Creamy Caramel Flan

1 9x9-inch pan
1 hr 15 min

While others are making big resolutions, I’ve been happily whiling away my hours in my fuzziest pair of snowflake pajamas and scarfing down the last of the shortbread cookies that I bought from Scotland. And making flan, apparently. I guess my resolution is to undo all of my hard fitness work from last year completely (for various reasons, I also haven’t been to the gym in a month). Hooray!

Just kidding. While I’m not a big fan of making lists based on Earth’s revolution around the sun, I do love the idea of new beginnings. So my five biggest goals this year are: to graduate with my PhD (!!!), travel like a crazy boss after I do, get a spanking awesome job that makes me happy (but hopefully also pays the bill), publish something, and give this blog an awesome facelift. Oh, and do something completely outside of my comfort zone that I have never, ever ever imagined doing before. So I guess that makes six!

Since every set of New Year’s resolutions deserves to be commemorated with amazing food–you know, to keep you fueled and focused!–I’m sharing my favorite caramel flan recipe of all time with you. It’s dense, creamy, and rich: think a cross between traditional flan and a really bomb cheesecake. Plus that glossy caramel coating on top is to die for (and super easy to make)!

All you’ll need for this recipe are six ingredients: sugar, cream cheese, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Beat them together (except the sugar, which you’ll be melting to create that caramel), and you’re just a few hours away from your resolution of ETERNAL FLAN-INSPIRED HAPPINESS! Muahahaha.

Because if that’s not on your to-do list this year, we really need to talk about your priorities.

Recipe details
  • 1  9x9-inch pan
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 15 min
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  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a 8 or 9-inch baking dish in the oven while it preheats.
In a saucepan, heat sugar (over a medium flame) until it melts and turns golden, stirring constantly. Use oven mitts to remove your warmed pan from the oven, then pour the caramel into the bottom of the pan, tilting it so that you create an even coating of caramel on the bottom. (Tip: Don't worry if your caramel isn't completely even before it solidifies--it will liquidify and smooth out in the oven.)
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until completely smooth. add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly with each addition. Mix in sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into caramel-coated pan.
Fill a roasting pan halfway with boiling water. Place pan on the lower rack of your oven, then place your baking dish on the top rack. (This water bath will keep your flan from cracking.)
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until center is just set. Chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight. To unmold, run a knife around edges of pan and invert on a large serving platter.
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  • Kas6813157 Kas6813157 on May 30, 2022

    Sounds delicious and i would love to try it, but in the instructions part #4 doesn't make sense to me.

    Usually making any flan, I always was told to put the baking dish inside the pan with water.

    That's why I don't understand how putting the roasting pan with water on the lower rack and the baking dish on the top rack will work. thank you.

    • See 1 previous
    • Alma Garza Trevino Alma Garza Trevino on May 31, 2022

      I was thinking the same thing.

  • Nanfree Nanfree on May 31, 2022

    I have a question about putting the caramel in the pan. Should you spray a cooking spray on the bottom before putting in the caramel so it doesn’t stick? I’ve never done this before…just asking! 🙃

    • Ala Ala on May 31, 2022

      Nope! Believe it or not, the cool thing about this recipe is that you don't need to worry about the sugar sticking since the oven temperature keeps it liquid up until you flip it. Hope that helps!