Mexican Flan

Mexican Flan is the ultimate indulgence; light and creamy and yet surprisingly simple to make! Learn how to make this classic dessert with an easy to follow recipe.

A slice of flan and the entire flan in the background.

While Flan’s origin is not Mexican, it was quickly adapted by my native country as one of its classic desserts. In fact, my research concludes that Flan’s origin is from France!

Regardless where it came from, you need to make it!  This recipe is sweet, simple and the prep-work is minimal. A dependable, easy recipe that yields an exotic dessert.

I’ve included tons of detailed tips and important info in today’s post so you can make the perfect flan every time. For a visual how-to, be sure to check out my step-by-step photos in this post! 

Mexican flan on a platter that looks like a flower. A pink napkin on the side.

This recipe was originally published in May 2016. Post has been updated with new photos and to be more helpful.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar for coating ramekins
  • 1 8 oz Cream Cheese cubed
  • 1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk can
  • 1 12 oz evaporated milk can
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped or use 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 5 large eggs

Did you know that vanilla is native to Mexico? As one of the world’s most popular flavors, it is right at home on the Mexican table. On that note, make sure you use a fresh vanilla bean for this flan as it will make all the difference on the flavor. You can’t beat fresh ingredients!!!

Ingredients: condensed & evaporated milk, eggs & vanilla in a blender

How to make Mexican Flan

  • Make the sugar caramel: melt 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat until it becomes liquid. Stir often with a wooden spoon until is lightly browned.
  • Pour the melted sugar into the pan or each ramekin and swirl around to coat the bottom.
  • Set aside to cool.
melting sugar in a small pan
  • Make the flan: Add the remaining of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until well blended. Note: Make sure NOT to use a kitchen aid mixer. This will leave chunks of cream cheese.
  • Fill the pan/ramekins with the flan mixture
  • Place the them in a baking pan and fill the pan with enough water to rise about halfway up their sides.
  • Bake for about 1 hr & 15 minutes if baking on a pan (about 40 minutes in ramekins) or until the custard is set (it should not feel liquid or loose when tapping ).
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. However, I do think that it tastes better when eaten the next day so this makes a great recipe to make ahead!

Baking method

You can make it in a 8, 9 or 10 inch baking pan or ramekins. But I must say that using ramekins is much more fun. And surprisingly easy! One of the advantages of using individual ramekins is that you don’t have to worry about flipping the flan and they’re ready to eat as is.

Baño Maria (water-bath in English) – To bake using a water bath, you will need a baking pan that is large enough to hold a springform pan (or other baking dish), and is also large enough to allow for water to surround the springform pan.

A word of caution: If using a baking pan with a removable bottom, wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in foil. This will prevent any water from getting into the flan mixture.

Water bath: A round cake pan inside a larger rectangular pan and filled with water half way.
The perfectly baked Flan looks golden on top and not too jiggly.

Readers FAQs

What is Mexican flan made of?

This popular Mexican dessert has minimal ingredients and it’s made with eggs, cream cheese, condensed & evaporated milk.

Do you flip the flan hot or cold?

You flip once it’s cold after it has cooled in the refrigerator

Is Flan a custard?

Custard is made by blending eggs with milk or cream, therefore, Flan is a form of a custard dessert.

Is flan supposed to be jiggly?

Once it’s cooled it has the texture of cheesecake and it should not be jiggly. If it’s too jiggly this means it’s undercooked.

Is Mexican flan gluten free

Yes, flan is gluten free as all milk products are gluten free.

A woman holding a platter with flan on top

How fun are these little ramekins? They’re perfect to impress your guest or just to treat yourself!

Flan in two clear ramekins

Want more classic Mexican desserts? Make these pastel de leches arroz con leche, and this pastel de elote.

If you make this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below to let me know how you liked it? By adding a comment and star rating you’re helping Muy Delish get even better! ? Gracias!!!!

A slice of flan and the entire flan in the background.

Vanilla Bean Mexican Flan

Servings 6 Slices
Ana Frias
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Mexican Flan is the ultimate indulgence; light and creamy and yet surprisingly simple to make! Learn how to make this classic dessert with an easy to follow recipe.

