This is the easiest Leche Flan you’ll ever make! Creamy, smooth flan covered with golden caramel baked in an oven from start to finish. A beginner-friendly recipe with lots of tips, step-by-step photos, and video.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS LECHE FLAN RECIPE
- The flan and the caramel are not too sweet, with less condensed milk and sugar than most recipes. Of course, if you like it sweeter, this can be easily adjusted.
- Made of whole eggs which means no eggwhites are wasted!
- Both the caramel and the flan are baked in the oven! What? How? More on this later.
- The flan is creamy and smooth and so so good!
WHAT YOU NEED
(SECRET INGREDIENT TO A NO EGGY TASTE FLAN)
We’re using the classic Leche Flan ingredients with an addition of a simple ingredient that will help mask the eggy taste.
- Whole eggs – no egg whites are wasted here.
- Condensed Milk – creamy, sweet, and milky; way better than just using sugar.
- Evaporated Milk – rich milky flavor and always best paired with condensed milk for some reason. We Filipinos love pairing the two in most of our dessert recipes.
- Cream – makes the flan creamier and richer!
- Lemon Juice/Calamansi Juice – the secret ingredient to the best tasting flan. The citric juice masks the eggy taste and balances the sweetness of the flan.
- Vanilla – enhances the overall flavor of the flan.
- White Sugar – for the caramel. Combine with a little bit of water and lemon or calamansi juice to lessen the crystallization process.
OVEN-BAKED LECHE FLAN
Making flan is relatively easy but a few minor mistakes can lead to a disappointing outcome (oh, I’ve been there!). But that is less likely to happen using my recipe.
HOW TO CARAMELIZE SUGAR—FOOLPROOF WAY
Caramelizing sugar for Leche Flan requires special skills. Well, at least in my case. I’ve made it countless times using the popular methods and I often end up overcooking the sugar i.e. burned and bitter!
So folks, may I present to you my foolproof way of caramelizing sugar!
- Start by placing a damp folded kitchen towel on the bottom of a large roasting pan. The dishtowel will help protect the bottom of the pan and will help gently cook the sugar.
- Place a 7 inch round pan in the large roasting pan then add all the ingredients of the caramel. Stir to combine.
- Place inside the oven, middle rack, and set the temperature to 170c/325 f (there’s no need to pre-heat the oven). Bake until sugar is caramelized and golden in color. Start checking as early as 18 mins and remove from the oven as soon as the color changes. Mine was ready at around 20 to 23 minutes.
- While the caramel is still hot, quickly swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the pan evenly. Use thick oven gloves to prevent burning your hands. Coating the sides of the pan will help loosen the flan later on.
Note: It’s completely fine for the caramel to harden a bit once cooled. It has a little bit of lemon juice, so it won’t easily crystallize.
HOW TO MAKE A SMOOTH AND CREAMY LECHE FLAN
While the oven is pre-heating and caramelizing the sugar at the same time, you can start making the custard.
- Blend all the flan/custard ingredients together until no white streaks are visible.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve or muslin cloth to remove any bits of egg and air bubbles. I suggest doing this two times for a smoother flan texture. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
- Bake the flan using the hot water bath method. A water bath adds moisture to the oven and provides a more even, slower heat source than the direct heat of an oven.
- The flan is cook when the center is set but will still be a bit jiggly. Use the toothpick method just to make sure. Do not bake for more than 45 minutes otherwise, the flan will overcook and become bubbly and curdled.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
Can I make the flan without a blender?
Yes of course. To ensure that the eggs will easily blend with the rest of the ingredients, whisk it first. Add the rest of the ingredients then stir until no white streaks are visible. Strain two times to remove the air bubbles and egg bits. Don’t skip this step.
Can I use egg yolks instead of the whole eggs?
Yes. Use 10 egg yolks instead of 4 whole eggs. Flan made with egg yolks will yield a silkier texture. If you must know, this is the Filipino style of making Leche Flan 🙂
What is the best substitute for evaporated milk?
You can use fresh full-fat milk or half and half instead of evaporated milk. If the cream is not available, increase milk to 1 1/2 cup.
SERVE AND STORAGE
Leche flan is best served cold. After baking, let it cool completely. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours, best overnight. It should last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days but I highly recommend consuming it within 3 days for the best texture.
Love desserts? Try these recipes too!
- Tres Leches Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Easy Chocolate Cake
- Sweet and Creamy Fruit Salad (Filipino Style)
- Buko Pandan (Coconut Pandan Salad)
- Puto Flan (Leche Flan Puto)
- Turon with Dulce De Leche
- No-Bake Banana Caramel Cake (Icebox Cake)
Watch the Leche Flan video recipe
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup condensed milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Place a damp kitchen towel on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Fold in half for thickness. Place a 7 inch round pan on top. Combine all the ingredients of the caramel in the round pan. Stir with whisk or spatula.
- Place inside the oven, middle rack, and set the temperature to 170c/325f. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until sugar is caramelized and golden in color. Start checking at 18 mins to make sure it doesn't burn. Note: The same oven temperature will be used for the flan.
- While the caramel is still hot, quickly swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the pan evenly. Use thick oven gloves to prevent burning your hands.
- Combine all ingredients of the flan in a blender. Blend on high until no white streaks are visible. Strain the mixture through a sieve with muslin cloth directly into a pitcher. I did this 2 times for a smoother flan texture.
- Pour the flan mixture into the caramel lined pan. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan, about halfway up the side of the round pan. Don't use boiling water.
- Place the roasting pan into the already preheated oven (no need to adjust the temperature). Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The center should be almost set, but will still be a little bit jiggly. Do not overcook. You can start checking the doneness at about 35 mins.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let the flan sit in the hot water for 10 minutes to continue cooking. Remove and let it cool completely. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Loosen the sides of the flan using a butter knife then invert onto a serving plate. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Make without a blender: To ensure that the eggs will easily blend with the rest of the ingredients, whisk it first. Add the rest of the ingredients then stir until no white streaks are visible. Strain two times to remove the air bubbles and egg bits. Don’t skip this step.
- If using pure egg yolks: Use 10 egg yolks instead of 4 whole eggs and increase evaporated milk to 1 1/4 cup. Flan made with egg yolks will yield a silkier texture.
- Evaporated milk substitute: You can use fresh full-fat milk or half and half instead of evaporated milk. If the cream is not available, increase milk to 1 1/2 cup.
- For a much sweeter flan, use the whole can of condensed milk. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons more of sugar for the caramel with 1 more tablespoon of water.
- Shelf life and storage: Keep refrigerated covered with a plastic wrap until ready to serve. It should last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days but I highly recommend consuming it within 3 days for the best texture.
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