Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (2024)

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Isabel

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An easy flan recipe made with only 5 simple ingredients! This creamy custard dessert is topped with rich caramel and is very popular in Mexico, Spain and Latin America. It’s a showstopper dessert that is sure to impress friends and family. Perfect for any occasion!

If you love flan, try my flan de queso (cream cheese flan) or chocoflan.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (1)

I need to shout it from the rooftops – I’m officially in love with flan! I must admit that I didn’t eat much flan growing up. Instead, my family was big on tres leches cake, conchas, and marranitos. Pretty much all the bread-y desserts found in Mexican bakeries. But flan wasn’t really on my radar until recently when my nephew kept mentioning how much he loved flan (a subtle hint he kept throwing my way). That’s when I knew I had to make it.

So I got to work, tested, tested, and finally created the richest, smoothest, and creamiest flan recipe ever! Best of all, it’s so easy to make and officially made me a flan lover!

What is flan?

Flan, or crème caramel, is a creamy custard dessert topped with caramel that’s popular in Mexico, Spain, and many Latin American countries.

It’s known for its smooth and creamy consistency that’s achieved by cooking the custard in a water bath, or a bain-marie or baño-maría. Doing so creates steam in the oven that gently and evenly cooks the flan, keeping it moist and ensuring that the eggs aren’t overcooked, curdled, or scrambled.

The flan is cooked with the caramel on the bottom of the pan and the custard mixture on top. After it’s cooked and sufficiently cooled, the flan is then inverted onto a plate to reveal a rich and golden caramel sauce that perfectly covers the top of the flan!

It truly is a magical dessert!

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (2)

Ingredients in Flan

This flan is made with only 5 simple ingredients which is why I love it so much! Here’s what you need:

  • eggs
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract
  • sugar

You’ll also need a small 7-inch cake pan or a special pan called a flanera. I got my flanera here. It’s inexpensive and perfect! It has an easy-locking lid, so I don’t need to use foil to cover the top while baking.

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How to make flan

Step 1: Make the caramel by pouring the sugar into a warm skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring the sugar while it heats up and begins to brown and clump together. Continue stirring until the sugar completely dissolves and melts into a beautiful golden-brown caramel!

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (3)

Step 2: Carefully pour the caramel into the bottom of the flanera or cake pan as evenly as possible. Try to work quickly because the caramel will start to harden in a matter of seconds after it’s hit the bottom of the pan. Also, be sure to use a towel or oven mitts as the bottom of the pan will be very hot. Try to distribute the caramel evenly into the pan. If it hardens too quickly and you aren’t to do so, you can carefully heat the pan up by placing it directly on the stove or on the skillet. That will loosen up the hardened caramel a bit so it can flow into the areas you need it to go.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (4)

Step 3: Set the caramel aside and let it cool so it hardens a bit. While it’s cooling, whisk together the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is evenly incorporated but try not to over-whisk so you don’t get too many air bubbles in the mixture.

Step 4: Pour the custard mixture into the hardened caramel-lined pan.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (5)

Step 5: Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, or secure it with a lid if you’re using a flanera like I do in the photo below.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (6)

Step 6: Place the pan in a large baking dish and fill the baking dish with water until it reaches halfway up the flan pan. Bake the flan for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Carefully remove the flan pan from the water bath, remove the lid, and let it cool to room temperature. Then place it in the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (7)

Step 8: When you’re ready to eat it, remove the lid or aluminum foil from the pan and gently slide a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen it up a bit.

Step 9: Place a large plate or platter over the pan and quickly and carefully flip over the pan and the plate so that the flan is upside down. Pull up the flan pan – if the flan doesn’t slide out immediately, place the pan down and let it sit for a bit. It will slide out so don’t freak out! Give the sides of the pan a tap or some squeezes and see if that helps.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (8)

All that’s left to do is grab a slice and enjoy! I like serving it on its own with lots of caramel sauce, but you could also serve it alongside some fresh fruit.

Variations

  • For a citrusy twist, add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the custard mixture.
  • For a coffee twist, add 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the custard mixture.

Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (9)

4.69 from 262 votes

Easy Flan Recipe

servings: 8 slices

Print Pin Review Save

Prep: 20 minutes minutes

CHILLING TIME: 4 hours hours

Cook: 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Total: 5 hours hours 35 minutes minutes

An easy flan recipe made with only 5 simple ingredients! This creamy custard dessert is topped with caramel and popular in Mexico, Spain and Latin America.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Pour the sugar into a skillet over medium heat. Stir the sugar continually until it begins to brown and clump together. Keep stirring until the sugar completely melts and dissolves into a golden-brown syrup. Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as it has dissolves as it can burn.

  • Working quickly, carefully pour the caramel into a 7-inch round pan or a special flan pan (flanera) as shown in the photos in the blog post. Pour the caramel evenly into the bottom of the pan so the entire bottom is coated. If you need to, use an oven mitt or potholders to move the pan from side to side to get the caramel evenly distributed. If the caramel hardens too quickly, you can carefully reheat the pan by placing it directly on the stove or on the skillet for a few seconds.

  • Set the caramel-coated pan aside to cool and harden.

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and vanilla extract. Whisk together until everything is fully combined, but try not to overwhisk so that there aren't too many air bubbles in the mixture.

