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abuela's classic cuban flan

Abuela’s Classic Cuban Flan

Abuela’s Classic Cuban Flan is a staple. Flan is such a luscious delicious dessert. There is something about flan that feels intimidating. There is no way that anything that tastes as good as flan can be easy to do. Flan just gives off the high maintenance vibe. It’s always impressive when someone brings the flan to a potluck or gathering.

Flan is actually not as hard as it looks. We will not lie to you, making caramel can be a little tricky. Especially if you are making caramel for the first time. But we can promise you, that with a little practice you can be a pro.

Flan is one of those things that once you figure out how to do it, it’s easy. Then you can take the flan to your next pot luck or family gathering and intimidate everyone with your skills.

Abuela’s Classic Cuban Flan

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: DessertsCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Caramel
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar

  • 1/4 cup of water

  • Flan
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk

  • 4 oz of cream cheese (original full fat), at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 5 eggs

  • A pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and set out your eggs and Cream Cheese ahead of time to reach room temperature.
  • We start with making the caramel.  In a flan mold, begin to melt the sugar and water. If you are using an electric top you will do this on medium to medium high heat. If you are using a gas top, do this on medium low heat. Do not use a spoon or any utensil to stir.  You should use a dish towel or pot holder to just move the mixture around.  Do this until the mixture begins to turn a nice light amber color. Once the sugar begins to change color, be sure to lower the heat.  This will take anywhere from 7-15 minutes depending on your stove’s heat. Once you remove the mixture from the heat, it will still continue to cook, so the color will begin to darken (don’t freak out).  
  • Tilt the caramel onto the sides to coat the pan with the caramel, and leave it to cool.  While the caramel cools, we move onto the flan.
  • In a food processor or blender, pour in your ingredients.  Be sure it is large enough to hold all of the liquid. You can also use a bowl with an immersion blender. Pour in the Evaporated Milk and the Condensed Milk first. Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor at least once to be sure nothing is stuck to the sides.
  • Make sure the flan pan is no longer hot to the touch, and has cooled. Add the mixture to the cooled pan with the caramel.  Then place your flan pan, into a larger pan for it’s “Baño Maria”. A “Baño Maria” is when you are placing your flan into a larger pan, and then filling the larger pan about  ¾ of the way with warm water.  It sits in the water while cooking in the oven.

    Pro Tip: We like to place the flan and larger pan into the oven first before filling it up with water, but you can do it however you like.
  • Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the flan from the oven, BUT leave it in the Baño Maria for 15 minutes.
  • Then cool outside of the water bath and then chill in the fridge for a few hours.
  • Turn over the flan when ready to serve.  *If some of the caramel is stuck to the pan you can heat it up on the stove to loosen up the caramel and then drizzle over.

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