This caramel flan is a very traditional Cuban dessert. It’s a luscious, creamy special-occasion-worthy dessert that is super easy to do. What makes this dessert so awesome is the fantastic one-ingredient caramel sauce. And this Cuban flan recipe could not be easier to make!
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Make the caramel:
- Place 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook without stirring until sugar melts and has a deep amber color. This should take about 12-14 minutes. Be very, very careful with the flan as it’s SUPER HOT and can burn you.
- For Ramekins: Use a regular soup spoon and divide the caramel equally into 8 half-cup ramekins. Do not use a plastic measuring spoon for this because it will melt. Swirl the caramel around the ramekin to coat the sides just a bit.
- For pie plate, cake pan or flan mold: Pour all the caramel and swirl the pan a bit to get it up the sides a little. You need to work fast because the caramel hardens quickly, BUT be very careful not to spill the caramel or to touch the pie plate or cake pan where the caramel will be because it will burn you. I cannot stress this enough.
- Once the caramel has hardened, brush a little vegetable oil on the exposed areas that don’t have caramel. This should make it easier to unmold the flan later.
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, if you’re baking.
Mix: Pour the cans of milk into a blender. Add the five eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend on low for about 30 seconds.
Bain-marie: Place your flan container (ramekins, pie plate or cake pan) in a large roasting pan with deep sides and fill the pan with water up to halfway mark on the container. If you’re using the Instant Pot, you’ll add the water last.
- Strain the mix to make sure no eggshell or solids end up in your flan.
- For the ramekins, strain the flan into a 4-cup measuring bowl or pitcher. This will make it easier to pour into the ramekins. Otherwise, you can ladle the mix up to 4-ounce measurement or just up to the indent area. You can see it in the photo above in the post.
- If you’re using a pie plate, cake pan or flan mold, you can strain the mix right into the container.
- Baking times differ based on the container that you use.
- For the ramekins, bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You want the edges to be set and the middle to jiggle just a bit. The top should be a pale gold.
- For the pie plate or cake pan, cook for about 1 hour or until the edges are set and the middle jiggles just a bit.
Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker:
For the Instant Pot, you’ll need to use a special flan mold . Place the covered flan mold in the pot and add water until it’s half way up the sides of the flan mold. Set the timer to 25 minutes at normal pressure. Once done, let it vent on its own. If you’re not going to let it vent on its own, cook for 30 minutes.
Cool: Let the flan come to room temperature and then cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- Run a sharp paring knife around the edge and then invert the container onto a plate. The large molds unmold easily because the weight of the flan helps.
- For the ramekins, it’s a little more difficult. I usually place the ramekins in a pan with warm water for 30 seconds to make it easier to unmold. Sometimes you need to nudge it a little with the knife, but be careful not to leave a mark on the flan. They look so pretty when they’re unmolded.
- Pour the rest of the caramel sauce over the flan on the plate.
Garnish (optional): Top the flan with a few raspberries. I also use a mint leaf on the individual portions.
- Serving Size: slice
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