  • Pour the custard mixture into the caramel-coated pan. Cover the top of the pan with the lid (if using a flanera) or tightly with aluminum foil.

  • Place the flan pan in a large baking dish and pour enough water in the dish until it reaches about halfway up the pan. Carefully place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Carefully remove the dish from the oven, and then lift the flan pan out of the water bath. Remove the lid or aluminum foil and let it cool to room temperature. The flan may still be a little jiggly, but that's okay – it will continue to cook with the residual heat.

  • Once it's cooled, cover with the lid or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

  • To serve, remove the lid or aluminum foil and slide a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen it up. Place a plate or platter on top of the flan, grab a hold of both the plate and the pan and quickly and securely flip it over so that the flan is now upside down. Carefully lift off the flan pan. Your flan should be sitting in the caramel on the plate, ready to enjoy!

  • Carefully lift the flan pan up. The flan should be on the plate – if it's not, place the pan back down and let it sit for a few minutes. Don't freak out! It will loosen up and slide out. You could try tapping the sides of the pan a bit or even giving the sides a squeeze.

  • Slice the flan and serve with the rich caramel sauce!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 298kcal (15%), Carbohydrates: 48g (16%), Protein: 8g (16%), Fat: 8g (12%), Saturated Fat: 4g (20%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 110mg (37%), Sodium: 98mg (4%), Potassium: 37mg (1%), Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 48g (53%)

Author: Isabel Orozco-Moore

Category: Mexican

Leave a Reply

  1. Fedric Von Picklehof French

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (10)
    Isabel , I made it it was great. Gonna do it again,this time i gonna double the bach. ,

    Reply

  2. Mirtha L Baldoni

    Hi Finia I’m from Argentina and we call flan too I like very much

    Reply

  3. Rich

    In my oven at 350 the flan is done in 55-60 minutes. Using a flanera. I recommend you mention that cooking time may vary in different ovens.

    Reply

  4. Brian Marx

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (11)
    I’m very new to all forms of cooking/baking but I gave this recipe a try since I absolutely love flan, and it’s come out great every time! It’s given me confidence to try more stuff. Thank you!

    Reply

  5. Debbie

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (12)
    The best flan ever!!! Made it 3 times so far! Yummy

    Reply

  6. Kim

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (13)
    The caramel hardened in bottom of pan. There was a little left on the flan but most was rock hard.

    Reply

  7. Ciamari

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (14)
    Fantastic! Just added nugmet

    Reply

    1. Chef

      Yum! Nugmet! I use Nutmeg, myself, but I’ll try Nugmet next time, if I can find it. LOL

      Reply

  8. finian

    Not a “Flan” sorry.
    This is called “Pudding” in Portuguese which is the recipe you give. Contents are poured into specific deep round pudding mould and cooked inside a pressure cooker with some water. In the end, you have a round form with a hole in the middle.
    A “flan” as the French have it doesn’t come close to the Portuguese Pudding, nor does the Spanish or any other (tried them all). Not the same consistency, not the same taste. And none other has the typical shape.
    With all due respect, if you’re going to give recipes from all over the world, do give its origin.

    Reply

    1. Patricia B

      This is rude. In Mexico it is called flan. So yes, the blogger is correct. Other countries may alter the recipe a bit or call it by a different name but in the end, it is simply custard.

      Reply

  9. Kayla Perez

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (15)
    The taste and texture was amazing. My only concern was the Carmel didn’t really flow out, I had a little bit but the rest was hardened to the ramekin I used.

    Reply

  10. Walda Ruiz

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (16)
    All the recipes I’ve ever seen for flan say not to stir the sugar when making the caramel because that will cause it to harden and it will not melt properly. Also, do you add water before or after it’s melted. I made it with no water at all, and didn’t stir it until it was completely melted. I Aldo used heavy cream instead of milk.

    Reply

  11. Melissa

    I’d love to make this flan, but only have a 9 inch cake pan. Will I be able to adjust the time and/or oven temp and still have the same result?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Melissa! You would only have to adjust the baking time by reducing it to only 1 hour.

      Reply

  12. Christina

    Hi! Do I grease baking pan?

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Christina! No you dont have to.

      Reply

  13. Stephanie

    Mine came out with a sort of spongy texture, which I didn’t love. Does that mean I overcooked it?

    I added some pomegranate molasses to the caramel sauce–that was yummy!

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Stephanie! Yes when it gets spongey that means it was overcooked or the oven heat was too high.

      Reply

  14. B.K.

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (17)
    The only recipe I use when making a flan. It is superb.

    Reply

  15. Cheri Agarano

    I’m excited to try this recipe! Wondering if you’ve ever used monk fruit sweetener in place of sugar.

    Reply

    1. Ana @ Isabel Eats

      Hi Cheri! We haven’t but that’s super interesting, if you try it let us know how it turns out!

      Reply

  16. Claudia

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (18)
    I made the flan for Mother’s Day brunch. It was so easy and everyone said it was the best flan they ever had . They said it was better than what they had in a restaurant.

    Reply

  17. Karrie Burriss

    Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!} - Isabel Eats (19)
    First time I have ever made this and it was perfect! Will make again!

    Reply

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