Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe Add to Collection
4.79 from 14 votes

Mexican Flan

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 138kcal


  • 1 cup sugar
  • teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons water


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Heat over medium-low heat. When the sugar begins to melt, lift the pan and gently swirl it to move the sugar.
  • Continue to swirl the pan periodically until all the sugar has melted and the mixture is a deep amber color.
  • Pour the caramel into an 8-inch cake pan or flan pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and no traces of egg remain.
  • Pour the custard through a strainer into the caramel coated cake pan.
  • Cover the cake pan with foil and place in a casserole dish.
  • Boil water and pour the water around the base of the cake pan. Fill the casserole dish until the water comes halfway up the cake pan.
  • Place the casserole dish with the cake pan inside in the oven. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until the flan is set.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the cake pan from the water bath. uncover and let cool.
  • To Unmold the Flan: Place the flan back in the casserole dish and pour hot water around the base of the cake pan - coming up about ¼ of an inch. Let sit for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Remove the cake pan from the casserole and place your serving dish on top, serving side down.
  • Grasping both the cake pan and the serving plate securely, flip the pan and serving platter so that the cake pan is on top.
  • The flan should pop right out onto the serving platter. If it doesn't plop right out, shake the cake pan to loosen the flan.
  • Spoon any remaining caramel over the top of the flan.
  • Garnish with fresh berries and mint if desired. Serve.


  1. Making caramel is quite easy, but does take patience and attention - whatever you do, don't WALK AWAY from the pan (I speak from experience!)
  2. Spreading the sugar in an even layer helps the sugar to melt evenly.
  3. Use medium low heat when making the caramel - don't try and speed up the process by increasing the heat. 
  4. Adding a drop or two of lemon juice to the sugar and water keeps the caramel from hardening quickly making it much easier to pour into the cake pan!
  5. Making the custard: Many recipes suggest using a blender, which does work. However, I find that mixing it in the blender incorporates a LOT of air bubbles. Those air bubbles become small holes in the baked flan. This, of course, doesn't affect the taste, but I think the appearance and texture are better without the holes so I recommend whisking the egg mixture instead.
  6. Baking the flan in a water bath. I use a metal baking pan since that's the only one I have that fits my cake pan and it works well. Use whatever pan will hold your cake pan!
  7. You can make flan ahead of time! One of the great things about this recipe is that you can easily make it ahead of time - up to 3 days!
  8. TO STORE: When the flan has completely cooled, cover the pan with foil and refrigerate.
  9. TO SERVE: If you've made your flan ahead of time, remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.


Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 38mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 149IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg