ll make is the caramel sauce. All you need to do is add the sugar and water to a sauce pan and cook until it turns into caramel. It will go through a few stages and you might think you did something wrong but keep going…it’ll turn into caramel…I promise! Keep a close eye on it though because once it turns to caramel, it can burn and become bitter very quickly!

Once the caramel is ready, you can add it to a loaf pan immediately before it begins to harden. Be careful touching the pan without oven mitts because it will get very hot! Swirl the caramel around to coat the bottom and sides then set it aside while you make the flan mixture.

caramel in loaf pan for flan

To make the flan mixture, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and blend with a hand mixer. If this didn’t have so many raw eggs in it, I’d totally drink it because it smells soooo good!!

The flan mixture gets poured over the caramel in the loaf pan but it gets strained as you pour. This removes any little bits of egg that didn’t get blended and gives you a perfectly smooth texture.

straining flan

Once the flan mixture is ready, you’ll place the loaf pan inside of a 9×13 pan. This recipe gets baked in a water bath. I like to place the pans in the oven and THEN fill the outer pan with water. It’s just easier to carry it and place it in the oven that way. The water should come at least half way up the loaf pan.

flan in water bath

This gets baked, uncovered for 1 hour. Then lightly lay a piece of aluminum foil over the loaf pan and bake for another 40 minutes. It will still be jiggly when it’s done but it should not be watery.

Cooked flan

After baking, let the flan come to room temperature on the counter before refrigerating (I usually just wait about 2 hours). Once cooled on the counter, refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or overnight.

flan with caramel sauce

How to flip the flan:

Once the flan has cooled in the refrigerator, you can flip and serve it. Run a thin knife along all the edges of the flan to loosen from the pan. Place a dish with high sides (to hold the caramel) over the top of the loaf pan and turn everything over. The flan should plop right out. You should have plenty of the caramel loosen and come out of the pan but if there is extra in the pan that you’d like to get out, here’s a trick: take your larger 9×13 and fill it half way up with hot tap water. Let the loaf pan sit in there for about 5 minutes and it should loosen some more caramel.

Serve the flan cold with a spoonful of the caramel sauce poured over top and enjoy!!

flan, flan with caramel, cuban flan

Every time I make this, I imagine my Abuela Consuelo smiling down on me for nailing her flan recipe and I know she’d be thrilled to know so many of you are enjoying it as well! 



Cuban flan, flan recipe, flan with caramel sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Cuban Flan

Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cuban
Servings: 10
Author: Coco and Ash

Equipment

  • Loaf pan
  • 9x13 pan
  • aluminum foil
  • mesh strainer
  • Hand Mixer

Ingredients

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the Flan

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 ounce)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Making the Caramel

  • Add the white sugar and the water to a heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring occasionally. 
  • The sugar/water will go through a few stages before becoming caramel colored and smooth. Keep a close eye on it. Once it turns to caramel, it can burn quickly! (the whole process takes about 10-15 minutes)
  • Using oven mitts, carefully pour the caramel into the loaf pan. Slowly turn the loaf pan to coat all of the sides and corners inside the pan. Set it aside to cool slightly. 

Making the Flan

  • Heat your oven to 350°
  • Add all of the flan ingredients to a bowl and blend with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes until it's completely combined and the eggs are incorporated. 
  • Use a strainer over the loaf pan and strain the mixture into the pan. 
  • Place the loaf pan inside of a 9x13 cake pan and fill the cake pan with water. (about half way up the flan pan is where the water should come up to.)  This is called a "Bain-Marie" or a Marie-bath. You can read more about it HERE
  • Bake uncovered for 60 minutes. Then lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top and bake for another 40 minutes. 
  • Allow the flan to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight or at LEAST for 4 hours. 
  • To serve: run a thin knife along the edges to loosen the sides from the pan. Turn onto a plate with a large rim that will hold in the caramel. Slice and serve with a spoonful of the caramel sauce! 

cuban flan

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Jess
    July 30, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    I love a good family recipe!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    July 30, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Never knew Flan was this simple to make. It looks marvelous and I can’t wait to taste it.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 30, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    This is seriously the best flan I’ve ever had! So delicious and my family loved it!

  • Reply
    Irina
    July 30, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    This flan is the best I have ever tried! It is so easy to make too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Richardson
    August 1, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I am Cuban myself and my grandmother also made flan when I was growing up . Making this flan brought me a lot of joy thinking of my abuelita and it was so yummy just like hers was.

  • Reply
    Neicy McGrath
    August 12, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Once the flan cools and goes into the fridge. Do you cover it with foil?

    • Reply
      Coco and Ash
      August 12, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      I usually just use plastic wrap but foil works too!

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