Flan is a traditional Puerto Rican dessert. We've all eaten it and love it. Most of us are a bit weary of the task of making it. But, we are here to tell you it is easy. These are the 'basic' instructions. All that changes are the ingredients. We've included several flavors on this page.

Flan is baked in a 'baño de María' or bain-marie. I use a large cookie sheet on the bottom, then set a large roasting pan on the sheet. Then I place the uncooked flan, covered with foil, in the roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan, being careful not to get water in the flan mold - about 2 inches deep. The flan mold should be at least 4 inches tall. The cookie sheet makes it easy to carry into the oven and pull out when ready. The flan mold could be ramekins (6-7) or a deep metal or glass bowl. First prepare the baño.

The next step is caramelizing the mold, and that is just as easy. Pour 1 cup sugar in warm pan and heat on medium heat until it browns and becomes golden like caramel. You must keep a close eye on the caramel until it is done - don't let it get too dark. For ramekins quickly pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of caramel in each ramekin, tilting it to swirl the caramel around the sides. For the mold just pour and swirl to make sure the bottom is completely covered and swirl as high as you can go on the sides.

Now that the baño and mold is ready prepare the flan as per your recipe. Carefully pour the flan mixture into the mold. Cover with foil, sit in the baño, add the hot water to the baño, and bake at 350° for about an hour. Test for doneness by inserting a wet knife in the center, if it comes clean it's done. Larger flans will take 1½ hours. If the flan does not seem solid in the middle, bake it longer, test again. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to the touch. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.

To serve run a knife around the inside of the mold, cover the mold with a dish that has a bit of a lip to hold the caramel. Carefully flip it over and wait until the flan has dropped. Pull off the mold. (For ramekins use individual saucers). I often bake my flan ahead 2 or 3 days leaving in in the mold in the fridge. When I am ready I turn it over into a pie plate or something with a lip to catch the caramel. Serve cold.

Good to note here that traditional Puerto Rican flan usually has more than 6 eggs, and turns out firmer than the flan served in the United States. I use 8 - 10 eggs since I am a traditionalist and like to prepare things the way my mother did (she used 10).This makes a larger flan and takes a bit longer to cook and it is more solid or firm and not jiggly. It is a Puerto Rican thing. Just add extra eggs and that's all, if you like it firm.

See our 'How to Make Flan' visual here.


Basic Flan Recipe
The most popular flavor

1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 13-oz cans evaporated milk
1 tb vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page.

Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean

 

Flan de Queso - Cream Cheese Flan
This is the second favorite flan

6-8 eggs
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth add eggs and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean

 

Flan de Coco
This is very popular

6 eggs
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean

 

Flan de Coco y Queso - Coconut-Cream-Cheese Flan

Follow the recipe for Flan de Coco, add 1 8-oz package softened cream cheese. Mix the cream cheese first with the mixer then add the eggs, then the rest of the ingredients. YUM!

 

Coffee Flan

6 eggs
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
7 oz whole milk
8 oz cream (or evaporated milk)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs instant coffee (dissolved in a tablespoon of water)
1 tbp of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.

 

Orange Flan - Flan de China

6 eggs
2 cups half-and-half (or heavy cream for a richer, denser custard)
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
grated zest of ½ Large Orange
grated zest of ½ Lemon
½ cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. . Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.


Coquito Flan

2 cups coquito (yes, must have Puerto Rican rum, of course)
6 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth add eggs and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.

 

Flan de Piña - Pineapple Flan

8 eggs
2 cups pure (100%) pineapple juice
1 tbs corn starch
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs rum

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.


Almond Flan

6 eggs
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.

 

Loly's Flan
Puerto Rican Style
this recipe makes a large flan

Mami used to make the most delicious flan than none of us have been able to match. It was a thick flan and it was always perfect.

12 eggs, whole
1½ cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1 tbp vanilla
dash of salt


Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare bain-Marie and caramelize the mold as per instructions at the top of this page. Mix eggs with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend smooth but do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in the baño de María. Then pour hot water into the baño and into the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes clean.

 

Microwave Flan

With a microwave flan, there is no need for a baño de María. You will need a caramelized pan prepared the same way. The pan must be microwavable. This flan cannot be too large. Use only 6 eggs at the most. Test it out in your microwave before you serve it to anyone. I made it in my old microwave and it was good, but not so in my new microwave.

5 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat eggs, add the other ingredients. Cook in the microwave at 50% power for 7 minutes, then cook at 100% power for 8 minutes. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean when it is done. If it is not done after the 8 minutes, cook at one minute intervals, checking each time. Cool and refrigerate before serving.

 

Pressure Cooker Flan

No need for a bien-Marie or baño here. You will need deep a caramelized metal pan that fits in your pressure cooker. Use a simple pot without handles and a secure lid.

Follow your recipe. Pour into caramelized mold and secure with lid. Carefully lower the mold into the pressure cooker with about 3" of water or no more than half way up the mold. Secure the pressure cooker lid and lock it. Cook for 20 minutes after lowering heat. Turn it off. Let it cool down enough to open the cooker lid. Then let this cool down enough again to lift the mold out. Once it gets to room temperature, refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.