Authentic Spanish Flan Recipe | Chef Dennis

Georgann Dolfay


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If you’re looking for a dessert for a special occasion, Flan is one of the easiest and most delicious Spanish desserts you’ll ever make!

With a silky smooth texture that almost melts in your mouth, this light and creamy dessert sitting in the perfect caramel sauce will soon become a family favorite.

spanish flan on a white plate with caramel sauce

Traveling in Spain, I got to try many of Spain’s classic desserts, and the best version of Spanish flan was found at a roadside cafe outside of Madrid. After sharing a few beers with the owner, he shared his flan recipe with me.

3 white plates of flan with caramel sauce

Don’t be fooled by other flan recipes; you only need 4 ingredients to make this Classic Spanish dessert. And after one bite, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the best Spanish Flan Recipe!

If you love rich custard desserts, my Creme Brulee is a must-try!

Ingredients to make Spanish Flan

ingredients to make recipe

Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Spanish Flan. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”

Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.

4 Simple Ingredients

  • full-fat milk
  • whole eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • pure vanilla extract

How to make Spanish Flan

The perfect flan has the texture of a custard that is just firm enough to stay in place. It should jiggle and wiggle (almost like jello) on your spoon. But the key to a great flan is the mouth feel. It should be silky smooth when you bite into it.

The sticky sauce that is served with Flan is a simple caramel made from the melted sugar placed in the ramekin before the custard mixture.

Make the caramel sauce

collage showing how to make caramel
  • Add 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan or skillet.
  • Let the sugar cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until it liquefies and turns a light golden-brown color to caramelize sugar. *Keep an eye on the sugar, so it doesn’t burn.

Prepare the baking pan

collage showing how to prepare baking pan
  • Place (six) 6-ounce individual ramekins in a baking dish.
  • Fill the baking dish with boiling hot water. *This will keep the sugar syrup from hardening
caramel in ramekins in baking dish

As soon as the caramel is ready, take it off the heat and quickly pour it into the prepared ramekins. If the caramel should start to harden before you’re finished, place the pan back on the heat and stir until it’s smooth.

How to make custard for Spanish Flan

collage showing how to make custard
  • Add the eggs and ½ cup of sugar to a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat eggs and sugar together until well blended.
  • Add the milk and vanilla to the egg mixture
  • Stir the flan mixture until well combined.

*Make sure the eggs are at room temperature before mixing

How to bake Flan

collage showing how to bake dessert
  • Use prepared individual ramekins with caramel sauce
  • Divide the flan mixture evenly among the six ramekins, pouring right on top of the caramel.
  • Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil and tightly seal. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until it wobbles and jiggles when you lightly shake the ramekin.
  • Carefully take the ramekins out of the water bath and let them cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

When the flan has cooled to room temperature, cover the dishes with foil and place the ramekins in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).

flan on a white plate with a spoon taking a piece out of it

To remove the flan from the ramekin, take a small sharp knife and run it around the inside of the ramekin. Place a small plate on top of the ramekin and flip the plate over and remove the ramekin.

The caramel will spread out and coat the flan and the area around the flan on the plate, creating a restaurant-quality dessert.

2 white plates with flan and caramel sauce

You’re friends and family are going to love having homemade flan for dessert, and you’re going to love my easy Flan Recipe. The creamy egg custard and the sweet caramel sauce is a perfect combination and make a delicious dessert for dinner parties or to make any night a special occasion!

Recipe FAQ’s

What is Spanish Flan made of?

Spanish Flan is a sweet custard dessert that is made with eggs, milk (cream or sweetened condensed milk), granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. The caramel sauce is made by caramelizing granulated sugar.

What is the difference between Spanish Flan and Mexican Flan?

There really is no difference. As with any regional dishes, recipes can vary. Some will use more egg yolks than whole eggs, some recipes will include cream, and others will leave out the vanilla.

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2 white plates with flan and caramel sauce

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Spanish Flan Recipe

With a silky smooth texture that almost melts in your mouth, this light and creamy Spanish Flan sitting in a golden caramel sauce will soon become a family favorite.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time50 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish

Servings: 6

Calories: 293kcal

Author: Chef Dennis Littley

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups milk Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F

  • Place (six) 6-ounce ramekins in a baking dish.

  • Fill the baking dish with boiling hot waterThis will keep the sugar syrup from hardening
  • Add 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan or skillet and cook it over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until it liquefies and turns a light golden-brown color. *Keep an eye on the sugar so it doesn’t burn.
  • As soon as the caramel is ready, take it off the heat and quickly pour it into the prepared ramekins. If the caramel should start to harden before you’re finished, place the pan back on the heat and stir until it’s smooth.Set aside while you make the rest of the flan.
  • Add the eggs and ½ cup of sugar to a large mixing bowl.*Make sure the eggs are at room temperature before mixing
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together until well blended and creamy.

  • Add the milk and vanilla to the egg mixture and whisk the flan mixture until well combined.

  • Divide the flan mixture evenly among the six ramekins, pouring the custard right on top of the caramel.

  • Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil and tightly seal.

  • Place on the center rack of the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until it wobbles and jiggles when you lightly shake the ramekin.

  • Carefully take the ramekins out of the water bath and set them aside to cool to room temperature.

  • When the flan has cooled to room temperature, cover the dishes with foil and place the ramekins in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).

  • To remove the flan from the ramekin, take a small sharp knife and run it around the inside of the ramekin. Place a small plate on top of the ramekin and flip the plate over and remove the ramekin.

  • The caramel will spread out and coat the flan and the area around the flan on the plate.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 171mg | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg

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