This decadent and easy to make flan is a baked custard with a caramelized sugar syrup on top. Inverted onto a platter and sliced to serve, it's a crowd-pleaser!

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Flan is not only a fancy-looking treat, but a surprisingly easy one to make as well. Flan is a baked custard that is served with a caramel sauce on top.This recipe makes for one giant, shareable flan that can be easily divided amongst a whole dinner table, making it the perfect party dessert.

a flan on a white plate with sugar syrup on top


Flan, or crème caramel, is one of those universal desserts that seem to crop up on almost every restaurant menu, no matter where you are. Made of nothing more than a simple milk pudding topped with a caramelized custard, this decadent dessert is perfect for serving to guests after a big, satisfying meal. Inverted onto a platter for serving, it is beautiful as well as delicious!

Try Flavored Condensed Milk

I used dulce de leche flavored condensed milk ( see the photo below) to easily add a caramel flavor to this flan. It is the same as using the same amount of sweetened condensed milk, just with a caramel flavor. For a classic flan, use plain sweetened condensed milk.

ingredients for making flan

Tips For Heating Sugar In A Pan

One of the trickiest things in cooking any kind of dessert is the prospect of heating sugar to create caramel. The actual instructions regarding making caramel usually sound like they should be pretty simple – heat the sugar in a pan until it turns golden and you are good to go.

However, it is a lot more complicated in practice, and more than a few home chefs have been forced to throw away a whole saucepan due to their sugar burning. The key is to pay close attention to your sugar, while at the same time not worrying about it and touching it. Sounds easy, right?

heating white sugar into a syrup

How to Melt Sugar in a Pan

You want the sugar to slowly melt and break down into a golden brown caramel sauce. If you stir it too much, sugar crystals will start to form, causing the caramel to turn into a thick, clumpy mess.

Instead, just make sure that your temperature doesn’t go above medium heat; as long as it doesn’t get too hot, your sugar shouldn’t burn and it should eventually turn into a delicious caramel.    

pouring flan batter into the sugar syrup in a loaf  pan

How To Tell When Your Flan Is Cooked

Flan is a tricky thing to know when it is cooked, because other than taking on a slightly deeper color, it doesn’t change in appearance from when it is raw compared to when it is cooked.

It is just one of those things that you need to figure out over time through repeated cooking, as only a truly experienced eye can tell whether or not a flan is fully cooked. If you cook your flan too much, the texture becomes more mealy, so veer on the side of slightly underdone rather than overdone.

sliced flan on a white plate with strawberries

Properly Cooked Flan

A properly cooked flan should be firm to the touch but have a light jiggle to the whole thing. It isn’t like a cheesecake, where you know it’s done because the middle still wobbles.

For those just getting used to making flans at home, the trick is to give it a little jiggle and see what it does. A cooked flan is like a Jello – a flan that has finished cooking should be solid, yet still easily wobble when given just a tiny jiggle.

How to Serve the Flan

A big part of enjoying a flan is in its presentation. This recipe produces one giant flan that can be sliced into individual portions at the center of the table.

  • Get out a large enough dish for the flan that has raised edges, a small platter is perfect.
  • Invert the entire flan onto a plate, ensuring the caramel sauce pours down over the top of the flan, while the flan sits perfectly and beautifully in the center of the plate.
  • Place sliced strawberries onto the plate – they not only add a splash of color, but strawberries also add a rich, slightly acidic flavor contrast for the super sweet flan.
close up of a slice of flan

Looking for more delicious Dessert recipes? Try these out:

Creamy Lemon Bars

Bananas Foster

Apple Brown Betty

Happy Cooking




This decadent and easy to make flan is a baked custard with a caramelized sugar syrup on top. Inverted onto a platter and sliced to serve, it's a crowd-pleaser!
5 from 1 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Mexican, spanish
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • one 300 ml can sweetened condensed milk or flavored condensed milk
  • one 354 ml can evaporated milk ilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Get out a loaf pan and a 9×13 baking pan.
  • In a medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and melt until liquefied and golden in color.
  • Pour the syrup into the bottom of the loaf pan and let sit.
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs and egg yolks. Add in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt and beat it until smooth.
  • Pour the egg mixture carefully over the syrup in the loaf pan. Cover the dish with foil. Fill the 9×13 pan with an inch of water. Place the foil-covered loaf pan into the middle of the 9×13 for the water bath.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  • To serve, carefully invert the flan onto a rimmed serving plate. Let the caramel sauce from the pan flow over top the flan. Slice and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Since it is so rich and sweet, you can definitely serve 10-12 people from one pan of it! 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 27mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 130IU, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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This decadent flan is a baked custard with caramelized sugar syrup on top. Inverted on a platter & sliced to serve, it's rich and delicious!

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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