While I love standard desserts like fresh-out-of-oven cookies or pies, sometimes you want something a bit more elegant to impress guests — a recipe that adds that “wow” factor. That’s not always simple to do, especially if you’re trying to whip something up in your own kitchen. That’s what makes this easy flan recipe such a hit. This Latin American dessert looks like something out of a cooking magazine, but preparing it at home is simpler than you think.
What Is Flan?
If you don’t know what exactly flan is or where it’s from, I’m sure you’re not alone. Flan (pronounced flahhn … not rhyming with “plan”) is a custard dessert with a caramel sauce that likely originated in the Roman Empire.
As the Romans conquered their way through Europe, the dessert was embraced in Spain. And when the Spanish headed to the New World, they took flan with them. It’s popular in Mexico, where you’ll find a ton of variations, and the rest of Latin America as well.
A classic flan recipe requires surprisingly few ingredients: sugar, two types of milk, vanilla, eggs and flour. This version requires just as few ingredients, but we’ll lighten things up a bit by using coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than table sugar but will still sweeten things up. (1) Instead of using traditional evaporated and condensed milks, I opt for the coconut milk versions, which mean folks avoiding dairy can safely enjoy this recipe for flan.
Recipe Nutrition Facts
- 268 calories
- 4.7 grams protein
- 17.4 grams fat
- 25.54 grams carbohydrates
- 23.36 grams sugar
Though this flan probably shouldn’t make a daily appearance at the dinner table, as far as sweet desserts go, this is a great one to choose!
How to Make Flan
Wondering how to make flan? Before getting started, ensure you have enough time to make this recipe. While the hands-on time is minimal, you’ll want to give yourself at least six hours to make this flan dessert. Or, even better, prepare the flan the night before serving, as it will set in the fridge.
Ready to get cooking? Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar and water.
Stir the two together often to create a thick, caramel-like consistency.
Pour the caramel into a 9-inch glass pie pan, letting it cool so it doesn’t run.
Next, add in the two milks and vanilla.
Then, slowly pour the milk mixture into the pie pan — right on top of the cooled caramel.
You’ll then put the pie pan in a baking dish and place it in the oven. Add boiling water to the baking dish to work as a water bath.
Bake the flan dessert for 45–50 minutes in the oven. Let it cool, then place the flan in the fridge, where it will continue setting for four to six hours (or overnight).
When you’re ready to serve, place a large plate face down on top of the pie pan. Then carefully flip the flan onto a serving dish.
This flan recipe will keep in the refrigerator for two to three days …
but I think it’ll be polished off much sooner. Enjoy!
Prep: 1 hour; Total: 4–6 hours
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 4 eggs
- 1½ cups evaporated coconut milk
- 1¾ cups condensed coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a saucepan on medium heat, melt sugar and water.
- Stir often to create a thick consistency like caramel.
- Pour caramel into a 9-inch glass pie pan and allow to cool so that it doesn’t run.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs and arrowroot starch.
- Add milks and vanilla.
- Slowly pour milk mixture into the pie pan on top of the caramel.
- Put pie pan in a baking dish and place in the oven.
- Take some boiling water and fill the baking dish as a water bath.
- Bake for 45–50 minutes.
- Let cool and then place in fridge for 4–6 hours or overnight.
- To serve, place a large plate face down on top of the pie pan and carefully flip the flan onto the plate.
- Store in the fridge for 2–3 days.