Traditional Flan Recipe

Traditional Flan Recipe


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup whipping cream (regular whipping cream, not heavy whipping cream)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a 9-inch round cake pan in a roasting pan.  Fill the roasting pan (not the cake pan) with water until water is halfway up the outside of the cake pan.

Caramel Sauce

  • Place 1/4 cup water in a medium sauce pan.
  • Add 1 cup of sugar to the pan.  Try not to let the sugar touch the sides of the pan.  Sugar that sticks to the sides of the pan will not dissolve and instead will likely crystallize.
  • Use a spatula to gently stir the sugar to start dissolving it.  Again be careful to avoid too much sugar touching the sides of the pan.
  • Turn the heat to medium or medium high.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring it.  After 0285-10 minutes, it should have a light golden color.  During this time, use a wet pastry brush to brush any sugar on the sides of the pan back into the caramel mixture.
  • Caramel changes color quickly, so watch it carefully at this point.  Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the caramel until you have a darker, golden color—think honey colored (see below).  You may need to turn the heat down a little at this point but make sure it is still bubbling a little.  I have found that cooking it at too low of a temperature does not work.  It will likely take 3-5 minutes longer to achieve the desired color.
  • Pour the caramel into the cake pan that is already sitting in its water bath.  Be very careful when pouring the caramel mixture into the pan.  It is extremely hot and can cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin.  (Many of us can attest to that from experience!)


  • With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, milk, half-and-half, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.
  • Strain the milk and egg mixture using a mesh sieve to remove any bits of egg.  This is a really important step if you want a silky flan!  Some chefs recommend using a blender to ensure that the eggs are completely incorporated.  But, even if you use a blender, I would still strain the mixture.
  • Gently pour the mixture into the cake pan on top of the caramel sauce.  The cake pan is still in the roasting pan with the water bath.
  • Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake until it is set, about 60 minutes.  The center will barely jiggle.  If you have an instant read thermometer, bake it until the temperature reaches approximately 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the cake pan from the water bath and cool the flan at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.  Do not take it out of the cake pan yet.
  • Remove the flan from the refrigeration.  Carefully run a knife between the outer edge of the flan and the cake pan to assist in separating the flan from the sides of the cake pan.
  • Place a platter on top of the cake pan and carefully flip it over to turn the flan out onto the platter. 
  • Cleaning the cake pan—There may be some caramel hardened in the bottom of the cake pan.  If so, pour boiling water into the pan and let it sit until the caramel loosens.   You can repeat this process, if necessary.

© 2014 FoodieOasis




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