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • 8 inch baking pan or 6 (4 oz) ramekins
6 Slices

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar for coating ramekins
  • 1 8 oz Cream Cheese cubed
  • 1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk can
  • 1 12 oz evaporated milk can
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped or use 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt the 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat until it becomes liquid.
  • Continue cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon until is lightly browned.
  • Pour the melted sugar into each ramekin to coat the bottom.
  • While the caramel is still hot and liquid, very carefully ( using oven mitts) swirl the pan around while sugar is still soft to cover bottom and sides. It will get thicker as it cools and eventually harden. 
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Add the remaining of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until well blended. (see note 1)
  • Fill the ramekins with the flan mixture
  • Place the ramekins in a baking pan and fill the pan with enough water to rise about halfway up their sides.
  • Bake for about 1 hr & 15 minutes if baking on a pan (about 40 minutes in ramekins) or until the custard is set (it should not feel liquid or loose when tapping ).
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. (see note 2)
  • To serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip the flan out onto a serving platter. Serve with fruit and/or fresh whipped cream.

*Ana’s Notes:

  1. Make sure not to use a kitchen aid mixer. This will leave chunks of cream cheese.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. However, I do think that it tastes better when eaten the next day so this makes a great recipe to make ahead!

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1slice | Sodium: 275mg | Sugar: 57g | Potassium: 197mg | Cholesterol: 220mg | Calories: 509kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Fat: 24g | Protein: 15g | Carbohydrates: 58g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

A slice of Mexican flan on a dessert plate and a white fork on the side.
5 ramekins with flan and spoons on the side

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. Hi Ana I wanted to know what size the ramekins need to be, I am trying to surprise my boyfriend with some flan.

    1. Hi Tatiana! I would use 4 oz ramekins and fill them up equally. The cooking time should still be the same. I updated the recipe to show the size of the ramekins to make this flan. Thanks for the question and I hope you and your boyfriend enjoy it! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Muchas Gracias Ana !! Lo voy a preparar para el día de acción de Gracias. Se ve delicioso este postre y muy fácil de hacerlo 😊

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made flan before but wanted to try a new recipe. That’s how I found yours. I made this for a friend who is going through chemo so her appetite is off. The only difference is I added a coconut syrup (2 TB) and toasted coconut on top. It was so easy and quick. Most importantly, we enjoyed sharing it very much. It put a smile on her face and for that, I say thank you.

    1. Hi Very, this is the sweetest thing of you to do for your friend! I hope your friend is doing better and that is on the mend! Thank you so much for such a kind review and I’m so happy you liked it. Take care! Ana

  4. Some of your recipe is difficult to understand. For instance you say “o n a pan” (for baking) as in ramekins on as opposed to mixture in -as in IN a springform? HELP!

    1. Hi Maureen! Yes you can! I haven’t done it yet but the timing should be similar to using ramekins…just keep an eye on it when in the oven just in case. Great idea! I’ll have to do it next time. Please let me know how it turns out.

  5. Hi Ana, I would like to make these as a gift for my friend’s 40th remarriage ceremony. They love Mexican food (we are in California). Her caterer is Mexican but she does not make desserts. I need to scale it up to 40 or so, and need to make them in individual portions. The little glass jars that you show…can they be used in a water bath? How would you suggest I scale up? Sorry about all the questions! I’m so glad I found your blog!

    1. Hi Susan! How awesome of you do want to do that for your friend! You can definitely use those little jars in the water bath since they’re oven proof. I bought those at World Market. Or you can use little ramekins that are oven proof. As far as scaling up the recipe I would multiply it 7 times to be safe ( I haven’t made that many at once!). This will fill them up almost to the top but if you want to put less in the ramekins, you can multiply the recipe by 6.

      Please do tell me how they come out! I’m sure they will be a hit! I’m sooo happy you found the blog too. I look forward to your visit here and there. Stay well! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I am SUPER excited to try this out! I had my first experience of ordeirng Flan from a resturaunt, and not finding the seemingly creamy / sweet delicacy I’ve come to know and love… gotta make it at home now! Thank you so much for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much Ethan! It makes me so happy to hear you truly enjoyed this homemade flan and now you can make it whenever you want! I hope you have a fantastic day 🙂

      XO,
      Ana

  7. 5 stars
    This is such a divine recipe. It turned out perfectly and it’s gone today and I just made it last night! Thank you for this wonderful recipe and for detailed directions. I needed them!

    1. Tank you so much Barb for the kind comment! I’m so happy everything turned out well! Sometimes people get intimidated by flan thinking it’s difficult when it’s not! I hope you have a wonderful day! xoxo Ana

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never made flan before! I love it a whole lot too…definitely need to try yours!