Mexican Flan

Active time: 25 min.Total time: 8 hours, 25 min., including 6 hours chilling 
Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 1 slice)

This simple, yet delicious Mexican flan is creamy and delicate, and has lots and lots of caramel flavor without being overly sweet. Rather than making several individual flans in ramekins, we decided to go big with a large 9’ pie pan. It may look intimidating, but it’s very easy to cut, cook, and serve as long as you follow the right guidelines. Use a 9” metal pie plate to prepare this: It will turn out a beautiful sloped edge flan that will look so pretty as well fit nicely in a glass 9 x 13 baking dish for the water bath. We recommend putting the filled pie pan in the baking dish first, then carefully adding water in from the side before placing the baking dish on top on a sheet pan. This helps prevent water from getting in the pan and makes removing the finished flan from the oven much easier. Everything will be hot, so just proceed slowly and carefully. You can also create a water by by placing baking dish/flan in the oven and pouring the water into the baking dish with it already in the oven. This helps minimizes the chances of water sloshing into the flan when moving it. This is an impressive dessert that would make a perfect ending to a dinner party or taco night. Serve with a nice cup of strong coffee or an after dinner liqueur.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1(14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk 
  • 4large eggs

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place sugar in a medium skillet over medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, until sugar begins to melt, adjusting heat to low if sugar begins to brown too quickly. Once sugar is completely liquefied and begins to turn a deep caramel color, about 12 minutes, carefully and quickly pour the syrup into a 9-inch metal pie pan. Using a potholder, turn pie pan to allow sugar to coat sides and bottom. (Be careful: The sugar syrup will be very hot, but will cool and set up quickly.) Set coated pie pan aside.

Step 2

Combine sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and eggs in a blender, and process until well blended, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into prepared pie pan. Place pie pan in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and, working from the side, carefully fill baking dish with water until water reaches halfway up side of pie pan. Cover pie pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until flan is set and a toothpick inserted in center of flan comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes. 

Step 3

Remove pie pan from baking dish, and let flan cool in pie pan 1 hour. Cover flan loosely with foil, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or up to overnight. 

Step 4

To serve, run a paring knife around outside edge of flan to loosen. Place a serving plate over flan, and holding serving plate tightly to pie pan, invert. Carefully remove pie pan from flan, allowing syrup to coat top and pool around sides of the flan.  

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