How to make Flan video (scroll down for flan recipe)

Cinco de Mayo is this weekend and if you’re not familiar, it’s kind of a big deal around these parts.
Flan Recipe (Creme Caramel)

It’s a Mexican holiday that commemorates the Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexicans whooped the French even though they were outnumbered two-to-one. It’s always those kind of battles that people like to commemorate.

I figured what better way to commemorate it than by making flan, that light and luscious caramel custard that came from France originally (as crème caramel) but I imagine someone dropped the recipe during the melee at the Battle of Puebla and a clever Mexican cook picked it up and re-named it flan de leche, or just flan.

Anyway, there will be muchas fiestas this weekend in celebration and many of them will have piñatas, most of them will have cerveza, and all of them will have comida deliciosa. If you’d like to throw your own fiesta, please consider including this easy flan recipe! Best part, you can make it the day before you need it, leaving you more time to make cheese enchiladas.

This particular recipe came from my dear friend’s mother, Adriana. It uses cream cheese for a rich and creamy flan.

Flan recipe – printable!



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4.8 from 9 reviews

Traditional caramel custard

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 3 eggs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Caramel:
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Set oven to 400ºF.
  2. Beat the eggs, cream cheese, and sugar together, gradually increasing speed to high and beat for one minute.
  3. Slowly add the milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Set aside.
  4. To make the caramel: put the 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy skillet and turn on to medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about two minutes or until the sugar begins to clump. Stir constantly now for another few minutes until it begins to melt. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly until it becomes liquid and golden, about 8-10 minutes more.
  5. Distribute caramel between 3-10 ounce ramekins or 4-8 ounce ramekins. Or if you are using an oven-safe skillet, you can bake the flan in that.
  6. Pour the custard mixture into the dishes, on top of the caramel.
  7. Place in a water bath and bake for 35 minutes to one hour or until mostly set.
  8. Remove from the water bath and invert onto serving plates while warm.
  9. Refrigerate and serve cold, or they may be served warm.


I cut all measurements in half to suit my needs. The original recipe was as follows: 6 eggs 8 ounces cream cheese 1 cup sugar 1 cup milk 1 cup evaporated milk 1 tablespoon vanilla

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  1. Yana Ysabel F. Maranan on June 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Hi hilah. Your my biggest fan! I love to watch your videos. I also surf the Internet to see your new recipes. I love all the food that you make. I hope that you will have many many fans like me.

    • Hilah on June 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Hello, Yana! Thank you so much for your support! I’m really happy you like the show and the recipes. 🙂

  2. Isra Hassan on June 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    What if I use a stick of butter instead of cream cheese?

    • Hilah on June 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      I have no idea. I would try heavy cream before butter, though, if you can’t get cream cheese.

  3. Loisy on July 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    hello, I love your recipes and this especially, but I have a question with what other ingredient I can replace the vanilla?

    • Hilah on July 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Loisy!
      You can use any other extract flavor you have, or just add some orange or lemon zest and leave the vanilla out.

  4. emma on July 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    hey hilah i love your shows and i wanted to know even though i love creamcheese but i want to take that part out if that is posible.

    • Hilah on July 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Emma!
      I really don’t know if it will set up right without the cream cheese. If you try it, I’d suggest adding an extra egg to the mixture to help it firm up. Hope it works for you! Thanks for writing.

  5. emma on July 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    hey hilah thanks for responding its an honor talking to you i tried with the creamcheese and it came out as the best creamcheese flan ever. since i and dominican i still have never heared of creamcheese flan but know that i know i will be shore of telling my friends and family about you.

    • Hilah on July 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Thanks, Emma! I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

  6. Loisy on July 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks Hilah! Now i will try new recipes from your website! 😀

  7. lourdes on October 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    hilah you are my baking rolemodel i am writing a essay on baking and in one pharagrah i am writing about the time i made your flan with my friend.

    • Hilah on October 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Aw, that makes me smile, Lourdes! Thank you for writing. I hope you try some more recipes with your friends!

  8. Mariant on July 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Hilah!
    I looove your videos, I got married about a year ago (not knowing how to cook lol), about the same time I moved to Texas from the Dominican Republic, they have made my life sooo much easier!. I have a question though, What temperature should I bake these? Thanks!

    • Hilah on July 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Maria!
      I’m so flattered that my videos are really helping you! Sorry I forgot the temperature. It’s 400ºF. I’ll fix it now.
      Thanks for writing!

  9. Steve on August 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    If I am not checked out on the mixer yet, can I mix up the wet ingredients in a blender? I don’t think I have a skillet like that, but I have some sauce pans. Do you think that will work for melting the sugar. I am hoping to surprise my wife on Sunday evening. Usually I practice something first, but this time I am just going to have to do right the first time. I wonder if I can buy a back-up flan at a Mexican restaurant. That way, if mine fails I can go to Flan B.

    • Hilah on August 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Am I too late, Steve?! Sorry, we were in airports all day!
      Yes, you can melt the sugar in a regular skillet (stainless steel) or saucepan and pour it — carefully — into some oven-safe glass ramekins or ceramic dish. And the blender would be a great tool for mixing he ingredients, I think.
      I hope it works, and thank you for your perfect flan pun. 😀 you know I do love a good pun, and that one takes the cake.

