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

Cuban Flan

Coco and Ash
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10

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! 
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment!

cuban flan

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26 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
      Coco and Ash
      July 30, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Yay! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Minuet Suiter
      May 27, 2022 at 5:43 pm

      Ok, so I forgot the 3/4 whole milk in my recipe. Is my flan ruined?

      • Reply
        Coco and Ash
        May 28, 2022 at 4:21 pm

        I’m not sure what the results will be with a missing ingredient…sorry!!

  • 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!

  • Reply
    Sandy B
    February 2, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    This looks delicious!I was just wondering if the pans have to be glass or would metal pans be okay? Making this for a “Cuban themed” dinner!

    • Reply
      Coco and Ash
      February 3, 2022 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks Sandy, you can use a metal pan if that’s what you have.

  • Reply
    Cassandra
    July 9, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    This recipe is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Your step by step directions were easy to follow. I was intimidated by making flan, but was so proud I actually nailed it! Especially thank you for the sugar walk through, because I thought I messed it up. Thank you again. This is 100% a keeper 🤍

  • Reply
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    […] Get the recipe here […]

  • Reply
    Renee Johnson
    October 8, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I really like the recipe. Your format is difficult to follow in the kitchen. I am horrible in the kitchen and get stressed out cooking. Finding the temperature for the oven was way too difficult between the ads and how often you reminisce about the food.

    It is a recipe and should be easy to follow, write a biography if you have more to say.

    • Reply
      Coco and Ash
      October 8, 2022 at 6:40 pm

      There’s a recipe card right at the bottom of this page with a large “PRINT” button that opens a page with no ads.
      Also, my recipes are available at no cost to my readers because of ads. That’s how I provide for my family. I’m sorry they were in your way but hopefully the print button will help you in the future! 🙂

  • Reply
    The Delicious History Of Flan: From The Middle East To China – Elmeson-Santafe
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    […] it is made with evaporated and condensed milk from cans. Because of this difference in ingredients, Cuban flan has a distinct flavor and texture. In Portugal, flan is known as pasteis de nata. The […]

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    November 1, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    […] Cuban flan is a traditional dessert that can be made in an instant pot. The ingredients are simple and the process is quick and easy. The result is a rich and creamy flan that is perfect for any occasion. […]

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    How To Make And Eat A Caramel Flan – Elmeson-Santafe
    November 23, 2022 at 4:41 am

    […] days. Cis empress for life It is best to express your love for someone as soon as possible. Place Cuban flan in the refrigerator and store it there. It can be stored at room temperature, but I prefer to keep […]

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    Is A Turkey Cuban Sandwich As Good As The Real Thing? – groupersandwich.com
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    […] Pickles with fried edges are a tasty way to add texture to your dinner. Eating them is difficult once you start. By the end of the summer, mayonnaise coleslaw will have vanished from picnic and barbecue menus. Fruit is an excellent match for Cuban sandwiches. The flavor of the Cuban sandwich is enhanced by a caramelized sweetness that complements the savory flavors of all three methods of preparation: frying, baking, and mashing. This tropical fruit salad is a tasty treat for your taste buds this summer. If you’re looking for a dessert to serve after your meal, you can’t go wrong with Cuban flan. […]

  • Reply
    Nathalie
    January 24, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    How can i incorporate coconut milk, can i replace the whole milk for coconut?

    • Reply
      Coco and Ash
      January 24, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      I’ve never made this with coconut milk, so let me know if you try it!

  • Reply
    Laurel Morris
    September 19, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    what size was your loaf pan? And would a glass pie pan work just as well? Or perhaps a casserole dish like the one you placed the loaf pan in?

    • Reply
      Coco and Ash
      September 19, 2023 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Laurel, a standard loaf pan is 8-1/2 x 4-1/2″ so anything close to those dimensions would work just fine. If you use a larger or different sized dish, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time and possible have a flatter flan. I hope that helps

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