      • Steve on December 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm

        You were not too late. It took me just over four years to finally make this flan. I failed miserably. I don’t know if I didn’t beat the cream cheese enough, but it was very lumpy. I had read that one can pout the custard mixture through a strainer to get out the lumps, so I did that. My flan looked PERFECT when I took out of the oven. 15 minutes later it was flat like a pancake. The flavor was great, but my flan was 1/4″ tall. Where-o-where did I go wrong?

        One great thing about this experience was that I got watch one of your older videos. I really miss that orange kitchen!

        • Hilah on December 9, 2017 at 7:26 am

          Hmmmm. This is a weird one, Steve. I haven’t had that happen, and am having a hard time finding any similar stories on the internet. My questions are:
          (don’t hate me but) are you sure you put the eggs in?
          Was the cream cheese at room temp? I realize I didn’t specify in the recipe but I’m going to add that now

  10. Paula on November 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Hilah, I found you on YouTube this morning and it brought me here to your website. I think you’re so refreshing and you had me laughing in bed while everyone slept in on this Veteran’s Day. By the way, Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your recipes and videos. I’m so excited to cook and bake today. It’s just choosing which one. I think either flan or pretzels with my four kids. It’s going to be a messy kitchen but fun for all. Thanks again.

    • Hilah on November 12, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Hi Paula!
      Thank you for writing. 🙂 Hope you and your kids had a great day cooking together yesterday. I can’t wait until our little guy is old enough to cook with me. Cooking with my mom is one of my favorite memories from growing up. Your kids are lucky.

  11. Rodrigo on December 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Hi, Hilah! I’m from Mexico and I love that you post mexican recipes. Where do get them?
    You gotta try “Cochinita Pibil”, one of the most delicious dishes in our kitchen.
    You’re great. Have a Merry Christmas!

    • Hilah on December 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Hi Rodrigo!
      I got this recipe from a friend’s mom, who is from Mexico. We LOVE cochinita pibil and have made it a couple of times at home.
      Thanks for writing! Happy New Year!

  12. georgine on January 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I did your brisket recipe for Christmas and it was fabulous. I followed every direction to the T and it came out perfect! I tried this recipe and made the mistake of getting “sweetened” condensed milk and it was just too sweet – plus I live in the mountains and so I usually cook things longer than the recipe says. I’ll never do that again. So I decided to dump the whole batch and start over. What I noticed (I left the custard in the custard dishes) is that I’m having a hard time getting the carmel sugar out of the bottom of the custard dishes – I soaked in hot water – but I still have “residue of carmel” on the bottom of the custard cups.

    I’m cooking the recipe now and added some nutmeg to it, but I skipped the carmel step. I plan to garnish them with some hot and spicy pecans I made also for Christmas. Anyway, love your web site and your recipes and especially the videos, very entertaining as well as instructive for the small touches that get left out of recipes.

    Are you related in anyway to Phoebe Buffet??

    • Hilah on January 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Georgine!
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the brisket. I love that recipe. It’s so easy!
      Whenever I make flan, there’s always a little bit of caramel left in the bottom of the dishes, but the majority of it should still be coming out with the flan. Is that not the case? Nutmeg sounds like a great addition, especially with pecans. Great idea, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  13. Alyssa on February 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Hi Hilah,

    I just stumbled upon your website today and am super excited to try this flan. I have never made it before but it was requested by my family for our next Mexican night. I saw your note saying that you had cut the recipe in half for your needs. Is the full recipe, with 6 eggs etc., better to use when making one large flan? Also, I don’t have any ramekins or an oven safe skillet so I’m wondering if this would work in a pyrex pie dish? Then putting that into the same type of pyrex casserole dish with the water that you had used? Please let me know what you think! Thanks so much!

    • Hilah on February 9, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Alyssa!
      Yes, if you double it to make the original 6-egg flan, it should fit into a 9″ deep dish (that’s 2 inches deep) pie pan. You canuse any kind of pan to hold the water underneath, just make sure the flan-pan fits into the water-pan. Does that makes sense?

      • Alyssa on February 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

        It does! Thank you so much for the fast reply! I can’t wait to try this recipe and all the others you have on your site!

  14. Alyssa on February 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

    One more question. When making a normal batch with the 9″ pan do you know the cooking time?

    • Hilah on February 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      The cook time should be about the same, maybe just 5-10 minutes longer.

  15. Lillian Stryczek on April 20, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Thank for all the recipes and thanks for everything you do to help us cook awesome recipes.

  16. Nicole on June 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Hilal! I just made flan using this recipe and it’s the best flan I’ve ever had! I’ll definitely try it with lemon or orange zest next time. I would’ve taken a picture but when I thought about it, it had already gone to flan heaven in our bellies. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hilah on June 20, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Yay! Thanks for the nice message, Nicole!

  17. Tyler krug on July 28, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    You usually like things hard and fast, nice. Nice

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